Over the Nissan Z's roughly 50-year history, the thinking behind the sports car has stayed the same. There's a punchy engine at the front, drive going to the rear, and a driver-oriented interior to help those behind the wheel focus on the act of driving. Despite rumors claiming that the 370Z wouldn't return, there's a 2018 model that features some changes over the previous model, including a new Heritage Edition.
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2018 Nissan 370Z Overview
What's New for 2018
The 2018 370Z sees numerous changing that include new exterior details, a new special edition, and changes to the way the coupe performs. On the outside, the 370Z gets darker headlights and taillights, a new blackout rear fascia, available 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, and a new Passion Red paint scheme. But the changes for the new model year aren't purely cosmetic, as changes have also been made to the way the Japanese coupe performs.
The 370Z gets new tuning that improves the vehicle's acceleration and torque profile, while coupes that are fitted with a manual transmission get a high-performance clutch from Exedy. Lastly, there's a new Heritage Edition that's offered in two colors – Chicane Yellow or Magnetic Black – and comes with bespoke graphics and yellow interior trim.
Choosing Your Nissan 370Z
Despite changes to the way the 370Z puts down its power, the coupe retains its 3.7-liter V6 engine that makes 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The power goes down through the rear wheels, while consumers can choose between a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
Consumers looking to get into the most performance-oriented version of the 370Z should explore the range-topping 370Z Nismo model. The vehicle features a Nismo bodykit, Nismo suspension, and an upgraded version of the 3.7-liter V6 engine. With 350 hp on tap, it's the ultimate version of the 370Z and the last of a dying breed of naturally-aspirated sports cars.
Consumers wanting to tone down the sportiness and increase the enjoyable aspect of the 370Z can opt for one of the three convertible models. The soft-top Roadster disappears into the 370Z's rear end in roughly 20 seconds and eats well into the cargo room – there's only 4.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity. But there's unlimited headroom, which seems like an even tradeoff.
The 370Z is available in seven different trims, including three softtop Roadster models. Only the base model is available with optional packages.
The Nismo Tech trim is the best looking and the sportiest, but the 370Z Sport trim hits all of the right notes for consumers and enthusiasts looking to get into a capable sports car. But regardless of which trim you buy, you're getting a very old vehicle that lacks the balance, comfort, or technology of newer competitors. If you like its analog driving character, that's great – but don't be surprised if its harshness, occasionally unpleasant attitude begins to grate.
2018 Nissan 370Z Review
The Nissan's Z car has a long and storied history of delivering driving thrills in an elemental package and at a reasonable price. Though it lost its way a bit in the 1990s, the resurrected Z, most notably the current 370Z, is a return to its roots of accessible performance without breaking the bank.
What you see is pretty much what you get in the 2018 Nissan 370Z. What we mean is that the trims are pretty much set, and there are very few – if any – optional packages available.
To us, the best value of the bunch is the 370Z Sport Tech, as it not only gets all the performance goodies of the Sport model, like the limited-slip differential, 19-inch RAYS wheels, sport brakes, and rev match, but it also gets some of the Zs limited tech features. The latter include navigation, a rearview camera, and Homelink garage door opener.
- Model: 2018 Nissan 370Z Sport Tech
- Engine: 3.7-liter V6
- Output: 332 hp/ 270 lb-ft
- Transmission: Six-speed manual
- Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
- Fuel Economy: 18 City / 26 Hwy
- Options: N/A
- Base Price: $37,995 (including am $885 destination charge)
- Best Value Price: $37,995
With 332 horsepower coming from its base V6 and a standard six-speed manual transmission, the 370Z delivers an engaging drive that traditional sports car lovers will fall in love with. What’s more the manual transmission’s rev-matching system makes any driver seem like a heel-toe professional.
Those looking for even more fun can opt for the Nismo model, which ups the power to 350 hp and 276 pound-feet of torque. It also gains a retuned suspension for even more fun in the twist.
Like many sports cars, the ride 370Z’s ride quality is not even bordering on good, especially with the optional 19-inch wheels. The steering system is also surprisingly numb for a sports car, making it feel a bit like a video game steering wheel.
Interior and Exterior
The Nissan 370Z’s classic styling is pleasing to the traditionalist’s eye, as it boasts all the proportions of sports cars from years past while still looking modern. Its interior does much of the same and resists the temptation to get too boy-racer-like. The front seats are also comfortable enough for a road trip, though most of the comfort is left for its INFINITI sibling, the Q60.
Nismo models find clever ways to deliver a touch of uniqueness with their mild red highlights, but they have mostly shed all the wilder styling elements that made them stick out. This makes the higher-performing model more palatable for the masses.
Its simplicity does go a bit too far in its standard features list, as the 370Z lacks a standard infotainment screen, which is a must-have in today’s world. Also, models without the optional noise-cancelation technology can get a little loud on rougher roads and at higher throttle levels.
The Best and Worst Things
Classic sports car look, feel and drive all evoke memories of the Z cars that started it all. There are few vehicles on showroom floors today that can deliver this same look and feel. Plus, just having a manual transmission is a miracle in a new car, but having a slick one like the 370Z has is an added bonus.
However, the Z's simplicity also breeds a little too much of a utilitarian feel. Its lack of a standard infotainment screen is a big oversight, and its unrefined ride in the base model shows that Nissan took a set-it-and-forget-it approach with the 370Zs chassis several years back.
Right For? Wrong For?
The 2018 Nissan 370Z is the perfect rig for the buyer who always says, “they don’t build ‘em like they used to.” The 370Z is built “like they used to” almost to a flaw, making it a great option for the traditionalist who only cares about an analog sports car that does what you tell it to do.
Younger buyers who are looking for all the latest tech and nannies to make them feel like a race car driver will find they are in way over their heads in the Z.
The Bottom Line
Though it may lack all the gadgets and gizmos some of its competitors boast, the 370Z delivers for sports car traditionalists. This is not to say the 370Z is a rolling time capsule filled with 1980s tech, like K.I.T.T.-inspired digital dashboards and slow-as-molasses power windows, but it is just a step behind the competition, and this lag almost seems intentional.