There is a decided lack of affordable sports cars these days. In fact, you wouldn't need all your fingers to count them. So we should celebrate the fact that the 2018 Nissan 370Z is so singularly focused on being a sports car with its two seats, small dimensions and powerful, non-turbocharged V6 engine.
Unfortunately, this generation 370Z came out for 2009. There hasn't been a full redesign since, which is an eternity in car terms, and Nissan hasn't made many substantive updates either. That means the 370Z continues to be just as unrefined and inconvenient for your daily drive as it was about a decade ago, but now it has also been surpassed in performance by newer competitors.
These rivals also provide more features and a more livable driving experience. You could probably get by knowing that the Z lacks advanced accident avoidance safety features or smartphone features such as Apple CarPlay. But the 370Z is so dated, it doesn't even come standard with a USB port.
Having a back-to-basics sports car certainly doesn't have to be a bad thing. But when competitors outdo the 370Z in both performance and livability, it's hard to recommend.
The 2018 Nissan 370Z is a two-seat sports car available as a hatchback coupe or a soft-top convertible. The coupe comes in base, Sport, Sport Tech, Touring and Nismo Tech trims, while the convertible can be had as the base, Touring and Touring Sport. All trim levels come with a 3.7-liter V6 engine paired to either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic transmission. This engine produces 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque in regular 370Z trim levels and 350 hp and 276 lb-ft in the Nismo.
The base 370Z comes standard with 18-inch wheels, summer performance tires, automatic xenon headlights, LED running lights and taillights, keyless ignition and entry, cruise control, automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped tilt-only steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.
Upgrade to the Sport trim (only available on the coupe) and you'll get a limited-slip differential, upgraded brakes, a rev-matching downshift feature for the manual transmission, 19-inch wheels, heated mirrors, chin and rear deck spoilers, and an eight-speaker Bose audio system.
The Touring trim loses the Sport's performance upgrades but adds leather and simulated suede upholstery, a rear cargo cover (coupe only), heated four-way power-adjustable seats (with adjustable driver lumbar), an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, navigation, a USB port, voice controls, a rearview camera, Bluetooth audio connectivity, satellite radio, a media player interface and the Bose audio system. The convertible gets ventilated front seats.
The Sport Tech coupe gets most of the equipment from the Sport and Touring models minus the heated power seats, upgraded upholstery and cargo cover. The convertible's Touring Sport mirrors the Sport Tech's equipment, but it is missing the front-chin and rear-deck spoilers. It does get the upgraded seats and upholstery, though.
The 370Z Nismo Tech gets a more powerful version of the standard V6 and features the same or upgraded versions of the Sport trim's performance hardware, including an exclusive sport-tuned suspension, upgraded tires, and special brake fluid and hoses. The Nismo also features unique aerodynamic body pieces, Recaro sport seats, a simulated suede-trimmed steering wheel and the Touring's auto-dimming rearview mirror and various upgraded electronics features, including the 7-inch touchscreen interface and navigation system.
The only option is the Heritage Edition package, exclusive to the base coupe. It features exterior decals, yellow interior trim, and a choice of either black or yellow paint.