Vital Stats

Engine:
3.7L V6
Power:
332 HP / 270 LB-FT
Transmission:
6-Speed Manual
0-60 Time:
5.5 Seconds (est.)
Drivetrain:
Rear-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
3,488 LBS
Seating:
2
Cargo:
4.2 CU-FT
MPG:
17 City / 24 HWY
Convertibles are a highly specialized tool that come with compromises. They require a warm climate and sunshine to achieve their promise, but at the same time stick you with sacrificed rigidity and extra weight all year round. Many droptop drivers happily accept those trade-offs, but the deal-killer for me is privacy. I just don't like everyone at the intersection knowing what's in my iPod, or that Ira Flatow and Science Friday are about to take a short break.

So I am not a convertible person, but with days becoming shorter and summertime temperatures fading from the five-day forecast, I certainly didn't mind setting aside my predilection for closed quarters to enjoy this 2013 Nissan 370Z Roadster.

Driving Notes
  • This thing is expensive! $50,055 as-tested including a $780 destination charge. The starting price of a base 370 Roadster is $41,470, which is over $8,000 more than the coupe's base price. For comparison's sake, the base price of a 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible with a 420-horsepower V8 is $35,300.
  • Nissan is lauded for its V6 engines, but in this guise, the 3.7-liter isn't one of my favorites. Here it produces 332 hp at 7,000 RPM and 270 pound-feet of torque at 5,200 RPM. The torque isn't there to push you into the seat at any speed. Rather, the engine needs to be worked to find the power higher in the rev range, which is fine because...
  • This transmission is excellent. Nissan's six-speed manual is terrifically precise and feels stout enough to handle much more power than it's being asked to divide here. The Touring model gets SynchroRev Match as part of the $2,380 sport package, which, with S-Mode engaged, blips the throttle on every downshift to match the engine's RPMs to the transmission. It's great to enter a gear with the engine already waiting for you and the sound it makes has you feeling like a race car driver who knows what he's doing.
  • While Nissan recommends that you operate the convertible top with the parking brake engaged and the brake pedal depressed, the car can just be left in Neutral (or any other gear except Reverse, for that matter) in order to flip its lid. That said, if the car is moving, the top won't budge. It's also slow, clunky and loud in its operation. With the roof up, the car's silhouette is different than the coupe's and not as flattering in my eyes. Lastly, when putting the roof down after it rained, I noticed the roof itself leaves dirt marks on the cover under which it's stowed.
  • This is strictly a two-seater that I suspect wouldn't be very comfortable for drivers and passengers over six-feet tall. The trunk is also miniscule (4.2 cubic feet) and there's only a couple of small parcel shelves behind the seats. A practical vehicle this is not.
  • It looks like the (smaller) Miata in terms of size, though from behind the wheel it's more like the larger, heavier Mustang to drive (the Mustang GT Convertible weighs only 122 pounds more, while the Miata – with a retractable hardtop – weighs 886 pounds less).
  • The EPA estimates the 370Z Roadster will return 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. I spent most of my time with the car off the highway, and my right foot was certainly having fun. That translated into 16-17 mpg for the week it spent with me. Oh, and premium fuel is recommended.
  • The 370Z Roadster's price has it competing with cars like the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, BMW Z4 and even Porsche Boxster, while cars like the Mustang and Camaro Convertible offer much more power and practicality for far less money. There just isn't an equation that adds up to the 370Z Roadster being a good bargain. The hardtop, on the other hand...


