Long term tests

Nissan 370Z

Excited hands greeted the 370Z's keys at evo Towers. But driving the car with running-in restraint is torture

We have a 370Z. Or rather Henry has a 370Z. But not yet. Catchpole popped off for a week’s break the day before his car arrived, which means that right now it’s mine. All mine. In a rather selfish and unbecoming way this makes me pretty happy. Or maybe that’s just the effect the 370Z has – it’s a very covetable thing. Better than your neighbour’s ox, that’s for sure.

The spec Henry chose undoubtedly helps. A mid-range £31,900 GT Pack car (plus optional £1450 sat-nav), finished in Vibrant Red, it looks a million dollars. The whole car park bathed in its reflected glamour when it arrived that sunny Monday morning. Strange how much darker the paint looks when the sun goes in, though…

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Of greater concern was the fact that the odo registered just 252 miles, while the manual demands a 1200-mile running-in period with plenty of tiresome advice. Thou shalt not hold a constant speed, thou shalt not go over 4000rpm, thou shalt not use full throttle, thou shalt not brake hard, thou shalt not labour the engine, thou shalt not bait Caymans. Yet.

I selflessly imposed a 3000rpm limit initially, but the 3.7-litre V6 just isn’t that vocally interesting nor gutsy low down, so after a few hundred miles I allowed myself the extra thou, which made a big difference. By this stage the engine was already spinning more freely, although the drivetrain is quite shunty and the clutch heavily sprung.

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All should bed in as time goes on, but I don’t think the same can be said for the driving position. The seat is way too high and I’m amazed there’s no steering reach adjustment. Oddest of all, when you press your bonce back against the headrest, its supports poke you in the back. If I was being charitable I’d describe it as a massage function, but I’m not, so it’s a nuisance.

A couple of other things to note: the paintwork seems quite soft and has already picked up a couple of minor chips, and I managed 430 miles on the Zed’s first tank of fuel, averaging 28.1mpg. That’s what you get for driving like Miss Daisy. Initial impressions? Seating (and intrusive road roar) aside, almost entirely favourable. Enough to make me call Henry and suggest he should take an extra week off.

Running Costs

Date acquiredJuly 2009
Total mileage872
Costs this month£0
Mileage this month620
MPG this month28.1
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