Sedans & Coupes

2020 Nissan 370Z: Don’t Let the Price and Horsepower Fool You

The 2020 Nissan 370Z is the latest of one of the brand’s oldest and highest-performing vehicles. Offering a potent engine at an affordable price, the Nissan 370Z easily lures many buyers in. But its horsepower and budget-friendly price may leave many buyers fooled.

The 2020 Nissan 370Z: horsepower on a budget

U.S. News experts recently compiled a list of “15 Cheap New Cars With Lots of Horsepower in 2020,” and the 2020 Nissan 370Z falls distinctly in the middle of the experts’ rankings. As Nissan’s fun, high-performing sports car, it should come as no surprise that the 370Z offers power under the hood.

Although there are more powerful engines that made the list, the 2020 Nissan 370Z may just be the cheapest. At around $30,000, owners get a 3.7-liter six-cylinder engine that makes 332 hp.

Owners can also upgrade to a more powerful, 350-hp engine. But while the Nissan 370Z certainly makes the marks in power and affordability, that may be all it offers to new buyers.

The Nissan 370Z’s battle between power and performance

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The new Nissan 370Z offers plenty of horsepower at a cheap price, no doubt about it. But a powerful car doesn’t make for a good car. In fact, according to U.S. News experts, “the Nissan 370Z isn’t a good sports car,” and comes with more disadvantages than benefits.

It earns an unimpressive overall score of 6.0/10, with experts stating that it is “old-looking,” “outdated,” and “nothing special by class standards.” The Nissan 370Z’s meager overall score brings it to the bottom of its own sports car segment.

Even the experts at Car and Driver call the 2020 Nissan 370Z “an afterthought to modern car enthusiasts,” with dated aesthetics and less refinement than others. Its cheaper price is reflected in its lack of styling, technology, fuel economy ratings, and even interior space.

While the 370Z is still cheaper than rivals, it’s certainly “showing its age,” receiving an overall rating of just 6.5/10 from Car and Driver experts. 

How the 2020 Nissan 370Z stacks up against rivals: is it the best value?

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Today’s vehicles offer better performance than ever before, meaning it’s more than just fast cars that offer impressive power under the hood. While the Nissan 370Z’s low price tag makes it extremely competitive against performance cars on U.S. News’ list like the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, priced at nearly $60,000, there are plenty of other options in today’s market that offer both good power and a decent price.

The 2020 Nissan Maxima, for example, costs roughly $4,000 more than the 370Z and offers 300 hp. Trucks, like the full-size 2020 Ram 1500 Tradesman, on the other hand, cost roughly the same as the 370Z, with 305 hp. 

The price of a new car isn’t all that matters, however, if the vehicle is a poor performer. And while the new Nissan 370Z is certainly competitive in its segment and amongst high-power rivals for its price, its performance is another issue.

Even Car and Driver experts claim “the car needs a full overhaul to be competitive again.” In fact, out of all the vehicles on U.S. News’ list, the 2020 Nissan 370Z receives the lowest overall score. The Corvette, for instance, comes with an 8.9/10 score from U.S. News experts, while the Ram 1500 scores an impressive 9.0/10.

Even a dying Chrysler Voyager minivan and old Nissan Frontier truck earned better scores, at 7.4/10 and 6.9/10, respectively. So although the Nissan 370Z is certainly a cheap way to get a lot of horsepower, it may not be the best way to get it.