*All information in this article has been revised and updated for the latest 2021-2022 models.
The new 2021 Ford Mustang delivers in all areas, with a powerful engine to an upscale build and interior. The 2020 Nissan 370Z has a sports car look on the outside, but on the inside, it has dated styling and technology. Let’s take a look at both and see how they stack up in Brighton Ford’s comparison guide of these two sports cars.
Style and Design
The 2021 Ford Mustang interior is better than ever, with modern conveniences and retro styling. It has an upscale cabin that offers high-quality materials and more trunk space, with a wide trunk opening. There is 13.5 cubic feet of trunk space in the standard Mustang Fastback, with rear seats that fold down for extra room. Convertible models offer 11.4 cubic feet of space. What’s new for 2021? Ford is bringing back the Mach 1 which packs 480 horsepower into the 5.0-liter V-8 that pairs with a six-speed manual and 10-speed automatic transmission. This model also brings some new exterior and performance updates to the table. Overall, both the driver and passenger have plenty of comfortable space and well-bolstered seats. Cloth seats are standard, but higher models offer full leather upholstery with heated and ventilated front seats.
The 2020 Nissan 370Z is part of the 2009 generation. The biggest change for the 2020 model year is the discontinuation of the Roadster (convertible) body style. This Nissan 370Z coupe seats two people with cloth upholstery, but its seats are firm and aren’t comfortable or supportive, especially for taller drivers. It has outdated styling and it’s not as modern as many in its class. Upgraded available options include leather upholstery, heated seats, power-adjustable seats and Recaro sport seats. Trunk space is one of the smallest in the sports car class, with a 6.9 cubic-foot trunk. The sloping roofline makes usable storage space even smaller.
Power, Trims, and Price
The 2021 Ford Mustang features a wide lineup of models, offering engaging handling and potent engines; from the fun and energetic GT Convertible to the aforementioned Mach 1, decorated with 19-inch wheels and an exclusive design. There are four main engine options for the 2021 Ford Mustang: the base 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, found in EcoBoost trims, gets you moving quickly with 310 horsepower. The 5.0-liter V8 engine, optional in the Mustang GT and standard for the Mach 1, packs a punch and doesn’t slow you down with its 460 hp. Both the four-cylinder and V8 engines come standard with six-speed manual transmission or a refined 10-speed automatic. With the standard EcoBoost engine, you will get an EPA-estimated 21/32 mpg in the city and highway. The V8 Mustang GT gets up to 16/25 mpg in the city and highway. Fuel economy is probably not the biggest concern for buyers of the Shelby GT350, which gets an estimated 14/21 mpg. city/highway. With nine available trims, the starting price for the base EcoBoost is $28,400 and ranges to $54,595 for the Mach 1.
Even with Nissan's energy and quick acceleration, it doesn’t measure up to Mustang’s high-performance. Its base engine features a 3.7-liter V6 with 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, with a starting price of $30,090 for the base trim, Sport, and Sport Touring. An available engine features a 3.7-liter V6 with 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque and has a starting price of $45,790. This engine is standard in Nismo models. It has a standard six-speed manual transmission, with an available seven-speed automatic transmission that comes standard in the Nismo models. The 370Z is available in four trims: Base, Sport, Sport Touring, and Nismo. It gets an estimated 19/26 mpg in the city and on the highway with the automatic transmission.
Safety and Tech Features
A rearview camera is a standard driver assistance feature in the Mustang. Available options include an adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high-beam headlights, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, forward automatic emergency braking, rear parking sensors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Wi-Fi hotspot is available as well as Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system. Its latest technology has a clean design and a simple interface that comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and an impressive stereo. Ford Sync Connect comes standard, which allows users to control and monitor their vehicles through a smartphone app.
The 370Z lacks many of the driver aids and infotainment technology that are found even in the most basic cars. Its outdated safety and technology features consist of a rearview camera, with no other available active safety options; a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and a USB port. A 7-inch touch screen, navigation, satellite radio, and an eight-speaker Bose audio system are available upgrades. This entertainment system is easy to use, but still doesn’t compare to most rival’s updated systems.
The 2021 Ford Mustang ranks high in its all-around quality. It handles well and offers several powerful engine options, as well as features a richer interior and a larger trunk. Whether you are going fast or tackling curves, the Mustang delivers. Come take a look at Brighton Ford and you can see for yourself.