By on December 18, 2008

Ah ha ha ha — I’m still having a ball. I love these X vs. Y QOTDs. Maybe it’s time for a new feature? Hmmm… Anyhow, there are a lot of people (er, were a lot of people) that purchase two-door sports coupes. So many in fact that Nissan’s on their 6th iteration of the Z and Ford’s Mustang is older than most people. Last week through, uh, fate, I was able to drive the 2010 versions of each car (Mustang review here ,370Z here). And as different as they are, man, are they the same. The Z makes do with “just” six cylinders yet weighs about 200 pounds less than the more powerful V8 ‘Stang. Therefore performance is nearly identical. In fact, so close that it just doesn’t matter. But surely the IRS Nissan has the edge over the live axle Mustang in the handling department, right? The 370Z might be able to provide flashier numbers on a skid pad, but on the street? The two cars feel equally capable. Looks? Take your pick — both cars are muscular, handsome, loaded with retro cues yet modern. Hamburger vs. Sushi? Depends on my mood — one has no inherent advantage over the other. 5-speed vs. 6-speed? I prefer 4-speeds. Interiors? Both are good, not great. So, how then? Here’s the thing — Nissan swore up and down that when they were developing the 370Z they didn’t bother to benchmark the Mustang. Porsche Cayman? Yes. BMW Z4? Yes. Audi TT? Yes. But while they were playing footsies with the Germans, Ford went ahead and developed the Bullitt, one of the greatest cars of the last 10 years. And the 2010 Mustang GT is a better Bullitt. So yeah, Mustang for me. You?

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45 Comments on “Question Of The Day: 2010 Mustang Or Z?...”

  • avatar

    It is too early to call. If there is a workable Chapter 11 Bankruptcy then the 300 HP V6, 4 passenger, 6-speed, independent rear suspension Camaro, for $23K, with heritage steel wheels, is the answer. If not then I am in boycott mode and buying a used Miata, MR2 or 914. Actually I am probably doing that no matter what, but the Camaro is still the best bet, unless, as taxpayers, we need to boycott it.

    Also, the Hoondai is coming out sometime soon.

  • avatar
    John R

    New Z or new Mustang GT?

    Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo?

    Burger King or McDonald’s?

    Mac or…I won’t go there.

    The thing about this situation, or what’s great about this situation, is that you can get what you feel more…at home with. And not be penalized for it.

    We’ve all sort of been there. We being guys and gals knowledgeable about autos. We’ve gotten into a car and we know instantly whether we’re at peace with it and it suits us. We say something like, “This is me” either aloud or in thought.

    There is an intangible aura that descends and you know its right and you can be with no one else.

    Personally, I love the new Z. It fits my personality and I would be most comfortable with it and its probably the closest i can get to this.

  • avatar

    hands down the Mustang. i dont really have a reason other then the Mustang speaks to me. the Z is nice and all but just…boring.

  • avatar

    The mellifluous exhaust note of the Mustang is easily the tie breaker. There’s a reason my name isn’t DoctorV6.

  • avatar

    Not really super pumped about either. In that category I’d rather go Rx-8.

  • avatar

    I’ve driven the 370Z and its a 2009 model, if I’m not mistaken…

    To the point, I’m going to have to go with the Z over the ‘Stang.

    I’m impressed that the Mustang has garnered as much positive attention as it has, the fit and finish has been greatly improved and the sheet metal tweaks look fantastic IRL. The Ford is more practical, with an actual trunk and a backseat. But if I’m getting a 2-door sports coupe, I’m already tossing most of the practicality out of the window. I don’t care about a backseat that no one can fit or how many groceries my sports car can haul.

    Both the ‘Stang and the Z have made great improvements to already pretty good cars, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference and I really just like the Z better. It represents more of an evolution over the previous model than the Mustang does and as nice as the new Ford looks, the Z looks that much better inside and out.

    Well, except for that weird fuel gauge/LCD deal.

