2011 Nissan 370Z Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Nissan 370Z

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Nissan 370Z Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.7 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 7-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 332 hp @ 7000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2011 Nissan 370Z

  • Affordable high-performance sports cars don't get any better than the 2011 Nissan 370Z.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent handling and braking; nifty rev-matching manual transmission; powerful V6; compliant highway ride; high-quality interior; relatively low price.

  • Cons

    Too much road noise; V6 sounds coarse at high rpm; big rear blind spots.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Nissan 370Z carries on unchanged save for the addition of a rearview camera to the optional Navigation package.

Full 2011 Nissan 370Z Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Nissan 370Z carries on unchanged save for the addition of a rearview camera to the optional Navigation package.

Introduction

Draw up the criteria for an ideal sports car and you'll find that the 2011 Nissan 370Z covers nearly all the bases: two seats, lightweight coupe body, more than 300 horsepower, rear-wheel drive, big wheels and tires, and curves for days. Factor in a seductive price starting around $30,000 and you've got lusty sheet metal for the Lead Foot Everyman.

The Z even comes in roadster form. Purists might dismiss it, but the open Z is powered by the same burly 3.7-liter V6 and six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission as the coupe. Similar suspension tuning and a weight increase of just 200 additional pounds help the roadster retain most of the coupe's quick reflexes and acceleration.

But the 370Z isn't without flaws. The V6, while strong, lacks some refinement and feels labored at high revs. This might seem a petty complaint, but it substantially dulls the enjoyment of a spirited run on open roads. The coupe is also remarkably noisy, especially when fitted with the larger, optional wheels and tires. Also, a performance car like the Z deserves an invigorating engine note, and some isolation from road roar would make long freeway trips less exhausting.

These are unfortunate flaws, as the rest of the 2011 Nissan 370Z package is stellar. It honors and advances the Z philosophy of outstanding performance at earthly cost. Even so, others are worth consideration, including the more refined 2011 BMW 1 Series, the capable 2011 Hyundai Genesis coupe, the related (and considerably more polished) Infiniti G37 or the trio of American pony/muscle cars. But if your dreams center on affordable high-performance sports cars, the Nissan 370Z is the best way to realize them.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Nissan 370Z is offered as a two-seat coupe or a convertible soft-top roadster. The coupe is offered in base, Touring and Nismo trim levels, while the roadster comes in base and Touring only.

Standard features for the base 370Z coupe include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlights, heated side mirrors, cruise control, keyless ignition/entry, automatic climate control, a tilt steering wheel wrapped in leather, an eight-way manual driver seat and a four-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The 370Z Touring coupe adds leather and faux suede upholstery, power seat adjustments, heated seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a cargo cover, Bluetooth and an upgraded Bose sound system with six speakers, two subwoofers, an in-dash six-CD/MP3 changer and satellite radio. The track-ready 370Z Nismo comes with 19-inch forged aluminum wheels, high-performance tires, a limited-slip rear differential, stiffer suspension tuning, a more powerful V6, upgraded brakes, unique front and rear fascias, a larger rear wing and special Nismo interior trim details.

The 370Z roadster comes standard with a power-operated soft top but is otherwise equipped similarly to the coupe. The Touring model adds heated and ventilated seats with power adjustments.

Those wanting more performance without committing to the Nismo edition can opt for the Sport package, available on both 370Z models, which includes 19-inch wheels, a limited-slip rear differential, upgraded brakes, front and rear spoilers, and the SynchroRev Match feature for manual-equipped cars. Optional on the Touring is a Navigation package that includes a hard-drive-based touchscreen navigation system with real-time traffic and weather updates, voice recognition, digital music storage, Bluetooth audio streaming, an iPod interface and a rearview camera.

Powertrains and Performance

Base and Touring Nissan 370Zs are powered by a 3.7-liter V6 that puts 332 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque to the pavement through a standard six-speed manual transmission. Equipped with the Sport package, the manual 370Z also comes with the SynchroRev Match feature, which automatically matches engine rpm to wheel speed during downshifts to make clutch re-engagements super-smooth. A seven-speed automatic transmission is optional and includes steering-column shift paddles and rev-matched downshifts of its own.

The 370Z Nismo has a tuned version of the same V6 engine that develops 350 hp and 276 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed manual with SynchroRev Match is the only transmission offered.

In Edmunds performance testing, a 370Z coupe with the Sport package accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a quick 5.1 seconds; the roadster did it in 5.5 seconds. The fuel economy penalty for such hustle isn't devastating. The EPA estimates the coupe achieves 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined with either transmission. Roadsters are rated at 18/25/21 mpg with the automatic and 18/25/20 with the manual.

