Compared: 2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster Vs. Porsche Boxster / Cayman

September 9, 2009
2009 Porsche Boxster

2009 Porsche Boxster

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Who would dare to compare the Porsche Boxster--it's only the reincarnation of the 550 Spyder, you know--to a Datsun?

We would, and we're not the only ones. During the recent press preview for the 2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster, the Japanese carmaker's team laid it out in PowerPoint: the Z's a bargain Boxster, minus the fuss and admittedly, minus the fancy badge.

Is the badge enough to command an extra $20,000? With a revamped look, a shorter wheelbase, snappy handling and a luscious V-6 under the hood, the 370Z Roadster and Coupe are lower-priced than the Boxster and Cayman, but they're hardly cut-rate in the performance department. The Boxster's 0-60 mph time? About 5 seconds in the most expensive editions, same for the Cayman coupe based on it. The 370Z Roadster? Well, 370Z coupes have checked in with the buff books at less than 5.0 seconds--and the Roadster doesn't weigh that much more. (Top speeds? The Boxster wins, if you're on an autobahn, at 171 mph or more.)

It's close--but is it no cigar? The 370Z has the guts to run against the Porsche duo, but does it steal some of their thunder?

That's where we step in--to show you how these coupes and convertibles stack up against each other in's numeric ratings, and to pick a winner from there, one not necessarily topping the numbers.First, the basics:

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