2009 Nissan 370Z Long-Term Road Test - Audio & Technology

2009 Nissan 370Z Long-Term Road Test

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2009 Nissan 370Z: Sound > Noise

January 21, 2010


Good grief this car is noisy. I know we keep going on about it, but there's really not much else to dislike about this car - but it's damn near a deal breaker.

The solution? Loud music. Really, really loud music.

The stereo can handle it (pretty well I might add) and if you can too, the buzzing and relentless noise this car generates is drowned out and all you're left with is the experience you expected to have in first place. I actually drove this thing way better once I stopped being so distracted by all the racket it makes.

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 18,217 miles

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2009 Nissan 370Z Touring: Nice Feature

January 07, 2010


I like this. Our 2009 Nissan 370Z displays the gear you have selected. It shows up right in front of you on the dash.

Have you ever had that moment when you're parked head-to-head with another car in a parking lot and that car is only an inch from your front bumper? You put the car in reverse but it's a tricky shifter and you're pretty sure you're in reverse. Wouldn't it be nice to have that reassurance right there in front of you?

Maybe this wouldn't happen on your every day car that you are so familiar with. But when you jump in and out of cars as often as we do, it's a nice feature.

Can you think of any other manual transmission cars that have this display?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2009 Nissan 370Z Touring: This Car Doesn't Know Me

December 16, 2009


Maybe I've been whining too much about tire noise, because the Z-car has decided it doesn't want to know me anymore. Seems like the intelligent key is running out of juice, so now you have to actually pull out the key from your pocket and trigger the unlock button to get inside and then insert the key into its dash slot for the ignition to work.

This is hardly a big deal (except for our local Nissan dealership's apparent reluctance to change the battery or replace the key, about which more later), but it does suddenly remind you of all the reasons why smart keys have become so widespread.

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2009 Nissan 370Z: How To Annoy a Perfectionist

November 10, 2009

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I know JDP already mentioned in a previous post how for some reason our 2009 Nissan 370Z has two different clocks that aren't even synced up but he didn't mention what a PITA it is figure out how to set the one on the dash on your own. It's just not as clear as the nav's clock which you can change through its screen. You'd think buttons for the dash clock would be located near it. But nope. So, oh noes, I had to go to the manual. Fortunately, though, once it's figured out, no big deal.

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2009 Nissan 370Z: Would You Keep Track of Its MPG?

October 26, 2009


Is it just me or is this a weird feature for our 2009 Nissan 370Z, a sport coupe with 332 horsepower and a 3.7-liter V6, to have?

I don't think anyone on our staff pays attention to it. When I drove our Z this weekend, all I noticed about this mpg bar is that when I took my foot off the throttle, the bar went up to 60. Ooh. But when I'm passing cars or zooming up a freeway on-ramp, fuel economy is not really a concern. Then again, it's not my car. Is it different for you owners out there?

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 14,108 miles

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2009 Nissan 370Z: Can I Buy a Vowel?

September 21, 2009

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Whenever a song plays on the radio whose title is too long to fit in the miserly text space on the Z's display screen, I find myself wishing I could buy a letter. Manufacturers of far cheaper cars than the Z have managed to solve the riddle of how to come up with a way to display even longer song titles on their screens, so it feels like Nissan/Infiniti is a bit behind the curve.

Otherwise, I love the audio interface. It's easy to use and iPod integration is outstanding.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 12,378 miles

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2009 Nissan 370Z: Baby's Got Bass Part II: The Opening

August 06, 2009

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Last time we explored the trunk of our 2009 Nissan 370Z, we'd pulled out the subwoofer tub and let you know that there were a pair of 4.5" subwoofers mounted somewhere therein. But who likes to be told when they can be shown?

The top is held on with Phillips-head screws and takes about a minute to remove. Less if you use a drill. The drivers are mounted face-up in what appears to be a ported (or bass reflex) box and not some silly isobaric design. But that's not 100% certain. (See this link for more information on what we're about to go over.)

See, the top is held on with screws and no manner of seal, but there are something like 12 of them and it's a very tight fit. Now, if this is tight enough-- air tight-- then we're looking at a dual-reflex enclosure and not a ported one. The odds on this aren't strong, but Bose is tricky

I've got a call into Bose to see if there's any funny business here, but for now let's just assume that it's a standard bit of kit in a really well done package.

Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant

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2009 Nissan 370Z Touring: iPod Integration Sore Point

July 31, 2009

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JRiz recently gushed about how bitchin' the iPod integration is in our 2009 Nissan 370Z, and I agree with everything he said. Our 2009 Infiniti FX50 has the exact same interface, and our 2009 Nissan GT-R is 95% the same save for a smaller, off-center control wheel.

But all of them have an annoying flaw that only creeps into the picture when you are listening to your iPod when a bluetooth call comes in through your paired phone. And I always pair my Bluetooth phone to the cars I drive whenever I can, so the following happens to me a lot.

