2019 Nissan 370Z Roadster Sport Touring new car reviews

Photos Courtesy Nissan

Perhaps the 370Z, like the Datsun roadsters that came before it, is a classic. The Z returns for the 2019 model year, more or less unchanged since its 2009 debut. That’s 11 model years.

We tested a 370Z Roadster wearing Passion Red. Here’s what Nissan has to say about the hue: “The Passion Red paint process uses a high brightness aluminum pigment in the base coat and Nano-pigment tinted clear coat to give it a vivid, jewel-like red color that looks different depending on the viewing angle.”

Other staff views

Joe Gearin Joe Gearin
Associate Publisher

Ok, it’s not a Datsun anymore, but the design is so old it could be!

Come with me kids, into the way-back machine!

The year is 2008, Katy Perry’s “I kissed a girl” is playing on nearly every radio, Danica Patrick won her first and only Indy race, and some guy named Barack Obama was battling against John McCain for the presidential vote. This is also the year Nissan redesigned their 350Z and created the 370Z.

Now let’s jump ten years into the future. We find Katy Perry nearly forgotten, Danica Patrick retired, and unfortunately, we are mourning the death of Senator McCain. What about the Nissan 370Z? Well Nissan’s semi-affordable sports car is still with us, and it hasn’t changed much at all. This is not a good thing.

Back when the 370Z was new, we sampled a convertible version, and came away unimpressed. The ride was jerky and rough, the steering numb and lifeless, and the seats seemed to be designed by Marquis de Sade. The top’s operation also gave us cause for concern. Each time it was lowered, the junky sounds coming from it’s operation did nothing to inspire long-term confidence.

We recently drove a brand-new 2019 370Z convertible, and were dismayed to find the same faults, with few improvements. The VQ-derived six cylinder is still adequately strong for a car of this type, although it’s voice is less than musical at the upper end of the rev-counter. The seats still make this tester’s back ache, the steering is still numb, and the ride too harsh for a car like this. The interior materials have been classed-up a bit, but it still feels low-rent.

Our tester came equipped with an automatic transmission, and of course the motorized convertible top. You’d expect this Z to be a relaxed cruiser, designed for cool nights, and easy driving. You’d be wrong. Our test car seemed to have an identity crisis. The stiff suspension and aggressive throttle response say “Sports Car”, while the shape, price and intended demographic are more aimed at a boulevard cruiser. Great cars are greater than the sum of their parts. The 370Z is the opposite. It looks good on paper, but is far less rewarding in person.

You can do better Nissan: Just turn your wayback machine to 1993, when nearly all of your cars gave enthusiasts a reason to smile!

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

I’m going to be economical here and just point you towards my reviews of the 2016, 2012 and 2010 reviews of pretty much the exact same car.

While I’m glad to see a sports car remain on the roster, yeah, this one’s getting long in the tooth. What does this offer that an MX-5, Mustang or Camaro doesn’t?

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Comments
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irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/21/18 10:33 a.m.

well, at least no shark teeth in the grille....

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
9/21/18 11:44 a.m.
irish44j said:

well, at least no shark teeth in the grille....

They stopped that a couple of years ago, so it basically looks like the 350Z with weird headlights.

So, yeah, totally get why Nissan sales are skyrocketing. 

Toebra
Toebra HalfDork
9/21/18 11:56 a.m.

370Z roadster looks like an ND Miata that needs a fitness program

Karacticus
Karacticus Dork
9/21/18 12:28 p.m.
Toebra said:

370Z roadster looks like an ND Miata that needs a fitness program

I paddocked with a 370 Coupe at Grattan last weekend.  Did my Z4 Coupe make it’s butt look big?  Yes it did. 

300zxfreak
300zxfreak New Reader
9/21/18 2:11 p.m.

I have to concur, I have a ‘90 300ZX TT, while my buddy has a 2012 370Z ragtop. The older car actually seems more refined than the newer one, and is a hell of a lot more fun to drive. Always feel like I’m sitting in a bathtub trying to peer out over my feet in the 370, while the cockpit in the 300 is intuitive and comfy and laid out for driving, not video games.

noddaz
noddaz SuperDork
9/22/18 7:22 p.m.

$51,220

Wow...

SPORTCHRONO
SPORTCHRONO Reader
9/22/18 8:49 p.m.

51k and it came out when the S2000 was still being sold new? LOL

Snrub
Snrub HalfDork
9/22/18 9:00 p.m.

I don't know if the roadster or the higher spec models are the way to go, but the 370z is still a fun car. The short wheelbase helps it feel nimble. For street driving it's one of those cars that doesn't feel like it can be improved much with aftermarket mods, it's strong from the factory.

The interior is a bit dated, but it's not the end of the world.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
9/22/18 9:20 p.m.

I feel like the 370Z is fundamentally pretty good and the main problem with it is that it's not $28,000. 

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
9/23/18 12:09 p.m.
z31maniac said:
irish44j said:

well, at least no shark teeth in the grille....

They stopped that a couple of years ago, so it basically looks like the 350Z with weird headlights.

So, yeah, totally get why Nissan sales are skyrocketing. 

I was driving with a buddy last night, both of us who use to be admins on Maxima.org forums. We saw a white car up ahead of us and he's like "the new Altima doesn't look bad." 

Except it was a Maxima.

Nissan literally makes an entire line of un-memorable and bleh cars these days (other than the Murano Vert, but that's not memorable in a good way). They used to make cool-looking cars. Not so much now. 

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Reader
9/23/18 12:25 p.m.

Most honest car review I’ve ever read.  

Dootz
Dootz New Reader
9/28/18 12:01 a.m.

In reply to Vigo :

The main problem is that the competition blows it away in terms of value and performance

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
9/28/18 7:37 a.m.
Vigo said:

I feel like the 370Z is fundamentally pretty good and the main problem with it is that it's not $28,000. 

The coupe starts at $29,900......so it isn't that bad. 

I haven't looked because at dealers because the car doesn't really excite me, but I'd bet with how little they sell you could make a pretty good deal on one.

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