After my personalized vanity plates arrive, I'll take more (better?) photos of the car. Until now, these photos will have to do.
Click on each of them for a slightly larger image.
|I've been wanting a new car for the
past year or so and I finally decided it was time to buy one. (I
last bought a new car 13 years ago, in March of 2001.) I've waited
this long in part because my 2001 Toyota Celica has been completely
trouble-free. It's fun to drive and still gets great gas mileage.
For the past month much of my spare time has been spent test driving new vehicles, watching car videos on YouTube, reading online car reviews, participating in online forums, etc. Some of the choices I considered included, but were not limited to, the Hyundai Veloster, the Honda CR-Z, a used Ford Thunderbird (Eleventh Generation), and the Mini Cooper. I also like the looks of most Porsches, (who doesn't?) but they are also a little beyond my budget.
About a month ago I finally decided I wanted a Nissan 370Z after going for a test drive in one at a local Nissan dealership. It was an absolute dream to drive. These past few weeks have been spent deciding upon which dealership / private party I want to purchase from, what color I'd be happy with, which options I wanted and could do without, etc.
I ended up buying a 2013 370z from a nearby Mitsubishi dealership, of all places. I feel like I got a GREAT deal! The 2013 manufacturer's dealer suggested retail price for this vehicle, including the added Sport Package, was $39,400. This would come to at least $43,000 out the door after adding on taxes, license fees, etc. And yet I paid less than $30,000 out the door. Yes, it's a 2013 model and thus not a new car, but it had less than 3,000 miles on it and as you might expect, was still in pristine condition! So I feel like I got a brand new car at a used-car price!
My 2001 Toyota Celica may "look" sporty, but with its 4-clyinder engine and 140 HP, it's definitely NOT a sports car. Without question, the 370z is. (Rear-wheel drive, 6-cylinders, 332 horses, 19" wheels...)
Note the 370z has NO back seat. But I used the back seat in my Toyota so rarely, I certainly won't be missing that.
You know, I may never go back to a car with front wheel drive again. I really like the way a rear wheel drive car handles. I also may never go back to a 4-cylinder car ever again. After driving a 4-cylnder for most of the past 20 years, I can really appreciate the difference in power & pickup between a 4-cylinder and a 6-cylinder car. (0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds! Zoom!)
I'm still not used to this "keyless entry." Unlocking the car without needing to take the Intelligent Key out of pocket is something that is new to me! Nor am I used to starting the engine via the push-button start!
One small thing I really like is the radio comes with an auxiliary jack. Yea, this is nothing special and I'm sure most cars today have this as standard, but my 2001 Celica did not have such a jack. With this auxiliary jack I can listen to the songs on my Zune (Ipod equivalent) via the car's speakers, simply by connecting the Zune to the jack and setting the radio to auxiliary mode. Nice! (I like listening to my Zune on my quarterly work-related trips to Vegas.)
I LOVE the color! It's officially called Magma Red but I think the color is best described as a rust-colored red. I also don't see too many cars on the road with this color, which is all the more reason I like it. The 370z also comes in a color called Solid Red, but I much, MUCH prefer this rustic-looking Magma Red.
One of the options the original owner added was a backup camera with the camera's video feed appearing in a corner of the rear view mirror! That's neat for me, because I've never seen that in a rear view mirror before.
The included Sport Package comes with the larger, 19" allow wheels, the front chin deflector, the rear spoiler, and Nissan Sport Brakes.
From my office window I can see it in the parking lot. However, I should probably move it to a spot where I can't see it! I find myself looking at it so much, I'm probably not getting as much work done!
The 370z model first was available in early 2009, so this model is already five years old. However, I've already noticed a lot of stares from others as if they were staring at something brand new and original. My co-workers certainly all like it lot it.
Funny... I made a little bit of extra room in my garage for it, before picking it up driving it home, but as it turned out, I made room in the wrong direction! I made room for it length-wise! I thought my 2001 Celica was a small car, but I quickly discovered the 370z is a few inches shorter than my Celica! It's a few inches shorter, but also 4.3 inches wider. I should have made room width-wise! Ha ha!
