Car Reviews

2019 Nissan 370z 50th Anniversary Review

Alex Rae’s 2019 Nissan 370z 50th Anniversary Edition Review With Price, Specs, Performance, Ride And Handling, Interior, Ownership, Verdict And Score.

IN A NUTSHELL: Yes, it’s old! But the value is appealing for the good handling and sports car fun on offer. This 50th Anniversary Edition is likely a bit too garish for most, so the entry-level $50k coupe offers even better value. And we’d be very tempted to ditch the stock infotainment system for an aftermarket unit with the latest technology.

2019 Nissan 370z Review

There aren’t many six-cylinder Japanese two-seater sports coupes you can buy for under $100k, at least not ones actually made in Japan. Nissan has been building such a car for fifty years – though not continuously.

The first Z was the Datsun 240z (Nissan S30), which was designed as an affordable Japanese rival to European counterparts. Its design was, for many, very striking, and it was fitted with a straight-six motor and was a success. It was also offered in successive 260Z and 280Z models as a 2+2, something the new model 370z is not.

But something the new model does well is keep much of the formula consistent. It has a cabin-back design with a jutting nose, housing a six-cylinder engine that still gives the option for a manual transmission between the motor and rear axle.

It’s a simple formula, but one that is less common now, particularly in European rivals. Even the new Toyota Supra, which is built by BMW in Austria, doesn’t offer a manual transmission and is much more expensive. But that cutting-edge coupe is also a much different equation compared to this relatively antiquated and affordable sports car driving experience.

What Does The Nissan 370z Cost And What Do You Get?

You can get into a brand new 370z with manual transmission from $50,490 plus on-road costs, which is a pretty good deal considering it cost almost $70k when it first went on sale here in 2009. The only automatic, a conventional seven-speed torque converter transmission, bumps the price up to $52,990.

But here we have the special 50th Anniversary Edition which adds a $3000 premium to both manual and auto versions.

Nissan 370z 50th, black on silver

What you get in this homage to the Z that started it all is two-tone paint (red on white or black on silver), lots of stickers, 50th Anniversary badges on the sides and boot lid, and red striping on the RAYS 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza S007 rubber. It’s pretty flash and pretty conspicuous.

Inside is Alcantara trim on the steering wheel and door inserts with contrasting red stitching. The seats have four-way electric adjustment and are finished in partial suede fabric with leather side bolstering. And there’s more 50th Anniversary logos and embroidery around the cabin.

Under the bonnet the engine remains unchanged; there’s no performance benefit over the base model.

What’s The Nissan 370z Interior and Space Like?

You’ll buck down to get into the 370z but not as drastic as something like the Supra. That’s because there’s a decent size door aperture and the seats are wide and comfortable to slide onto. The suede finish on 50th Anniversary models feels nice too.

There are some oddities around the cabin, like the tack-on round tachometer that moves with the steering wheel adjustment and the clunky centre console which is filled with switch-gear that looks pretty dated.

For storage, there are cupholders, a glovebox and a bit of room in the centre console, but it’s not very large. And the boot offers 253-litres of space, which is small, so this isn’t great for touring unless you travel light.

What’s The Nissan 370z Infotainment Like?

Nissan is only just adding crisp, 8.0-inch and larger infotainment systems to its new-generation models (like the new Leaf) now, so there’s no hope that the 370z will get one. Instead, it has an old, fuzzy 7.0-inch touchscreen with no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but it does get sat-nav.

Mobile phone connectivity is via Bluetooth but it’s an older standard, so when the phone is charging on USB the system gets confused as to what the media device is and drops out, at least it has for us with an Apple iPhone for the last few years.

What’s The Nissan 370z Engine Like?

Of all the older bits inside the Z, the six-cylinder is one of the best features it hangs on to and a lovely bit of resistance to downsizing and turbocharging engines. The only thing it could have done better is line the cylinders up in a straight line rather than vee configuration, but it’s still a warm and likeable motor.

The 1990s-based VQ-family 3.7-litre naturally-aspirated V6 produces 245kW at 7000rpm, which is singing pretty high up the rev range, along with peak torque of 363Nm arriving at 5200rpm. That means you have to get up it with purpose to extract grunt, rather than dab the throttle to a whack of instant power like you’d get with a stressed small twin-scroll turbo motor. But the payoff is that it’s exciting to row through the cogs in the manual transmission, and it rewards with an honest rumbling soundtrack.

Sure, a lot of V6s don’t sound that great, but this one has a good personality, even the automatic rev on downshift (that you can easily turn off) doesn’t sound like it’s flaring much.

But the problem with the lumpy six is that it gets very thirsty when you’re excited with it, and the claimed 10.6L/100km fuel consumption balloons towards the twenties. Still, it returned 11.9L/100km with city driving with us behind the wheel, and this is more a weekend car than commuter.

What’s The Nissan 370z Like To Drive?

From a time before adaptive dampers and finely tuned electronic traction aids (it has the basic ones, though), the 370z is both easy to understand and easy to have fun in. An analogue antidote to today’s increasingly digitally-derived performance, you could say.

That said, it doesn’t have the superior ride of many others, which can go from soft and pliable to taught and firm at the flick of a switch. That said, not all get that balance right, so best be one way or the other with confidence.

Nissan’s FM platform lies underneath the 370z and has been around since the fifth-gen 350z launched in 2002. It has aluminium control arms front and a multi-link suspension in the rear tuned for good composure. The shock absorbers are performance twin-tube dampers, and they’re firm. But the ride isn’t brittle, despite the large alloys, and it deals with a mid-corner bump by quickly settling rather than skidding about.

A lot of that chatter is sent through the hydraulic steering to the wheel which gives a few good nudges in connection to what’s happening underneath. And the chassis communicates rather than hides the pending oversteer; it’s a car that you can easily drive by the seat of your pants.

Stomp on the brakes and the 355mm front and 350mm rear disc brakes with four-piston front and two-piston rear calipers pull up quickly, but with some progressive feel.

While not much has really changed in the ‘new Zs’ long lifespan, it’s already well setup for enjoying the drive. 

How Safe Is The Nissan 370z?

It’s great there’s a lot of metal protecting the cabin because there are no automated driving aids such as AEB available, just ESC and TRC fitted to all models. There are also front and side airbags, and seatbelt pretensioners for both driver and passenger. The 370z has not been tested and rated by ANCAP.

What Are The Nissan 370z Alternatives?

The sports coupe has a few alternatives though most are either smaller or more expensive. The Toyota 86 is in the former camp, while the Toyota Supra is a much sharper and more expensive tool, designed to compete against the likes of the Porsche Cayman and BMW M2.

Closer is the Ford Mustang, which is also available in both coupe and convertible bodystyles.

2019 Nissan 370z Pricing And Specifications Australia

Price From $50,490 drive-away

Warranty 5 years/unlimited km

Engine 3.7L petrol V6

Power 245kW at 7000rpm

Torque 363Nm at 5200rpm

Transmission Six-speed manual; 7-speed auto

Drive rear-wheel drive

Body 4265mm (l); 1845mm (w); 1315mm (h)

Kerb weight 1467kg

Seats 2

Thirst 10.6L/100km

Fuel tank 72 litres

Spare Space saver

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Editor's Rating

How do we rate the interior and practicality?
How do we rate the value?
How do we rate the controls and infotainment?
How do we rate the performance?
How do we rate the ride and handling?
How do we rate the safety?
The 370z is let down in our score for its dated interior, infotainment, and safety technology. Truth be told, much of that won't matter to the value-buying sports car hunter, who sees that the 370z provides an old-school performance driving experience in a brand new package.

Alex Rae

Alex Rae