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Nissan 370Z Roadster 3.7 V6 GT Pack vs. Porsche Boxster 2.7 litres

Nissan 370Z Roadster

Nissan 370Z Roadster 3.7 V6 GT Pack 

- £35,380

The Nissan 370Z is widely acclaimed to be an excellent car which combines speed, handling, reliability and practicability together to create a great all round performer. Since being introduced in 2010 it has sold pretty well in the UK replacing the aged 350Z.

The roadster version, or the convertible version, is my favourite model. It features the exact same 332bhp 3.7-litre V6 engine as the coupe yet opens your head up to the skies. A 6-speed gearbox with a crisp change feeds power to the rear wheels and out on the open road the 370Z is hard to beat, especially for the price asked of it.

One competitor, the Porsche Boxster 2.7-litre, does come close though. That features a 2.7-litre flat-six engine that produces 265 horsepower and a lovely soundtrack. It's not as quick as a 370Z in a straight line, but out on the road with the top down, it feels just as good.

I prefer the 370Z though. Not because it's faster or more powerful, but because I like the Nissan brand. They are no longer a cheap automotive manufacturer and ever since the original GTR they have been one of my favourite performance brands. Whilst the 370Z is no GTR, you can certainly have as much fun in the roadster version.

Inside the cabin is smart and deceptively premium. The roof lowers within 20 seconds automatically and the build quality is solid, with everything from the seats to the dash being well screwed together. It isn't particularly sporty, nor does it exactly will you to go fast, but it's snug and the seats are wonderful to sink in to.

At higher speeds the biggest downside to the 370Z shows its ugly face; engine noise. On a country road the V6 engine sounds lovely and wills you to redline it, but on the motorway at 70 mph it's frankly too noisy. A 7th gear may be needed when an update is made in the future.

Overall, though, the 370Z is a great car offering a lot to love. If you want good build quality, comfort and speed for under £36k, this is the car I'd recommend, even more so than a Porsche Boxster.

Porsche Boxster

Porsche Boxster 2.7 litres 

- £37,589

The Porsche Boxster is one of my favourite all round cars. It has a big enough boot for some shopping and it's fast enough to get the pulse racing on a country road. But is it better than a Nissan 370Z? In my opinion, it is, but only if you look at the badge.

Porsche is synonymous with sportiness. If you drive a Porsche, especially a 911, you're cool. They are very neutral cars that draw little bias towards them, which is why I would not buy a Nissan, a brand that some perceive to be cheap.

Sure the Boxster 2.7 would get smoked in a race by the V6 370Z but with the roof down and your music blaring you won't care. You'll be admiring the better build quality than the Nissan instead, the nicer seats, and all of the nods of approval you get from other motorists.

Once the 370Z has passed you and you're eyes are glued on the road, things will be fantastic. You'll have 265 horsepower to play with and the car will return 36 mpg if you drive carefully. 10 years ago, that'd be impossible in a Porsche. The beauty of modern engineering, aye?

The Porsche Boxster 2.7 may be at the bottom of the range but some would argue it's the best. It costs less than £38,000 and it offers more fun than any powerful saloon or estate ever could. The 2.7-litre engine needs to be worked hard to generate the most from it but even if you short shift you'll move along at a brisk pace. Never is the Boxster slow and never is it dull.

At higher speeds the Boxster is refined too. The 7-speed automatic gearbox keeps the engine noise down at higher speeds which is a stark contrast to the 370Z which just shouts at you none stop. Also, on the motorway, you could return up to 40 mpg and the Boxster is in CO2 emissions class I, compared to the 370Z which is the second worst you can be, at L.

The Porsche Boxster 2.7 then is the smart mans choice. It'll deliver 90% of the speed of a 370Z, 100% of the open roof thrills of a 370Z and save you a lot of money in fuel versus the 370Z. Truthfully, though, both cars are pretty spectacular and the 370Z is very well priced for what is on offer. Again, however, simply refer to the badge. Porsche or Nissan? I'll take the German, thanks.

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