Ace of Base: 2020 Nissan 370Z Base

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
ace of base 2020 nissan 370z base

Betcha forgot about this one. That’s okay – most people have. Thanks to Nissan’s glacier-like design cycle, the 2020 Z isn’t significantly different than when it first appeared in the late Jurassic period for the 2009 model year.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of our attention in this series, though, especially since it is one of the few remaining cars in today’s market that still offers a manual transmission, let alone two doors and a fast roofline. In fact, that steep chop aft of the windshield puts your author in mind of Godzilla, which is not bad company to keep.

For the 2020 model year, Nissan has let the Z’s price creep over $30,000. It is still powered by a familiar 3.7-liter V6, making 332 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. That six-speed manual is standard; we implore you not to consider the seven-speed automatic as it would be a waste of $1,400 and a perfectly good sporty car.

While the price has crept northward, the level of standard kit has also increased. Now included are a set of HID xenon peepers capable of illuminating the dark side of the moon, plus a slick looking set of 18-inch black finish wheels. A double-wishbone suspension and 3,300 lb curb weight make the most out of your morning commute.

Inside, the Z retains its trademark tilt steering column which moves with the gauge pod, allowing for an always clear sightline to readouts of the car’s criticals. Economies of scale dictate there is an auto-dimming rear view mirror, push button start, and automatic climate control. There are also three cup holders, an odd number. The seats are cloth, which is fine with your author, but the wheel and gear knob are wrapped in leather.

The shade of Deep Blue Pearl is shown here, as it is the sole non-greyscale color offered free of charge. Passion Red Tricoat looks great but costs $695. Curiously, a Pearl White also pads the bottom line. Whatever the color, your author thinks the Base Z (yep, that’s its trim name) is the best deal in the 2020 Z line.

North of the border, the deal is even better. Nissan’s Zed in base trim is priced only $408 more than an equivalent American version, equating to (at today’s exchange rate) a shade under $23,000. Perhaps living in the Great White North isn’t so bad after all.

[Image: Nissan]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a whole lot better. What do you think of this choice, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selection.

The model above is shown with American options and is priced in Freedom Dollars. As always, your dealer may sell for less.

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  • SoCalMikester SoCalMikester on May 22, 2019

    the extra cupholder is for the vape

  • JMII JMII on May 22, 2019

    For those considering it the Z makes a great track car, but a terrible commuter. Thus the best deal is used Z that hasn't been totally riced out and turned into a wanna-be drifter. Just put on the upgraded sport brakes, wider tires, sway bar and enjoy. Once this is done the Z has slight understeer to neutral on track. I found it very predictable but others find it swap ends too easily. I was never a fan of the traction control however - its all or nothing and with it off you'll be sideways for sure. The suspension is teeth jarring stiff and the interior is crappy and LOUD (yes in all caps). Interior storage is limited. The hatch, even with the stupid suspension brace does allow you to carry more then it's Infiniti twin (G37/G39/early Q60) surprizingly. My wife has said Q60 and after owning both I'd recommend the Infiniti unless you are purely track focused. The good news is both share many parts over this long production run so fixes are cheap and easy. Beware they tend to eat front hubs and the rear sub frame bushing will fail leading to a sloppy feeling back end and some transmission vibration. The aluminum hood collects paint chips quickly so a clear bra is recommended. Other then that my Z was bullet proof and I tired to kill in on track plus daily driving resulting in over 77K in mileage. So far the wife's Infiniti has been great, the sunroof and interior are major upgrades from the Z. The rear seats work in a pinch with smaller body types (kids or women). The Z is a really fun car, but you don't want to be forced to drive it to work everyday. I did that for nearly 7 years. Then one day the wife asked why I put up with harsh ride and declared it was time to move on as she would no longer ride shotgun. So I went Corvette shopping! The C7 is a near perfect blend between track weapon and Grand Tourer. With the mag-ride suspension and non-run-flat tires (18/19 vs the stock 19/20) the C7 is Caddy smooth in Tour mode yet buckles now immediately when put in Track mode via the drive mode selector. Plus the massive V8 torque and sound is to die for. I considered a Cayman (my brother has a Boxster GTS so I am very familiar) but the thought of sending the Porsche in for service caused my wallet to run and hide. The Porsche has telepathic handling and amazing brakes, but power wise is around the same as my wife's Q60. So its outright speed isn't impressive until you realize it can maintain that thru the twisty bits. When the original Z came out in '03 Nissan bench-marked the then Boxster so its a legitimate comparison, except in price and interior quality.

  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.
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