Ray Ho – 08/28/17

No. There is nothing slow about this Red-hot 2017 Nissan 370Z NISMO.


For $42K base/$46K as tested price, which is less than a third of the price of the Nissan GT-R NISMO, you can get a pure sports car with a legendary history.  This car is an exceptional value; which is not the case for the Nissan Sentra NISMO. Even though the Sentra NISMO is only roughly half the cost of the 370Z Nismo, it does not measure well with other fun to drive sporty cars such as the VW GTI or even a Honda SI.  Which also bets the question: Why cheapen the NISMO name? What is next? A Versa NISMO? It is unfortunate that car manufacturers have been slapping performance badges on lesser cars; Have you count how many wannabe “M” cars from BMW and small Mercedes AMGs variances?  Another disturbing trend is the car manufacturers are dishing out “special” editions to make you believe you are getting something unique. What is so special about Nissan’s own “Midnight Editions” other than some black accents and blackout wheels?  Also, why is it necessary to project some car manufacturer’s logo on the floor every time you open the door at night? How about displaying something more useful such as “Sorry Honey, I forgot your birthday”.

Getting back on track, the Z car started out as a Datsun 240Z back in 1970.  With each iteration, it has grown in size and performance and naturally became more expensive. As a result, along with many Japanese sports cars of the 1980s/1990s, they priced themselves out the market. Fortunately, the Z made its remarkable comeback in 2002 as the 350Z. Nissan added the NISMO edition in 2007.  The Z cars performance has always be unquestionable.  They also have beautiful exteriors.  But the 350Z interior was less desirable.  The last time I see so many plastics was at the recycling center.

My test car is the NISMO tech 6M/T with a much-improved interior. Don’t bother looking for power seats because all the power you need is in the 350HP NISMO tuned engine. It has a 6 speed manual transmission with rev matching.  Of course you can disable it to show off your heel and toe skills. The NISMO comes with 19” RAYS forged alloy wheels, massive 245 front/285 rear 35 series tires, Recaro leather seat with Alcantara inserts, and among others, the NISMO areo kit. It is more than just eye candy. It takes off with ferocious growls and the rev matching works flawlessly.  It is a stiff car but what proper sport car isn’t?  It is hard not to push this car.  It is so easy to power through the windy canyons.  It is not without faults:  If the powerful engine doesn’t get you in trouble, the blind spot definitely will.  The tiny windows between the B and C pillars are a joke and do not provide much visibility at all. Not sure why they even exist considering the absence of rear seats.

Hate to admit it, but I found myself nodding off while driving on a few occasions. But I bet no one will fall asleep in the Nissan 370Z NISMO.  With intoxicating power, the NISMO tuned suspension and deep exhaust note, this beast of a machine will surely keep the driver awaked and entertained. I was having so much fun driving through the canyons.  With Big Sean’s “Bounce Back” playing on the BOSE radio, it is fitting that I felt like I woke up in BEAST MODE. Better yet, I woke up in NISMO.