2017 Nissan 370Z vs 2017 Ford Mustang

Sports cars are made for one thing: speed and intimidation. You want to be the first off the line, whether you're racing at your local amateur track or, more likely, participating in your own imaginary street race with the annoying guy from your neighborhood on your way to work. Both the 2017 Nissan 370Z and the 2017 Ford Mustang offer a route to road domination, but the question is which one wins?

2017 Nissan 370Z vs Ford Mustang

Who Is First Off the Line?

Listen, no one buys a sports car for the storage space-it's all about performance with these two heavyweights. The Ford Mustang offers a V-6 muscle car that's no slouch in the speed department. The 2016 model, the latest to be tested, accelerated from 0 to 60 in 5.3 seconds using a 3.7L engine that can clearly get the job done. You can choose the 6-speed transmission to stay close to the action, or the standard transmission option. It's a heavy car, so its agility may not be what you're looking for if you're hoping for something that sails around curves.

The 2017 Nissan 370Z is committed to peak performance, which begins with their Variable Valve Event & Lift (VVEL) technology within its 3.7L engine, which constantly tunes valve lift and timing to make sure you are getting where you want to be as quickly as possible, which also working for fuel efficiency. The Nissan also offers a manual transmission, with an available SynchroRev option that monitors shifting and automatically moves to the optimal RPM for the gear which means seamless shifting and commitment to the old-school sports car model. In 2016's 0 to 60 speed test, the Nissan edged out the Mustang by nose, coming in at 5.1 seconds, and drivers suggest that the magic of the Nissan 370Z is in taking the corners at top speeds. Its agility shines in those moments.

But Can the Bass Keep Up?

The Nissan's base model offering for a sound system is just that-basic. The 4-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with a single USB plug for what Nissan describes as your "iPod" is perfectly adequate, but for a tricked-out sports car it's not especially impressive and seems a bit behind the times. Go one trim level up, however, and you'll get the bells and whistles of an 8-speaker BOSE Premium system and a vehicle with noise cancellation.

The Ford Mustang does a better job here, with a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo that includes the Ford SYNC system, which allows drivers to take phone calls and make changes to the stereo using voice commands. The base model Mustang also offers two smart charging USB ports integrated into the stereo system, for easy charging of devices not limited to your iPod.

Sleek Racer or Intimidating Muscle?

Sleek racer versus classic American muscle is the dilemma here-and both cars get it right. The Ford Mustang looks tough and rugged, the car version of the tough football player you want to take with you into any bar fight. Heavy but muscular, an intimidating grill highlights an aerodynamic yet slightly boxy exterior design. Interior includes a backseat, a hallmark of the classic Mustang model, that folds down for easier storage. To us, that's just not what a sports car does. This is not the car you take to IKEA to buy cabinets-a sports car should be the car you take to the track to prove your dominance on the weekends.

The Nissan 370z has a more traditional two-door sports car look, hearkening back to the age of classic European roadsters that merged both speed and style. This two-seater demonstrates its heart for racing in the race car inspired instrument panel, which features a retro three-gauge instrument cluster so that drivers can monitor performance easily. The Nismo model adds racing leather seats, steering wheel, and gear shift to up the ante on the race car fantasy.

The Finish Line

If you're buying a sports car, you're buying the ultimate driving fantasy-sleek, aerodynamic, cornering on rails, dominating the acceleration game-and that's why the Nissan 370Z pulls ahead of the Ford Mustang.

Learn More about the Nissan 307Z

2017 Nissan 370Z vs 2017 Ford Mustang