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 54 Comments
      SoulRebel
      • 2 Years Ago
      It seems like the Z is going through the same cycle as before. The Z32 stopped selling in America in 1996 because it just got way too expensive. Then they brought back the Z33 at an affordable price in the early 2000's. Now the price keeps ballooning once again. Nissan is going to have to re-invent this thing soon if they want the Z to survive in America.
      k_m94
      • 2 Years Ago
      The 370Z is a very good sports car and a decent value if you get a roughly base mode coupe, manual transmission, sport options for something like $35k or less. When it came out, it compared quite well dynamically with a Cayman S at half the cost. The Porsche drove MUCH better in terms of feel and purity, but not anywhere near $30k better. Compared to a similarly priced Mustang GT, it would be down on power but be a more sporting, lighter weight, more buttoned down, well, sports car. Versus a big topheavy live axle (but still good handling) pony THOUS car. But that was then. New, other sportscars pop up, both on the high end (TTRS, 1M) the lower cost end (BRZ) and the pony cars get ever closer to becoming sports cars with massive horsepower and/or price advantages. So what does Nissan do? Add things to the Z that make it a lot more expensive, not a whole lot better, and toss it out of its league in pricing. The Nismo package that makes it ~$42k for butt shattering suspension, a fast and furious bodykit and big brembos that become useless if they decide to boil their brake fluid. More power? Barely. Low end torque and midrange still lacking. And now the convertible, with a clunky, slow, and loud roof that cant go up and down at speed: outdated. Plus premium pricing at FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS, so no longer anywhere close to being a bargain, you could easily get a low miles used or lease Boxster or Cayman S for such money. And a Mustang GT Premium Vert, loaded to the gills at a ridiculous 45k is still a whopping amount cheaper, still has another 88hp, 120lbft, and any handling disparity would be negligible, and there is only 130lb separating the two.
        Gorgenapper
        • 2 Years Ago
        @k_m94
        Exactly right. I lurk on some Z forums and everything you said is correct. I like the car despite some of its shortcomings but it's still too expensive for what you get.
      domingorobusto
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have no idea what they were thinking with that price. As you said, I went and priced a Mustang GT premium vert with the Brembo package and several other goodies and still came up with less than this, at $44,780. For a car with 90 more hp, 100 more lb-ft of torque, more equipment, and a useable back seat. At maybe as much as $37k, the 370Z Roadster wouldn't be a bad proposition. But at the prices they are asking, I don't see why anyone would choose the Z.
      graphikzking
      • 2 Years Ago
      I owned a 350z roadster when it FIRST hit the market. Fully loaded Touring Convertible (navigation, heated seats, bose sound system, 6 cd changer, 6 speed manual, 18" wheels) was only $37,250. Sticker was like $39,200 at the time. The new one is now MORE than the old one fully loaded which is just plain nuts. Overpriced - if I was looking at $50,000 convertibles I'd be looking for an off lease Porsche 911 awd cabriolet with an extended Porsche Warranty. Nissan - I'm your intended clientele - if this thing were available for $45,000 loaded - then I would have probably purchased another one already. However - This is Nissan we are talking about. The same company that has the Murano Convertible. LOL.
        Gorgenapper
        • 2 Years Ago
        @graphikzking
        $47478 for a BASE roadster here in Canada. Hilarious....
      Dvanos
      • 2 Years Ago
      $50k for a Nissan Z?? WTF?? No thanks I would rather spend that on a CPO Boxster.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dvanos
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          Dvanos
          • 2 Years Ago
          Have you driven a Hyundai and a BMW 3 or Audi A4 back to back? Just cause the Hyundai has leather and wood and cost as much doesn't mean they're in the same league. Just like the Z and a Boxster, the latter is just a superior engineer masterpiece when compared to the Z.
      paratroopa07
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Z really stepped out of the competitive price range in the last 2 model years or so.
      inthelv
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't think they get that anyone interested in this is probably not averse to cross shopping Mustangs and Camaros and this just gets its booty handed back to, especially on price. Add in a REALLY tired design (what is this thing about 20 years with this design by now or does it just seem like it?) and who is really gonna buy this? The person who doesn't care about money is going to go Euro. I am no Porsche fan, but, I'd sure buy something used from them for this kind of money.
      rmkensington
      • 2 Years Ago
      $50k? You gotta be kidding me.
      J
      • 2 Years Ago
      Everytime I visit my Infiniti dealer for service I see the same sad G37 verts parked outside and in collecting dust. Then again $65K for an IPL would send any man to the Porsche dealership.
        superchan7
        • 2 Years Ago
        @J
        The problem with IPL is its cheesy body kit and the lack of weight reduction. Trying to charge an AMG premium over the regular model is just a bonus.
      Kepe
      • 2 Years Ago
      What's up with those rollbars? The whole car has a very curvaceous shape, and then they have two lego blocks sticking out behind the seats? Yuck... And as pointed out, waay overpriced. You can't sell mediocre products at a premium price and justify the price by exclusivity. Unless you have a mindless horde of fanatic followers like Apple has.
        inthelv
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kepe
        And how "exclusive" are Apple products when every Starbucks is chock full of them? Off subject but you hit the nail on the head.
      brgtlm
      • 2 Years Ago
      The value of this car is shown by how many I see on the road. I think I've maybe seen one on the road. Too pricey to really compete with other more appealing convertibles at its price level and also outdone by convertibles that are cheaper, mainly the Miata and Mustang convertible.
      RodRAEG
      • 2 Years Ago
      I had a 370Z park behind my Z3M Coupe while on campus. That thing was way bigger than my car! How can they say it looks like a miata in terms of size?!?
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