Question Of The Day: 2010 Mustang Or Z?

Jonny Lieberman
by Jonny Lieberman
question of the day 2010 mustang or z

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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4 of 45 comments
  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Dec 19, 2008

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

  • 1169hp 1169hp on Dec 19, 2008


  • Mcs Mcs on Dec 19, 2008

    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.

  • SupaMan SupaMan on Dec 19, 2008

    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).