2011 Nissan 370Z Review

Consumer Reviews
2 Reviews
2018
The Car Connection
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Nelson Ireson Nelson Ireson Senior Editor
February 5, 2011

A great performance car that starts just under $30,000, the 2011 Nissan 370Z comes close enough to Porsche performance to make you wonder.

Though it has adopted more technology and features than past Z cars, the 2010 Nissan 370Z remains a straightforward sports car. Whether you choose the coupe or Roadster, you get two seats, a modest cargo area, and a 3.7-liter, 332-horsepower engine. Both coupe and Roadster are available with either a seven-speed automatic or six-speed manual with Synchro-Rev matching, and a choice of several trim levels. A factory-tuned NISMO edition bumps output to 350 horsepower and tightens the suspension. Starting at a base price of around $30,000 for the coupe, prices can rise over $40,000 for the Roadster and even higher for the NISMO.

The 370Z coupe has been on the road for two years now, while the Roadster joined the lineup in 2010. Most of the styling is common between the two, and both are shorter and more curvaceous than the previous 350Z. A few cues borrowed from Nissan's GT-R supercar make it clear it's a serious sports car, including the angle of the roof-to-windshield junction. The arrow-shaped lights at each end share a style with the more conventional cars in Nissan's lineup. The overall proportions are short, wide, and low--in short, sporty. For the Roadster, the cloth top gets a two-hump hard cover when it's lowered. Inside, the 370Z's materials are a big step up from the 350Z, and generally on par with other cars of its class, while the design layout retains some of the Z's classic cues, presented in a modern metal-and-plastic theme.

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 Synchro-Rev, 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.

Review continues below

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, 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.

Two seats are all you can get with the 370Z, and you'll have to make do with relatively little cargo space as well, though the 370Z does offer more cabin space than many sports cars. The standard seats are comfortable and adjustable to fit most body types, while the power seats of the Touring models get leather and ventilation as well. Quality, fit and finish aren't BMW- or Audi-level, but then, neither is the price. There are fewer rattles and better materials than the similarly-priced Ford Mustang, with overall interior finish and feel about on par with the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Road noise can be high on some surfaces, and the tires can add to this to bring the roar to near unacceptable levels, even amongst sports cars.

The 2011 370Z includes all the basic safety features you'd expect, including anti-lock brakes, stability control, and traction control. Standard airbags include front, side, and, on the coupe, roof-mounted side-curtain units. The 370Z hasn't been crash tested by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) or IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) yet, but the previous 350Z coupe and roadster scored mostly four-star ratings.

Both the coupe and Roadster are available in base or Touring trim, with an optional Sport package, available on either base or Touring coupes and the Touring Roadster, that adds larger 19-inch forged aluminum wheels, a viscous limited-slip differential, and front and rear aerodynamic/appearance elements. Standard equipment on all models includes cruise control, power windows, and Nissan's Intelligent Key keyless entry/start system. An optional navigation package adds a 9.3-GB Music Box Hard Drive and iPod interface. Roadsters feature a power-folding soft top that opens or closes in about 20 seconds, controlled by a button in the console or on the doors. The Roadster's standard specification includes Bluetooth, XM Satellite Radio with real-time traffic, power leather seats with ventilation, and HID headlights. TheCarConnection.com finds the navigation systems in the 370Z to be easy-to-use, and we especially like the dynamic audio and climate controls that adapt to top-down driving.

 

8

2011 Nissan 370Z

Styling

The 2011 Nissan 370Z Roadster and NISMO editions bring some diversity and additional styling flair to the very attractive 370Z lineup.

The 370Z coupe has been on the road for two years now, while the Roadster joined the lineup in 2010. Most of the styling is common between the two, and both are shorter and more curvaceous than the previous 350Z. A few cues borrowed from Nissan's GT-R supercar make it clear it's a serious sports car, including the angle of the roof-to-windshield junction. The arrow-shaped lights at each end share a style with the more conventional cars in Nissan's lineup.

The curvaceous exterior was originally penned with a roadster model in mind, so the addition of the new convertible model is much more than the afterthought it was with the 350Z, and it certainly shows in the design. The performance-oriented Nissan 370Z NISMO edition also gets special styling attention. The overall proportions are short, wide, and low--in short, sporty. For the Roadster, the cloth top gets a two-hump hard cover when it's lowered. Inside, the 370Z's materials are a big step up from the 350Z, and generally on par with other cars of its class, while the design layout retains some of the Z's classic cues, presented in a modern metal-and-plastic theme.

The NISMO edition, added last year, gets both performance and visual enhancements, with unique wheels, front, side, and rear appearance/aerodynamic work, a unique interior, and NISMO badging. Not everyone loves the NISMO's styling, but it fits the car's performance-minded tuning..

The interior of the 2011 Nissan 370Z wears an appearance those after a more refined, sporting car will appreciate. The coupe retains much of the interior, but the convertible and NISMO are upgraded beyond the coupe.

Review continues below
9

2011 Nissan 370Z

Performance

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.

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.

