2009 Nissan 370Z: Go Ahead, Name a Better V6 in This Price Range
January 05, 2010
I'll grant you this: The 332-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 in our 2009 Nissan 370Z serenades you with all kinds of noise and vibration when you ride close to its 7,500-rpm redline.
But I would still take this V6 over almost every other six-cylinder in this price range, because like it or lump it, the VQ-series V6 is athletic. There's enough torque to get the car out of the hole in a hurry and power builds noticeably as you work up to higher engine speeds. This engine isn't about having a nice-and-easy flat torque band; you're building up to something.
I just can't get excited about the 306-hp 3.8-liter V6 in the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and the 304-hp 3.6-liter V6 in the Chevrolet Camaro. They sound pretty good. They have nice, flat torque bands. But there's no athleticism in the way they rev, and if you're driving a car with two doors, why scrimp on that?
Of course, the twin-turbocharged, direct-injected, 3.0-liter inline-6 in the BMW 135i gives me pause. It has that perfectly flat, boring torque curve I've railed against, but it's so powerful and so smooth, and I so can't be blamed for liking it...
And maybe there's an opportunity here for the 2011 Mustang and its 305-hp 3.7-liter V6 if it can combine genuine performance character with a little refinement than our Z's brutish V6.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 18,047 miles