By on June 3, 2015

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Constant readers may recall I recently traded a 2008 Honda S2000 for a new Volkswagen GTI 6-speed. Both can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in the mid to high 5s, but with the turbo lag on the VW and the pre-VTEC lack of punch on the Honda, the power delivery on both cars is nonlinear, which grows tiresome at times.

I need a break from millennial motors and motorcycle-inspired engines. I want torque and I want it now, damn it.

Enter the 2016 Nissan 370Z.

Now in its eighth model year with few significant changes, 370Z sales in the U.S. have dropped from a high of 13,188 units in 2009 down to an annual average of 7,073 units from 2013 through May of 2015. Lack of updates and an overall drop in sales in the two-seater segment have hurt the Z, which is too bad because we place it at the top of our “Nearly Forgotten Great Sports Car” category.

Curiously, Nissan is using this red base model coupe with a 6-speed manual as its press car rather than the more popular Sport or Touring models. I was a bit disappointed as I wanted to play with their downshift rev matching system which is only available on upper trims. Nissan’s strategy to publicize the base model may be because of its MSRP of only $29,990 plus $810 freight, an amazing value. Adding the 7-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters will cost you another $1,300. The only popular features missing in the base Z are a navigation system, a backup camera and a decent sound system.

The next step up is the Sport model which is priced at $33,570 and adds bigger brakes, 19-inch RAYS wheels [which have been around forever -Mark], the rev-matching system, grippier Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires, a Viscous Limited-Slip Differential, a rear view monitor and a subtle rear spoiler. The Sport Tech model costs an additional $3,500 and includes a Bose stereo, navigation and Sirius satellite radio. Step up to the Touring model at $37,970 to get most of the above plus power leather seats.

The 370Z’s design has aged well, highlighted by its cool “boomerang” head and tail lights. I am not a fan of red cars and even less of a fan of black wheels, so make mine the new-for-2016 Deep Pearl Blue patina in the Sport model:

New Deep Blue Pearl color with Sport Package featuring 19" Rays wheelsThe cloth seats were very supportive and comfortable for my 6-foot 2-inch frame. Other reviewers have carped about the lack of rear vision due to the low seating position and gently sloping hatch, but I had no problem, perhaps because I am tall or maybe because of the comically large side mirrors. The uncluttered dashboard and controls are very well laid out. Bluetooth connectivity to my phone and iPod was a breeze. And, hey kids, those three instrument pods on the dash are not copied from a Fast and Furious movie. They are a tribute to the ones on the original 1970 240Z.

The Z is all about its 332 hp DOHC 3.7-liter V6 engine powering the car to 60 mph in 5 seconds flat. The slightly heavy clutch and shifter are in contrast to the light but very communicative steering. Tearing up and down Tucson’s Mt. Lemmon was tons of fun, though the base model’s noisy Yokohama ADVAN Sport tires could not quite keep up with the well-balanced chassis. The 6-speed Z is rated at 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway and we observed 21.8 mpg in a week of spirited driving.

steering-wheel 370z courtesy nissan.com

All 2016 Zs except the base car have a new Active Sound Enhancement system that sends fake engine noise to the cockpit. The Z may actually need it as our tester was a bit too quiet in the exhaust department. (I have concluded that the sole reason more and more automakers are adding this feature is to make the car sound more appealing during test drives in order to sell more units. That is why they rarely mention the feature in their marketing efforts.)

Supply of the 370Z is in line with its tepid demand. The eight Nissan dealers within 150 miles of me have a total of 30 new Zs in stock, so finding the exact model and color you want may be challenging. As far as real-world pricing, TrueCar says the average discount on a 370Z is $1,318. One local dealer recently had the twin of this car in a 2015 model on their lot, with an MSRP of $30,118, advertised for only $27,000. That is a great price, but knowing Arizona dealers it is more likely a case of, “Well, folks, we added Tru-Coat, window tinting, window etching, an alarm system, lost key protection, the Desert Protection Package, wheel locks, and the $499 documentation fee for a total of $31,432.99.”

Nissan dealers ranked slightly below average in the 2014 J.P. Power Sales Satisfaction index.

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The 370Z is a fun car and a great value – but what does the future hold? The current incarnation dates back to 2008, so a major overhaul is likely imminent, though Nissan’s not talking. As the only Japanese V6 two-seater, we hope Nissan will soldier on with this model and its legendary nameplate. The Altima owners dominating the 370Z message boards are certain the next generation Z will be powered by either a 4-cylinder turbo mill or a detuned GT-R motor. On that note, we will end this test with a Quasi-QOTD: what do you think Nissan will do or should do with the next 370Z?

