Nissan 370Z Coupe vs Ford Mustang Fastback vs Porsche Cayman: Review & Comparisons
Review Of The Nissan 370Z Coupe
Fancy rocking up at work in a new muscle car? The thrilling new two-seater Nissan 370Z Coupe is an affordable, well-built sports car that’s blisteringly quick. For less than £30,000, you get a V6 petrol engine that does 0-62 in 5.3 seconds and delivers 331bhp. If we’re talking performance to pound here, that’s tough to beat.
You also get a brawny, menacing style that looks extravagant compared to more established but reserved rivals.
If a cut-price compact muscle car sounds just the ticket, join OSV as we take a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2017 Nissan 370Z Coupe review.
On The Road
The 370Z is what is known as a muscle car – and it fits the moniker like a boxing glove. It’s got plenty of power and grip, and comes with a slick manual gearbox that feels as mechanical as you expect it to. It’s maybe not got the steely accuracy of, say, an Audi TT, but this a stripped back sports car that the purists should love.
There is just the one engine available, but there really is no need for another: This 3.7-litre V6 power plant is enough to blow your face off. It develops up to 331bhp, and does 0-62 in just 5.3 seconds. Starting it is as simple as pressing the start/stop button, and once you do, it explodes into life like a volcano that’s been rumbling for centuries.[vc_single_image image=”60325″ img_size=”article-image”]
It feels rawer than a more refined and cultured Italian V6 engine, but that’s part of the Nissan’s appeal. It doesn’t sound as fierce and growly as some rivals, and its straightforward nature might put a few off. At the same time, though, it’s this straightforward nature that will make the 370Z so appealing to others.
Unsurprisingly, the suspension is on the firm side. This is no bad thing in some respects – body lean is cut down in bends, for example. On lumpier road surfaces, however, the car will jolt and jerk. If you’re planning to use the Nissan 370Z as more of a straight-shooter on short sprints, it will suffice. For longer journeys, you might want to look elsewhere.
In terms of how it handles, the car is a bit of a handful, particularly in inclement weather conditions. Still, the steering is nice and heavy and offers lots of feedback. Put your foot down in wetter conditions, and the traction control light will begin to flash.
Nissan 370Z Coupe Interior, Design & Build
[vc_single_image image=”60326″ img_size=”article-image”]The Nissan’s seats are both comfortable and supportive – just what you need as you thrash about on the road. The steering adjusts for height but not rake and reach, which ultimately means that finding the perfect driving position might prove elusive.
We wouldn’t say that the cabin is visually pleasing. It’s not as classy as some rivals, and the surfaces aren’t as pleasant to the touch. We get the impression that Nissan designed it to be functional more than anything else.
In some respects, that’s not a bad thing at all. It means the controls are all within reach and logically arranged, and we like that the dials for the steering wheel move with the steering column.
Engine and road noise are a bit of an issue. If you’re to be taking the car out on lengthier trips, the amount of noise that gets into the cabin could become an irritation. Moreover, this is not a fun car to drive in traffic, thanks to its heavy controls.
The Nissan gets just the two-seats, which suits its muscle car nature. With that in mind, it’s not a practical car – but who buys these for their usability?
It’s actually a bit shorter than last time, but has retained its predecessors 235-litre boot. This time around, Nissan has removed the obstructive strut brace while adding a retractable load cover. This means that you can keep your valuables nicely hidden away. However, a source of frustration will be the high boot lip.
If the boot doesn’t offer enough space, there is extra room behind the two seats for a few more bits and bobs. A handy cubby is sandwiched between the driver and passenger for more space, while lower-spec models miss out on sat-nav but gain a big storage box instead.
Equipment & Safety Of The Nissan 370Z Coupe
Standard kit is excellent across the range. The basic model gets 18” alloys, bright bi-xenon headlights, automatic wipers, a keyless start system and pop-up washers.
The GT variant copes with longer distances better. It also gets 19” alloys, cruise control, heated suede/leather seats, a Bose stereo, sat-nav, a 7” touchscreen and Bluetooth.
The Nismo model adds a sports trip computer, and an Alcantara steering wheel.
The car hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP, but its cabin feels solid enough. Visibility isn’t the best, but plenty of airbag’s and electronic stability control all come as standard.
Costs Of The Nissan 370Z Coupe
Prices for the new car start out from just under £29,185 and rise to £39,375. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.
Running costs are decent. As we’ll see below, they’re better than some rivals, but worse than others. In isolation, it’s hard to grumble at returns of 26mpg from a hefty 3.7-litre V6 engine. That’s the best you’ll manage, but you’ll probably average around the early twenties mark.
Meanwhile, the 370Z Coupe commands a £500 yearly tax bill, thanks to emitting up to 248g/km of CO2.
Pros and Cons Of The Nissan 370Z Coupe
Where bang for your buck is concerned, you won’t find anything better on the market than the Nissan 370Z.
Prices start out from just over £29,000, which is an absolute steal on today’s market for a muscle car.
