No more Nissan Z cars for Europe is a shame – so how about the old one in disguise?
By Matt Bird / Monday, January 24, 2022 / Loading comments
Although not having Nissan’s latest sports car (yes, we’re still upset) available in Europe is a shame, it’s an understandable move. By their nature, twin-turbo V6s aren’t exactly efficient, and the Z car ethos clashes somewhat with the (much less interesting) lifestyle conveyed by the rest of the manufacturer’s range. Add to that the fact the old 370Z didn’t sell enormously well anyway, and the decision was pretty much made for Nissan. A pity, but a predictable one.
Which makes a change from some previous decision making. Introducing Infiniti to Europe, even at market launch in 2010, looked ambitious. British car buyers are a notoriously fickle bunch, similar Japanese luxury brands like Lexus hadn’t done enormously well here, and the initial lineup wasn’t exactly impeccable. The odds were always stacked against Infiniti even before it rehashed an A-Class and called it the Q30, and it was no surprise when the plug was pulled in 2019.
Which isn’t to say, however, that there weren’t some interesting Infinitis offered over here – the G37 most notable among them. Using both the FM platform and 3.7-litre V6 found in the 370Z, the G37 was a fast, decent-to-drive, distinctive sports coupe. Reviews were fairly positive – this was a 320hp, RWD coupe at the end of the day, odd badge or otherwise – but, crucially, no more positive than those for the established opposition. The Infiniti needed to be superb to be objectively better than the Audi A5, Mercedes C-Class Coupe and BMW 3 Series Coupe before even thinking about subjective appeal, and it wasn’t. Which is one of the reasons you don’t see many.
Still, opting for a sports coupe that’s very good but not great is a whole lot more recommendable a few years down the line. This G37 has covered more than 140,000 miles with one owner, presumably slogging up motorways using quite a lot of unleaded. The condition certainly points to that kind of use; nothing about the images here – from the wheels to the seats to the paintwork – implies a tough life. As a Nissan Skyline in other markets, the G37 was quite the drift superstar, with a long wheelbase, limited-slip diff and lusty V6; this one will only have gone sideways by accident, surely.
The G37 isn’t perfect: the last MOT advised about worn brake discs, which will surely require replacing by now if they’ve now been done already. Chest freezer white and chromey wheels won’t convince anyone who doesn’t much like the Infiniti’s look. And it’s the automatic, which is unlikely to win the car any purist points – even allowing for the fact that one in three 370Zs were auto as well.
But it’s also just £7k, before any haggling. Even in an inflated market, that’s not a great deal of cash. And where an Infiniti may have lost out to BMW, Audi, and Mercedes as a new prospect, which seat would you rather be in with 150,000 miles approaching? Different to the norm was always a difficult sell for Infiniti in the UK; a few years down the line it’s a real selling point of the used ones. That and the V6, of course.
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