The current version of Nissan’s Z-car keeps the faith, bringing impressive speed and true sports-car character without being difficult or breaking the bank.

Pricing and Equipment

Nissan 370Z Front QuarterZoom

The 370Z is available as either a coupe or a soft-top roadster and is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 which spins the rear wheels. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual. A seven-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel shift paddles is available on all trim levels and (except for the base Roadster) costs $1300 extra.

The standard Coupe is available in six trim levels:

  • The base 370Z has an MSRP of $29,990. Standard equipment includes HID headlights, LED running lights and taillights, and Nissan’s Intelligent Key proximity locking and start system.
  • The Sport stickers at $33,570 and adds a few well-chosen speed parts -- a limited-slip differential, 19-inch wheels made by tuning specialists Rays, bigger brakes -- along with Nissan's SynchroRev Match program which automates the throttle blip during downshifts.
  • The Sport Tech ($37,070) combines the hardware from the Sport version with a touchscreen-controlled navigation system, an upgraded Bose stereo with SiriusXM capability, and a rearview camera.
  • For those who wish for a bit more comfort with their thrills, the Touring version is available for $37,970. The smoother-riding 18-inch wheels are fitted, and heated and ventilated leather seats dress up an interior which also features the touchscreen and electronics from the Sport Tech.

(Unless your roads are basketball-court smooth, you may wish to skip ahead to the convertibles.)

  • The NISMO version is named after Nissan’s in-house racing division. $41,990 gets a 370Z with more aggressively styled body trim, an 18-horsepower boost (up to 350), upgraded Rays alloy wheels and stiffer suspension settings.
  • The NISMO Tech installs the touchscreen nav/sound system/backup camera electronics and adds a few thousand to MSRP, which sits at $45,490.

The 370Z Roadster is available in Base, Touring, and Touring Sport versions.

  • The base 370Z Roadster starts at $41,820. The automatic transmission is mandatory but otherwise all the standard features from the base coupe are included.
  • The manual gearbox is standard in the Touring ($45,270) and choosing the automatic again adds $1300. The interior benefits from the same leather seats and touchscreen system as the Touring coupe.
  • Finally, the Touring Sport version combines the speed parts of the Sport coupe with the Touring's interior dress. MSRP with the manual is $48,100.

Performance Pros

Nissan 370Z Front DashZoom

In this age of sports sedans, hot hatchbacks, big bulky muscle cars and other rolling compromises, the 370Z is an honest two-seat sports car that puts speed and driving thrills first. We approve.

Performance highlights include:

  • Engine: Nissan’s 3.7-liter V6 is a modern-day classic, combining power and responsiveness and smoothness in one brilliant piece of engineering.
  • Handling: We found that compact dimensions plus a tight, well-tuned suspension plus quick steering equals nimble, grippy and responsive handling.
  • Usability: If you don’t need to carry more than one passenger, slog through two feet of mud or snow, or haul luggage by the cubic yard the 370Z works perfectly well as a normal everyday car. It's one that just happens to be very fast and very fun.

Performance Cons

  • That excellent handling comes at the expense of a stiff and noisy ride -- especially on the track-ready NISMO cars.
  • Fuel economy isn't terrible, but it's not anything we'd brag about, either.

Interior Pros

  • We like the absence of distractions from obnoxious video-game displays and busy two-tier dashboards. Everything is focused, functional and well-placed for efficient operation.
  • Interior materials feel solid and durable. The 370Z doesn't wrap you in luxury -- that's a job for corporate sister INFINITI -- but it does have a sense of purposeful quality that is very satisfying.

Interior Cons

  • Interior space in sports cars has never been a major priority, and the 370Z is a prime example of this rule. It's not hopelessly tight inside, but big guys and claustrophobics may feel confined.
  • You'll want to be thoughtful when packing. Cargo space is limited.
  • So is the view out the rear window. The backup camera on the Tech cars is useful here.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

As manufacturers like Nissan shift their resources and efforts to focus heavily on mainstream products it's gratifying to see that a much-loved but low-volume product like the 370Z quietly remains a company priority, receiving constant refinements and improvements -- even if it doesn’t get much advertising attention.

The Lease Pleasant Surprise

We'd like to know who at Nissan decided that the 370Z really needed active noise cancellation and a fake engine soundtrack playing through the stereo speakers. That kind of electronic manipulation is completely at odds with the car's keeping-it-real character.

The Bottom Line

If you want a genuine sports car with more thrust than a Miata or the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ twins but without stepping up to Corvette or Porsche payments, the 370Z is an excellent choice. Just remember not to indulge inner Joe Racer or Jane Apex fantasies about the ultra-stiff NISMO suspension, though -- you'll soon regret its harsh realities.