Picks

  • Tremendous value
  • Near-perfect driver ergonomics
  • Still looks great after eight years

Nit Pics

  • Lack of sporty exhaust note
  • Tire noise
  • Weak sound system in the base model

Wife Sez: “Love the color, drives great but there’s no “Jesus!” handle to grab when I’m riding shotgun.”

Perfect 370Z Song: “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” Simple Minds, 1987

Nissan North America provided use of vehicle for one week, insurance and one tank of gas for this review.

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92 Comments on “2016 Nissan 370Z Review...”


  • avatar
    michal1980

    Nice review. Thanks

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Did they fix the brake fade issue?

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Yes the newer Zs come with better pads. Still a weak point on the car IMHO, it really needs some ducting. I’ve upgraded my ’03 350Z Touring to the 370 Sport Akebono setup and it made a world of difference as the stock 350Z brakes are a joke with 11.6″ rotors and single piston calipers.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    T-top roof.

    I sometimes think I am the only person who loved this option on cars from the 80’s. Heck I would be fine with a Targa roof.

    full disclosure, I would not buy one. after my last Nissan, which was my fourth I came to the conclusion that me and Nissan products did not work well together andi would not purchase another one.

    • 0 avatar
      Domestic Hearse

      Now that the Nissan brand has the GT-R to cover very high performance, perhaps the Z can go a little more back to its roots.

      Could we retro style the Z in the 240/280 fashion, small, light, balanced. Think Miata driving experience, complete with T-tops* instead of drop top?

      *I like the way you think, Morgan.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert

        Now we’re talking! Hey Nissan – I will buy a new retro Z car with T-tops and 2+2 in a heartbeat! My first car was supposed to be my mom’s 78 280Z..she traded it in shortly before my 16th birthday for a Suzuki Samurai.

        Remember when they were selling factory restored Z cars in the 90s? Too bad I was a broke college student then.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    the dash is really old school

    the red single coloured segment LED display on the left?

    the base model radio also seen on sub $20k compacts?

    that stitched cubby hole on the dash?

    the base model actually sounds good… none of the gubbins you dont need, rev matching? who needs that… you do kinda want the big brake option though

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      The cubby hides the NAV system. The disappointing thing is the one of the triple “racing” gauges is a clock! WOW how awesome is that? On my older Z the gauges are: trip computer/tire pressure, oil pressure and volt meter.

  • avatar
    STRATOS

    Just another fat bloated dressed up pig that does not know if it wants to be a sports or luxury car.

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    Go down the Miata route, and strip out as much weight as possible, make the LSD and decent brakes standard on the base car and then do the Porsche/BMW strategy of making every option really goddamn expensive (lucrative). And give it a decent noise.

    A real sports car for those who want it, and a GT for those who don’t.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Ever since the Camaro and Challenger came back, and the Mustang got better, the Z has been an also ran. The Mustang moved more units last month than the Z will all year.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Always liked these, and highly possible I would have ended up with a 350Z back in the day had the dealer let me test drive one when I was 22 and graduating college with Ensign pay burning a hole in my pocket instead of pushing me into an Acura and then an S2000 (A G35 coupe was $5k out of reach).

    One thing I don’t get is that giant stupid covered hole high up in the dash. Covered storage? Not bad. Covered storage pushing frequently used controls down into the dark recesses of the dash? Stupid.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    The Sport model is a worthwhile upgrade since it includes bigger wheels and brakes, better tires, limited slip and a rear view camera. I don’t care about rev matching and would prefer to disable fake exhaust sounds just to lower the overall noise level.

    I hope Bridgestone has improved RE050A tires over the ones that came on my 2008 Infiniti G37. They were noisy and followed road imperfections. The Michelin Pilot Super Sports that replaced them are better in every way.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      The sport is really the sweet spot as far as I’m concerned and may be a replacement for my S2000 eventually as it gets up there in age. The only thing that really concerns me is the LSD – it should really be a mechanical one rather than a viscous. With a pad upgrade they’re quite the capable track-day car as well.

      It lacks the power of a muscle car but makes up for it in a small footprint and more nimble handling. I almost pulled the trigger on a 350Z about 8 years ago and still like these enough that it’s in the running for my next fun car. My other considerations would be a S/Ced BR-Z or a Mustang GT PP since I have a kid and could use the vestigial back seat.

