First Impressions: 2009 Nissan NISMO 370Z

The 2009 Nissan NISMO 370Z
The 2009 Nissan NISMO 370Z

I have always been a fan of the Z cars minus two exceptions, the 280ZX and the 350Z. Both failed to capture the magic of just what made these vehicles exciting. The recent launch of the 370Z (Z34) has restored this hunk of Japanese fun to its former glory. The 370Z coupe is fun to drive and the 370Z roadster is wonderfully done, but their is a 3rd version rumbling in the shadows… Some quick thoughts on this car for you fellow hoons:
-The steering is razor sharp. I turn the wheel 1/2 of a degree and the car turns 1/2 of a degree. I have never driven something so precise…
-The car is stiff… as in, keep an eye out for bumps in the road or your back will hate you stiff. However the interior is surprisingly comfortable – something the inside of a 350Z is not.
-Love it or hate it, the VQ is a fun engine that adapts to aftermarket mods like E! adapts TV Shows for celebutards (Lorenzo Lamas has a show now?!).
-$40,000 is a lot of coin, but a bargain when you line it up against the likes of the Porsche Cayman. The Cayman is a great car, but the NISMO 370Z is a focused racer that happens to be just soft enough for the street.
The 2009 NISMO 370Z is the stuff dreams are made of … if you happen to own a Honda S2000 CR.
This post was just for quick first impressions on the car, a full review will be coming in the very near future.

0 Comments

  1. well put about the vq and engine mods… I found the 350 to be a turtle in my experiences with it but I can’t wait to try one of these out.

    1. I tend to preach from the choir of STILLEN a lot… I can’t say too much, but when they are done with the 370Z – M3 owners will be wetting their finely bolstered seats.

  2. the ’75 – ’78 280Z was a great car. If you liked the 240 and 260, the early 280s were the same, but with a fuel injected 2.8L. I had a friend in high school that had one, and it was freaking fast as hell! Great fun to drive, and super cheap, those cars. At least at the time. They’re a little harder to find now, and the price usually reflects it.

    1. 280Z = good
      280ZX = bad
      240Z = favorito
      300ZX (Z31) = special place in my heart because I had a 1985 and would kill for an ’88 Shiro Special
      370Z = moving in the right direction, away from the 350…

      1. D’oh! I just realized there was a “ZX” there. I guess the 280ZX was so bad, I had forgotten it existed! My bad Braff. As far as the 300ZX, I’d love a Z32 (?) Twin Turbo, but that’s about it. I did always love the way that car looked, and who can resist forced induction?

  3. I drove a more basic 370Z around an autocross course that Nissan had set up. I preferred it to the 350Z, but it still left me a little cold. Like you said, very, uhh, direct ride. I also found the steering firm and sort of wooden. Then again, it was a 45 second drive, so I can’t say too much definitive – it was still fun to drive. The best thing I can say about the exhaust note is that I didn’t really notice it.
    But I liked the Maxima they had on site more.

    1. wait…
      you PREFERRED the CVT equipped car?
      The NISMO is much more direct than the standard 370Z and has a few more HPs under the hood.

  4. I take exception to the dis on the 280ZX. The 280ZX is the last of the straight 6 powered Zs, and for that, I love it. I even find it aesthetically more pleasing than the Z31 that followed. If I were to choose 2 Z cars of which I’m not overly fond, the Z31 would top the list, with the 350Z a close second.
    Everything specs-wise about the 370Z tells me that it’s the best Z yet, but I still don’t 100% care for the styling. I’d rather have a Z32, if I were looking for a moderately modern Nissan sports car. Otherwsie, the 240Z is a sentimental favorite, and I’d love to semi-ironically have a 280ZX, since I am a child of the ’80s.
    Now if I could just get that nasty Maxima taste out of my mouth, so I can appreciate the newer offerings from Nissan, maybe I would feel differently.

    1. Don’t take exception… it is all just opinions, and that is what makes our passion for cars so great.

    2. I had a fake mom in Texas whose first car was an ’81 280ZX 5-speed 2+2 that she bought new and still owns. It’s the car on which I learned the Way of the Stick, it’s a car I drove whenever I had the chance, and it’s a car I’ll never forget.
      It was the most ’80s-tastic car I’d ever been in (an ’88 Supra Turbo I drove around the back lot at Lakeside Toyota one-upped it)–a digital chronograph on the dash, a multifunction indicator that combined every idiot light into one and did a self-test upon every power-up, a stereo three miles wide. That classic old Japanese door chime, the one that was actually a chime–that polite ‘DING-dong’ that, instead of making you want to die like the constant child-of-the-’90s BONG BONG BONG BONG BONG, actually brightened your day a little. Almost made me want to drive around with the door open.
      Two-tone silver on blue… it was an excellent car, naysayers. I loved it.

