Sporty/performance car; Built in Japan
  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door coupe
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $12,500 – $37,300*


2009 Nissan 370Z Front


2009 Nissan 370Z Rear


2009 Nissan 370Z Interior


2009 Nissan 370Z Front-2


2009 Nissan 370Z Rear-2

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Engine and tire noise
  • Interior storage space
  • Rear visibility
  • Ride (NISMO)

Though smaller on the outside than the 350Z it replaced, the latest generation of Nissan’s iconic “Z car” feels more grown-up. While it’s on the noisy side, its strong acceleration, potent handling, and refined interior more than make up for that deficit. Prices might seem high, new or used; but for all of its performance potential, base 370Z models are actually something of a bargain. They also best represent the car’s attributes. Roadsters are not refined enough to justify their high prices. Only serious driving enthusiasts need apply for the NISMO. Though its handling is a notch above the standard car, noise and a stiff ride are too overwhelming to make it useful as a daily driver. Strong resale value keeps used coupe prices particularly high.

Overview

For 2009, a new 370Z model debuted to replace the 350Z coupe as Nissan’s two-seat performance-oriented sports car. Along with a new engine, the 370Z coupe got freshened styling and several new features. This next generation of Nissan’s signature sports car was about 4 inches shorter in wheelbase and almost 3 inches shorter overall than the 350Z that was sold in 2003-2008 The new 370Z coupe came in Base, Touring, and high-performance NISMO trim levels, each retaining the rear-wheel-drive hatchback layout of the 350Z. A 3.7-liter V6 engine replaced the outgoing model’s 3.5-liter V6. Base and Touring engines made 332 horsepower, while the NISMO’s variant developed 350 hp. A six-speed manual transmission was standard on all. Base and Touring models could have an optional seven-speed automatic.

Standard safety features included antilock brakes, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain side airbags, and front side airbags. Base and Touring 370Z models had standard 18-inch wheels. An optional Sport Package included 19-inch tires. NISMO versions had 19-inch wheels and a sport suspension, as well as specific trim. A Navigation Package for Touring versions included a navigation system with real-time traffic information and a 9.3-gigabyte hard drive for storing digital-music files. Nissan continued to sell the 350Z, but solely in convertible form. That model used the same basic design and powertrain as the 2003-2008 350Z. A 370Z convertible went on sale in calendar 2009, but as a 2010 model. Nissan’s 370Z coupe competed against such performance-oriented models as the Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang, and Mitsubishi Eclipse, plus the new-for-2010 Chevrolet Camaro-though each of those had a back seat. Chevrolet’s more costly, V8-powered Corvette was a two-passenger model.

Yearly Updates

2010 370Z
A convertible body style, dubbed the 370Z Roadster, went on sale to join the 370Z coupe, which was largely unchanged for 2010. Roadsters had a power soft top and a heated glass rear window. Equipped with an automatic latch system, the convertible top needed 20 seconds to raise or lower beneath a hard tonneau cover. Roadsters came in Base and Touring trim levels. Coupes in 2010 also were offered as limited-production 40th Anniversary Editions, and in high-performance NISMO form. The 40th Anniversary Edition was a 370Z Touring coupe with the Sport Package and specific interior/exterior trim, including a red leather-appointed interior and a commemorative plaque. Only 1,000 were to be built. All 370Z coupes got an enhanced available navigation system, plus newly standard heated mirrors and an in-cabin microfilter.
2011 370Z
The 2011 Nissan 370Z was largely unchanged.
2012 370Z
The base convertible was now only available with the automatic transmission, but otherwise, there were no changes of note to the 2012 Nissan 370Z.
2013 370Z
For 2013, the 370Z coupe and convertible both wore styling updates that included new wheel designs and LED daytime running lights. The high-performance NISMO coupe was available with a new audio option package.
2014 370Z
The only 370Z variant to be revised for 2014 was the NISMO coupe. The exterior color scheme was updated with dark gray accents and red pinstripes. The interior received a new steering wheel with red and alcantara accents and a red-faced NISMO tachometer. Finally, Solid Red replaced Magma Red on the NISMO’s limited color palette.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

Beneath each standard 370Z hood sits a 3.7-liter V6 engine that generates 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, mating with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission. NISMO editions, offered only with manual shift, are rated 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.7/226
Engine HP 332
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 270
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual

