2015 Nissan 370Z Review

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Nelson Ireson Nelson Ireson Senior Editor
May 8, 2015

The 2015 Nissan 370Z continues to offer excellent sports car value and personality.

The Nissan 370Z is the best Z car to date. A new Z may be in the wings—and it may be radically different—but the current model builds on its heritage with excellent driving dynamics, great ride quality, and modern sports car handling.

For 2015, the high-performance NISMO model comes with sleeker styling and an optional automatic transmission–all in the name of becoming a better-rounded dual-purpose car, too.

The 370Z looks as good in roadster form as it does as a coupe, which hasn't always been the case with past generations. 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 styling with wings and flares, though some may find it carries the look to caricature. 

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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.

Many new features were recently added to the Z's equipment list, so the lack of updates for 2015 is a minor note. Standard items include Bluetooth connectivity, LED daytime running lights, keyless entry with push-button ignition, AM/FM/CD audio with auxiliary 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, 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 and all-new styling, 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. 

Front-mid engined, rear-wheel driven, with 332 horsepower on tap from its 3.7-liter V-6, the 370Z moves into the 2015 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 now available with either a six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching downshifts, or the seven-speed automatic, which also throttle-blips as you drop the gears.

Even in base form, the 2015 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.

The 2015 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 2015 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 2015 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.


2015 Nissan 370Z


Still instantly recognizable, the Nissan 370Z is one sharp-looking sportscar.

For 2015, the standard Nissan 370Z Coupe and Roadster models go mostly unchanged, while NISMO models receive a heavily revised exterior.

The cabins of all 370Zs are rather similar, with simple but pleasing designs and a functional, purpose-oriented theme. Materials and styling are greatly upgraded from previous-generation Z cars, but the upper end of the Z's range is restricted in its plushness to leave space for Nissan's premium-brand coupe, the Infiniti Q60. 

All three share the same basic styling, though each has its own notable traits. The Coupe combines a clear sports car profile with aggressive, but not overstated details. The Roadster shares much of its shape with the Coupe, but thanks to its power-retracting soft top, gives a more muscular and sensuous appearance with the top lowered. With the top up, the lines are still relatively sleek and sporty; there's none of the awkwardness of the previous-generation 350Z Roadster.

The 2015 370Z NISMO model sheds its beak and oversized spoiler this year for a considerably sleeker, more handsome exterior. It's not quite as easy to pick out of the crowd now, but that's not a bad thing–just look for tinges of red.


2015 Nissan 370Z


Be prepared for some sharp edges with the NISMO Z; the stock coupe and convertible are more usable daily-driver sports cars.

There's only one engine available in the 2015 Nissan 370Z, though the NISMO model gets a few modifications that boost the standard 332 horsepower to a slightly more potent 350 hp. That 3.7-liter V-6 comes from a long line of well-known and much-beloved VQ series engines, and while this one might not sound quite as nice as the previous 3.5-liter version, its reliability makes it desirable even in the used market.

For 2015, the suspension has been revised across all models, giving the Coupes and Roadsters a slightly more comfortable ride, while enhancing the NISMO's track-day prowess.

Balancing between true sports car and grand touring categories, the 370Z is nimble and powerful, a deft combination of strengths, especially considering its price point. The dual nature of the 370Z also brings some compromises, including slightly dull steering feel that doesn't communicate much of the car's road-level behavior to the driver. Still, on the whole, the Z is a rewarding and engaging car to drive hard. 

Roadster models feel a touch softer, but the open-top element is a big upside. NISMO models take the 370Z's basic mix in the other direction, adding firmness and power, but at the cost of some comfort and quietness.

Two transmissions can be had in each of the 370Z models: a six-speed manual transmission and a seven-speed automatic with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The manual transmission is fairly slick, delivering shifts with short, stiff throws. A SynchroRev system negates the need for heel-toe skills, blipping the throttle automatically on downshifts. The automatic transmission does the same, though with less directness.


2015 Nissan 370Z

Comfort & Quality

The Z can ride harshly and always has some kind of drivetrain noise going on, but it's well-built and comfortable.

The 2015 Nissan 370Z straddles the realm of hardcore sporting and leisurely touring, meaning that it's more comfortable than a minimalist's sports car, but it's also less practical than a typical sedan.

