2016 Nissan 370Z

Starting MSRP: $29,990 - $49,400

Estimated MPG: 18 city / 26 hwy

2016 Nissan 370Z Review

While many of its competitors have been more recently redesigned, the 2016 Nissan 370Z still has some tricks up its sleeve. The combination of a powerful V6 engine, a sport-tuned chassis and a low price make the 370Z an intriguing choice in the class. Still, the 370Z reveals shortcomings like poor visibility, limited cargo space and a lack of refinement for the engine.

By William Maley
Last Updated 05/03/2016

The more things change, the more they stay the same. This could be the tagline for the Nissan 370Z. Since its introduction in 2009, the 370Z hasn't strayed far from its roots, remaining a small rear-wheel drive sports car with a powerful V6 engine. Despite competitors introducing new models with turbocharged four-cylinder engines and other new technologies to draw buyers in, Nissan sticks with what it knows and it seems to be working.

The 2016 Nissan 370Z is available as a coupe or a convertible (Roadster). Six trims are available for the coupe: Base, Sport, Sport Tech, Touring, Nismo and Nismo Tech. The 370Z Roadster comes in Base, Touring, and Touring Sport trims.

Changes for the 2016 Nissan 370Z include a standard Bose sound system on all but the base model. It includes an active noise cancellation system.

Exterior

Exterior
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Even though the Nissan 370Z's styling is 6 years old, the exterior still looks fresh and modern. The overall profile hints at a connection to the all-mighty Nissan GT-R super car. From its low-slung front end with LED daytime running lights, to the rear with flared out fenders and dual-exhaust ports, the 370Z makes its sporting intent clear to everyone around. Eighteen-inch wheels come standard on the base model, while a set of 19-inch wheels come standard on higher trims.

The top of the line 370Z Nismo gets a unique front bumper, side sills, wheels, and a spoiler to improve aerodynamics.

Interior

Interior
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At launch, the 370Z was praised for its best-in-class interior. This is still somewhat true for the 2016 model. The 370Z's interior features a fair amount of soft-touch materials on the dash, cloth on the door panels and stitching on the panel covering a storage space in the center stack.

Sadly the same cannot be said for the seats. The base 370Z comes with a set cloth bucket seats. We felt the seats lacked padding, making them suitable only for short trips. Not helping matters was our inability to find a comfortable position in the seat. 

We found ourselves messing around with the manual adjustments constantly in an effort to find a comfortable position. At least we were able to find a steering wheel position that worked.

Don't expect to be carrying much cargo in the 370Z. There is little storage space in the glove box and center console. In the back, the coupe only offers 6.9 cubic feet of cargo. Opt for the 370Z Roadster and cargo space shrinks to 4.2 cubic feet. If you are planning to a take a long trip, you might want to think twice about taking the 370Z.

Performance

Performance
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The 2016 370Z comes with a 3.7-liter V6 with 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The 370Z Nismo boasts slightly more power, with 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard and a seven-speed automatic is an option.

The 370Z gets an EPA-estimated 18/26 mpg city/highway. Choose the automatic transmission and fuel economy estimates improve slightly to 19/26 mpg.

The 3.7-liter V6 is one of the sweetest engines put into a sports car. It provides V8-like thrust, with power arriving low in the rpm band and continuing to the red line. However, we would recommend staying away from higher rpm as the engine begins to sound very coarse. The six-speed manual isn't one of the smoothest as shifts feel very notchy. Still, the short throw of the stick-shift fits the personality of the 370Z.

The 370Z puts on a show when it comes to handling. Accelerate into a corner and the coupe shows an amazing amount of grip and no sign of body lean. Steering is a little too light for the sporting intentions of this car, but at least there is a good amount of feel to tell a driver what is going on. The 370Z also provides a surprisingly comfortable ride during daily commutes. Most bumps and imperfections barely make it into the cabin, but we do wish that the 370Z was better isolated from road noise.

Technology

Technology
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The 370Z only comes with the basic pieces of technology, including keyless entry, push-button start, a four-speaker audio system, auxiliary and USB jacks and Bluetooth hands-free calling. Disappointingly, you can't stream audio with the base sound system. At least pairing our phone was easy, thanks to a simple setup using the voice command system.

If you want a bit more tech, then you'll need to step up to the 370Z Sport Tech, which adds features like a 7-inch touch screen with navigation and streaming Bluetooth audio.

Safety

Safety
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The Nissan 370Z hasn't been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which isn't unusual for a car in this class.

The 370Z gets a full suite of air bags, anti-lock brakes, stability control and traction control. A backup camera comes standard on Sport Tech and higher trims. One item we found ourselves wishing for was blind spot monitoring. The 370Z has large blind spots due to thick rear pillars, which makes lane changes a challenge.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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The 2016 Nissan 370Z has a base price of $29,990 and climbs to $45,490 for the top Nismo Tech trim. Our base 370Z tester had an as-tested price of $30,940 with destination and optional floor mats. If all you want is a pure sports car with a bit grunt, this is the model you should consider. However, most people should probably opt for either the Sport or Sport Tech trims, which offer a few more creature comforts.

Overall

Overall
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If you want a pure sports car, but don't have the cash to drop on the likes of a Porsche Cayman or Chevrolet Corvette, the 370Z is an excellent alternative. Offering a potent V6 engine, excellent handling characteristics and a low price tag, very few models can match the 370Z's abilities. Just be aware that you will need to make a few compromises in terms of comfort, standard features and visibility.