  • avatar

    Dodge Challenger

    (you know, while they’re still a Dodge to sell it to you).

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    I’d want the Z because of its trimmer proportions. Just feel more comfortable flinging a smaller car around.

  • avatar

    I’d have to go with the Z here.

    I’m not really down with the retro-car movement, and also my gut feeling is I’d trust the Z to be in better overall condition 10 years from now (I tend to keep my cars a long time).

    I like the Z interior better too.

  • avatar

    I don’t like the Z. Never have, never will. I’m sure it’s a great car, but I think it’s ugly.

    So Mustang for me.

  • avatar

    Z, with a little work 400HP is easily achievable.

  • avatar

    How can we answer until we have an opportunity to drive both? If as you say, Ford has corrected the Mustang’s handling problems and the interior is as good as it looks in the pictures, I got to go with the Mustang. The V8 exhaust note and the fact that it has a trunk and a place to put stuff if not people behind the front seats make it the better car for me. Whether or not a sporty car should be practical, practicallity is still a plus, if it still can deliver the goods in terms of fell and acceleration.

  • avatar

    Z. Fewer 16 year old girls and podunk teenage parents drive them than drive Mustangs.

  • avatar

    The Z.

    I really liked the previous model I test drove except for how the gears engaged. Loved the V6. Not so impressed with the Mustang we drove from Hertz 2 months ago, maybe the new one is 100 times better and it would have to be to impress me.

    I would have to leave final judgement until I can drive both of them and maybe a Camaro if that ever sees the light of day. I probably would have to go with Dave and take a RX-8 rather then the Mustang or the Z, I just wish it had a supercharger to boost that little rotary.

  • avatar

    I think you’d have to be bat crazy to buy one of these brand new. These cars are disposable toys for used car lots, so shop for one there. Check the rear quarter glass on the Z, why is it sliced in half? Well because its a hack job. The Z to me represents this pointless spec-race to look better on paper than the other guy. What happens when we reach the finish line. The fact is a fast car isnt always an enjoyable one. The Mustang has a load of problems. There are too many available on the used market. They have a cheap image(for good reason). How many times is it gonna take Ford to “get it right” is the buyer expected to trade these in every year because they made a 2% improvement to the interior and swapped out the fenders. “mycolor” illuminated “MUSTANG” logo running boards, give me a break. Why do both cars have such a gimmick ridden teenage design when teens cant afford them. If I were 16 now and none the wiser, I’d take wichever one I could get mom and dad to buy me. Germans are still doing it better and are the only cars I’d consider buying new.

  • avatar

    Since JL is lucky enough to have driven both and I was unlucky enough to have driven neither I will hold off on having a strong opinion.
    However, I used to own a blue 240Z so part of me wants to like the Z.

  • avatar

    The Z for sure. The Mustang still has to much redneck image for me to like it. Now when I was 16 and a redeck I sure did enjoy my ’85 Z28 but I think I have grown out of that phase to a more mature car, which is the Z for me.

  • avatar

    Have you guys checked out the prices of used C6s recently? I can’t imagine getting either of these cars over a C6, (especially the Z because the C6 is pretty much the same car but better in nearly every way, at least the ‘Stang has 2 extra seats/practicality to differentiate it) but I might be just a little biased

    I’d have to drive both of these to say for sure which one I’d rather have. I think the Z’s a little faster and more agile though, so I’d probably go with that one, but the ‘Stang looks and sounds a lot better. It’s pretty much a dead heat.

    Lee : I have yet to see a naturally-aspirated 6cyl car where a 70hp increase is ‘easily achievable’. How do you propose obtaining a 21% hp increase out of a NA 3.7L V6?

  • avatar

    Having driven the OLD cars and not driven the new ones, I found the Mustang to be more fun – despite performance numbers.

    Published performance figures are for magazine racers and people with small dicks anyways.

  • avatar

    I have not seen either in the metal yet, but from the pics, I would go with the Mustang. It is such a “me too” car but I can’t get over that door handle on the Z. After a test drive of both cars, my mind might change though.

