2012 Nissan 370Z Review | Edmunds.com

2012 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 2012 Nissan 370Z

  • Affordable high-performance sports cars don't get any better than the 2012 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 2012

    The 2012 Nissan 370Z returns with no major changes.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

370z review

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Vehicle: 2011 Nissan 370Z

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.

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Nissan 370Z Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Nissan 370Z returns with no major changes.


Carrying on a legacy of affordable fun that stretches all the way back to the 240Z of the early 1970s, the 2012 Nissan 370Z is proof that you don't have to be rich to drive a cool sports car.

With its gutsy engine, athletic handling, sexy styling and driver-oriented two-seat cockpit, the rear-wheel-drive 370Z has all the sports car bases covered. The fact that you can pick one up for about the price of a top-line family sedan makes owning one just that much easier to rationalize.

If the standard 370Z coupe isn't quite your style, you'll find the 370Z Roadster delivers the same entertaining driving dynamics with the added bonus of a power-folding soft top that makes it possible to enjoy al fresco motoring in about 20 seconds. If it's more muscle you want, the high-performance 370Z Nismo model features a more powerful engine, 19-inch alloy wheels and a sport-tuned suspension.

While the 370Z has a lot of strong points, it has a few notable shortcomings. For one thing, the 3.7-liter V6 sounds coarse and almost trucklike when pushed hard and lacks the pleasing exhaust note you'd expect from a car like this. The coupe's interior is also downright loud, especially with the optional Sport package's 19-inch wheels and tires, a condition that becomes tedious on longer drives.

For some enthusiasts with children, the lack of a backseat might be an issue, and that could make a number of four-person sport coupes more appealing, such as the BMW 1 Series, Hyundai Genesis Coupe and the mechanically similar (though much more refined) Infiniti G37 coupe. For about the same amount of dough, you could also pick up the performance versions of three American icons: the Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang.

Ultimately though, the 370Z continues to excel at its time-honored mission: delivering strong sports car performance at a relatively reasonable price.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Nissan 370Z is offered in two-seat coupe and soft-top convertible body styles. The coupe is available in base, Touring and Nismo trim levels, while the convertible (a.k.a. Roadster) comes in base and Touring only.

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

Moving up to the Touring coupe gets you leather and faux suede upholstery, heated four-way power seats (includes four-way driver lumbar adjustment), an auto-dimming rearview mirror, cargo area cover, Bluetooth phone connectivity and an eight-speaker Bose sound system with an in-dash six-CD changer and satellite radio. The Nismo coupe adds 19-inch forged aluminum wheels and high-performance tires, stiffer suspension tuning, upgraded brakes, a limited-slip rear differential and a more powerful V6, plus 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. Likewise for the Roadster Touring model with the addition of heated and ventilated power seats.

Coupe and Roadster Touring buyers looking for more performance can add an optional Sport package that includes 19-inch wheels, a limited-slip rear differential, upgraded brakes, front and rear spoilers and the SynchroRev Match feature for manual-transmission-equipped cars. Touring models can also be fitted with a navigation system with a touchscreen interface, real-time traffic and weather updates, voice controls, digital music storage, Bluetooth audio streaming, an iPod interface and a rearview camera.

Powertrains and Performance

In base and Touring trims, the rear-wheel-drive 2012 Nissan 370Z and 370Z Roadster are powered by a 3.7-liter V6 that puts 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque to the pavement through a standard six-speed manual transmission. When equipped with the Sport package, the manual transmission 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 with steering-column-mounted shift paddles and rev-matched downshifts is available as an option.

In Edmunds performance testing, a 370Z coupe with the Sport package accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a quick 5.1 seconds, while the Roadster did it in 5.5 seconds. The fuel economy penalty for such hustle isn't devastating, with EPA estimates for the coupe coming in at 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined with the manual and 19/26/22 with the automatic. The Roadsters are nearly as good, at 18/25/20 with the manual and 18/25/21 mpg with the automatic.

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


Standard safety equipment for the 2012 Nissan 370Z includes antilock brakes, traction and stability control, 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 an outstanding 101 feet -- about the same as the Nissan GT-R. A Roadster with the Sport package took only 5 more feet to stop.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Nissan 370Z's interior features an attractive design and quality materials, especially in the upscale Touring models with their leather and faux suede upholstery. Seats are comfortable and supportive, and despite the lack of a telescoping adjustment for the steering wheel, the driving position is near ideal. One downside to the car's styling is that its thick roof pillars make for limited visibility out the back.

Those who opt for the Roadster won't have long to wait when they want to catch some rays, as the fully lined soft top folds itself neatly under a color-matched hard tonneau cover in roughly 20 seconds. As in most sports cars, luggage space is scarce, with just 6.9 cubic feet of storage under the coupe's hatchback and a slightly smaller than average 4.2 cubic feet in the convertible's trunk.

Driving Impressions

Behind the wheel, the 2012 Nissan 370Z delivers all the thrills you'd expect from a true sports car. The standard sport-tuned suspension delivers excellent handling and a surprisingly smooth ride. As you'd expect, the Nismo model's firmer suspension, larger wheels and performance tires means you'll be trading away a good bit of ride comfort in everyday driving for outstanding cornering ability that's well-suited to weekend track days. Pervasive road noise is also an issue for the 370Z coupe.

The 3.7-liter V6 manages to deliver grin-inducing acceleration while still remaining tame enough for tooling around town. Both transmissions are equally likable, and the SynchroRev Match's blip of the throttle on downshifts is bound to make you feel like a driving champion. One downside to this powertrain is that it just doesn't sound very good, with a notably coarse nature at high rpm.

Talk About The 2012 370Z

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