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2014 Nissan 370Z Performance

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Just one engine powers the three-model 370Z range, though the NISMO model gets unique upgrades that enhance its power output from the standard 332-horsepower rating to 350 hp.

The shared engine is a 3.7-liter V-6 from the venerable VQ series of engines. While the 3.7-liter iteration of this series isn't as sonorous or as torque-biased as the previous 3.5-liter unit, its peak power and general reliability are strong points.

Two transmissions can be had in the 370Z: 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.

For the most intense experience, the 2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO is the way to go, but the standard Coupe and Roadster are both ample fun.

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 2014 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 370Z 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.

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