The Nissan 370Z offers something unique for a sports car. It’s available as a coupe or convertible with the driving dynamics and sexy styling of a sports car at a price that doesn’t put it out of reach for all but the privileged few.
A sports car’s appeal starts with its style and the Nissan 370Z has plenty. Our convertible was a bright Deep Pearl Blue that attracted plenty of attention. It is long, low, and wide with the promise of a thoroughly powerful and enjoyable drive. There are “Z” emblems on the fenders, bi-functional xenon headlights, and LED turn signals. It looks fantastic.
Open the door and this sports car is so small and so low that there is absolutely no possibility of a graceful entry or exit. Once you slide into those seats, however, they are more comfortable than the average sports car. The driver’s seat is 8-way adjustable while the passenger has a 4-way adjustable seat. Both are supportive with heavy bolstering but avoid becoming stiff and uncomfortable. Due to the small cockpit, the range of adjustment is limited, but most will be able to find a good driving position.
Since this is a sports car, there are only two seats and there isn’t much room. That’s pretty typical, but the Nissan 370Z is exceptionally snug. There isn’t room for anything but people, so if you have a passenger and any more than a wallet, then they’re going to be holding your stuff in their lap.
The interior, despite its cramped dimensions, is simple, clean, and almost elegant. The power folding soft-top is operated with the touch of a button with no need to work any latches. There are synthetic suede inserts on the door panels, contrast stitching, and simple, easily read controls rather than a dashboard cluttered with unnecessary information.
Sports cars lean one of two directions. They’re either so jam-packed with dials, displays, and readouts that even a jet fighter pilot would be dazzled, or they’re simple, functional, and unobtrusive. The 2016 Nissan 370Z is the later, which puts the focus right where it should be, on driving the car.
This little sports car is exactly what it promises on the outside and exactly what you want in a roadster. It is responsive, with a 3.7-liter V6 providing 332 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. This is a very light vehicle, so that engine makes the car move on a moment’s notice. This is paired to a 7-speed automatic transmission with downshift rev-matching and there are paddle shifters if you want to do the work.
Leave it alone and let it do its own thing and the 370Z does very nicely, but if you want to be aggressive, then use those paddle shifters and this somewhat mild-mannered roadster becomes a beast. It has a loud though not intrusive rumble that sounds wonderful, especially with the top down on a sunny day. The Nissan sport brakes are solid providing confident braking and control when attacking the road.
Taking corners is child’s play even at speed with no lean or roll. The 370Z wants to be driven. The only thing holding you back is that pesky speed limit sign and your own skill. This is a genuinely fun, aggressive sports car that still manages to smooth out just enough of the bumps and harshness to be a daily driver handling long commutes.
Where it doesn’t succeed is in managing road and wind noise. Yes, it’s a convertible. It’s not going to be as quiet as a coupe, but this is annoyingly loud. It sounds as though a window is down even when it’s not, which can be downright distracting at highway speeds. Competitors like the BMW Z4 or Audi TT manage noise better.
Infotainment includes AM/FM/CD and an 8-speaker Bose sound system with 2 subwoofers. It’s controlled through a 7″ touchscreen and also has SiriusXM, Bluetooth streaming and hands-free phone control as well as USB and Nissan’s hard drive navigation system. It’s minimalist without a lot of the fuss found in many systems. Some might call this dated, but we’d call it refreshing. Simple can be better, especially in a sports car.
The 2016 Nissan 370Z starts at under $30K for the coupe, but our Roadster Grand Touring Sport was priced at $49,400. That’s a big range, but it’s also one that lets you get into a very fun car at a price that can fit most budgets. If you’re looking for sports car fun with aggressive styling and a drop-top to enjoy the sun, then the 370Z delivers.
2016 Nissan 370Z Roadster Touring Sport
Base Price: $49,400
Price As Tested: $49,620 (not including destination charge)
- Solid Handling
- Lots of Power
- Road and Wind Noise
- Cramped Cockpit