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The Nissan 370Z is a two-seat roadster that continues a long line of Nissan's Z cars. Available as a coupe or a roadster, it occupies its own niche. The 370Z offers more supple handling than pony cars like the Ford Mustang and better fit and finish that entry-level coupes like the Miata or Subaru BRZ. Yet, it still has a 332-HP V6 with a manual transmission that helps drivers change gears by opening up the throttle for a moment, available in the Sports package.
Standard features include eight-way driver’s seats and leather-wrapped steering wheels. Like entry-level luxury cars, the Nissan 370Z offers automatic climate control and LED and Xenon headlights to make it easier to see at night. Optional packages include a rearview camera and touchscreen interfaces, which makes it easier to park the 370Z with its reduced rear visibility as well as handle trip directions. Increased power is also available in the NISMO package. Throughout, the Nissan 370Z combines the ability to carve turns with a suspension that won’t jar occupants over rough roads.
One downside for some buyers will be the V6 engine, which has a rough sound in the Nissan 370Z and the interior isn’t well insulated. It may make some consider the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, which adds two more seats and a roomier interior. The starting price of a Ford Mustang is a bit lower, but the brakes are worse and handling isn’t as good. Similarly, the Audi TT has more seats, as well as more power amenities, but substantially less power. The Mazda Miata is another coupe option, but doesn’t have a factory hard-top, has worse brakes and is quite slow. The Nissan 370Z isn’t plush, but it is comfortable and rewards buyers with great handling and power in a sleek, curvy package.
All Nissan 370Z base models are available with either a seven-speed automatic or a six-speed manual mated to a 3.7-liter V6 engine with 332 horsepower. Anti-lock brakes and traction control are standard, as is an automatic climate control with temperature selection. Front, side and curtain airbags are standard, but comfort is also there with cloth sport seats and a CD player with auxiliary input. Leather comes on the steering wheel, as well as the shift knob for a bit more feel while driving.The mileage is about 18/26 city/highway split. Drivers who put the pedal down will appreciate the power-adjustable steering, as well as thick stabilizer bars to keep the Nissan 370Z planted.
A Nissan 370Z NISMO offers an odd balance of power and fuel economy. The engine gets a bump in power to 350 horsepower, yet the fuel economy remains the same as the Nissan 370Z Touring. Part of that is because the NISMO has a similar interior as the base model. In spite of that, there are still larger 19-inch wheels where the others have 18-inch rims standard, clad in low-profile tires. Considering that the interior of the base model is pretty luxurious itself, buyers considering the NISMO package may not miss out on very much.
Both the base model and the Nissan 370Z Touring come in coupe and convertible styles, and both offer the same 332 horsepower V6 engine. However, the Touring edition includes a standard CD changer and leather seats. The weight drops city mileage down to 18 MPG, but both occupants will appreciate the heated front seats and voice-activated navigation system. Keep in mind that the car will be a bit heavier as a result of the amenities, so the Nissan 370Z has about seven cubic feet of cargo space, and can only handle a little under 300 pounds of items in the trunk.
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More spacious front seats, but doesn't get up and go.
Distinctive looks and low price don't cover up a chintzy interior.
Pay a little more for more amenities, just don't expect any fire-breathing.
Fun little convertible that trades a lot of power for good fuel economy.