2020 Nissan 370Z NISMO Philippines Review

The 2020 Nissan 370Z NISMO, we prefer to call it an artifact rather than a relic. Despite its shortcomings and the fact that it is still being sold in the year 2020, the 2-door sports car has stood the test of time, so to speak. It’s a reminder of how cars used to be, and what we have here is the ultimate version of the fabled Z car that never officially made it to Philippine shores until the year 2020. 

Is it still a worthwhile buy? Perhaps. Let’s dive in and see if the 2020 370Z NISMO is worth your hard-earned peso. 

4.0 / 5
2020 Nissan 370Z NISMO Review
Engine Output (HP), Acceleration, Transmission, Handling
Exterior & Interior Design, Quality, Fit and Finish, Ergonomics
Ride Comfort
Cabin Comfort, Suspension, NVH Insulation
Safety and Technology
Convenience Technologies, Active and Passive Safety Features
Value for Money
Amount of the vehicle you get for the price, Fuel Efficiency
What You Will Like
  • Extremely sharp handling
  • Rev-happy V6 engine
  • Nostalgia-inducing looks
What You Won't Like
  • Bumpy ride
  • No backup camera or parking sensors
  • Buggy infotainment system
How We Do Our Reviews

Now, if you’re into racing games, usually one of the first cars you could get your hands on was the 370Z. Not only that, but the model has already been immortalized in movies and other forms of media, so to say that it is iconic is a bit of an understatement. At least for the millennial generation of car enthusiasts, or if you were born from the 1990s to early 2000s if the car struck a chord with you then, it'll likely do so until now. For some of us 20-somethings at the office, getting the chance to drive a car like this is our childhood fulfilled, and just looking at it in the metal is a trip down memory lane. 

That the trip down memory lane couldn’t be sexier. The top-of-the-top of the line model is the NISMO Z, and for a lot of Z-fanatics and Nissan enthusiasts, NISMO parts are hard to come by and are quite a rarity, and this Z has all the juicy trimmings like the front and rear bumpers, the side skirts, the lip spoiler, and even the Rays forged wheels that come in at 19-inches in diameter, staggered. You also get those red brake calipers to round out the red accents. 

To be fair, we’ve seen a lot of Nissan vehicles take design cues from the 370Z, but to see  the unadulterated origin of those cues in the metal is something else entirely. It sparks joy and evokes feelings of nostalgia, but that feeling isn’t that prevalent with everyone. 

2020 Nissan 370Z NISMO Philippines Interior Dashboard

Getting into the Z is a bit of a challenge, yes you have to crouch really low to get into it, and the NISMO Recaro Sportsters are well-bolstered, which helps you stay in your seat, but doesn’t do you any favors especially if you are on the heavier side. It’s a sportscar, after all, it’s meant to turn the corner as fast as possible and catch some g-forces along the way. 

Once you are in, however, you are greeted with a combination of leather and Alcantara with splashes of red all over in keeping with the NISMO theme. It’s a remarkable place to be in if you’re part of that sect in the car community that loves an interior that is focused on sporting performance with quality parts. 

2020 Nissan 370Z NISMO Philippines Interior Dashboard

Though, that isn’t to say that the Z’s interior is perfect. If we were to put it up against other sports cars in its class, then we have to say that the interior is on the dated side, like, very dated. The infotainment system is in the bottom part of the dashboard, which screams the early 2000s, and its LCD screen with orange backlighting is very retro – at least in this day and age. Though it is of its time, it’s still premium enough to make you feel special when you get in it. Just don’t expect all the bells and whistles. For practicality, however, we appreciate the liftback design, but the test unit didn’t come with a mat for the cargo area, which is a bit bizarre – or maybe weight savings? 

2020 Nissan 370Z NISMO Philippines Exterior Front Quarter

It goes without saying, but the NISMO Z is far from the most comfortable thing on the planet. When you take highly-engineered and taught chassis on the roads of Metro Manila while it is sporting wide tires and large wheels, you're going to have a heck of a time keeping all those bumps from reaching your back. Take into consideration, however, that the Recaro seats in this variant are a very good piece of equipment both on the racetrack and on the highway. The buckets aren't as soft as traditional seats but give them a long ride out and you will feel very supported and as if you could go further. However, if your trip goes over bumps and potholes, you might want to brace yourself whenever you encounter a less than ideal patch of asphalt during your journey. Though, you don't have to worry about the heat whenever you drive out in the Z, in fact, pack a jacket because the legendary Nissan air conditioning is very effective at keeping you cool. 

NVH is also just acceptable, if acceptable means that you will hear the road noise and the wind noise while going at high speeds, then yeah it's just acceptable. On more sedate drives, the Z is still a sports car, but at least you won't hear too much of the outside world thanks to that Bose sound system. 

2020 Nissan 370Z NISMO Philippines Bose sound system

Now this area is where the Z falls short in some regards. You do get a Blaupunkt touchscreen infotainment system with a Bose sound system, but the con is that it’s an aftermarket solution, meaning that there are a few inconsistencies when it comes to the installation, like the infotainment controls on the steering wheel – but we’ll be nice and say that this is just test-unit specific. The infotainment should have provisions for steering controls. The consolation, however, is that you get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A saving grace, yes, however, the screen is situated in a sub-optimal position for viewing, since it’s placed close to the gear selector, so it’s another thing to get used to. Once you blast some tunes then that 8-speaker Bose system sounds pretty good, sending some good amounts of bass and some decent mids and highs. 

