First Drive: 2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster

Jeffrey Jablansky

The 370Z Roadster is an absolute blast to work hard. The engine is powerful and responsive, the steering is direct, and the suspension is capable. The ride can be very rough at times, but it's more comfortable than the 370Z coupe's ride. Nissan has done a fine job tuning the seven-speed automatic for the 332-hp engine. The rev-matched downshifts are excellent when you're on the throttle, but when braking or off-throttle, the downshifts can be quite harsh. I love that Nissan has attached the tall shift paddles to the steering column, not the wheel. They are easy to find no matter how far you've cranked the steering wheel. This is an detail that far too many automakers get wrong, especially on their sporty cars.

The headliner on the drop top is a nice touch, but there is room for improvement. When reaching over your shoulder to grab the seat belt, you can see screws and springs where the top meets the body. The interior of our convertible seems much nicer than the coupe we recently drove, but that's largely just due to the navigation system, automatic climate control, and premium seats. Compared with the coupe, the controls and surfaces are far nicer here.

Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor

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