  • avatar

    Can’t believe I’m saying this because I am so much the anti-Ford guy, but Mustang. Really basing this on looks primarily–don’t think the 370Z’s headlights or tailights will ever grow on me.

    I know, need to grow my mulett and find my Styx cassette.

  • avatar

    Um, RX-8 for me too thanks. I have owned one for two years, and recently thought about looking around for some refreshing replacement .. tried the Z and Stangs .. NO DEAL. As long as i cant afford or choose not to go for GT-R, nothing on the market has the comforts and driving pleasure of RX-8 in the same reasonable price package.

  • avatar

    The Mustang GT. Despite the depreciation issues, it speaks to me. But then I’ve owned both a ’69 Mach One and an ’85 GT (which I bought new). And given the price, depreciation is much less of an issue than with more expensive cars.

    Cars like the Mustang are the answer to those who claim that Detroit build cars nobody wants. My sister owns a C6 ‘Vette and I currently drive a CTS. I for a few years after the ’85 GT, parenthood pushed me into a succession of Maximas, the last two of which had the VQ, a really fine engine. But there’s something about a V8 that no V6 I’ve ever driven can match.

    If Ford makes it through to my next buying cycle, I’m going to seriously consider the Mustang GT.

  • avatar
    just another car guy

    Having worked at a Dealership that sells both Domestic and Import brands, I know that, in the long run, the Z would run better for a longer period of time. If all the performance numbers are the same, I’ll take the Zed over the ‘Stang any day.

  • avatar

    If the Ford handles as well as you say, I would definitely take the Mustang. I prefer handling & feel over straight-ahead power, and I love the sound of the Cobra’s and GT’s. Otherwise it would be the 370Z, but with a quiet exhaust that doesn’t sound like a UFO or pepboys butt-trumpet fartcan.

  • avatar

    The Mustang for me, for a variety of reasons. One, it has a V8 which I still have a great fondness for. Two, appearance, a nice blend of modern and nostalgia whereas the Z is a generic Japanese coupe. Three, colours…the new Mustang comes in great colours!!!

  • avatar

    thetopdog – I never said anything about N/A

  • avatar
    Rev Junkie

    I’d take the Z. A big 3.7L V6 that can spin up to 7600 revs, and more horses than the Mustang’s V8, and is smaller than the Mustang’s V6. Low end torque? Come on, I own a Civic, I don’t know what that is! It’s lighter, the Z is a proper two-seat sports car, and I really like the profile, and it’s looks great in yellow, an overly Japanese take on the original 240Z. Give me the 6sp, the cool SynchroRevMatch, and that orange leather interior. The Mustang looks even better, inside and out, and it’s cheaper, but it has only a 5sp, a live axle, rear seats I would seldom use, probably less mpg, and possibly much higher insurance premiums.

  • avatar

    If the ’10 Mustang is anything like the ’05 Mustang I spent some time with, I’ll take the “mystery prize”: the Z.

  • avatar

    Lee : I would say ‘easily achievable’ would be strictly limited to things like a chip, intake, exhaust, etc. Turbo or supercharging an engine doesn’t fit my criteria of an ‘easy’ mod. Besides, if you’re talking forced induction, you can just as easily super/turbocharge the ‘Stang,so it’s not like it’s an inherent advantage for the Z.

  • avatar

    As a current Z driver, I’m actually leaning towards the stang. Of course I’d have to test drive both, but I liked the last mustang even with all it’s warts and if the new one is that much better I might choose it over the Z. thetopdog is right, it is a bitch to turbo or supercharge any NA Nissan 6. You will have to rip the whole engine and rebuild it to do it properly. Just slapping a turbo on (and that’s if you can find the room for it) will blow the engine in no time with any decent amount of boost. Whereas the Mustang engine is much easier to upgrade. They already have supercharger kits for it so it shouldn’t be too much hassle. Plus in a few months there will probably be a supercharged version from Roush which will be warrantied.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    I didnt see this mentioned but these arent directly comparable since the Mustang can seat more that 2 people. Small children cant ride in the front seat of the Z so Joe Six Pack can buy the Mustang and still tote the kids around in back when needed. True two seaters dont sell very well.