      1. Heh. My husband’s first car was an ’83 280ZX. It didn’t have a chime, it was a TALKING car. Your door was ajar. Your lights were on. That is a fad I’m glad was short.

  5. Afraid I don’t have much to comment about Nissans / Z’s specifically, but I will say this:
    Braff, I like your approach to this article. FINALLY someone who writes their “First Impressions” as just those, and doesn’t try to extract a 2,000 word review from them; conveying a “Joe Everyman in the seat” sensibility while leaving me eagerly awaiting a fully-fleshed review.
    Well played indeed!

    1. Why thank you… I have to save the larger stuff for the paying gig, haha.
      Also, I try to write from the “Joe Everyman” position because that is just what I am – I am not someone at Road & Track using terms that don’t make sense to most people. I can’t tell you about slamming off-camber crests because I don’t do that. I can’t compare the SLR to the SLS because Mercedes-Benz won’t quite let me just yet (though the E550 coupe arrives tomorrow at the office, and I am pumped)… I speak like an everyman because that is what I know, and who I want to appeal to – so thank you for responding positively to that.
      I get excited anytime it is “new car” day at the office regardless of whether it is a Kia or an Aston Martin…

    1. Maybe because it’s hot? It is a pretty damn good looking car. Cleaning up some of the details from the 350Z really made a big difference. I even like the unique shape of the headlights.

    2. i HATED how this car looked, it felt too short.. and the head/taillights are hideous.. but then, i saw it in person.. and now i love it..
      and Braff, if i had a hat on i’d tip it in honour of a real “first impressions” bit. in fact, when i got home i’ll wear a hat and tip it.. better late than never.

      1. and Braff, if i had a hat on i’d tip it in honour of a real first impressions bit. in fact, when i got home i’ll wear a hat and tip it.. better late than never.
        Pics please…

      2. I didn’t hate it when it came out first and only saw it in pics. But my next door neighbor recently got one in a silver grey sort of color and I just couldn’t believe how good it looked in person!

        1. From what I’ve seen online, that is a bad bad color, black makes it look pretty dang good also IMHO.

  6. It doesn’t look bloated like the 350, that’s for sure. In this form, it honestly reminds me more of the 280ZX than the earlier models, appearance-wise – unlike most ZXes, though, it can back up its claims, even in stock form.
    It’s a new car that I actually like – that’s remarkable in and of itself.

  7. I saw one in person a couple weeks ago. It looks really sleek in person. Not too big, not too small, and it’s got a great stance, right from the factory.

  8. Oh. Sweet. Lawd.
    Everyone’s got an pseudonym here but ME!?!
    Glad to see it gaining traction (some pun intended). Good stuff gents.

  9. First, I want to say that I was introduced to this site from the site that shall not be named and I think I’m gonna like it here much more. Case and Point: I’ve been reading The big J(along with two other gawker sites) for around a year now and haven’t ever created an account. I’ve known about this site for less than 8 hours and am already commenting.
    Second, I don’t really like the spark notes review, however if it’s just a preview, all will be forgiven. The several good writers on here already, plus all the dots rides that are likely to be showing up are making for a very good recipe for this blog.
    I commend everyone who had a hand in creating this blog

    1. It is merely a space to provide some first impressions on the car… a longer format full review is on the horizon.
      Thanks for joining us!

  10. Boy oh boy, I can barely contain the excitement. And hopefully I’ve gotten my graverobber-gravatar-thingey to work.

  11. My first car was a 1979 280ZX. The a/c didn’t work, it could sense when I was going through an intersection and just die, the gas tank had a hole in it, ect. Man, I loved that car!

  12. I wouldn’t say no to a 370Z… especially a NISMO, but I can’t drive a car at ten-tenths, I’m a decent driver, I am not an excellent driver, I don’t have the financial wherewithal to take part in track days and the such, and when it comes down to it its about if the car tugs at the heartstrings or not for me, especially a sports car, if it makes me want it for some intangible quality or other, I can forgive any and all flaws, even glaring ones. And that’s why, with my own [imaginary-thank you college] hard earned money, I’d be spending my money on a Mustang GT a blower and suspension/brakes. The 370Z might tug at the heart strings of some… but not for me, its too Japanese, too overwrought for my liking… and sure, that NISMO just might be quicker around the track than my car, but I like to think that I’d be the one driving around with a bigger grin on my face. And that’s what matters to me, that’s what I want out of my cars. I just want to be happy dammit.

    1. Id like to add, that I’m looking at a 240Z right now… now there is a car…that now tugs at my heartstrings and would probably get soundly trounced by my current Contour SVT.

      1. contour svt? If I could heart click you, I would.
        You know, you could turbo it. Those drivetrains can handle boost extremely well…
        *Remembers when he lurked on CEG daily*

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