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2009 Nissan 370Z: iPod Interface Video

July 30, 2009

Nissan 370Z iPod Screen

The 370Z features the same iPod interface found in all Nissans and Infinitis that feature its current navigation system. This is my favorite iPod interface -- yes, including Sync. Here's how it works.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 9,739 miles

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2009 Nissan 370Z: Baby's Got Bass, Courtesy of Bose

July 08, 2009


Bose is every car stereo snob's favorite whipping boy, but the folks on The Mountain in Massachusetts do know a thing or two about getting great sound in a vehicle. Like squeezing big bass into our tiny LT 2009 Nissan 370Z Touring.

I was wondering where all that low end in my test tracks was coming from, and figured it wasn't being produced by the 6x9-inch door speakers, even though the system did have a good up-front bass feel -- something that even the best aftermarket audio system designers struggle to achieve.

My ears led me to the hatch, where I lifted two layers of trim to find a 7.7-liter enclosure sitting on top of the spare tire that contains a pair of 4.5-inch subwoofers. I'd seen such applications in the aftermarket years ago -- although usually with the spare tire tossed to make space for bass -- but can't recall one in an OEM setup.

Cheers to Bose for adding some bump to the rump of the 370Z. And to Nissan for making it standard equipment.

Doug Newcomb, Senior Editor, Technology, Edmunds.com @ 9,214 miles

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2009 Nissan 370Z: How To Avoid Traffic

April 17, 2009

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I'm obsessed with constantly checking traffic on Google Maps so I love it when cars have navs that show you what's happening on the freeways. Our 2009 Nissan 370Z has one such nav which shows if traffic is flowing, slow or stopped according to whether there's a green, yellow or red line. But one detail that stands out to me is the Sigalerts of actual accidents, as depicted by an icon of an upside down car accompanied by a quick detail of the situation.

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2009 Nissan 370Z: Suspension Walkaround

April 16, 2009

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The suspension on our 2009 Nissan 370Z is pretty straightforward. It's got upper and lower control arms and a coil-over shock.

Here you can see what is called a high-mount upper arm. The hub carrier (aluminum here) is huge, and it stretches upwards to locate the upper ball joint high in the fender well. This provides a very large moment arm to counteract side loads generated while cornering. And a large moment arm reduces the forces seen at the upper ball joint. In turn, the upper arm and the body attachment points won't see high loads either, so they can be lighter and stronger.

You can also see how the upper arm slopes down dramatically to the rear. This is called anti-dive geometry, and depending on the angle it can reduce or eliminate brake dive. It would seem that instantaneous caster would increase as the loaded side's upper ball joint moves back during cornering, and that should increase self-aligning forces and generate feedback in turns. But none of the textbooks I own delves into that aspect

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 5,010 miles

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2009 Nissan 370Z Touring: Gear indicated

April 08, 2009

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I used to have a sportbike or two a while back. Riding on more than one occasion, I wouldn't know what gear I was in -- I wished for a gear indicator display. Well, today, several sportbikes have such a feature.

And it's especially nice on a motorbike because of the sequential 6-speed gearbox, the close ratios, and the extremely flexible engine. If you weren't paying close attention, it would be easy to forget where you were, particularly in the middle of the gearbox (3,4,5).

The car where this gear indicator display would come in handy is the BMW 135, because it too has a close ratio 6-speed manual gearbox (but non-sequential) and an extremely flexible engine. Several times I've lost track of what gear I was in.

The 370Z on the other hand, has nicely spaced ratios and, although the engine can rev, I can't imagine it being called motorbike-like -- it doesn't zing up. You get a lot of feedback from the engine and exhaust note, too.

So do you need the gear indicator on the 370Z? Well, it's nice to have, and doesn't take up almost any space in the meters at the bottom of the tacho. It's not like it's a head-up display that is blocking your view or something. And it shows you if you got the occasionally hard to get reverse.

Next to the gear indicator is a display showing if the Syncrorev match system is on or not (JK said it remembers last position selected.) Which is nice.

But I guess this won't matter in the future, anyway, when the New World Order in Washington forces us to all drive hybrid/electric/fuel cell vehicles with CVTs.

Albert Austria, Sr Vehicle Eval Engineer @ 4646 miles

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2009 Nissan 370Z: Not Quite Awesome Enough

April 07, 2009


Our 2009 Nissan 370Z has satellite radio, and when I'm driving I'll occasionally listen to radio Faction's afternoon DJ, Jason Ellis. Jason has this ongoing theme where callers recount their feats of awesomeness and he then judges them on whether or not they are admitted into a nirvana-like "awesome world."

I mention this because our Nissan 370Z would be an excellent candidate for Brent's Sports Car Awesome World. It's got tidy dimensions, great handling, a quality interior, impressive as-tested numbers and, to my eyes at least, a good-looking exterior. But there's one thing that's going to hold it back from gaining entry.

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