I didn't notice it at the dealership, but I'm pretty sure the original owner tinted the side windows and back window. I sure hope the degree of tint is legal for California, because I don't want to pay for a fix-it ticket, nor do I wish to pay to have them un-tinted!
Insurance isn't bad at all. (But then again, I'm in my 50s with a clean driving record, so that helps.)
I've always had vanity plates on my cars, even back when I was in my early 20s and this won't change now. I'm still undecided on what this vanity plate will say. Some of my current choices are:
|All of these choices are available,
according to the California's DMV website. (There are also a lot of
choices I could consider that are already taken and thus not available.)
I also have a bunch of other chess-related plate choices, that I may go with
instead. When the plates arrive, I'll update this page with a new photo
or two of the plate I went with.
Included below are a small number of reviews and driver comments I found while researching the Z.
gotten a lot of seat time in the 370Z, including twice on the track in
the Nismo version, a 500-mile drive, with 370 of those miles on central
California back roads in one joyous day, in a glittering metallic blue
6-speed Coupe (370 miles was a coincidence, but appropriate). Plus,
we've driven several models around town. After all that driving, we
can't say a single bad thing about the 370Z's performance. And that's
"Great power, light weight, fantastic handling, beefy brakes, slick aerodynamics, bold styling, good fuel mileage, great 6-speed gearbox; optional 7-speed automatic with paddle shifters, even a Roadster. Base price $32k out the door, whale of a performance bargain."
The 2013 Nissan 370Z is a
performer with great power and handling. The Sport Package further
sharpens that edge, enhancing the Z's handling.
For your money, you get a set of "Euro-tuned" sport shocks that firm up the Z's ride and reduce roll when cornering, Nissan sport brakes with red-painted calipers that shave off the mph's at a staggering rate, and 19-inch Rays forged aluminum-alloy wheels with staggered and sticky tires. A viscous limited-slip differential helps with getting power to the road and a front chin deflector and rear spoiler augment the aerodynamics at speed. The Sport Package also adds the SynchroRev Match function to the manual gearbox -- a feature that you'll either love and praise or hate and curse, depending on your driving style and mood at the moment.
Thanks to its strong engine and quick-shifting transmissions, the Nissan 370Z provides an abundance of power and acceleration. There's no shortage of straight-line performance here. The Z will impress you both off the line and on the open road. And with the SynchroRev Match feature, the performance experience is deftly elevated.
But the real magic happens when the Z's sport-tuned suspension is put to the paces at high speeds through tight corners. Whether on sharp canyon switchbacks or a super-curvy racetrack, this car exhibits gobs of grip and virtually no body lean. Its blend of agility and balance inspires tremendous confidence. Push the Z extra hard, and the stability control will likely step in to spoil the fun, but this system can be shut off if the driver really wants to test the limits. What he or she will learn is that those limits are not easily reached. The 370Z Roadster's driving experience is about the same as the coupe, but with a lot more wind in the hair.