      RE050A aren’t the best tires though, pretty much a high cost OE special. The S04 is just as good at 2/3 the price, the MPSS are magic, and the Conti DW and Hankook Evo2 do the same as the RE050A at a price lower than the S04.

      I’d be replacing them with autocross street-class tires anyway though, as the mass of the Z doesn’t hold up to track day heat well without tires of that class.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        If it’s the same viscous LSD as my buddy’s ’07 G35 Sport, it seems to work fine as a performance differential. The rubber marks left behind on launch are even and it easily puts both back wheels sideways on command. We’ve never noticed any inside wheel spin, including during track and autocross use, despite wearing out his first set of rear tires within a year.

        Have you heard bad things about that particular differential? Are there any particular benefits of a Torsen-type (I assume that’s what you’d prefer) that you’re looking for? I’m always interested in knowing more about different types of differentials.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          He said he has been noticing more inside rear wheel spin recently. The other day, I got my first taste of it. Accelerating from rest for a left turn, it was as though there was no limited slip function at all. I don’t know if it’s getting weaker, or if he’s just going a little easier on the throttle these days, but I guess I can’t stick up for it anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        cimarron typeR

        As a previous G37S 6mt sedan owner(the real Nissan 4DR sports car haha), mine had this diff.this diff isn’t really set up for track work, the fluid can overheat and lose its function. Fine for auto-X .It in no way causes any permanent damage to the diff though, and isn’t annoying ass the oil temp problem on early 370s. In 2012 iirc they installed an oil cooler.
        This motor really repsponds to bolt ons, 30whp isn’t hard to achieve.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    The tire noise is a big part of why I ditched my 350Z. Just couldn’t fcking take it anymore, commuting 400 miles a week. The clutch, shifter, and in my Z at least the steering were also all needlessly heavy and sapped confidence (esp the steering). Engine pulled like a freight train though and despite its slight front bias and penchant for understeer at the limit it had great dynamics. At 7-8 10ths it really came alive. VSC gave you enough rope to have fun without hanging yourself as well… never turned it off.

    That G-d tire noise though. In the rain it sounded like you were sitting in the wheel well. And it was impractical as hell too. Had I bought a G35 sedan instead I probably would have kept it. And that in a nutshell is why the sports car is dying. A G3x 6MT sedan delivers 90% of the thrills with 500% of the practicality. Curious to see what they do next… I feel like the Z is knocking on heaven’s door.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I found the 350Z to be extremely uncomfortable to sit in. I don’t remember the tire noise because I only had a rental for 3-4 days. All I can remember is my back and a$$ hurting. The airplane seat on the way home was a welcome change.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        The airplane seat on the way home was a welcome change.”

        Ouch. Figuratively and literally…

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The only time I remember being more uncomfortable in a vehicle was driving a 26′ Penske truck across the country. But after 1000 miles or so, your a$$ just goes numb.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        That’s weird. I have driven mine up and down the East Coast. Seats were great, even after 180K+ miles. Strangely on road trips the noise doesn’t bother me either. The Z is a monster GT if the roads are smooth… I loved road trips in that thing. Held a decent amount of luggage as well, even with a passenger, if you packed carefully.

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      I think that this is a lot of why people don’t buy these. Not so much the noise specifically, but the alternatives that make the Z a poor choice. When you can get a Maxima/Altima that for most people is 80% of what the Z is (well, at least the engine) with nearly none of the compromises, it’s hard to justify owning a two-door, two-seat, RWD car that you’ll need snow tires for. Most people just don’t really have room in their lives for a dedicated SPORTS CAR as may have been the case many years ago. For cheapskates like me, we might just buy a used Mustang or Camaro, maybe even Corvette or M3/M5. Coupled with what appears to be a compromise of identity in that it isn’t a raw-edged sports car, but it’s not THAT lux, it seems to be in a sort of no-man’s land. I agree that this will likely have to be reborn or die. If reborn, as a smaller version of itself with a T4 and Miata-like agility and priced to compete keeping in mind the lessons learned from the FR-S/BRZ. That it’s priced alongside current pony cars with no real standout features means that (as the numbers show) nobody is buying.

