By Cars.com EditorsSeptember 22, 2010
About the video
Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the 2010 Nissan 370Z. It competes with the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.
(upbeat rock music) <v Announcer>Cars.com Auto Reviews <v Joe>Hi, I'm Joe Wiesenfelder with Cars.com here to tell you about the 2010 Nissan 370Z sports car. Now, last year we reviewed the 2009 NISMO Z.
NISMO might sound like the name of a Muppet, but it's actually the performance division of Nissan. Uh, now that car had a ride that was actually pretty punishing earning it the unfortunate name "Punish me NISMO." Now the ride quality of the base 370Z, like this one, is actually quite comfortable, even in this version, which has the option of a sport package, which adds 19 inch wheels and low-profile tires. Now it's still a sports car, it rides firm but you could live with it day to day. Let's take a look at what makes a Z, a Z. (soft rock music) Now the Z has a nice driver oriented cockpit, nice materials throughout the cabin. But what we really like is a manual transmission. We like the clutch pedal but we especially like the shifter. Has a great feel. Nice short throws. You know what? Even BMW could learn something from Nissan in this regard. A lot of their shifters are like floppy toggle switches. They feel utterly disconnected. This one has a little vibration to it. It jogs slightly as the drive line loads and unloads. It really makes you feel like you're driving. Now, speaking of feeling like you're driving, there's an interesting, uh, feature called synchro rev match that comes with the sport package. You just hit this button here, and then whenever you downshift, when you're in neutral, as soon as you put it into a lower gear, it automatically blips the throttle matches the revs, uh, and makes you just feel like a rockstar driving. But actually you're not. The car's doing it for you. Uh, It's one step closer to being an automatic and I'm not sure how I feel about that. (rock music plays in background) Now another characteristic of the Z since the return of the 350Z, about eight years ago, is the gauges move with the tilt steering wheel, which is actually pretty cool cause you can always see them. Not as cool? It doesn't telescope Uh, and that's a pretty common feature these days you need. I'm perfectly comfortable, but if I am, that means someone else probably isn't. Another downside is the view to the back. Sometimes in a two-seater the rear window is so close to the driver that it's easy to turn around and see over your shoulder. In this case, you've got a really big pillar back there. It's a hatchback. On the upside, because it's a hatchback, you get some versatility and a fair amount of space back there. Another potential downside is the price. The base one starts over $30,000 now. Um, still a good deal for the performance that you get. But what has changed? The 2011 Ford Mustang. You can get that with a V6 305 horsepower, instead of the 332 in the Z for just over $22,000. Now, even better, you can get a Mustang GT with a 414 horsepower V8 for $800 less than this Z. Um, what else do you get? You a backseat that's tight, but still usable. You get a bigger trunk. On the track, I would still take the Z On the street though, the Mustang has become a much more sophisticated sports car. Honestly, I don't know how many people cross shop the Mustang and the Z, but I know everyone should. <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog kickingtires.net.
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