Safety

Standard safety equipment for the 2011 Nissan 370Z includes antilock brakes with brake assist, traction and stability control, front-seat side impact airbags, side curtain airbags (roof-mounted in the coupe and door-mounted in the roadster) and active head restraints.

In Edmunds brake testing, a coupe with the Sport package's upgraded brakes stopped from 60 mph in a super-short 101 feet -- about the same as the outlandish Nissan GT-R supercar. A roadster with the Sport package took only 5 more feet to stop.

Interior Design and Special Features

High-quality materials and solid construction are prominent throughout the 370Z's cabin. Touring models feel even more upscale, with leather upholstery and upgraded faux suede door inserts. The roadster's lined, fully automatic soft top drops down beneath a body-color tonneau cover in about 20 seconds. The Z doesn't have a telescoping steering wheel, but most drivers will find the driving position comfortable and sporty.

Neither version will help you move much stuff beyond two or three duffel bags: the coupe has 6.9 cubic feet of luggage space beneath its hatchback and the roadster has 4.2 in its conventional trunk. Rear visibility is also a problem, as the thick roof pillars create large blind spots.

Driving Impressions

On the road, the 2011 Nissan 370Z provides unrelenting grip and razor-sharp control, but it's easy to drive and makes you feel like a better driver than you are. The ride quality impresses with its ability to be supple without compromising handling. The Sport package's 19-inch wheel-and-tire combo can get awfully noisy, especially on concrete highway slabs. The roadster actually fares better on this count due to its enclosed trunk. The 370Z Nismo offers no apologies for its more jarring conveyance, but makes up for it with super-controlled cornering attitude, tenacious grip and eagerness to please on weekend track days.

The Z's big V6 provides formidable thrust when you jump on the throttle, but it's equally mannered around town. Either transmission is a respectable choice. The manual shifter doesn't like to be rushed, but its hefty feel suits the overall solidity of the car (plus, SynchroRev Match is one of the coolest features in any car today). The automatic, meanwhile, does a great job of keeping the V6 in the thick of its power band, and provides quick blip-throttle downshifts in all modes. Our only gripe is that the V6 just never sounds that healthy when given the spurs, even from the exhaust. It also generates extraordinary vibration and harshness at high rpm.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

370z review

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan 370Z Touring 2dr Coupe (3.7L 6cyl 7A)

