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The 2015 Nissan 370Z wears its Z-badge with honor, successfully blending a long heritage of well-driving vehicles with the expectations of a modern sports car. It's no longer a minimalist coupe, having grown into both a fixed-roof sports car or soft-top roadster–both of which offer excellent driving dynamics and mostly comfortable rides. Quite simply, it's the best Z-car to date. And 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.
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.
- Good value-for-money proposition
- Synchro-Rev manual gearbox
- Strong V-6 power
- Paddle-shift automatic
- Sharp styling
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- Tight cabin space
- Not much cargo space, even for a sports car
- Road and tire noise
- Engine noise