      • 0 avatar
        probert

        Reminder: This is a site for car enthusiasts – and Mustang owners.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          There are other cars besides sports cars and Mustangs. Plus one can be a fan of said cars while acknowledging that they make no sense to buy. This site is also about the car industry, which makes it unique, honest and IMO much smarter than a run of the mill “herp derp tire smoke n horsepower” auto site.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Maybe its your roads or tires because the noise in my ’03 350Z Touring is not that bad. I log about 200 miles a week in FL which generally has smooth roads. Granted I’ve added sound deading and upgraded the pathetic stereo. However my wife calls the car the “cuisinart” because of rough the ride is. I like how it communicates but on some roads it is one step away from knocking your teeth out. I find the seats super comfortable with a near perfect driving position. The view out the back is basically a mail slot but you get used to it. The dash and interior are super simple which is fine by me. The Z is such a pure sports car it makes a lot of compromises. Every thing that seems wrong (heavy clutch, slow steering, notchy shifter) feel perfect once pushed on the track. After tracking mine its truely amazing how much grip the car has. And your right about the engine – it just pulls like there is no tomorrow, I thought I would miss the torque of my turbo Passat, but no way: the power delivery on Nissan V6 is amazing.

      I actually went with the Z instead of the G35 because the I found the hatch more practical. Since the rear seats and trunk of the G35 are pretty small I’d rather have the hatch even with the strut tower brace in the way (which is way smaller on the 370s BTW). Granted the G35 is quieter so for most people I think its a way better choice. One thing is for sure the G35/G37 is an unbelievable value. A smooth and fast daily driver you can easily track on the weekend once you overcome the brake issue with some simple upgrades.

      The Z is in a weird place, it can’t hang with more powerful V8 Mustang or Camaro but can easily dust the FR-S/BR-Z and Miata. Its on par with the WRX but lacks the AWD and extra set of doors. Since the cars above and below it (price & performance wise) sell better this tells me very few people want this middle road option – so Nissan has to figure out what to do. I agree downsizing would be the best choice. And yes bringing back the T-Tops would be cool.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        yep, its worse outside of the US… we’re talking a $50-$60k two seat car that isnt all that fast and isnt all that economical and impractical as all get out… we have 6.0 v8s here that are cheaper and use about the same fuel and give roughly the same frills while carrying four people

        and to me, the 370z has the smell from 2004 with the 350z

        its just old, i now Z fans will go on and on about the updated 370 floorplan but eh… its an old tired formula

        i mean i’m glad someone makes it but it doesnt make much sense to anyone

        btw. if this car was ACTUALLY $29,990 here it would be a whole ‘nother story, at that price its reasonable for what it delivers… hell the GT86 is $29,990…

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I feel like I would have loved it on the track, but I had to be honest with myself. My time is limited and I have the money to go tracking, but I didn’t want to commit it to that. I would need to do tracking A LOT to justify it in my mind. So I never went to the track with it. That’s a rabbit hole I know I would fall too deep into. Z is a brilliant platform for that though if you can afford it. But the G is just such a better car for not much sacrifice.

    • 0 avatar
      jdmcomp

      Agree fully, I drove a ’15 base and it was lude, crude and noisy. The engine sounds like it might come apart above 4500 and buzzed the entire car. Conversation was not possible without almost shouting. I guess I wanted a GT and this was not the car. But, I did find a Merc C300 Sport with AMG trim and suspension in very nice used condition and a 6 speed manual to boot that was about half the price quoted in the article for a car with the same equipment. I am happy and will not miss the 370 alternative.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “Love the color, drives great but there’s no “Jesus!” handle to grab when I’m riding shotgun.”

    lol, I think our wives might be related… Thank God my 9 month old Daughter only giggles when Daddy hits the on ramp at 65 mph.

    • 0 avatar
      Marone

      Same here. Although my wife just gets pissed when I do that. It’s not like I’m full throttle (at least not with her next to me) or anything :)

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        Got the wife an S55 AMG (well, she drives it, you can figure out why I selected it) and pinned the throttle with her in the car and the three boys. They laughed like maniacs, thought it was great–she did not and there was a talk about being responsible after the fact. Now Now I just make sure she’s not in the car when we clown around.

    • 0 avatar
      zaxxon25

      My wife calls it the “oh sh!t handle” and it’s a requirement of any vehicle we purchase.

  • avatar
    Andy

    Didn’t say much about how it actually drives. I mean, the car is old as dirt, I could find 100 more reviews if I wanted, but as it stands this review is pretty low on useful information…

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    With those sort of sales numbers, I suspect the Z’s next move is to go on hiatus. Does this car sell well in other markets? If not, I don’t see how to justify its existence.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      You never know with Nissan. This is the company that discontinued the Altima coupe, but brought to market a Murano convertible.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Re: Nissan – Has kept building the Maxima even though it no longer has a reason to exist.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          To a carmaker, all cars have one reason to exist: to make money. The Maxima typically sells 50,000 – 60,000 units per year in the US market, at a similar price to the Z car. I’m guessing the Maxima is a profit center, and if the Z car has to be revised, it will not be.

