2019 Nissan 370Z vs. 2019 Audi A3 Cabriolet

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 370Z has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The A3 Cabriolet doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the 370Z and the A3 Cabriolet have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the 370Z 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A3 Cabriolet. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A3 Cabriolet ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 370Z’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Engine

The 370Z’s standard 3.7 DOHC V6 produces 148 more horsepower (332 vs. 184) and 49 lbs.-ft. more torque (270 vs. 221) than the A3 Cabriolet 40 TSFI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The 370Z’s 3.7 DOHC V6 produces 104 more horsepower (332 vs. 228) and 12 lbs.-ft. more torque (270 vs. 258) than the A3 Cabriolet 45 TSFI’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The 370Z NISMO Coupe’s standard 3.7 DOHC V6 produces 122 more horsepower (350 vs. 228) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (276 vs. 258) than the A3 Cabriolet 45 TSFI’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The 370Z has 5.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Cabriolet 40 TSFI’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The 370Z has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Cabriolet 45 TSFI Quattro’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 14.5 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 370Z’s brake rotors are larger than those on the A3 Cabriolet:

 

370Z

370Z Sport/NISMO

A3 Cabriolet

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

14 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.8 inches

10.7 inches

The 370Z’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the A3 Cabriolet are solid, not vented.

The 370Z stops much shorter than the A3 Cabriolet:

 

370Z

A3 Cabriolet

 

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

166 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 370Z NISMO Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A3 Cabriolet (F:245/40R19 & R:285/35R19 vs. 235/35R19).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 370Z has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the A3 Cabriolet.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 370Z is 2.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A3 Cabriolet.

The 370Z Touring Roadster handles at .95 G’s, while the A3 Cabriolet pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the 370Z’s turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the A3 Cabriolet’s (32.8 feet vs. 36.1 feet). The 370Z Sport/NISMO’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the A3 Cabriolet’s (34.1 feet vs. 36.1 feet).

Chassis

The 370Z is 6.6 inches shorter than the A3 Cabriolet, making the 370Z easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The 370Z Sport/Sport Touring/NISMO uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The A3 Cabriolet doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The 370Z has .8 inches more front headroom and 1.7 inches more front legroom than the A3 Cabriolet.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the 370Z is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the A3 Cabriolet. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

The 370Z’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. Audi does not offer a locking feature on the A3 Cabriolet’s power windows.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the 370Z Touring Roadster/Sport Touring Roadster keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The A3 Cabriolet doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 370Z owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the 370Z with a number “3” insurance rate while the A3 Cabriolet is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 370Z is less expensive to operate than the A3 Cabriolet because it costs $783 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the 370Z than the A3 Cabriolet, including $17 less for front brake pads, $49 less for a starter and $5 less for fuel injection.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan 370Z and the Audi A3 Cabriolet, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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