Fun Stuff

Depreciation Appreciation: Nissan 370Z

Welcome to Depreciation Appreciation! Every month, your pals at dig up an example of how depreciation can make for an extra-fantastic used-car deal.

We here at love the 2009-and-up Nissan 370Z, because it’s frisky, sexy, and scarcely less fun to drive than a 330 hp go-kart. With standard power from a highly proven Nissan V6 that revs to the moon, the 370Z was balanced perfectly, razor sharp, and amounted to a delightfully hardcore two-seater performance experience.

With striking looks, a two-person cockpit, adequate on-board storage and world-class handling, the latest Z has filled the need for a weekend getaway cruiser, a track-day ready commuter, and much more.

The Sticky

Chalk this one up to a dying breed. While the new, cheaper 370Z Nissan Canada recently made available is closer to the original everyman concept of the 240Z, it's still a much heavier and more complicated machine than it needs to be. Something like a BRZ with a 1.6L turbo would be a more faithful tribute. However, the rumour mill is that a compact crossover might be next to wear the Z badge. Given how sprightly the Juke is to drive, a new machine would surely be sporty and fun. But worthy of the iconic Z badge? No way.

All mainstream 370Z models got a 3.7L V6, spinning up 330 hp. A six-speed manual or seven-speed paddle-shift automatic could be specified. Coupe or convertible body styles were available, too, though the majority of used copies available will typically be of the coupe variety. Owners love the looks, performance, handling, exclusivity and respect from the enthusiast community, with some wishing for an easier time getting in and out, and for a bit more at-hand storage on board.

Though depreciation has put potential 370Z ownership within reach of more Canadians than ever of late, it’s only half of the story here. The other? The 370Z looks like one of the most reliable used sports car models on the road today. Maximum reliability and affordable pricing: what’s not to like?

Approximate New Value

Nissan 370Z Roadster

Pricing for the 370Z once started around $40,000 for a bare-bones base-model unit, with several extra-cost packages bumping the price up quickly past the mid-forties. Today, just a few years later, used copies are available for as little as a third of that price, with selection aplenty. Feature content included heated and cooled seats, Bluetooth, Bose audio, push-button start, navigation, keyless engine start and plenty more.

Approximate Used Value

Nissan 370Z Roadster

In the used Z marketplace, pricing varies wildly depending on mileage and condition – though shoppers on a budget will appreciate units like this or this, with around 100,000 kilometres of use and pricing under $20,000. Here’s a used unit with reasonable miles and an extended warranty for a few bucks more.

Spend a bit more, and the value is even more compelling. Case in point? Here’s a used 370Z with both Sport and Touring packages included, asking $26,000. That’s close to half its original price, with just 48,000 kilometres on the dial.

Test Drive Tips

Nissan 370Z Roadster

Though the Z’s proven powertrain sets it up for maximum reliability, a few checks are advised on a test drive.

First, check the rear hatch to ensure it stays open on its own and doesn’t whack you in the noggin. If it does, you’ll need to change the gas struts, which isn’t a big deal. Check down low and beneath the body for signs of excessive rust. Pay extra attention to the underside of the Z, as well as the lower, inner edges of the doors. Pull the weather stripping away (gently) and look for signs of rust behind them. Inspect the rocker panel area, too.

Convertible models should be subjected to a good soak-down by a garden hose to check for leaks, and an inspection of the cabin for signs of moisture which could indicate a prior leak. Smell for must and mildew, and examine the carpeting, seats and the area where the roof stores for signs of sogginess.

Be on the lookout for signs of tire and brake wear, as well as clutch wear (if applicable), which could indicate that the Z you’re after was driven hard and may need some attention. A mechanic can help make the checks if you’re not sure how.

Many owners report very minor issues, if any at all.

The Verdict

With a gleaming reputation for reliability, and used copies of the 370Z (including Sport and Touring packages) available used, with reasonable miles, for half their original price, a healthy used copy will make a compelling buy for many sports car shoppers.