  • avatar

    >>>Supply of the 370Z is in line with its tepid demand.

    It’s that damn active noise… uh, sound enhancement.

  • avatar
    Macca

    I haven’t visited TTAC much over the last several months – I was shocked to a Z review when I stopped by this morning. I figure it’s compulsory for me to chime in here, as a proud owner of a 2013 370Z. As I’ve drifted away from my daily dose of car news the addition of Active Sound Enhancement to the Z was news to me.

    After a few months of owning my Z I discovered that the exhaust note (or lack thereof) was truly a detriment to the overall feel of the car. I’m convinced that even the G37 and especially the 350Z/G35 had a far better, punchier exhaust note. Inside the car, the sound didn’t match the obvious thrust.

    I saw fit to remedy this last year with the addition of a Meisterschaft exhaust – only the axle back (the muffler). Admitting this on the Z forums will get you flamed with unrelenting fury (bro) but I wanted to test the waters. With 332hp I’m not consumed with the need for 10-15hp (at the possible torque expense) that an entire catback system (might) provide. Just swapping out the muffler has made driving the Z *exponentially* more fun. It purrs at idle, has very little drone at speed and roars to life with climbing RPMs. It now sounds like it should have from the factory; not too obnoxious, but not too polite.

    I cannot fathom why Nissan doesn’t remedy this, aside from the supposed excuse that noise regulations are stricter for JDM cars, hence the Prius-quiet exhaust. Who knows. Perhaps this simulated exhaust note will convince a few more folks to buy it – but as others (JMII) have astutely noted, the Z occupies an ever-shrinking niche.
    I’ll be sad if Nissan lets the Z nameplate take a breather, but I would understand why.

    As for the Quasi-QOTD, I don’t have a strong opinion. One option would be to downsize the car a bit, potentially shedding some weight in the process (not sure what platform this would run on). The resultant car would then be approaching FRS territory and wouldn’t necessitate a large, powerful V6 either. Not sure that a turbo-4 Z ‘feels’ right to me, and I’m not sure that FR-S pricing would significantly alter sales figures. Again, it’s a shrinking niche.

    So with that in mind, I would lean toward the opposite – potentially taking the Z into even more powerful territory with a turbo V6 or even a V8 (along with the creeping size/weight/price that would all infringe on GT-R territory). Sales are already lagging, might as well continue the budget-Cayman theme instead of chasing the FR-S.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Z has to have a 6. That is just compulsory. Not really any other platform for it either, and it has a good amount of sound deadening removed already. I think it’s a solid platform. Maybe they can just try and integrate more high strength steel, aluminum, carbon fiber etc into it going forward. But sadly it’s not worth developing a new platform for.

      I test drove a 370Z when I had my 350Z. Felt a lot more refined. Maybe the quieter exhaust was part of that. My Z’s exhaust struck a nice balance and had a nice burbly overrun. Still though, I am one of the few who prefered the true dual sound over the trademark Chewbacca. I just didn’t have the stomach to sink hundreds of bucks and potentially multiple weekends building a perfect exhaust. When you separate the left and right bank exhaust streams the Z sounds like a Porsche… but I am almost certain that without a tune that comes at the expense of low end and midrange, which was what I loved about the VQ.

      Anyways enjoy your Z and don’t worry about the forum guys… they are idiots. Z community has some of the biggest loudmouth nut grabbers I have ever encountered on the internet.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    What does the Z offer that the BRZ, Miata, Mustang, Camaro, Challenger don’t? I would hope that Nissan gives the next generation something more compelling.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “What does the Z offer that the BRZ, Miata, Mustang, Camaro, Challenger don’t?”

      BRZ/Miata? Speed/power.

      Mustang/Camaro/Challenger? Image, to some extent. There’s still a pretty strong stench of mullet and factory worker about the American muscle cars. Also, those cars are so common/ubiquitous that it’s nice to have somether there aren’t 10 of on every corner.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “What does the Z offer that the BRZ, Miata, Mustang, Camaro, Challenger don’t?”

        Apparently the answer is snobbery.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        In the $35k price range I’d probably cross-shop the Genesis coupe for the back seat. It wouldn’t get used often, but it would get used.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          Agreed. Two-seat non-premium cars are dead; even the Miata struggles a bit and it’s “iconic”.

