2013 Nissan 370Z Roadster Review: The Cubic Zirconium of Sports Cars, But Its a Good Thing

In review, the 2013 Nissan 370Z Roadster Touring is a surprising value-for-money sports car.

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The 2013 Nissan 370Z Roadster Touring is the automotive equivalent of cubic zirconium -- it’s not technically a diamond, but for the average person, it’s pretty hard to tell the difference. The 370Z Roadster is sporty, fun and plenty fast for daily driving but without the premium price associated with other similarly classed vehicles from Nissan’s German and Italian competitors.

 

For starters, the 2013 Nissan 370Z Roadster is enormously fun to drive. The 370Z Roadster does 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph, both respectable numbers from the rear-wheel drive car’s 332 horsepower V6. The six-speed manual 370Z, otherwise known as the Touring package, weighs in a at a svelte 3,488 pounds and has a tidy 45/46 front-back weight distribution.

 

The relatively light weight and 270-pound feet of torque produced by the 2013 Nissan 370Z Roadster mean that it accelerates and drives like a much faster, more nimble car. The 370Z is not technically and super-fast car, and it's 155 mph top speed falls far short of competitors like the more expensive 2013 Porsche Boxster S, but for the average person driving on the highway or in city traffic, the 370Z is more than enough car. The 370Z feels fleet of foot, leaps forward when the accelerator is applied and follows the directions of the driver instantaneously, rendering an almost twitchy driving experience.

 

While the 2013 Nissan 370Z Roadster does display exceptional handling and acceleration, it can sometimes feel like it is getting ahead of itself, and the incredibly short early gears on the manual transmission enhance this feeling. Consequently, driving the 370Z is not restful and can feel like quite a handful in heavy traffic. However, on the open road, when its not having to constantly jockey for position, the Roadster can be quite charming.

 

Likewise, the interior is well-appointed with just the right amount of leather and quality fabrics to make it feel luxurious, without it feeling like its on the brink of turning into a luxury yacht. The heated and cooled seats are exceptionally comfortable, and the vehicle's climate-control capabilities are impressive, even with the top down. Nissan made some other small but mentionable additions to the cockpit. When you adjust the steering wheel, for instance, the speedometer and other dials on the dashboard move up and down with it, meaning you never have to sacrifice your view of the dials for comfort. Similarly, the satellite navigation console includes some extra features, like the ability to pull up a real-time weather map, that are surprisingly useful.

 

In terms of storage, it is limited, because the 370Z is a sporty, two-seater roadster, but the trunk includes an extra divot on one side to ensure that your golf clubs fit. This particularly feature makes a lot of sense, because the car certainly looks gorgeous, although not ostentatious, and would look perfectly at home parked at any country club. Perhaps that is the strongest argument for buying the 2013 Nissan 370Z Roaster -- you can get a quality, fun performance car and still be able to afford the country club membership so you can show it off.

 

The 2013 Nissan 370Z Roadster costs just $41,470 MSRP ($44,170 for the manual transmission Touring package and $47,000 for the Sport package). In comparison, the 2013 Porsche Boxster S comes in at $60,900 MSRP, making it substantially more expensive, although it does outperform the 370Z in most regards. What the average buyer must consider, though, is whether or not they will ever have the opportunity to take advantage of the additional speed offered by a more expensive car or if the 370Z has enough juice to get the job done. More often than not, the Nissan is probably the better value-for-money decision.

 

The 2013 Nissan 370Z is an essentially fun, relatively fast, relatively reasonably priced substitute for more expensive and technically better vehicles. It's not actually a diamond, but you probably won't know the difference most days.

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