In an effort to keep things fresh for 2018, Nissan has updated its elderly 370Z sports car. It looks a bit better, and it’s still plenty powerful with a 332-horsepower V6 engine.
The Z's Murky Future:
Unfortunately, this old man lacks the same refinement and agile performance that makes its newer counterparts in this class much better options.
With a modest update for 2018, from new wheels to a slightly revised fascia, the Nissan 370Z is still an attractive car. It’s even more eye-catching when wearing the Passion Red premium paint job – a $695 option – pictured here. It has wide, curvaceous hips, a low center of gravity, and with the top down, a sleek look reminiscent of an old-school speedster. Still, the coupe is a bit more of a looker.
Other than the eight-way adjustable driver’s seat – which was surprisingly comfy thanks to its two-tone leather and suede design – the cabin is far from refined. Its look epitomizes the early 2000s with black plastic trim and silver plastic finishes throughout. On road, the convertible top makes it ridiculously loud, even on side streets, and the car rattles and shakes so dramatically at highway speed that it’s difficult to see out of the rear window.
This is where the 370Z especially shows its age; the infotainment setup is ancient, relatively speaking. The seven-inch touchscreen display supports neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto, and the graphics are way outdated.
The 370Z has no shortage of off-the-line grunt thanks to its 3.7-liter V6 pumping out 332 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque, and its quick-shifting six-speed automatic. But putting your foot down at highway speed is less rewarding; the vehicle shakes and whines, in part due to its poor rigidity, and feels uneager to induce more power from the engine. Even though the Touring Sport model is equipped with a limited slip differential (unlike its standard Touring counterpart), cornering isn’t exactly the 370Z’s strong suit, either. The steering is lightweight and vague, and the 3,522-pound body feels bulky in turns.
We don’t expect a ton of safety options in this segment in general, and the 370Z has even less. It lacks features like lane departure warning, front collision warning, and blind spot monitoring (as do most of its competitors). Per federal law requiring all 2018 models to have a backup camera, the 370Z does come equipped with the safety tech.
The 3.7-liter V6, though powerful, isn’t the most efficient in its class. It returns 18 miles per gallon city, 25 highway, and 21 combined. The V6 Chevy Camaro is better (19/29/23), as is the four-cylinder-powered Mazda Miata (26/35/29), and the EcoBoost Mustang convertible (20/29/23).
There’s nothing inexpensive about the 370Z Convertible; the entry-level drop top starts at $41,800, and jumps all the way to $49,000 for the Touring Sport trim tested here. After options like the $695 paint job, the $130 carpeted floor mats, and the $100 carpeted trunk mat, this Z topped out at $51,210. The cheapest V6 Camaro convertible can be had for just $34,195, and outlier competitors like the EcoBoost Mustang convertible ($31,345), and the hardtop Mazda Miata ($25,295), can be had for far less