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PERFORMANCE | 9 out of 10
The 370 is the quickest and stickiest Z that Motor Trend has ever tested. Whether opting for the coupe or roadster, the Nissan 370Z delivers stellar driving dynamics, with organic steering, stout brakes, and immense grip. About the only major gripe is engine coarseness near redline.
The high-winding V6 is gutsy, though you'll know when you're getting close to the 7,500 rpm redline, as the engine sounds and feels rather coarse. In terms of handling, this latest Z is the best yet, boasting tenacious grip and sharp reflexes.
We clocked acceleration to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and a quarter mile run in a brisk 14.0 seconds at 105 mph.
Heel-toe down shifting, which requires using the right foot to both brake and blip the throttle, is one of the most difficult skills for any driver to learn. The 370Z's SynchroRev Match system blips the throttle, automatically providing butter-smooth downshifts every time.
Kelley Blue Book
What we have here is a $35,000 car that accelerates to 60 mph a mere 10th behind a Porsche Cayman S.
Car and Driver
Engine and transmission options remain unchanged for 2011, including the 3.7-liter V-6 rated at 332 horsepower. With a 7,500-rpm redline, the engine can be wound out, but still has plenty of available torque lower in the rev range. Official 0-60-mph times are pegged under 5 seconds for all models, though the 350-horsepower NISMO is a touch faster than the standard 370Z.
The six-speed manual transmission offers a unique rev-matching downshift feature call SynchroRev, and the paddle-shift seven-speed automatic will blip the engine on downshifts in manual mode as well. The six-speed gearbox is smooth if somewhat heavy, and will be the enthusiast's first choice. The automatic is precise and capable, however, and shouldn't be overlooked by those wanting an easier commute. Fuel economy isn't great in the grand scheme, but it's acceptable for a sports car at about 18/26 mpg city/highway for the thirstiest models.
The shorter wheelbase, wider track, and retuned suspension of the 370Z Roadster proved more capable than its predecessor, and despite its rather hefty 3,200-plus-pounds of curb weight, it's able to keep pace with smaller, more delicate competitors. High speed driving finds the front tires tramlining somewhat, following grooves or irregularities in the road surface, requiring an attentive driver. Despite this quirk, at speeds that won't land you in jail, the steering is confident and solid, if a bit short on feedback. The NISMO version sharpens all of the 370Z's qualities, but many will find it too stiff and focused for a daily driver.
The 2011 Nissan 370Z Roadster and coupe have a big but livable performance envelope and great road-holding; the NISMO version's probably too much for ordinary drivers.