Calling the Nissan 370Z long in the tooth would be an understatement. This thing has been around long enough to remember the great meteor that killed all the dinosaurs, and in all that time Nissan has largely refrained from keeping it current with the times. Things aren't much different this year, with the only big change being the discontinuation of the 370Z Roadster, the convertible variant.
Despite their stepchild treatment of the 370Z, Nissan has chosen to recognize the nameplate's longevity with a new 50th Anniversary Edition package. It's optional on the mid-level Sport model and celebrates 50 years of continuous Z production with distinctive striping, badging, and trim. All 50th Anniversary Edition models will be painted in a bold red-over-white or black-over-silver color scheme.
Choosing Your Nissan 370Z
The Nissan 370Z is offered in four trims: Base, Sport, Sport Touring, and Nismo. Pricing starts at $30,985 including destination for the Base and tops out at $46,685 for the Nismo.
Before writing off the 370Z as overpriced, it's best to consider these MSRPs as guidelines rather than anything concrete. Nissan is known for offering heavy incentives to move their product; couple that fact with the slow-selling nature of the aging 370Z, and dealers should be willing to play ball.
All 370Zs use the same 3.7-liter V6 engine that, in most models, churns out 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. Flagship Nismo models are blessed with 18 additional hp and six more lb-ft of torque.
|Fuel Economy (Combined)
|Base, Sport, Sport Touring
|20 mpg (manual), 22 mpg (automatic)
|20 mpg (manual), 22 mpg (automatic)
A six-speed manual transmission with automatic rev-matching comes standard on Base, Sport, and Nismo models. The Sport Touring comes exclusively with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and paddle shifters. The rest of the range can be upgraded to the dual-clutch automatic for $1,400, though base models equipped as such won't have the paddle shifters found higher up the trim level totem pole.
It's worth noting that the six-speed manual is a close-ratio gearbox. This makes it snappy and responsive around town but a chore on the interstate, where cruising is a 3,000-rpm affair. The more highway-friendly option is the dual-clutch automatic, which won't have the engine buzzing during long distance or high-speed jaunts.
Passenger & Cargo Capacity
The 370Z isn't a large car. There's only 167 inches of length between the bumpers, and the wheelbase is a stubby 100 inches. No back seat means it only seats two.
The whole shebang weighs 3,400 or so pounds – a good half-ton heavier than a Mazda MX-5 Miata and about 500 pounds more than a Subaru BRZ, the Z's nearest competitors dimensionally.
Under the hatchback of the 370Z, there's 6.9 cubic feet worth of storage and cargo space. This is the same as a BRZ and about two more than what a Miata offers.
Unfortunately, the recent industry strides in safety technology aren't reflected in the 370Z.
Basic stuff like lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning fail to show up on the options list, and just forget about real life-savers like adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring. This is a car where safety features remain limited to airbags, seat belts, and a good driver.
Both the IIHS and NHTSA don't put the 370Z through crash testing, so it doesn't receive safety ratings.
In-car technology is almost as nonexistent as the safety tech. This is a point driven home by the Base and Sport models, where a large storage cubby sits where any other car would mount their infotainment screen. At least the Sport Touring and Nismo trims get a 7-inch touchscreen with navigation and SiriusXM as standard.
All cars not equipped with the touchscreen get a radio that offers an auxiliary jack, CD player, and a single USB port. A Bluetooth hands-free phone system is standard across the range, and all models beyond the base trim get an eight-speaker Bose audio system.
The Base is sparse when it comes to features. On the outside, there's Xenon headlights, LED taillights, 18-inch wheels, and power-adjustable heated mirrors.
Interiors offer automatic climate control, push-button start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and cloth upholstery. Seats are manually adjustable but power windows and locks are standard.
The Sport brings a bit more distinctive styling with stylized "Z" side marker lenses, a front chin spoiler, and a rear spoiler. Mechanically, a standard limited-slip differential, larger brakes, and lightweight 19-inch wheels shod in summer rubber give the Sport a bit more street cred than a Base. Additional creature comforts include an eight-speaker Bose audio system and SiriusXM radio.
The 50th Anniversary Edition Package is a $2,600 option, raising the starting price to $37,315. Besides the flamboyant red/white or black/silver two-tone color schemes, it includes distinctive trim inside and out, but no additional equipment beyond four-way power-adjustable leather seats with synthetic suede inserts.
The Sport Touring adds a 7-inch touchscreen with navigation, the leather/suede seats from the 50th Anniversary Edition, four-way power and heated seats with lumbar support, and Bluetooth audio streaming. It's only available with the automatic transmission.
The Nismo is the performance flagship of the 370Z lineup. Mechanical enhancements over lesser 370Zs include more horsepower and torque, a stiffer suspension, a wider rear track, functional aero bits, and a more aggressive exhaust.
Exclusive manually-adjustable Recaro seats are swathed in leather and accented in Alcantara; they're the most distinctive touch in the Nismo interior. Other cabin upgrades include red trim and stitching along with a red Nismo tachometer. All the luxury features that come with the Sport Touring are found here as well.
The sweet spot of the 2020 Nissan 370Z lineup is the Sport, with its host of mechanical upgrades over the base model. Go any further up the trim ladder and the 370Z becomes too pricey for what it is. At that point, a number of other sports cars would prove to be better buys.