|Reviews from Kelley Blue Book
"Bought my car new in 2009 and I still own it. I've been impressed by every aspect of the car." - FricFrac
"I have owned this car for two years and love it. I especially like the ride and handling." - Roadster
"Previously, I had a 2003 350z for eight years and bought the 370z without hesitation. If you are a 'driver' this car is the best bang for your buck. Plenty of power (330 Hp) and handles like its on rails. Its quick as a cat and looks great sitting still. I don't think you can beat it at this price for performance, styling, handling and smiles per mile." - bird
"I love this car. It has all the bell and whizz my 300ZX doesn't
have. Incredible road tracking, handling, power, and electronic
gadgets." - Falco300zx
I bought a new 2012 370 Nismo Z last January and it is the most
entertaining car I have ever owned. With the wing and different front
end and 19" wheels, don't drive it if you don't like attention. It is
very fast and handles like a dream. Traction control and synchro rev
match make it even better." - ferraridave
"I have owned several of the Nissan Z cars, and this is by far the sportiest of all Z cars. When you consider what you get verses other cars in this class and slightly above in pricing. You simply get more with the 370Z. Overall fun car to drive fast, you need to be aware of what the car can deliver and the way it handles. Equipped well the roadster has the touring and sport packages, see the long list of equipment, including larger brakes and calipers, 19" Ray wheels, there really is not much more you need for a sports car in this class." - JB
"After the first test drive a knew I had to own one. Spent months researching EVERY car out there! Drove my wife crazy talking about how AWESOME this car would be to own. Finally bought it and NOT disappointed one bit. Handles like a dream and the pick up on it is insane. Gets up to 100 in a hurry. My wife wanted to see how fast it could go so I pushed it to 120 with no effort and it just wanted to go faster! It's like sitting in the cockpit of a jet. And I always get compliments on it when I'm out and thumbs up. I get tired of kids wanting to race me all the time though. I use it as a daily driver and its really comfortable. There is road noise but who cares, its a sports car not a luxury car! Buy a Caddie if you want quiet. I have the sport package and it delivers!!!! I am getting a solid 24 mpg on my commute to and from work 44 miles round trip and around 350 miles per tank, a big surprise considering its built for speed. Love it, love it, LOVE IT!!!!" - go blue
"I've had three Nissan 350Z's in the past, recently upgraded to the 370Z and WOW! I love this car. The handling has improved greatly, not as it was needed but great improvement. In comparison to the 350, the 370 is a bit more powerful, drives more aggressively, for a similar but improved ride. The only thing I miss is the digital speedometer, but the keyless entry, video in rear view, and smooth ride overcome the overlook of the speedometer. Moving the strut bar gives more trunk space, even though it is a shorter car feels as if you have more room." - Miss370
"I wasn't a fan of the 350Z but the 370Z takes my breath away every time I get in it. I'm constantly getting compliments on it from strangers... even after 3 years of ownership! I've got 40,000 miles on it and no major issues to speak of. I will add that I race my car regularly and even with that added wear and tear it's held up great." - spoolio
"Finally got rid of my "Chevrolet Camaro LEMON" and saw the light to finally own the car I should of bought to begin with Nissan 370z convertible. This car has everything the Camaro doesn't. Reliability, style, better handling, and overall a AWESOME car. Road noise doesn't matter to me. It's a sports car! It supposed to be noisy. I was very surprised to how it handles corners, and this car has power. It is a bit pricey, but I would pay more money for reliability any day. Seating comfort is a bit more to get used to, especially for tall people like me. Short people will REALLY love this car. For all of you out there debating on a Camaro, don't waste your time. You can tell Nissan spent more quality time designing this car, and it shows! . Chevrolet may give you more options in the Camaro, but its all cheap plastic! Not to mention I spent 7 months dealing with transmission issues before the first oil change! In Summary - go for the NISSAN 370Z!" - BrianR73
"It inspires confidence and gives you the feel that you're in something serious. it feels like a cockpit of a plane and the legendary Z emblem on the steering wheel and key lets you know Nissan put its passion and pride into every bit. It can't beat its competition because it dosen't have any. Nothing for its price range can perform or feel like a Z." - ed
"Improvement in every single category over the 350Z I previously owned. Fast, precise, quieter. Outstanding sound system." - phydoux
"By far the best bang for buck sports car out there. The styling alone is uncompromised and incomparable to any close to its class. Nissan did a great job in refining and improving upon the 350z. The 370z is definitely in a class above the 350z." - TipsZ