Review continues below
7

2011 Nissan 370Z

Comfort & Quality

The 2011 Nissan 370Z continues bound forward in the quality department, but interior noise is disappointing.

Two seats are all you can get with the 370Z, and you'll have to make do with relatively little cargo space as well, though the 370Z does offer more cabin space than many sports cars. The standard seats are comfortable and adjustable to fit most body types, while the power seats of the Touring models get leather and ventilation as well.

Quality, fit and finish aren't BMW- or Audi-level, but then, neither is the price. There are fewer rattles and better materials than the similarly-priced Ford Mustang, with overall interior finish and feel about on par with the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Road noise can be high on some surfaces, and the tires can add to this to bring the roar to near unacceptable levels, even amongst sports cars.

Also, while many competitors have shifted toward hard-top convertibles that leave little trunk room when the top is down, Nissan's fabric-roofed roadster retains some of the car's cargo-hauling capability.

Though it has good interior space for passengers, the 2010 Nissan 370Z has minimal interior storage, which is especially noticeable on the roadster. The hardtop coupe pays a higher penalty in perception of available space, however, as expectations are somewhat higher for two-seaters with a fixed roof.

TheCarConnection.com's editors feel the 370Z is put together solidly; it's a grade above the Mustang, but just competitive with the Hyundai Genesis Coupe-maybe a notch below in soft-touch surfaces and low-gloss good looks. Other sources feel the Nissan 370Z exceeds all expectations in terms of interior quality. Compared to the 350Z lineup, the 370Z seems positively swanky.

Review continues below
9

2011 Nissan 370Z

Safety

Crash tests are pending, but the 2011 Nissan 370Z offers the latest safety features and boasts good visibility on both the coupe and roadster.

The 2011 370Z includes all the basic safety features you'd expect, including anti-lock brakes, stability control, and traction control. Standard airbags include front, side, and, on the coupe, roof-mounted side-curtain units. The 370Z hasn't been crash tested by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) or IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) yet, but the previous 350Z coupe and roadster scored mostly four-star ratings.

With its low window sills and relatively high seating position, the 2011 Nissan 370Z offers impressive driver sightlines, even with the top up in the Roadster. As you might expect, the view with the top down is spectacular. The thick rear pillars of the coupe impinge somewhat on rear visibility, but it's not a deal-breaker for most.

Review continues below
8

2011 Nissan 370Z

Features

The 2011 Nissan 370Z's one-touch convertible top is attractive and functional, and audio features are high points.

Both the coupe and Roadster are available in base or Touring trim, with an optional Sport package, available on either base or Touring coupes and the Touring Roadster, that adds larger 19-inch forged aluminum wheels, a viscous limited-slip differential, and front and rear aerodynamic/appearance elements.

Standard equipment on all models includes cruise control, power windows, and Nissan's Intelligent Key keyless entry/start system. An optional navigation package adds a 9.3-GB Music Box Hard Drive and iPod interface. TheCarConnection.com finds the navigation systems in the 370Z to be easy-to-use, and we especially like the dynamic audio and climate controls that adapt to top-down driving.

Roadsters feature a power-folding soft top that opens or closes in about 20 seconds, controlled by a button in the console or on the doors. The Roadster's standard specification includes Bluetooth, XM Satellite Radio with real-time traffic, power leather seats with ventilation, and HID headlights.

The 2011 Nissan 370Z is a true bang-for-the-buck sports car, especially in its base coupe trim. Prices on the roadster rise into the low-$40,000 range, but even then it's very competitive against the likes of the Porsche Boxster.

The base 2011 Nissan 370Z coupe starts just under $30,000, placing it among the most capable sports cars in its price range. For $30,000 you won't get much in the way of high-end features.

Options aren't exactly the Nissan 370Z's forte; there's a dearth of available extras. However, the 2011 Nissan 370Z is relatively well-equipped anyway, so most consumers won't miss sifting through an endless options list.

Review continues below
6

2011 Nissan 370Z

Fuel Economy

The 2011 Nissan 370Z won't be winning any fuel economy awards, but you won't notice with the 332-horsepower grin on your face.

Sports cars and "green" credibility don't often go hand in hand, and the 2011 Nissan 370Z is no exception. Though it's better than an SUV or crossover at the fuel pump, it's not the econobox its dimensions or capacities would suggest, thanks to the 332-horsepower engine under the hood. Rated at about 18/26 mpg according to the EPA, the 370Z coupe and Roadster offer fair economy to the sport-minded driver.
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August 14, 2015
2011 Nissan 370Z 2-Door Coupe Automatic Touring

A great looking car that has excellent handling,power that is all you need legally and upgrades to all are available in abundance by aftermarket suppliers.

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I had a 2009 manual sport which was fun, but when I came across a sport touring with automatic at a fair price moving up was a easy decision. Power provided by the 3.7 liter v6 is really all it needs, but, I'd... + More »
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April 18, 2015
For 2011 Nissan 370Z

I would buy the next generation too

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I had a 350Z and loved it but knew where it had shortcomings. The 370Z solved 99% of the 350s shortcomings and has been a wonderful car. I fly all over the world and just love to get behind the wheel when I... + More »
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