2020 Nissan 370Z NISMO Philippines Bose subwoofer

Though, another gripe that we have with the 370 is its lack of a backup camera and parking sensors. Sadly, in 2020, this is a bit of an oversight that we feel needs to be addressed. Other than that, nothing much really, it’s more about the drive with this car. Sure you get cruise control, a digital trip computer, but that’s about it. You don’t get too much in the way of tech toys, and there isn’t even a sport mode that you can take advantage of. It’s pretty much in sport mode whenever you want it to be, which is pretty much all the time – totally fine by us if we’re being honest. 

At least, you get keyless entry and push start. 

2020 Nissan 370Z NISMO Philippines Interior Nismo Badge

Though the Z doesn’t skimp out on the safety essentials, like driver and front passenger airbags, side airbags, and curtain airbags. You also get ABS, vehicle dynamic control, and a traction control system that is actually quite good and will be able to save you from losing traction, so the execution is pretty good. 

We have to say, however, with how old the platform is, the Z is just adequate in this area for the year 2020. 

2020 Nissan 370Z NISMO Philippines Interior Steering Wheel

Despite its shortcomings, we love the Z for the way that it drives. The saying, “they don’t make ‘em like they used to,” rings quite true with the 370. You still get that hydraulic power steering that is weighty and returns amazing levels of feel that is hard to replicate with modern electronic motors. It’s great for the track and for faster bits of driving, but in the city and parking the car, given that it already has not backup camera or sensors, is a bit of a hassle. 

We have to hand it to the Z, right out of the box, it is an extremely capable cornering machine. It’s an amazing piece of equipment, and the chassis is an extremely well-engineered piece of kit. The suspension, while a bit stiff on normal roads, returns great levels of cornering ability in the bends of Clark International Speedway, which we did take it on. Though, we have to say that the tires can stand to be better, even if they are already so wide. A stickier set would be much better in this regard if we’re being honest. 

2020 Nissan 370Z NISMO Philippines 7-speed automatic transmission

Though, here is the other catch, we have to make mention of the engine. Lately, and with high-performance sports cars, the power is made in the middle, be it a turbocharged motor or a naturally-aspirated engine. In the Z, however, it still keeps that more traditional peaky naturally aspirated character that we’ve grown accustomed to with older sportscars. VVEL is present in the Z, and it can be felt. The power is decent at lower RPMs, but you can tell once you’re wringing it out that the 3.7-liter V6 engine likes it towards the top of its RPM range. Unlike a turbocharged mill, you have to work for those 339 horses and that 371 Nm rating of torque. 

It’s not perfect, however, and a sign of the times is that 7-speed automatic transmission. As an enthusiast car, we wished that the Z got a manual transmission option in its NISMO trim. While you can opt for a Premium variant with a 6-speed, you don’t get all those NISMO goodies. The automatic transmission is not as sharp as newer gearboxes that you see in cars of the same class, but that just indicates how far we’ve already come in terms of transmission tech. The gear changes aren’t as sharp as we would have liked. At least in traffic, it’s a decent performer, but that’s about it. 

2020 Nissan 370Z NISMO Philippines 3.7-liter V6 engine

Now, for the sake of this review, we got the fuel economy figures in a variety of locations, namely the city, the highway, and the race track. With a massive 72-liter tank, the Z can go the distance even with a rather large V6 engine powering the rear wheels. Consumption in the city is rated at 5.5 kilometers per liter with some pretty bad traffic, but once that clears up the figure goes to about 8 km/L. Now on the highway, the Z excels. Expect a respectable figure of 18 km/L. 

On the race track, however, expect to get about 7 kilometers per liter. Wringing out the engine on the track gets better results than being stuck in traffic. So better make the most out of your fuel and burn it at the race track. Guaranteed smiles per gallon. 

2020 Nissan 370Z NISMO Philippines Nissan 370Z Badge

Alright, so here is the big clincher, the price. If you’re seriously thinking about the NISMO Z, then you might be a die-hard 370Z fan plus a NISMO fan to boot. There is nothing wrong with that, and getting an official Nissan model instead of a grey-market import is its own level of good, but for P3,888,000, it’s a big ask. If you look at the rest of the lineup, you have to consider that the non-NISMO variants go for about a million less, and with a manual transmission to boot, though you won’t get that Blaupunkt system so at least that’s a plus that the higher variant gets. 

If you are that die-hard fan, however, it could just be worth it. We’ve got some friends that rung us up on our phones or sent us a chat on Facebook to see if they could see it in person. There is a certain charm that the 370Z has, be it as a nostalgia trip or whatever. People who are now in their 20s for 2020 will fondly remember the 370Z as a starter car in their favorite video game, a love-at-first-sight in a car meet, or even just an end-goal car at least in the Philippines. Right now, the model is in a bit of a limbo with a newer generation on the horizon. 

Limbo or not, the Z is still what it is. Pure driving focus, but in a package that is more or less unadulterated for the year 2020. It’s essentially nostalgia in a bottle for those that want it. So the question is, “is it enough to get you to pull the trigger?” If it tugs at your heartstrings and your inner child is calling out to you, we don’t see how it is a bad deal. Just know that there is another model on the way, but then again it just won’t be the same – not at all. 

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