On the materials front, the 2015 Nissan 370Z manages to make a convincing case for near-premium positioning, especially on higher-trim models. The switches and plastics feel solid, the leathers and upholstery feel durable yet supple. The 370Z's interior quality won't sway any buyers from German or American luxury coupe marques, but it won't send them running, either. 

Roadster models get a power-retractable soft top that is quick to open and close. Unfortunately, the soft top lets in even more noise, and takes up some of the available trunk space when down. Many alternatives in the segment have a more secure, quiet-enhancing folding hard top roof. 

Despite the 370Z's noise and ride harshness, it's not all that unusual for its performance class; these traits go hand in hand.

Low-slung and snug, the seating is comfortable for most body types. Power-adjust seats with ventilation are available on upper-tier trims. Despite the comfortable seats, however, the 370Z's ride is fairly stiff--drivers will seek out the smoothest pavement out of pure self-interest.

Wide tires and the stiff suspension also contribute greatly to cabin noise. The noise issue with the 370Z doesn't all come down to the sporting side of the car, though; there's a wind noise issue, and the engine itself is intrusive when pushed hard. Some engines you want to hear at full song. Here, the 3.7-liter V-6 is less mellifluous than it is mechanical.


2015 Nissan 370Z


There's no real crash-test data for this generation of the Nissan Z.

Due to low volume sales, the Nissan 370Z hasn't recently been evaluated by the agencies that rate vehicle safety. However, its sporty dynamics and direct steering should allow drivers to make some evasive maneuvers in a pinch.

Forward visibility in the 370Z is generally good, but the thick rear roof supports in Coupe models (and the soft top in Roadsters) obstruct rear three-quarters views.

Standard safety equipment on the 370Z Coupe and Roadster covers all of the modern basics, with anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, front and side airbags, and, on coupe and NISMO models, side-curtain airbags.


2015 Nissan 370Z


There aren't many paths to upgrade the Nissan 370Z, but it's already pretty well-equipped.

The 2015 Nissan 370Z comes in a flavor for nearly any taste, regardless of whether you want a coupe, roadster, or high-performance NISMO model.

The NISMO has been heavily revised for the new year, with new LED running lights, Recaro seats, and for the first time ever, an optional automatic transmission with downshift rev-matching. It's also available with a new trim–the NIMSO Tech model–which adds Bluetooth connectivity, a touch-screen navigation system with Sirius XM radio, Bose audio, and a Homelink universal transmitter.

Coupe and Roadster models can be had in base, Touring, Sport, and Sport Tech specifications, with the base model getting standard features like Bluetooth connectivity, HID headlights, LED daytime running lights, keyless entry with pushbutton start, and an AM/FM/CD stereo system with auxiliary input. Adding the Touring package brings leather-appointed heated and cooled power-adjustable seats, Bose audio, and more.

The Sport models include 19-inch Rays forged alloy wheels, grippier Bridgestone Potenza tires, larger brakes, a limited-slip rear differential, and the SynchroRev manual transmission system (on manual-equipped models). The Sport and Sport Tech models available on all Coupes, but Roadster are only eligible for Touring and Touring Sport trims, beyond the base model.


2015 Nissan 370Z

Fuel Economy

Gas mileage isn't the reason you buy a Z--but it won't be the reason you brush it off, either.

The 2015 Nissan 370Z earns middling fuel economy numbers for its performance class. 

With the seven-speed automatic, the Z coupe scores an EPA estimate of 19/26 mpg city/highway, for 21 mpg combined. Manual-transmission-equipped coupes rate 18/26 mpg city/highway and 21 mpg combined.

Roadster models take a slight hit, rating 18/25/21 mpg with the automatic transmission, and 17/24/20 mpg in manual guise.

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August 9, 2017
2015 Nissan 370Z 2-Door Coupe Manual Sport Tech

Great Car, But I Liked my 350Z Better as a Daily Driver

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I've been torn about the 370Z. A little perspective - I bought a 2007 350Z brand new and loved the car, but in August 2016 I was rear-ended at high speed on Interstate 5 near Eugene, Oregon, and my car was... + More »
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April 15, 2015
For 2015 Nissan 370Z

A very nice sports car. But expensive to purchase, expensive to drive and expensive to maintain .

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First let me say I have owned Datsun/Nissan Z cars most of my young adult life. However about 20 years ago, I had to give up my last Z for the family life. I keep telling myself I would get another in a couple... + More »
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