          You need at least a modicum of practicality. Personally, I think the market has–thankfully–spoken and the four-door sports sedan has killed the two-door dead.

          I would like to see (best) a four-door Z, or at least a two-door, four-seat option like the old 300ZX had. That said, Nissan probably doesn’t want to cannibalize higher-margin Q-whatever-they-call-the-G37 sales

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        The Genesis coupe is probably the closest competition, but even fewer people care about that car.

        Maybe a 228i?

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      A hatch. It’s overlooked but the 370Z is actually a hatchback. It’s what got my brother at least considering it. He refuses to drive anything without a hatch. Plus he would prefer having 2 seats. I know the Corvette technically fills those requirements as well, but the Corvette is too flashy for him. The Z styling has always been sporty but a little understated.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        This. I looked at the Genesis coupe but just like the G35/37 coupe the small back seat along with tiny trunk were basically worthless (its just the wife and me, no kids, no pets) – the hatch actually provides some useable, easy to access space. Plus I am a sucker for hatchbacks.

        Also for what its worth: SIZE – the Z (while heavy-ish) is still small. Visibility over the hood is excellent, you can see everything up front, its just rear quarter where things disappear. Despite sitting very low in the Z the windows are at a reasonable height. In comparison the Camaro is huge and has that infamous gun-slit tank-like view of nothing.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          Does it still have that massive structural brace that cuts the hatch in half?

          • 0 avatar
            JMII

            On the 370Z it is MUCH smaller and out of the way. It occupies the same position as the rear bulkhead on my 350Z. The advantage of the hatch I find is long items fit. The G lacks fold down seats thus it limits long items. I personally just find hatchbacks more easy to live with, however most people would be better served with the G’s traditional trunk.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            Apparently not:

            http://www.drivingenthusiast.net/sec-blog/images/2008/11/16/Nissan_z34-hatch.jpg

            It does look alot nicer now. I totally forgot about the 350Z’s brace.

        • 0 avatar
          TheBlueSoap

          You are spot on about the almost useless trunk,and the rear seats were a tight fit for me at 5’8″. To not hit the rear glass I had to slouch,not really fun when rear legroom is lacking.

          The G37 coupe does have fold down rear seats.I know because I transported a new metal gazebo in box from a store to home in a 2008 G37S coupe,mind you it still hung out past the trunk lid a tad.

  • avatar

    Nice review. It IS one of the few good looking contemporary cars. But my recollection is the damn thing weighs almost twice as much as the latest Miata. Well, ~3600 compared to ~2200. That’s a lot of extra baggage.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      It also has more than twice the power.

    • 0 avatar
      Macca

      Just to clarify, the Z’s curb weights are 3,292 lbs for the base/manual and 3,386 lbs for the sport/auto. As for the current-gen Miata, it’s 2,480 lbs for the sport/manual and 2,542 lbs in automatic trim.

      So that results in a range of 9.9 to 10.2 lbs/hp for the various Z trims versus a range of 14.9 to 16.1 lbs/hp for the Miata (note the auto has 158hp rating vs 167hp in the manual).

      The 2016 Miata has 155 hp and weighs in at 2,309 lbs for the manual version, which results in 14.9 lbs/hp.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Sounds silly, but I just can’t get past that horrid silver door handle. I hated it the day the 350Z came out and I hate it today. If I were in the market for one of these I’d just have to add the cost for a high-quality shop to paint it body color to the price of the car.

    The VQ37VHR also makes an ugly noise. I’d prefer not to have more of it piped into the interior.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The reason I don’t own a 350Z is purely due to price.

    After reading all the (US) reviews of the car, I found it really appealing, so when I got my first real job I headed over to a Nissan dealer and found out, to my horror, that it retailed for just-shy-of-base-Corvette money. Hardly the workingman’s sports-car the US magazines made it out to be.

    I can’t see the situation has improved: it’s still expensive and while it doesn’t have the RX-8 to kick around any more, it has to deal with the Genesis, Mustang and Camaro, all of which are much cheaper. Nissan must really not want to sell this car, or they’re terrified of undercutting the FM Infinitis.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      I don’t know what country you’re in, but in Canada the Z’s price has been reduced dramatically. In 2008, when my brother bought his 350Z new, you could only buy it loaded, with the only option being sat nav, and maybe leather. My brother’s stickered for $54,000 before taxes.

