New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Reader test: Nissan 370Z

2009-08-26 14:44

Pierre Giraud, Knysna

If you are looking for BMW-smooth or Audi-suave, don't look here.

The Nissan 370Z is an out-and-out sports car, built to be driven hard by the enthusiast.

It's the rock and roll of sports cars - raw, hard, powerful. Yet, surprisingly easy to drive.

What strikes me most about this car is that the harder you drive it, the more it rewards you, the more it exhilarates you.

It's not a car to potter around in traffic, it yearns for the open road with long, hard, sweeping stretches. The tougher the hill, the tighter the bends, the more it digs in and gets involved.

Drive it, push it, explore it, and it will show you what it's made of, it loves to show off.

Great in all respects

Great engine, excellent gearbox, magnificent brakes, superb suspension. So easy to drive in lower revs, so tractable. I love that in a car.

Yes, the clutch could be labeled somewhat heavy; yes, that first gear can be a bit notchy, and yes, it doesn't like lurching along in first in snarled up traffic. But give it space and it responds so positively.

I love the interior of this car, it looks and feels pure sports car. Finish may not be quite up there with the German trio, but I cannot fault it. It's a two-man car, period, but that doesn't mean it's small.

I find the car surprisingly spacious inside with plenty of room for driver and passenger, and it's really comfortable. So easy to live in on a long drive, particularly with that Bose sound systen cranked up, the sound is excellent sound. But so often I find I need to switch the sound off and just tune in to the car to hear and feel it react to everything you throw at it.

A great, useful touch is the storage space behind the two seats, easily accessible to stow away the bits and pieces of travelling.

Pros and cons

Not a huge amount of boot space, but very adequate I find. It won't take your Louis Vitton or Gucci matching suitcase set but hey, this is not the car for you.

Negatives? Road noise is definitely on the high side and can be annoying on certain surfaces, but my dealer lined the boot with carpet underfelt and that made a big difference.

Those huge rear tyres (275s) tend to pick up every little bit of road stone and debris and rattle it against the wheel arches which again can irritate.

Vision to the sides and rear is somewhat restricted. Although this car has bixenon headlights I feel it would have benefited from active headlights as side vision when cornering at night is restricted.

As a final word of praise I'm amazed how fuel efficient this car is. On a 1 200-km journey averaging close to 160 km/h it returned a consumption of 10.5 l/100 km.

Oh, and its looks; you just got to love it. What a car to stand and admire. If you don't, well I can't help you. If you are looking for bang for your buck, there's not a better deal around.

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