2018 Nissan 370Z

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$29,990–$49,400 MSRP range
(5.0) 4 reviews
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Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2018 Nissan 370Z. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Engine responsiveness
  • Ride quality
  • Turning circle
  • Active rev matching
  • Styling still turns heads
  • Affordability

The Bad

  • Limited cargo room
  • Road noise
  • Tight cabin
  • Drives like a heavier car
  • Instrumentation, multimedia need an update
  • Heavy manual shifter

Notable Features of the 2018 Nissan 370Z

  • New Heritage Edition
  • Coupe or roadster
  • Performance-oriented NISMO model available
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • 3.7-liter V-6
  • Manual or automatic transmission

2018 Nissan 370Z Road Test

Joe Bruzek
The Verdict:

The 2018 Nissan 370Z's wild appearance remains unique, though the coupe feels dated, having received few big changes since its 2009 introduction.

Versus The Competition:

Not only has the number of traditional 370Z competitors increased since 2009, but muscle cars have turned into sports cars — and new entries rival the Z.

There's no nice way to say it: The Nissan 370Z is old.

You may ask, "How can a 2018 car be 'old'?" Well, the Z hasn't received a major update since 2009, and the changes that have come along the way haven't significantly altered how it drives. The 2018 model year welcomes just a minor styling update and a new Heritage Edition with a lot of nostalgia. Heritage Editions are available only on the base model, and the one I tested, with a manual transmission and no other options, rang the register at $31,665 including destination.

Heritage Edition

The Heritage Edition was inspired by the 1977 Datsun 280Z ZAP Edition. The ZAP is an appearance package likely known only to the hardest of hardcore Z fans; it's so obscure, Nissan didn't even have a photo in its archives for us to publish. The ZAP was a yellow 280Z laced with black accents, and so is the 2018 Heritage Edition.

The new-for-2018 package is a collection of aesthetic add-ons for yellow or black Zs. My yellow 370Z test car had black racing stripes. On the side, black decals ran from the back of the front fender to the front of the rear wheel arch. The mirrors were also black, and the cabin had yellow highlights. Those who buy the Heritage Edition in black get silver exterior graphics and the same yellow interior trim.

While driving home in the Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition, a kid about 10 years old shouted, "Hey mister, nice car!" from the street. That's always a great ...

There's no nice way to say it: The Nissan 370Z is old.

You may ask, "How can a 2018 car be 'old'?" Well, the Z hasn't received a major update since 2009, and the changes that have come along the way haven't significantly altered how it drives. The 2018 model year welcomes just a minor styling update and a new Heritage Edition with a lot of nostalgia. Heritage Editions are available only on the base model, and the one I tested, with a manual transmission and no other options, rang the register at $31,665 including destination.

Heritage Edition

The Heritage Edition was inspired by the 1977 Datsun 280Z ZAP Edition. The ZAP is an appearance package likely known only to the hardest of hardcore Z fans; it's so obscure, Nissan didn't even have a photo in its archives for us to publish. The ZAP was a yellow 280Z laced with black accents, and so is the 2018 Heritage Edition.

The new-for-2018 package is a collection of aesthetic add-ons for yellow or black Zs. My yellow 370Z test car had black racing stripes. On the side, black decals ran from the back of the front fender to the front of the rear wheel arch. The mirrors were also black, and the cabin had yellow highlights. Those who buy the Heritage Edition in black get silver exterior graphics and the same yellow interior trim.

While driving home in the Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition, a kid about 10 years old shouted, "Hey mister, nice car!" from the street. That's always a great feeling — especially after my wife tells me I look like an idiot driving a bright yellow car covered in stickers.

How It Drives

The Z's 332-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6 has immediate throttle response and a wide powerband, with good punch at both low and high engine speeds. Yet the experience needs more pizzazz: The exhaust is barely audible from inside the cabin, and that's an integral part of what makes a car fun to drive. Granted, that's easy enough to change with the available NISMO exhaust system. A 2017 Chevrolet Camaro, with its 335-hp V-6, has an optional multi-mode exhaust that wails once it's open and sounds exotic.

My test wasn't a Sport version with optional performance equipment, which meant it didn't have Nissan's trick auto rev-match feature that works so well to smooth downshifting. It's been copied by many automakers. The Camaro's auto rev match is standard with the manual transmission.

While rowing through the Nissan 370Z's the gears of the six-speed manual, the clattering of the valvetrain and the moans and groans you hear aren't pleasurable noises. More expensive trims have an optional Bose stereo with active sound cancellation that's supposed to mitigate some of those noises and electronically augment engine noise.