      The new 370Z, while not as loaded in base trim, has an extra 25hp and starts at $30,000 (making it even cheaper than in the US, which is basically unheard of). That’s a whole lot of car for the money, and a hell of a discount.

      • 0 avatar
        onyxtape

        Holy crap, with the recent exchange rate “correction”, that’s $24,000 USD.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        I hadn’t checked in years, honestly.

        The last time I looked at a Z it was near the 50K mark; I assume the Mustang and Camaro have made Nissan face reality.

        • 0 avatar
          JMII

          For the money the Mustang and Camaro offer way more bang-for-the-buck.

          And yes the price of the Z has dropped dramatically. When mine was new in 2003 it retailed for an $33K US. Today the 2015 version is about the same price. Given inflation it should be about $10K higher.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Having owned a 240, I really wanted to like this car but couldn’t get over some of the design choices made. Deal killers for me were:

    1. Poor visibility all round. I have driven mid engine cars with better rearward visibility.

    2. No trunk to speak of – you will struggle to even accommodate a single carry on bag.

    3. Less than 4 inches of front ground clearance with the options back that brings the upgraded brakes and wheels.

    4. The VQs sound under load is harsh and unpleasant.

    5. The availability of low mileage Caymans which don’t have any of these problems.

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      definitely agree with numbers 1, 2 and 4. For a powerful, bulletproof engine that redlines at 7500 RPM, a rather unpleasant auditory experience in the cabin. Sounded great to bystanders though…

    • 0 avatar
      KevinC

      Agree with your nits. I owned 3 Z’s back in the day.. a ’73 240Z, a ’78 280Z, and a ’93 300ZX. Loved all 3 of then. But when the 350Z came out, I was underwhelmed. Ugly, heavy, parts bin car. I test drove one, just for giggles, in 2004, shortly after buying a Golf R32. The Z felt like a slug in comparison, and the interior was very low-rent.

      I never lost my love for swoopy 240Z-esque 2-seaters, and in 2007 bought a BMW Z4M Coupe, which I still own. It’s like an original Z with an S54 under the hood – a very good combo indeed, and the design is aging very well.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    What they should do: drive cost out as much as possible, and address low hanging fruit like road noise and comfort.

    Just a few butyl panels of sound insulation and $8 worth of 3M sound insulating fabric would be fine.

    Hack away at the options packages. Fewer colors. One stereo.

    Keep it around as long as it’s making money, but don’t get greedy.

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    I bought a new “Daytona Blue” (I think) base model 350Z back in 2007 for around $27K. I owned the car for almost 5 years and put approx 75K miles on it. Only problems were a clutch master cylinder that was replaced under warranty within two months of purchase and misaligned exhaust pipes that were also quickly corrected. A trouble-free owner experience… bad choice on my end to not spring for cruise control, as I paid a heavy price on speeding tickets during 2008-2009 The bright blue paint and shiny chrome wheels attracted the CHP like moths drawn to a flame… like crows to a shiny object. I actually had to beg a female CHP officer to show mercy and not give me what would’ve been my 4th speeding ticket in a 12 month period… she gave me a break and wrote me up for “no front license plate displayed”. A powerful (to me) car, fairly fun to drive, although uncomfortable for long distance driving. I ended up growing rather bored with it and sold it before buying my 2012 Abarth… a choice I’ve never regretted.

  • avatar
    VoxMortis

    No mention of the Nismo trim?

  • avatar
    Reino

    This really is the ‘forgotten sports car’. I wonder if sales would improve if they brought back the 2+2 version?

  • avatar
    Smythe

    I remember when I was going to buy a Z. I knew it was happening. I told my fiancé it was happening. I just needed to find the right car and save the money. I was looking for a white Sport model with a 6-speed and navigation. But I’ll tell you why I never bought that car (and disappointingly settled for a gray Altima Coupe 3.5 SR):

    1) I really wanted ventilated seats. I was coming from an Infiniti M. That was a feature I knew I would miss. But they’ll only give you ventilated seats if you buy the convertible. Which is both sensible and ridiculous. I didn’t want a convertible.

    2) I was picky about the exact car I wanted, and I found it quite difficult, even in 2012 during the presumed 370Z heyday, to locate one that was just right.

    3) (And perhaps most importantly) I didn’t fit in the damn thing. You speak highly of its ergonomics, but my 5′ 10″ 200lb. American ass levitated across that seat like a piece of plywood spanning two sawhorses. There was no way I would ever be able to drive anywhere comfortably.

