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2015 Nissan 370Z: New Car Review

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author photo by Autotrader November 2014

Driving enthusiasts know what it takes to build a great-handling sport coupe, and it's pretty basic stuff. A stout engine and slick-shifting manual transmission that sends power to the rear wheels are the most important attributes, followed by a capable suspension, comfortable cockpit and head-turning styling. The 2015 Nissan 370Z fulfills all of these requirements and does so at fair a price.

For those who prefer to drive their high-speed vehicles while getting a dose of vitamin D, there's the open-top 370Z Roadster. It brings virtually the same level of athleticism as the coupe but with the benefit of a retractable fabric roof that can be dropped in just 20 seconds.

If the standard 370Z isn't powerful or sticky enough, buyers have the choice of the even edgier 370Z NISMO. It offers greater firepower from under the hood, a much firmer suspension, upgraded brakes, aero body enhancements and larger wheels. If track days are your cup of tea, the NISMO Z is an excellent choice.

What's New for 2015?

For 2015, Nissan has added two new trims to the 370Z Coupe lineup: the Sport and Sport Tech. The two models include features that were previously bundled as options. In conjunction with the existing base and Touring trims, this new lineup eliminates options packages and streamlines the ordering process. Bluetooth has been made standard on base models, and the Touring trim gains standard navigation. The 370Z NISMO has fresh new styling, a new Tech model and the option of a 7-speed automatic transmission. The 370Z Roadster gains a new Touring Sport trim.

What We Like

Powerful engine; responsive handling; strong brakes; well-crafted interior; excellent performance

What We Don't

Poor rear visibility; excessive tire and road noise; buzzy engine when approaching redline; limited cargo space

How Much?

$30,800-$50,000

Fuel Economy

The 2015 Nissan 370Z is motivated by a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 332 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. This engine is managed by either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

The 370Z NISMO uses a revised version of the same V6 engine, with output bumped to 350 hp and 276 lb-ft of torque. The NISMO can also be equipped with a choice of a manual or automatic transmission.

Fuel economy for the 370Z is 18 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with the manual and 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy with the automatic. The Roadster yields 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy with the automatic and 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy with the manual. The NISMO yields 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy with either transmission.

Standard Features & Options

The 370Z Coupe is available in base, Sport, Sport Tech, Touring, NISMO and NISMO Tech trims, while the Roadster is offered in base, Touring and Touring Sport.

The 370Z Coupe ($30,800) includes Nissan's Intelligent Key with push-button start, power outside mirrors, power windows, power locks, rear window defroster, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, 18-inch wheels, steering wheel audio controls, HID headlamps, Bluetooth, and a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an auxiliary input jack.

The 370Z Roadster ($42,630) adds a power retractable soft-top with a glass rear window and power top operation via the Intelligent Key remote fob.

The 370Z Sport ($34,380) adds larger front and rear vented rotors, red brake calipers, a sport-tuned suspension, higher ratio power steering, Rays 19-in alloy wheels, a limited-slip rear differential, heated outside mirrors and aluminum trim pedals.

The 370Z Sport Tech ($37,880) adds a 240-watt Bose audio system with six speakers and two subwoofers, hard-drive navigation with a 7-in touchscreen, NavTraffic, NavWeather, streaming Bluetooth audio and a rearview monitor.

The 370Z Touring ($36,080) adds leather and synthetic suede seats, a power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support, 4-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, 240-watt 6-speaker Bose audio, hard-drive navigation, HomeLink, a rear cargo cover and aluminum-trimmed pedals.

The 370Z Touring Roadster ($46,080) includes all the features on the Touring, plus the power soft-top.

The 370Z Touring Sport Roadster ($48,910) adds upgraded brakes, suspension, steering and wheels from the 370Z Sport.

The 370Z NISMO ($42,800) adds a more powerful engine, 19-in RAYS wheels, a 6-speed manual transmission with rev-matching technology, exterior and interior cosmetic upgrades, and an extended front nose with an integrated chin spoiler.

The 370Z NISMO Tech ($46,300) adds the Bose audio and navigation setup, as well as the rearview monitor.

An automatic transmission adds $1,300 to the bottom line.

Options for the 370Z are limited to some dealer-installed features, including splash guards, carpeted floor mats and the Aerodynamics package (a rear spoiler and front wind deflector).

Safety

Safety features for the 370Z Coupe, Roadster and NISMO include anti-lock brakes, stability control, active head restraints and six airbags -- front, side and head-curtain. Because the Roadster has no roof, its curtain airbags are deployed from the top of the door frame.

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have crash-tested the 370Z.

Behind the Wheel

Thanks to its strong engine and quick-shifting transmissions, the 2015 Nissan 370Z provides an abundance of power and acceleration. There's no shortage of straight-line performance here. The Z will impress you both off the line and on the open road. With the SynchroRev Match feature, the performance experience is deftly elevated.

The real magic happens when the Z's sport-tuned suspension is put to the paces at high speeds through tight corners. Whether on sharp canyon switchbacks or a super-curvy racetrack, this car exhibits gobs of grip and virtually no body lean. Its blend of agility and balance inspires tremendous confidence. Push the Z extra hard, and the stability control will likely step in to spoil the fun; this system can be shut off if drivers really want to test the limits. What they will learn is that those limits are not easily reached. The 370Z Roadster's driving experience is about the same as the coupe, but with a lot more wind in your hair.

The NISMO takes the performance factor up a notch. This model is actually more appropriate for a track than for normal roads, as it's a bit rigid for everyday driving. There's not much sense in buying one unless you have the time and inclination for weekend trips to the track.

Aside from its commendable sporting performance, the regular Z is still a fine car for the daily commute. Its ride is compliant enough to get you where you're going comfortably.

Other Cars to Consider

Chevrolet Camaro -- The Camaro is not as nimble or as track-capable as the 370Z is, but it's the more muscular straight-line performer.

Audi TT -- The TT has a better balance of ride and handling and a more sophisticated overall package, but the 370Z has more cornering prowess and grip. Both offer extremely precise steering.

Hyundai Genesis Coupe -- The Genesis and the Z are both competent sports cars. However, the Genesis has more refinement for everyday driving. The 370Z is a sharper handler, and it's better equipped for twisty roads and track-style motoring.

Used Porsche Cayman/Boxster -- The 2010-2012 Porsche Cayman coupe and Boxster convertible are midengine sports cars offering better handling and the exclusivity that comes with the Porsche name.

AutoTrader's Advice

Both the coupe and the convertible 370Z deliver excellent performance at a reasonable price. We suggest that you go with the 7-speed automatic, which allows you to choose gears manually when the mood strikes. The Touring and Sport Tech trims have more upscale presentations and a wider array of amenities that beat the base model's stripped-down interior. The NISMO is just too hardcore for everyday use, but the Sport trim brings the Z closer to NISMO caliber without the harsh ride.

Find a Nissan 370z for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
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Certified 2015 Nissan 370Z w/ Sport Package
Certified 2015 Nissan 370Z
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Used 2015 Nissan 370Z Coupe
Used 2015 Nissan 370Z
$25,100
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Nissan 370Z: New Car Review - Autotrader