"I have very much enjoyed driving this car. Even after having a BMW, Audi, Lexus and misc. other vehicles, this has been my favorite. It is an absolutely solid vehicle, and exudes quality. So many compliments on this car! Combine that with the price as compared with other sport convertibles and you also have a great value." - Awesome Z
"I have to keep reminding myself that this is a serious sports car. I decided since I liked my '04 350Z so much, that I'd buy one of these for a daily driver. Another one of the deciding factors for me was how nice my wife's 2011 Maxima was. It has the same engine (detuned) and drove like my old 350Z through the mountains. I was so impressed by that I had to drive a new 370Z. Once driven... I was sold. It's one or two levels above the previous 350Z. This car drives, looks, feels so good. I bought the 7 speed auto because this car is going to be for my daily commute duty. After I drove it for a while I realized it's faster than the 6 speed and you can still up shift and downshift in manual mode and it does the rev-matching for you. Simply Wow !!!! I mean 7K shifts automatically...bang, bang, bang.... and you're gone. Ease on those brakes though as they are really good too. I bunch of times I've found myself flying around 30mph turns @ 60mph without effort or real worry. In my C5 corvette I'd have to pay real close attention or I'd find my rear end stepping out. Not so in the Z. It tracks even better than the 'Vette and the transitions are super quick and tight. The factory tires handled great but, a bit noisy so I bought top of the line Michelin Super Sport tires to quiet it down a little on rough roads. With the MSS the car became an even better handler, quieter, and you don't feel the imperfection of the road so much. In my opinion a must have. However, most will not mind the sound levels in stock form and the stock tires are very good. The only other thing that bothered me was the Sport Front Chin Spoiler. It is about 1.5 inches closer to the road surface. It scrapes on all but the most mild driveways. I have taken off the front chin spoiler and it still looks good. Now I can get into and out of my driveway and others without stopping and creeping up with spoiler noises. When this happens it doesn't mess up anything but the lower edge and is barely noticeable. It just sounds awful going into the shopping center. Not to mention everyone behind you has to stop as you creep up the driveway. Once those two items were taken care of: I can not find anything wrong with this $30K 370Z Base Sport with A7. This is one car... like my last Z that I expect to own over 5years... or until they come out with a hybrid that has more power, looks the same and gets 50 mpg. It will happen." - Mecinoid
"I've owned her since she rolled out of the factory. When test driving any other sports car in its price range, the z won me over hands down." - Darktide
"I traded in my 93 427 rhp twin turbo RX7 for this 2009 370z. I was flat out amazed at the constant performance this car puts out. The interior is very nice and durable. Bought brand new, I daily drive and occasionally race this car. So far no issues or visits to the service department crew! My only negative to this car is the two-seater setup. If you can afford it and are ok with picking just one friend to ride along at a time, then this is the car for you! Guaranteed to make anyone with a V8 uptight and obnoxious." - Red370z
"I owned a 2008 350z and traded up for the 370z. Biggest difference is the keyless start & the increase in HP, which is nice. No more trying to stuff a key in and scratching up the interior. Also the option of the Euro fog lamp is a must. Only one in KC I know of that has the option and the car is a head turner. Sexy lines and plenty of HP for a car under 3,400lbs." - tower74
"Fantastic Car. Hugs the corners, acceleration is great. Owned a older Corvette, thou not as fast off the line, it handles better and accelerates with the same "throw you back in your seat" as the Corvette. Did I say, this car handles fantastic, it hugs the corners twice as better than the 'Vette. Where the 'Vette rear end would slide around on me, this car absolutely hugs the corners. The braking system is great, no problems there. The style "screams" drive me. You can't go wrong with this car, reliable, dependable, and just absolutely fun to drive." - Touring
"I got my 370Z in October 2009. I had been wanting a Z since they came out with the 350, and after the 370 came out I had to take a look. I was instantly in love and knew I had to have this car. I get people looking at the car everywhere I go (even got a thumbs up from a 10 year old one day!) and the performance on it is amazing. I have the Touring edition with the 6-spd Synchro-Rev match trans, and at first I though I wouldn't like this feature, but it is great! It's a bit noisy and can be a bit squirrel-y (especially in the rain), but I really have nothing bad to say about this vehicle. It is very comfortable for me, but I can see how it wouldn't be for everyone (I'm 5'3", 125 lbs). The Bose stereo system is actually pretty decent for stock." - luvmyz
"Traded in my 350z for the 370z, what a difference!! This car is outstanding in every way. If you're debating, don't hesitate. Buy it and enjoy!!!" - jbuzz