Its muscular styling is bold and expressive, and certainly helps to distinguish it from conservative competitors.
Limited Engine Choice
The cracking V6 engine will be enough for most buyers. But some of you will be casting a wandering eye at rival V8’s.
No one buys cars like this for practicality alone, but practicality does matter. The 235-litre boot is tiny, even for a muscle car.
Nissan 370Z Coupe vs Ford Mustang Fastback vs Porsche Cayman
Let’s see how the car measures up against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2017 Nissan 370Z Coupe review.
Nissan 370Z Coupe vs Ford Mustang Fastback
The Ford Mustang Fastback is the car a lot of Brits have been waiting a lifetime for. Always elusive on these shores, the iconic American car is finally here. But is it worth all the hype?
It offers a true muscle-car experience, especially when you go for the meaty 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine that does 0-62 in just 4.5 seconds. It’s a dramatic engine that’s visceral, angry and full of character.
It’s powerful too, and delivers up to 410bhp.[vc_single_image image=”60327″ img_size=”article-image”]
The problem Mustang’s have faced across the road is the usual muscle car failing – erratic handling and soft suspension that cause too much lean in bends. However, Ford has modified this model so that it can cope with British roads better.
Its rear suspension setup is more sophisticated, while British models come with a Performance Pack that adds stronger brakes and stiffer springs. Body lean is well controlled and the brakes are pleasingly strong.
That said, the firmer suspension means that at low speeds the ride is jittery and thoroughly uncomfortable.
Running costs aren’t pretty, with the V8 engine returning 23.5mpg economy at best. Yearly road tax, meanwhile, is pegged at £515, thanks to emissions of 299g/km. It sits in insurance group 43 out of 50.
American’s have had to put up with sub-par materials for decades because the Mustang has always been an affordable muscle car. After all that performance has been added, savings need to be made somewhere. As such, while the cabin features a few retro styling cues that are evocative and easy on the eye, some of the materials are decidedly low rent.
The fascia is simple and stylish, and looks precisely how a muscle car should. The chunky switch-gear is user-friendly, and all the dials are well-placed. Ford has added their SYNC 2 infotainment system; it’s easy enough to use and reduces button clutter.
Is it practical? Not especially. The 408-litre boot is impressive, and significantly bigger than the Nissan. It comes with a high boot lip, though, while adding the Shaker audio upgrade for £800 will shrink the boot somewhat.
Unlike the Nissan, the Ford Mustang comes with rear seats. Accessing them is tricky however, as there are no rear doors. Moreover, a sloping roofline diminishes back seat headroom.
But the worst thing about the Mustang’s practicality is its centre console. It’s the same one found in the American model, which means your left elbow will be going straight into a cup holder if you’re not careful!
Nissan – £29,185 – £39,375
Ford – £33,645 – £41,395
Nissan 370Z Coupe vs Porsche Cayman
The new Porsche Cayman is a sprinter that, while it costs more than the Nissan, is without a doubt more desirable.
An absolute pleasure to drive, we can’t give the Cayman anything other than 5/5 for the way it handles. It’s a ridiculous car that should only be bought if you feel like being ridiculous – which is an excellent reason to buy a car, of course.
There are two engines available, with even the standard 2.0-litre 296bhp petrol engine doing 0-62 in less than 5.0 seconds with the automatic ‘box. The bigger 2.5-litre 345bhp engine, meanwhile, is more excessive. It powers the 718 Cayman S model, and does the 0-62 dash in 4.4 seconds when mated to the automatic ‘box.[vc_empty_space][vc_single_image image=”60328″ img_size=”article-image”]
If you want to go even faster, you can add the Sport Chrono package which unlocks launch-control, helping the car rocket from rest to 62mph in a tantalising 4.2 seconds.
Both models are hugely impressive to drive, sound great, and have lots of pulling power. Body lean is at a minimum, too.
You’d think the trade-off for all that speed and power would be awful running costs – but that isn’t the case. Whether by magic or sophisticated tech (you decide), the standard Porsche Cayman can return as much as 40.9mpg economy. The bigger Cayman S model is good for returns of 38.7mpg at best.
Those figures are super impressive, but what’s more impressive is that you won’t pay any higher than £230 in road tax. Happy days.
Like the Nissan, the Porsche comes with just the two seats. The cabin is pretty much the exact same as last time around, which means you get the same excellent driving position, the same supportive seats, and the same infotainment system. Alcantara suede fabric is standard on the seats in the basic car, while the S model gets part-cloth, part real-leather seats.
The Cayman has two boots – one at each end. Combined, they offer 405-litres of luggage capacity. That sounds impressive, but splitting the boots up won’t be of much help when you have bigger items.
Head and legroom are good, while easy access is compromised by the low ride height. Still, we don’t think it will be too much of an issue, especially when such an eye-catching and comfy interior is awaiting you. The seats cocoon you nicely, and the view is good. Storage areas, meanwhile, include a big glovebox and two cup-holders.
Porsche – £42,900 – £51,853
Verdict Of Our 2017 Nissan 370Z Coupe
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