Jones Ford Casa Grande Compares 2010 Ford Mustang VS 2009 Nissan 350Z Near Casa Grande, AZ

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2010 Ford Mustang

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2009 Nissan 350Z

Safety Comparison

The Mustang has standard tall side airbags which act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and front passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. The 350Z Roadster doesn't offer side airbag protection for the head.

The Mustang has standard AdvanceTrac™, which uses the antilock brake hardware along with powerful software and additional sensors to detect the beginning of a skid. The AdvanceTrac™ then intervenes by automatically applying the brake at one appropriate wheel, preventing a skid. A skid prevention system is only available on the 350Z Roadster Grand Touring. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study showed that skid control systems reduced single-vehicle car crashes by 30%.

The Mustang offers an optional backup monitor to help drivers see any and all obstacles behind their vehicle. The 350Z Roadster doesn’t offer any parking assist system.

Both the Mustang and the 350Z Roadster have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

The Mustang comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. Ford will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Nissan doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the 350Z Roadster.

There are almost 4 times as many Ford dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Mustang’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The engines in the Mustang have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the 350Z Roadster has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

The 350Z Roadster’s redline is at 7500 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Mustang has a 6100 to 6500 RPM redline.

The Mustang V8 has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The 350Z Roadster doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2008 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 19th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics which show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 17th in reliability, above the industry average. With 53 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 29th.

Engine Comparison

The Mustang GT’s standard 4.6 SOHC V8 produces 9 more horsepower (315 vs. 306) and 57 lbs.-ft. more torque (325 vs. 268) than the 350Z Roadster’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Mustang’s engines produce their peak torque and horsepower at lower RPM’s than the 350Z Roadster:



Mustang 4.0 SOHC V6

5300 RPM

3500 RPM

Mustang GT 4.6 SOHC V8

6000 RPM

4250 RPM

350Z Roadster 3.5 DOHC V6

6800 RPM

4800 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Mustang Manual V6 gets better fuel mileage than the 350Z Roadster Manual (18 city/26 hwy vs. 17 city/24 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Mustang uses regular unleaded gasoline. The 350Z Roadster requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 25 to 50 cents more per gallon.

The Mustang has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation which causes pollution. The 350Z Roadster doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Mustang stops much shorter than the 350Z Roadster:


350Z Roadster

80 to 0 MPH

202 feet

213 feet

Road & Track

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

112 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Mustang GT’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 350Z Roadster (245/45R19 vs. 225/45R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mustang GT offers optional 19 inch wheels. The 350Z Roadster’s largest wheels are only 18 inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mustang’s wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer than on the 350Z Roadster (107.1 inches vs. 104.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Mustang is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than on the 350Z Roadster.

For better maneuverability, the Mustang V6’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the 350Z Roadster’s (33.4 feet vs. 35.4 feet).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Mustang has standard seating for 4 passengers; the 350Z Roadster can only carry 2.

The Mustang Convertible has 29.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 350Z Roadster (81 vs. 51.8).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Mustang Convertible has a much larger trunk than the 350Z Roadster (9.6 vs. 4.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Mustang Automatic offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The 350Z Roadster doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The engine computer on the Mustang disables the starter while the engine is running. The 350Z Roadster’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

The Mustang’s power locks have a lockout prevention feature. When the key’s in the ignition and the driver’s door is open, the power locks won’t lock. The 350Z Roadster doesn’t provide lockout prevention.

The 350Z Roadster’s standard power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Mustang’s standard doors lock when a certain speed is reached. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

The Mustang offers an optional automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The 350Z Roadster doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

The Mustang’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The 350Z Roadster doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The Mustang’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The 350Z Roadster’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

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