Home' Open Road Sydney North and North West : OR1117 Contents THE CURRENT Nissan 370Z debuted
here in 2009 and was starting to show its
age, so the new Nismo (short for Nissan
Motorsport) version is well timed. After
the GT-R, it’s the second model to get the
Nismo treatment in our market.
Body changes include an aggressive
grille with bi-xenon headlights and
daytime running lights, subtle wheel arch
flares, a rear spoiler and 19-inch Nismo
alloys. The interior has been sharpened
up with Recaro front seats finished in a
black and red Alcantara cloth.
The 370Z Nismo has been tweaked
mechanically, rather than re-engineered,
and the double wishbone front
suspension and rear multi-link set-up are
tuned with larger springs and sway bars.
Bigger alloys increase the car’s track and
Nismo sport brakes have been fitted at
each corner. A new exhaust system and a
re-calibrated engine control unit provide
a modest 8kW power boost up to 253kW
and an additional 8Nm to 371Nm.
Behind the wheel it’s all old school, but
in a good way. The dash features six
instrument pods and a large Nismo-
inscribed tacho at centre stage. There’s
no digital speedo, though, which in my
view should be standard on all cars.
Press the start button and the engine
comes to life with a purposeful burble.
Though Nissan says 65 per cent of
buyers opt for the seven-speed auto, I
prefer the six-speed manual. It’s a
perfect match for the 3.7-litre DOHC
naturally-aspirated engine and offers a
good spread of ratios. It works best in the
mid-to-upper end of its rpm band.
The steering at low speed is heavy
compared to newer cars, but feels better
once you’re underway and up to speed.
Driving through the bends of Mount
Glorious, west of Brisbane, the 370Z gave
us all the right driver feedback.
The suspension tweaks and larger low-
profile tyres haven’t firmed up the ride
comfort noticeably and, overall, the
improvements are well executed.
With no turbos, adaptive suspension
or torque vectoring, it’s just an honest
performer that will put a smile on the
face of anyone who appreciates a sporty
drive. – Tim Pomroy
Pros: Seat comfort; handling; looks
Cons: No reach adjustment for
steering; no digital speedo
The iconic Nissan 370Z gets the
Nismo treatment – its first serious
upgrade in eight years
Engine: 3.7-litre six-cylinder Transmission:
seven-speed auto/six-speed manual Power:
253kW Torque: 371Nm Fuel consumption:
10.6L/100km (claimed) ANCAP: Not yet
tested Price: $61,490 (plus ORC)
It’s just an honest performer that will put a smile
on anyone who appreciates a sporty drive
LAUNCHED HERE just over four years ago, the Renault Clio
reset the parameters of the light car market, winning Best Light
Car in Australia’s Best Cars awards in 2014 and 2015, and a
recent upgrade has aligned it with the rest of the Renault range.
The entry-level Life manual, with its 900cc engine, is
$17,990 drive away, while the larger 1.2-litre auto is $19,990.
Next in line is the Zen, priced at $19,990, and the top-spec
Intens and GT-Line are both $22,990.
The 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbo engine (88kW/190Nm) with
six-speed dual-clutch transmission in the Zen, Intens and GT-
Line is unchanged. The Life, with its low-performance three-
cylinder engine, is the only manual option.
Exterior changes are minimal. The Life gains body-coloured
door handles and exterior mirrors, a chrome strip on the rear
boot lid, and new 16-inch alloys. The Zen adds new LED
headlights, chrome-surround fog lights and 16-inch alloys,
while the Intens and GT
have new-look 17-inch
alloys and some added
The Life gets some
impressive standard tech,
including hands-free entry
and button start, dusk-sensing headlamps, automatic wipers,
rear-view camera, rear parking sensors, electric windows all
round and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Intens now
has sat nav and voice-controlled multimedia, an upgraded 3D
Arkamys sound system, and faux leather upholstery.
The Clio is one of just a handful of light cars that punch
above their weight for general driveability. Its refinement
makes it feel like a much larger car, with minimal road noise
and NVH levels. However, the DSG transmission sometimes
has a slight hesitation on take-off – a trait absent from light
cars with conventional autos or CVTs. It’s the only real blemish
on an otherwise good package. – Tim Pomroy
Pros: Top ride and handling; low running and repair costs
Cons: DSG transmission can stumble on take-off
Light-car champ gains more features and sharper pricing
Engine: 1.2-litre turbo four-cylinder Transmission: six-speed DSG auto
Power: 88kW Torque: 190Nm Fuel consumption: 5.6L/100km (claimed)
ANCAP: HHHHH Price: From $19,990 (plus ORC)
48 OPEN ROAD
Right now, you can get a free pink slip inspection when you visit an NRMA
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MotorServe Pty Ltd trading as NRMA Car Servicing ABN 41 121 715 393, License number MVRL43713. DCG-7501
DCG-7501 Open Road | Nov/Dec | Car Servicing_v2.indd 1
11/10/2017 3:32 PM
The 370Z’s engine is old
but still one of the best.
OR1117_MOT_Nissan + renault + megane.indd 48
23/10/17 6:32 pm
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