U.S. News Has 3 Reasons to Avoid the 2020 Nissan 370Z

The 370Z was a beauty and a performer when it debuted over a decade ago. While it may have sat at the top of the pack during President Obama’s first term, not much has changed since. Unfortunately, Nissan didn’t offer the stylish sports car the innovations that would have made it more competitive in the segment. In fact, U.S. News & World Report pulls no punches in its evaluation of the outgoing Z car. For them, the 202 Nissan 370Z ranked last in affordable sports cars from 2020 for three reasons.

Reason #1: The engine feels underpowered

A red and white 2020 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition parked near a bridge
2020 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition | Nissan

The 2020 Nissan 370Z is propelled by a 3.7-liter V6 producing 332 horsepower and 270 lb-feet of torque. The power is pretty good for a car at its price point. Even though the 370Z weighs nearly 3,500 lbs, it can still hit 60 mph in just five seconds. However, there are many complaints about the engine’s noise level, especially at higher RPMs.

U.S. News says the engine sounds “particularly strained at higher RPM,” making it “not that enjoyable” to take to the redline. As high-rev shifts are part of the expression of a sports car’s soul, the 370Z lacks spiritedness. 

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Reason #2: The ride quality is “atrocious” 

Nissan’s 370Z looks like a nimble car, and it is. The coupe corners willingly, with minimal weight shift around sharp bends, thanks to a stiff suspension setup. While the 370Z is composed, drivers may not be.

The stiffness means suspension diffuses, shudders, and jolts from the road, through the cabin, and into the driver’s spine. As U.S. News puts it, “the 370Z is more raw than refined.” Drivers should be able to feel the road through the car. However, the 2020 Nissan 370Z isn’t geared as a track car but as a daily driver.

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Reason #3: Lacks entertainment and safety tech

The Nissan 370Z has been around since 2009, and it’s showing its age. Almost devoid of modern infotainment features, the interior is old-fashioned and underwhelming with its abundance of hard plastics. A seven-inch touchscreen is available for the 370Z, but U.S. News suggests that shoppers avoid it because of “outdated graphics and limited functionality.”

Sportiness doesn’t always have to mean spartan. As part athletic backroad barnstormer and part comfortable everyday cruiser, the 370Z doesn’t afford drivers much more than an external cool factor. On the inside, regrettably, it’s more Nissan Versa than Infiniti Q50.

Are there worthwhile options to consider?

Affordable sports cars are at the top of many shoppers’ lists. Buying a used 370Z may have looked promising 10 years ago, but there’s plenty of choice for sportiness on a budget.

The 2020 Ford Mustang may be thin on standard infotainment features like the 370Z, but it ranks much higher. With a handful of engine options to choose from—including three V8s—it’ll excite any customer. Yet, if a big muscle car isn’t wanted, what’s wrong with the Miata? Mazda’s MX-5 Miata may not comfort its drivers like a pillow-top recliner, but its athleticism will outmatch the 370Z.

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