I was surprised by how well the new Nissan 370Z coupe rode at highway speeds. It was comfortable and handled bumpy roads well for a coupe. I took the Z-car out of town for a weekend trip, and it was perfectly pleasant at highway speeds. On the flip side, I don't think it's a very engaging driving experience — the car drives heavier than its 3,300-pound curb weight suggests. Perhaps a 370Z Sport with aggressive summer tires and a limited-slip differential would make for a more lively experience, but in the one I drove, steering movements were slow and spongy compared with the delightful 2017 Subaru BRZ with Performance Package or — gasp — even the Chevrolet Camaro V6. We've had the Camaro on a twisty track, and it makes for crisp and sharp driving. The Camaro is only 130 pounds heavier than the Z; the Chevy is 3,463 pounds and the Nissan is 3,333 pounds, while a BRZ with Performance Package is 2,813 pounds. Compare the Z's specs with those of the Camaro, BRZ and its related Toyota 86 here.

The Z's mechanicals haven't changed much for 2018 except for a new clutch from aftermarket manufacturer Exedy. A Nissan spokesman said the new clutch has smoother operation and finer control than the outgoing Z. The clutch felt ordinary to me, which isn't bad. Annoying, however, was the clutch safety switch I could feel and hear click on and off every time I pressed the clutch pedal. Plus, the shifter is heavy, making it tough to engage gears quickly. It's not as smooth or quick-shifting as the BRZ/86 twins — though, to be fair, just about every car's manual transmission shifter could be more like the BRZ and 86's.

Interior

And I thought the 2017 Camaro's visibility was bad. It's almost imperative to always have a passenger with you in the Nissa 370Z just to check blind spots or jump out and flag cars to a stop in the grocery store parking lot so you can back out of a space. Spaciousness, however, is decent for a coupe, and the Z has a higher seating position than the BRZ/86 that's easier to get in and out of. The Z's front seating position is more like a Camaro or Ford Mustang than the low, laid-back position of the BRZ/86.

Where the Z shows its age is that there's no standard touchscreen, no standard backup camera, no telescoping steering wheel and the standard Bluetooth system is for hands-free phone use only (no streaming audio). Voice commands are the only way to pair Bluetooth. An available navigation system adds a 7-inch touchscreen with a backup camera, Bluetooth streaming audio and satellite radio, but it's a $7,000 jump compared with the base model to get the system, which is standard on the Sport Tech trim and not available on the Base or Sport trims.

Safety

The Nissan 370Z hasn't been crash-tested, which isn't unusual for low-volume sports cars. It's also not uncommon that the Z doesn't have a blind spot warning system, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, or a lane departure warning system — at any price. The Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 also skip out on these collision-avoidance features, but they max out around $30,000, while the Z starts around $30,000.

The Camaro can be equipped with a blind spot warning system, lane departure warning and cross-traffic alert, while the upcoming 2018 Mustang will have available forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and lane departure prevention (which moves the car back into its lane).

A standard backup camera is one omission that's much needed, however, because of the Z's poor visibility.

In the Market

The Heritage Edition and a few tweaks keep the 2018 Nissan 370Z in the car-news, but the model doesn't move the needle very far. The biggest upside is that the car I tested was $31,665. It seems you can't get a decent-sized family sedan for $32,000 anymore, yet this looks the part of a legit sports car. The trouble is, for $32,000 you can also get a Subaru BRZ with Performance Package, which has the usability of a real trunk and a half-real backseat, not to mention it's a car I find much more entertaining to drive. Ditto for a Chevrolet Camaro V6 with optional sports exhaust, which sounds like the old Nissan 350Z (a good thing), plus standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Any way you slice it, the 370Z faces stiff competition, and while its base price looks enticing, there's not much substance in what's new for 2018.


Latest 2018 370Z Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(5.0)
Performance
(5.0)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(5.0)
Value For The Money
(5.0)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Best car I've ever owned

by Lincolnton Denny from DALLAS on June 16, 2018

Great vehicle. Lots of power. Interior sleek. Navigation system is very well designed. Transmission form auto to manual is great. Boise stereo has a great sound. No black pulls up beside and drowns ... Read full review

(5.0)

Great sports car for the money.

by Z-Guy from Phoenix, Arizona on April 19, 2018

Affordable sports car. Add a couple after market items... Bazooka Party Bar car audio, GPS and your set. Love the look and the feel. Trips from Phoenix to Tucson are smooth and enjoyable. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2018 Nissan 370Z currently has 1 recall

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2018 Nissan 370Z has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Nissan

Program Benefits

24 Hour Emergency Roadside Assistance, Towing Assistance, Trip Interruption Benefits, 3-month free subscription to SiriusXM Satellite Radio on properly equipped vehicles, Complimentary CARFAX® Vehicle History Report™ and 3-Year CARFAX® Buy Back Guarantee

  • Limited Warranty

    7 years / 100,000 miles

    7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty from original in-service date; $50 deductible
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 80,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 167 point inspection and reconditioning.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The 370Z received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker