- Sharp styling
- Strong V-6 power
- Synchro-Rev manual gearbox
- Paddle-shift automatic
- Good value-for-money proposition
- Road and tire noise
- Engine noise
- Tight cabin space
- Not much cargo space, even for a sports car
The 2014 Nissan 370Z continues to deliver good value and big sports car grins.
The 2014 Nissan 370Z carries the Z-car tradition with pride, resolving the legacy of the past with the demands of modern sports cars. Evolved from a minimalist coupe, the 370Z has grown into a full-featured grand tourer available in both hardtop and roadster form, and in many ways, it’s the best Z-car to date.
Available in both coupe and convertible form, the 2014 Nissan 370Z carries forward largely unchanged from last year's model, though prices have fallen by more than $3,000 for some versions.
Unlike the 350Z that preceded it, the 370Z wears its soft top as elegantly as it does its sleek coupe shell. An aggressively styled nose sweeps up and back into a laid-back windshield and short, taut cabin before ending in a bluff, snub rear end. The proportions are half modern wide-track sports coupe and half cabin-rearward classic Z-car. Inside, the 370Z gets a focused and sporty-feeling cabin, with the familiar three-dot Z theme found throughout. The 370Z NISMO enhances the car's characteristics, though some may find it carries the look to caricature.
Front-mid engined, rear-wheel driven, with 332 horsepower on tap from its 3.7-liter V-6, the 370Z moves into the 2014 model year with no changes except for the NISMO variant. Drivers get their choice of a six-speed manual transmission with SynchroRev automatic rev-matching or a seven-speed automatic with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
That NISMO variant, as before, gets an upgraded version of the same 3.7-liter V-6 engine, rated at 350 horsepower. The extra power comes from an exclusive H-pattern exhaust and optimized engine tuning parameters. The 370Z NISMO is available only with the six-speed manual transmission with SynchroRev rev-matching.
Even in base form, the 2014 370Z is an impressive performer, particularly when matched with the rev-matching manual transmission. Brisk acceleration, plenty of grip, and a fairly well-balanced chassis yield engaging interaction for the driver on spirited drives. The NISMO's sharpened edge kicks the entire experience up a notch, though it does add some harshness along the way, particularly in ride quality.
Supportive, comfortable adjustable seats provide the foundation for the cabin's sporty experience, with available leather upholstery, power accessories, keyless entry/start, and cruise control. Optional extras for even more convenience include navigation, satellite radio with real-time traffic, HID headlights, and more.
Last year saw many new features added to the Z's equipment list, so the lack of updates for 2014 is a minor note. Standard items include LED daytime running lights, keyless entry with push-button ignition, AM/FM/CD audio with auxiliar input, and more. Step up to the Touring specification (available on both Coupe and Roadster models) and you'll add leather-appointed heated and cooled power-adjustable seats, Bose audio, Bluetooth connectivity, and more. A Sport package is available for both base and Touring Coupe models, and Touring-level Roadsters; it adds 19-inch Rays forged aluminum alloy wheels, stickier Bridgestone Potenza high-performance tires, upgraded brakes, and a viscous limited-slip rear differential.
NISMO models get their own unique set of features, including most of the convenience items from the standard 370Z. An upgraded NISMO-tuned suspension, reinforced suspension tower bracing and body dampers, unique aerodynamics, 19-inch Rays wheels, and unique NISMO interior trim and badges.
The 2014 Nissan 370Z hasn't been crash tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but it does come standard with the modern safety basics, including front, side, and (on Coupe and NISMO models) side curtain airbags; stability and traction control; and anti-lock brakes. Visibility in the 2014 370Z is generally good, but thick roof supports can obstruct rearward visibility in Coupe models; the same is true of the Roadster with the top up.
Gas mileage is about par for the mid-sized sports car class, at 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway for 21 mpg combined with the manual transmission in Coupe models; opt for the automatic's extra gear and you'll add 1 mpg city and combined. The NISMO model rates the same as the base 2014 370Z Coupe with manual transmission. Roadster variants lose 1 mpg on every measure, scoring 17/25/20 mpg city/highway/combined with the manual and 18/25/21 mpg city/highway/combined with the automatic.