"When I first saw it, I was surprised how nice it was. I wanted to buy the 350Z at first, but when I got to see the 370Z in person, I changed my mind. The 370Z is a lot better than the 350Z in everyway. Interior, space, exterior, POWER, HANDLING and so much more details. Nissan did a fantastic job with the New Z. I got the 370Z sport package and I am proud to own it." - Zazzo
"I was really surprised by this car! For the most part about the quality of the interior which I considered very cheap on the 350Z but the 370Z I found to be nearly identical in luxury compared to the G37. I love the Synchro-Rev Match feature.. It's perfect for sitting in stop and go traffic as it is so smooth when you downshift. The 19" Rays Wheels get lots of compliments and the car makes people turn their heads just walking down the street, even though it shares a similar silhouette to the 350 it is much edgier and exotic. Overall a great car for the money! It might lack some of the finesse of the Cayman S but it is definitely worth saving 20-30k!" - chuck383
"Have had this car for about 4 weeks - Silver with 7 sp auto. It draws so much attention everywhere I go - went to Starbucks and people starred at it for a while. Looks better than Porsche 911 or 'Vette. More power than anybody ever needs out there. Quality is awesome in and out. Very noise and sort of rough ride, but that's what sport car is all about. Typical high quality and powered Japanese (by the way, this car is manufactured and shipped from Japan) sport car!!" - Z Fast
"I have had this awesome machine for less than 6 months and have already driven over 9,000 miles, most of it on the twisty, mountainous roads of Pennsylvania. It is the silver touring model with a 6 speed transmission and navigation and it draws looks wherever I go. Many have had appreciative comments on its styling and then asked what kind of car is it? I guess they are kind of rare in this area since this seems to be the only one in this city of 10,000 or so. I look forward to driving it , weather permitting, since it handles like no other car I have ever driven, accelerates like a rocket, corners like on rails with no leaning and is as solid as a block of stone. I have are several other vehicles in my garages, including the new Hyundia Genesis, but that is another story. This certainly is no family car but you gotta drive one to appreciate something really different. Can't be beat for the price!" - Dick
"There is no better bang for the buck on the market. Looks great performs better. eats the Porche Boxter or Cayman for breakfast!" - Sean
"I bought this car and I'm loving it. The styling and performance is well worth the price. The Z interior feels is up to Lexus/Infinity level. The body style doesn't bore me at all. You must see in person to appreciate it... a photo wont cut it. Handling is awesome and horse power is awesome, but going to high RPMs feels harsh. To me, the 370Z is serious sport car with great power and handling. Nissan did a awesome job and I'm happy to own it. By the way, IT'S FAST!" - Zazzo
"Fast, Sleek, Impressive I wanted something fast and man did I get it. My car turns eyes everywhere I go. My wife liked mine so much she had to have one for herself so now my garage houses two of these beauties." - Wocrom
Here's the original dealer sticker for my car:
|The following I
compiled from a 370z forum I'm a member of. These are my
You know you own a Nissan 370z when...
...you keep on driving by buildings with glass windows just to see the car's reflection.
...you sit in your garage instead of the porch so you can be next to it.
...you need to borrow a friend's car when you go to Costco.
...you have more photos of your car than you do of your children/pets.
...you find yourself looking back at it at least twice, each time you park and walk away.
...you are often asked what kind of Porsche your car is.
...you find yourself regularly taking the longer route to your destination.
...the parking spot you choose in the lot is always a corner spot protected on one side.
...you have difficulties staying under the speed limit.
...you realize that switching to Geico did not save you 15% or more on your car insurance.
...you believe that slogan "Ultimate Driving Machine" should belong to Nissan.
...you have to play Tetris with your groceries to get them to fit in the hatch.
...the local cops know you by your first name.
...you and your friends are deciding on whose car to carpool in, and your car isn't even considered.
...your owner's manual & service manuals are the only "books" you've finished reading in a long time.
...you get into a Toyota Camry and it feels like an Olympic size swimming pool.
...you have numerous microfiber towels in your car and garage.
...you know what a microfiber towel is.
There are so many YouTube videos related to the 370z, that I simply do not wish to post links to all of them. Here's a small sample:
Nissan's 1996 200 Million Dollar Ad
The follow-up ad
A TV commercial for the 370z Nismo
A cute commercial for the Maxima
featuring a 370z
autobytel review of the 2012 370z
Review of the 370z
MotorWeek Review of the 370z
Road Test Review of the 370z
with Ivan Katz
Enjoy the ride.