2020 Nissan 370Z vs. 2019 BMW 8 Series

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 8 Series doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the 370Z and the 8 Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 BMW covers the 8 Series. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 8 Series ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Nissan dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 370Z’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 370Z Auto gets better fuel mileage than the 8 Series M850i Coupe (19 city/26 hwy vs. 18 city/25 hwy).

The 370Z has a gallon more fuel capacity than the 8 Series (19 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The 370Z offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The 8 Series doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The 370Z stops shorter than the 8 Series:

370Z

8 Series

70 to 0 MPH

157 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

The 370Z has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 8 Series; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The 370Z NISMO handles at .99 G’s, while the M850i xDrive Coupe pulls only .98 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the 370Z’s turning circle is 6.2 feet tighter than the 8 Series’ (32.8 feet vs. 39 feet). The 370Z Sport/NISMO’s turning circle is 4.9 feet tighter than the 8 Series’ (34.1 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan 370Z may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1150 to 1300 pounds less than the BMW 8 Series.

The 370Z is 1 foot, 11.7 inches shorter than the 8 Series, making the 370Z easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Nissan 370Z amounts to more than styling. The 370Z has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 Cd (optional .29 Cd with Sport). That is lower than the 8 Series (.32 to .33). A more efficient exterior helps the 370Z go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the 370Z get better fuel mileage.

The 370Z Sport/Sport Touring/NISMO/50th Anniversary Edition uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 8 Series doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Recommendations

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

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

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