    4) Ah, hell, I had a good fourth reason to round it all out and now I’ve forgotten it. Anyway, it was mostly because of my big butt and my refusal to spend my commute suspended across the bolsters every day.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      You downgraded from an M to an Altima Coupe?! The reduction in interior materials ans switch to FWD alone would be enough for me to avoid that exchange.

  • avatar
    fttp

    What a bloated eyesore. I see these things rotting on dealer lots.

  • avatar
    STS_Endeavour

    I dunno… I don’t like the interior. Overall, the car isn’t terrible, but… It isn’t the (Fairlady) 300ZX. Nissan has never really been able to recapture the magic.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      This.

      I feel like the 300ZX was the modern epitome of this model. It was big and heavy, and had T-tops and optional 2+2, and made for a nice GT car.

      Seems to me that the rise of Infiniti and the G-Coupe model has restricted the Z to be lesser, and more sports focus, rather than luxury or GT like it once was. Even looking back to the mid 80s, whenever they had that very loaded and expensive 50th Anniversary Edition Z, it was a luxury GT.

      http://carsien.com/uploads/nissan/nissan-300zx-anniversary-edition/nissan-300zx-anniversary-edition-06.jpg

      God that thing has everything I like. Two tone paint, large badging, pop-up lamps, t-tops, leather, directional dinner plate wheels and lots of equipment. Sigh.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    The styling on these cars doesn’t make any sense. It’s as sporty as a bar of soap, with an interior that belongs in a Beetle. Those gauges sticking up don’t harken back to any Z of the past, except maybe one with a post-PepBoys upgrade using wood screws and exposed wiring. Can’t see out of it, which kills the driving experience.

    -Give it new sheetmetal. Make the front end pointy. Make the rear swoopy.
    -Give it more glass.
    -Give it a Z specific header and intake.
    -Keep the rest, as it’s quite satisfactory.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      make it look like a 60’s Ferrari tribute, give it more exhaust noise and loose some weight. Offer a Nismo track special that only a journo could love and pack the “for sale” versions with spendy but nice upgrades.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Those Millennial wheels are god awful. So is the interior. Want some real torque- drive a Camaro with a good old fashioned pushrod V8 or a five point O Stang!

  • avatar
    rpn453

    You may want to re-write this part of the review for the sake of clarity:

    “The only popular features missing in the base Z are a navigation system, a backup camera and a decent sound system . . . The Sport Tech model costs an additional $3,500 and includes a Bose stereo, navigation and Sirius satellite radio.”

    It could mislead some readers to believe you’re implying that the Bose is a decent sound system.

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    Bose is “decent” for all but the canine among us…

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Decent is a $300 stereo: $100 head unit and two $100 pairs of speakers. An auto manufacturer would probably pay $50 for it all. Bose isn’t even that good and needs to be called out for the garbage that it is.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Trust me, after hearing countless street mod VQs and even race spec VQs, theres a reason Nissan makes them so quiet.

    The older Z31 300ZX did the whole “America-Sport coupe” thing better. It copied the Corvette but copied the GNX for the engine to make a decent car.

    This newer 370 looks like a big car trying to be little, its generic with random “design language” bits on it.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    The phrase “Japanese Camaro” has never been more true of a car than it is of the 350Z and 370Z.

    Regardless as to how one feels about the RX-8 in comparison (it’s down on power and even more so on torque over the Zed), it rides way better, handles better (stock, and even more so in R3 form), has a useable rear seat, has way more refinement (feels like a freaking Lexus in comparison to the Z), has better fit and finish, and better steering, brakes and manual gearbox and clutch.

    • 0 avatar
      hgrunt

      I used to have a 350Z and that’s how I felt about it–it was great at making you feel like you had a sporty car, but it was a fairly poor daily driver. Small inside, big outside. The 370Z addressed the ride/handling, and interior refinement gripes I had, but I was ready to move on to something else.

      A friend of mine had a 370Z that he tracked regularly. It fuel starved twice, once on the track, another time in the middle of an onramp. He sold it shortly afterwards for something that was less prone to that sort of behavior.

  • avatar
    415s30

    I was just in Yokohama at the Nissan building and I checked out the new NISMO, pretty nice, GTR was nice too. I have a 71′ 240Z and I have never driven a modern sports car, thats right. I am pretty curious about them, I sat in it and they sure are more cushy than my Z. I have to bring tools with me for work so the newer daily driver sports car option has never come up. I guess I should go test drive one, they would totally let me drive a NISMO if I showed up in an orange triple carbed 240Z right?

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