What do most people want in a sports car? Breathtakingly good looks, power you can feel, tight suspension, race-like interior, good handling, aerodynamic lines, and a slamming sound system might be some of the key features that attract someone to a particular model. Price? Well, for most, that’s the kicker. However, attaining a decent sports car might not be as unreachable if considering the newest 370z Nismo from Nissan.
One-week vehicle loan was provided for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Experience the 2014 Nissan 370Z Nismo
Now, I have to preface this review with the fact that this is not a “family” car. There are only two seats so, if anything, it’s a more suited to those that are childless or who would like to pretend they are on the occasional date nights. There’s also next to no trunk space. So, stock-up trips to the warehouse store are out of the question unless the only item you need is toilet paper, nothing else will fit.
This is one sweet car. It has soft, round lines yet commands attention in its own subtle way. I’ve actually seen several of these on the road lately and about 2/3 had female drivers. It’s a testament to the style Nissan attributed to this little coupe.
You can’t help but hold your head a little higher even when doing errands, as many will turn to see what making that deep roaring sound and to admire the ride. The graphite spoiler and other touches to the exterior design really do seem to reduce drag (more aerodynamic) and help you get closer to that 21 MPG.
The 370Z Nismo performs well at higher speeds (40+ mph) with good handling. You can really push out some nice power if you need to over take someone on the freeway. But, you could tell the Nismo-tuned engine did not like the lower gears. The transition between first, second, and third gear were jerky. Good thing is that, if you do kill the car, restarting is surprisingly quick even with a push-button ignition. I think it would be much more fun if this was an automatic transmission model with gear paddles to add some heat when necessary.
The placement and selection of gauges takes a bit getting used to. I did like the fact that these moved with the steering wheel when adjusted, making it ideal to see everything no matter how you set it. The Nismo touch affected the interior heavily. From dual-tone colors to stainless steel pedals to the Nismo insignia round about, this car immediately sets you in a racing mood and will likely cause you to weave in and out of traffic completely inadvertently. Thank goodness you also have humongous disc brakes to counter that internal “go” power.
Mundane City Driving & Real-World Use
The visibility feels close to null so it does take some time to gain some confidence in maneuvering in narrow or congested areas. This is especially so because you sit much deeper in the cockpit of the 370Z than in some other sports cars. The in-mirror backup camera cuts that visibility even more. Oh, and make sure you have some good knees. Even in our mid-30s, my husband and I made some not so pleasant sounds getting in and out of the car.
The 2014 Nissan 370Z Nismo is a decent sports car in the price range (around $44K). Even a step down to the non-Nismo models would probably be enjoyable and less expensive. Also, the extra Bose sound system can’t really shine over the engine sounds. That’s another feature that can knock down the price if omitted. If you’re looking for something fun and stylish, the 370Z is a worthy contender.