2009 Nissan 370Z Sport

Andrew Trahan

This is my first face-to-face meeting with the Z and, after seeing it in photos for six months and not really being wowed, I'm surprised at how much better it looks in-person and how much sleeker and more upscale it looks compared to its predecessor. The sharp lines of Nissan's new signature boomerang head- and taillights contrast nicely with the taught, aerodynamic sheetmetal. And those wheels! The off-camber "V" detail on the radiating arms is really unique and - combined with the sculpted spokes - almost gives the appearance of motion.

The interior of the 370Z will be instantly familiar to anyone who spent any time behind the wheel of the 350Z as it is a faithful continuation of the design language used in that vehicle. The main difference being the new Z is trimmed in higher quailty materials which gives it a decidedly more grown-up, refined feel. Nissan did a great job of giving the cockpit a more civilized look while still retaining the sporty, driver-focused, almost racer-boy ambience of the previous Z.

The 370Z is so capable and it really shines when it's pushed hard. But when you're not driving at eight-tenths or more, the Z feels heavy and almost sluggish. Many of the controls - steering, shifter, accelerator pedal - require quite a bit of effort to use and can make driving the Z exhausting, as several others mentioned. But for those who want a hard-core, racetrack-ready pocket-sized rocket at a reasonable price, the 370Z is manna.

Jennifer Misaros, Production Editor

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