370z Positive Review Driving down the street in a Nissan 370z is a joy. People glance at you and then double take. From the outside, the z car is sharp but with curves in all the right places. Even better than the view from the outside, is the sensation of being in the driver’s seat. It has performance that matches its looks and a price that fits a moderate budget. Whether it’s the car you take to the racetrack on the weekends or your daily driver, the z is a great ride. The 370z comes from a legacy of z cars, starting with the Datsun 240z, which came to the United States in 1970. After years of refinement, the current 370z car steps up to the competition as the best affordable sports car available. When you step into a 370z, there is a rush of emotion. I can best describe it as a mixture of excitement and respect for the power that is at under your foot. The modern, clear, yet aggressive gauges all move to their limits and back at the start of the car, just daring you to put your foot down. The exhaust note is low and ready. This is all a lot to handle for a sixteen-year-old boy, so I dealt with it by sitting in the garage with the car mentally preparing for a month or so before I could legally drive it. Once I pulled out of the garage and on to the road, I was able to appreciate the full ability of the 370z as a true drivers car. From a stand still, 0-60mph flies by in 4.7 seconds of mind-blowing acceleration. This matches the numbers of muscle cars such as the Mustang GT, and the Camaro SS, which are the main American competitors in the price range. You may say “So what if it ‘matches’ its competitors” and the answer to that is seen on the track. The z, being much lighter than the Camaro SS and the Mustang GT, can take corners without tilting dangerously due to its shorter wheelbase and wider axles. Some may point out that unlike its American counterparts, the z does not have a back seat, but my question is are we talking about a sports car or a family sedan? Another aspect that facilitates the 370z domination on the track is a first ever technology called syncro-rev match. When approaching a corner on the track (or on the road), you have to slow down in order to not fly off your course and downshift in order to stay in the cars optimum power band. To do this successfully on a manual transmission in a normal car, one has to heal and toe which means you have to engage the clutch and rev the throttle to the correct rpm to have a smooth downshift. Syncro-rev match does this for you, so all you have to do is down shift without blipping the throttle for a perfect transition of power. All this is to say that the 370z is performance without compromise, holding to the legacy of its predecessors while advancing with break through technology. Although it is performance without compromise, that is not to say that it lacks in comforts or gizmos on the inside. It is admittedly a little bit of a drop to get into the car since its only about six inches off the ground, but once your down there its like you’ve walked into a Best Buy department store. The gauges are crisp. The navigation system could direct you to your space-time location of choice. And all this can take place while you are talking with your friend through the hands free phone system incorporated on the steering wheel. Also, using the navigation touch screen, you can check the weather, check traffic conditions, and control the sound system. The sound system is one of my favorite features in the car. With the premium Bose sound package, the small cabin is infused with eight speakers plus two dual subwoofers. To use this incredible system there are six possible sources of sound; a six CD changer, a radio, an XM satellite radio, a USB iPod connection, a built in 9.3 GB music box, and a Bluetooth wireless audio system. And the music volume is speed sensitive, so as you speed up the music plays louder to equalize road noise. Additionally, if you just have to watch Finding Nemo one more time, the car has DVD playback capability, which can actually be good for entertaining kids. All of the electronics interfaces are calmed down by a sleek, white leather interior that gives you great lumbar support and holds you in your seat if you’re at the track. The seats can be adjusted electronically and have heaters built in to them for those cold mornings when you have to go to school even though you were planning on it being cancelled for “snow.” Once springtime roles around, the new problem is allergies. No fear! The car can fix it all with its in cabin air micro filter. The engineers at Nissan must have had themselves spinning backwards thinking of all these features, which brings me to the subject of putting the car in reverse. As soon as you click the gearshift into reverse, a real time camera pops up on the nav. screen, which is great for backing out of parking spaces and avoiding those crazy lower school moms. In reverse, the screen also shows the cars predicted course when you turn the steering wheel, so curved driveways are not a problem. You can still do it the old fashion way with the mirror, but even the simple mirror is more than it seems. For example, if you are driving down the road at night with the blinding lights of a tailgater reflecting in your eyes, the mirror will sense the intense light and dim it for you. But since most of your time will be spent driving the car rather than playing with all the features (hopefully or else you’ll end up against a tree), lets get back to drivability. I’ve talked a lot about the 370z’s performance on the racetrack, but chances are, most people will use it on public roads. One tiny complaint that some people have brought forth is that there is a bit of road noise on the highway and the engine is load at high rpm. The road noise is because the wheel wells are deep up into the curves of the car so that the car can sit lower to the ground and the engine is loud at high rpm (Figure 5) because it is simply powerful and I would be disappointed if my sports car softly whirred like a Toyota Prius. Speaking of environmentally friendly cars, the 370z does well on fuel economy getting 19mpg in the city and 26mpg on the highway in both the automatic and manual versions. CO2 emissions are also relatively low for a sports car of the 370z’s caliber and run at about 245g/km. One concern that prospective customers may have is whether or not the Nissan 370z is safe. Since the z is a small car, this is a valid concern, but Nissan has done a lot to protect its customers. On impact, the car basically turns into a raspberry of airbags (Figure 5). The z is equipped with dual stage supplemental front airbags, driver and passenger seat mounted side air bags, and roof mounted side impact airbags for head protection. Of course there are advanced seatbelts with pretension and load limiters, and in the event of a rear end collision, the Active Head Restraints push forward to prevent neck injuries. Structurally, the z is designed with crumple zones, an impact absorbing steering column, and a stabilizing bar behind the seats in case the car rolls over. Other features that the z has that prevent you from having an accident are Vehicle Dynamic Control with advanced Traction Control, tire pressure monitoring systems, and anti-lock brakes. In the car, regardless of road conditions, you feel locked down to the pavement with plenty of stopping power derived from the massive four-piston, fourteen-inch brakes. All of these features together create an incredible machine. Walking up to the car in the parking lot, you feel the way a proud owner should. The other day I came out of a movie at Amstar and there was a group of maybe 12 people that I have never seen before standing around it because they had never seen anything like it before. If I wanted to keep the exterior perfectly clean, I’d have to wash off all the handprints on a daily basis. In both looks and performance, the 370z even upstages cars like the Porsche Cayman even though the Cayman is almost double the price of the z. In terms of performance, drivability, efficiency, and looks you can’t find bettwe value for your money. For all it has to offer compared to cars in and above its class, the 370z is clearly the best affordable sports car available.



Talk About The 2011 370Z

2011 Nissan 370Z Discussions See all Started By

goldieatx
goldieatx
06-10-2011
I went in to drive (and presumably buy) a 370z, but it didn't quite suit me. I was also interested in the Altima coupe, figuring I could save some money and gain some comfort over what's really a not...


CarMan@Edmunds
CarMan@Edmunds
03-01-2011
Hi anoose. Nissan is not currently providing any lease support on the 370Z. Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp.'s February buy rate lease money factor and residual value for a 36 month lease of a base 201...



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