For all-around enthusiastic driving enjoyment and for its carefully-crafted balance, the 2014 Nissan 370Z strikes a chord that makes it just right. The V6 engine is smooth, quick, powerful and responsive as a cat after a bug. It's hooked to a precise-shifting manual transmission (with an automatic available). The 370Z's handling is more track-day ready than most of its owners will ever require, yet its ride is perfectly acceptable for daily errands. And it looks great, inside and out. Price-wise, the 370Z's competitors are among the Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang and Hyundai Genesis Coupe, but for many it's in the category of the Porsche Cayman or Audi TT. Either way, it offers lots of capability and at a price that doesn't require being a hedge-fund manager.
You'll Like This Car If...
Want a great sports car that offers terrific performance and handling, sharp looks inside and out, an impressive image and all at an affordable price? Few can match Nissan's 370Z.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're shopping for the absolute best combination of most horsepower for the least amount of money, the V6 versions of the Camaro and Mustang each deliver over 300 horsepower and cost a lot less than the Z-car.
For 2014 changes to the 370Z line are limited to the higher-performance Nismo version, with dark gray exterior accents highlighted by red pinstripes, a new steering wheel and a red Nismo tachometer.
Driving the 370Z
The 2014 Nissan 370Z is the product of a lot of very careful suspension tuning, and it carves corners and slices through twisty roads with the very best of them,...
... yet without including the sorts of stiff springs that can be brutal on ride quality. The 370Z corners with very little body roll and the power steering delivers just the right blend of reduced effort with great on-center feel and predictable response. In sum, the Z-car takes on any pavement with balance and control that must be experienced to be appreciated. Keeping it going is the terrific 3.7-liter V6 that feels as crisp as a new potato chip and, maybe because we're from an earlier time, we like sports cars to have manual gearboxes and the Z's is one of the best. Add it all up, and this is a great car for taking the long, curving way home.
SYNCHROREV MATCH Heel-and-toe downshifting, which requires using the right foot to both brake and blip the throttle to match revs, is a tricky skill to master. The 2014 Nissan 370Z's SynchroRev Match system blips the throttle for you, automatically providing butter-smooth downshifts. (Purists can turn the feature off.)
CHASSIS TUNING It's not easy to give a sports car first-class handling and a livable ride, but that's what Nissan engineers accomplished with the 370Z. You really can carve up canyon roads (and even race tracks, if that's your thing) and drive in comfort for a night at the movies.
2014 Nissan 370Z Details
For a sports car intended for serious driving, the 2014 Nissan 370Z interior is functional, upscale and artistic. The instruments and controls are exactly where you'd want them to be when the motoring becomes more enthusiastic. Other details include soft-touch surfaces, accents of metallic-looking trim and a main gauge cluster that tilts with the steering wheel, keeping the tach and speedometer clearly visible at all times. The seating is comfortable and supportive. The three smaller gauges top and center of the instrument panel are a nice touch and a remembrance of three similar gauges in the original Z-car, over 40 years ago.
In an era when all cars seem to be growing bigger, the 2014 Nissan 370Z remains tidy. The low stance is snug to the road, the flared fenders and cantilevered roof give it a purposeful look, and it's all enhanced with the available Sport Package, which includes front and rear spoilers and bigger tires and wheels. The higher-performance Nismo version includes more aerodynamically-influenced shapes, including a larger front spoiler and rear wing. For those who like to motor in the open air, the Roadster's power-operated top neatly stows underneath a hard cover.
The 2014 Nissan 370Z Coupe and Roadster each come in two trims, base and Touring (plus the special-edition Nismo, as a coupe only). Even in base form, the 370Z is well equipped with automatic climate control, steering-wheel audio and cruise controls, keyless entry and start, xenon headlights and a 4-speaker audio system with auxiliary input. Moving up to the Touring trim adds power-adjustable heated seats, Bluetooth, leather and suede inside, aluminum pedals and a Bose audio system with eight speakers including two subwoofers. Standard safety features include stability control, traction control, active head restraints, tire-pressure-monitoring system and six airbags.
There are only two options available on the 2014 Nissan 370Z Coupe. A Sport Package is available for both base and Touring trims and includes a viscous limited-slip differential, 19-inch forged wheels, upgraded brakes, front and rear spoilers and downshift rev matching (when equipped with the manual transmission). Available only for the Touring trim is a Navigation Package that features a navigation system, real-time traffic and weather information, iPod connectivity and a 9.3GB hard drive for music storage. A Bose audio package – six speakers, 6-disc in-dash CD changer, Bluetooth – is available in the Nismo.
Under the Hood
The 2014 Nissan 370Z is powered by a wonderful 3.7-liter V6 of 332 horsepower (350 in the Nismo). It's quick, powerful and responsive, and holding down the gas pedal sends it spinning to redline with snap. There are two transmission choices, a 6-speed manual that's a model of precise, slick shifting, and an available 7-speed automatic. Fit the 370Z with both the manual gearbox and the optional Sport Package, and you'll get to enjoy SynchroRev Match, a system that automatically blips the throttle on downshifts for seamless gearchanges and clutch-matching, just like the pros do at the races.
For the 2014 370Z, Nissan has dropped the pricing of the base Coupe by $3,130 and that of the Touring Coupe by $2,550. This means a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $30,000 for the base coupe and slightly over $35,000 for the Touring model. The Roadster remains at under $42,000 for the base version and near $44,000 for the Touring trim. The Sport Package adds about $3,000, navigation is $2,150 and the automatic transmission is $1,300. The Nismo (manual transmission only) is around $43,000. To compare actual transaction prices for the Nissan 370Z in your area, check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price. Like the 350Z before it, the 2014 Nissan 370Z Coupe is expected to hold its residual value well, far better than the Ford Mustang V6 and Chevrolet Camaro LT, and about as well as the BMW Z4, Audi TT and Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
Cons: "22 mpg, no storage, weak stereo, blind spots"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This car handles and drives great and it's very fast for the price and amount of HP it has. It's a lot faster than most other cars in the same general class, outperforming the v6 mustang or camaro, FR-S, genesis turbo/v6, cayman, etc. The throttle is very responsive and the 6 speed transmission is smooth. The traction control is always kicking in. The seats are comfortable but it is tight inside. I'm 6'4" and I fit, but if I was even an inch taller it'd probably not have worked. You have to learn to trust the mirrors because you simply cannot see the rear quarter without them. There's also no room to store anything at all. I've had a passenger and 2 laptop bags in there and it was pretty cramped. The stereo is very lame and you'll need to replace the door speakers with something better immediately. I get a lot of compliments though and everybody who's been inside has been very impressed ."
Pros: "I do enjoy driving this car every day to work."
Cons: "Very bad blind spots."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I have had my car for 4 month and drive 120 miles round trip to work. Average gas mileage, have not made more than 24 mpg for city (Houston). There are major blind spots. I wish the speedometer was in the middle instead of the RPM gage. Part of the speedometer is blocked by the hand gear shift on steering wheel. I am 5'11" and there is plenty of room. You passenger will not have a drink holder unless you trust the small one on the door."