  • avatar

    I’ll take the Z please, I’ve been a Nissan/Datsun driver ever since I learned how to drive in an old 86 720 King Cab pickup. Having test-driven a G37 6sd, I’ve been waiting for Nissan to drop the new VQ into the Z. If the new ‘Stang is indeed an improved Bullitt that hangs with the Z around corners, then kudos to Ford for building a car worthy of its pedigree (and I’ve always liked the new retro look, but not its performance). I’m dreaming about getting the new Z sometime in the next couple of years. Although the Z not as practical as the ‘Stang and lacks the throaty growl of an idling V8, that’s what my Titan is for(fuel economy notwithstanding of course).

  • avatar

    Z! But I’m biased since I own a 350Z.

  • avatar

    Pfft, this ones easy, E46 M3.

  • avatar

    Depends completely on how annoying the rear axle is. It felt wagon-like in the V6 ’05 that I drove. If a GT with the handling revisions is more planted, it’s a win. The Z really isn’t in the running because the interior is so claustrophobic. I’d love to see a new car with sides with doors that didn’t reach to my neck.

  • avatar

    Mustang for me.

    The new Z is very complelling, but I don’t like those teeth in the grill. If they are as closely matched as you say they are that’s enough for me to choose the Mustang. I rented a V6 convertible last year, and it wasn’t the best car I ever drove, but there was something about it. Also, I loved looking out the windshield at that long hood.

  • avatar

    I have never understood the Z. I thought the first generation looked homely. My dad and I got into a somewhat heated argument about that point. The 300 wasn’t a looker either, nor did I care for the 350. This new generation doesn’t do it for me, either.

    Needless to say, it’s the Mustang for me.

  • avatar

    I can see myself liking these two cars a lot. The Z resonates with my boy racer quite a bit. Spec sheet wise its the one for me, but I’m not sure How fast I’ll drive either. The Mustang seems more relaxed, which suits the new me. I dunno, I think I might take either. So its a 530i for me or 650i, used of course. Oh wait, maybe I dunno. Doesn’t anyone make a relaxed, nimble, confident and willing to dance type of car, geez. Maybe its FWD, or a 3-series coupe.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Bring back the 240Z. It weighed 2400 lbs. The 370Z weighs about 3200 lbs. that is too much.

  • avatar

    The 370z is ugly. Mustang, wins hands down.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    I’ve wanted a Mustang since I was a kid in Dearborn and I love the sound of a V8 – especially the sound of the 2010. However, these days I spend most of my time in New England and Mustangs don’t fare well here.

    A Mustang might be at home when the most challenging road you deal with is Hines Drive in Michigan, but it’s another story when you’re dealing with the back roads of New Hampshire. That’s when the Mustangs bloated body and rear axle become a real problem.

    The bottom line is that despite the fact I may like the styling and the sound of the engine better, I still have to drive the thing. For me, handling and performance outweigh styling and I really don’t care about what other people think about my car. I’m not the one looking at it anyway. I’m the one driving and that’s what matters.

    So give me the Z for now. I’ll reconsider if they drop the Mustang down to the size of the 1 Series, cut out at least a quarter ton of weight, and give it something other than cheap econobox bargain basement suspension.

  • avatar

    Hands down the Z. After reading your 2010 Mustang review Jonny, I’ll give Ford kudos for settling down the suspension and redesigning the cabin (although the next time I rent one, I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the differences). But in this case, the Z wins. Even after 20k (hard) miles, my 350Z rental was rattle free, interior quality was spot on and the handling was tight. I can only imagine Nissan improving on what is an excellent product and rightfully so to compete with the Z4 and Cayman. The last Mustang I rented was heavy, ponderous and had an agricultural sounding engine (yeah, it was a V6).

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