Since it hasn't yet been tested by an international crash testing organization, we will just rely on Nissan's own words and the car's technical data for determining its overall safety factor. Since we're talking about a two-seater convertible, passive safety should be a bit higher than that of a hardtop model, at least to inspire some confidence, right?
Well, you'd be both right and wrong. You'd be right because the seating position in the 370Z Roadster is always lower than the front and rear roll bars, which kind of makes you feel like you're sitting in a targa model, not a full convertible. You'd be also wrong in thinking it has more than six airbags, which is pretty much the minimum at this price level. There are two dual stage frontal ones, a thorax airbag built into each seat and two head airbags which pop out from the doors in the unfortunate event of a side impact.
As far as the active safety is concerned, our test car was fitted with an anti-lock braking system, electronic brake distribution, brake assist, electronic stability control (with a very effective "off" feature) and a traction control system. Even with the ESP off, the mechanical limited slip differential makes (either accidental, or not) drifting a bit more controllable. Pedestrians haven't been forgotten either, with Nissan engineers fitting the "Z" with a pirotechnic "pop-up" hood in the case of a pedestrian impact. Continue reading