18/26

19.6

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.7/226
Engine HP 332
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 270
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
7-speed automatic

18/26

21.0

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.7/226
Engine HP 350
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 276
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual

18/26

Road Test

Though it doesn’t leap off the line like some sporty cars, the 370Z is smooth and strong, and responds well for passing and merging. Acceleration feels little different between the manual and automatic transmission, or coupe versus Roadster. Despite an additional 18 horsepower, the 370Z NISMO feels little different than Base versions in terms of acceleration. Nissan’s manual gearbox has smooth clutch action, though the shifter is a bit notchy. The optional automatic is smooth and crisp, but can be slow to downshift at times. Its manual shift gate and steering-wheel paddles are a boon for spirited driving.

Fuel economy is about as expected. A test manual-transmission Base model averaged 19.6 mpg in city/highway driving. Another manual Base test car averaged 24.4 mpg-a good result even in a test that included mostly highway driving. An automatic-transmission Roadster averaged 21.0 mpg with a slight highway bias. Each 370Z requires premium-grade gasoline.

Our testers have split on 370Z ride quality. Some have deemed the Base model, at least, as very good for a sporty car. Others have declared the suspension damping to be too stiff, particularly with the Sport Package, citing plenty of small body motions. NISMO models are firmer still; even modestly-sized bumps register through the cabin with authority. Roadsters ride similarly to the coupes, with only a slight amount of body flex noticeable when driving on rippled pavement.

Whether in Base or NISMO form, the 370Z is stable, controlled, and balanced. All models carve corners with a level of poise ordinarily exhibited by cars that cost thousands more. Steering feel is direct and responsive. NISMO coupes and models equipped with the Sport Package and manual transmission include Nissan’s “SynchroRev Match” system, which automatically raises engine speed when downshifting the transmission. This negates the need for the driver to “blip” the throttle in order to smoothly engage a lower gear. That system works quite well during spirited driving. On all 370Z models, the brakes deliver well-controlled stops, though NISMOs and versions with the Sport Package have larger brakes with slightly better pedal feel.

Quietness ia not a virtue. The 370Z’s engine sounds coarse during fast acceleration, and it’s especially loud in the NISMO version. Standard tires are noisy on nearly every type of road surface. The 19-inchers included with the NISMO and Sport Package are even more fussy. Wind rush is not noticed, only because the engine and tire noise are so intrusive. Roadsters are little louder than coupes.

Though mounted low on the center dashboard stack, the audio and climate controls fall easily to hand. Some of the climate system’s markings are tough to decipher at a glance, and the audio display is on the small side. The optional navigation system is standard Nissan fare: simple to operate and program, absorbing few audio or climate functions. Details are vastly improved over the prior 350Z. Padded surfaces, textured dashboard plastics, and visible contrast stitching are used to good effect. Cabins could use some additional dress-up touches to make them sportier, especially the NISMO; but the overall ambiance is far from budget-grade.

Nissan’s 370Z coupes and Roadsters remain among the more spacious two-seaters, despite a decrease in wheelbase and overall length in this generation. Even so, tall drivers will likely wish for more headroom. Some testers have found the side bolsters of 370Z seats uncomfortably confining. Padded knee rests for both the driver and passenger are a comfort plus. The steering wheel tilts, along with the instrument panel, but it’s not telescopic-though most drivers shouldn’t miss that feature. Door sills remain high, while the seating position is low, imparting a bit of a closed-in feel. Visibility straight forward and back, as well as to the front corners, is good. Thick rear roof pillars in coupes really hurt the view to the rear corners, but large outside mirrors help compensate somewhat. Roadsters have huge blind spots with the top up. Both body styles lack a rear seat.

Nissan has claimed that the 370Z coupe has 6.9 cu ft of cargo space, but it doesn’t seem that large. Roadsters have only 4.2 cubic feet. The coupe’s cargo hold is shallow with a high liftover, and the wheel wells intrude. Some hidden bins sit behind the seats, but interior storage is otherwise meager, with a small glovebox and center console. Models without the navigation system include a covered cubby above the audio system.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2010 Nissan 370Z coupe w/Sport pkg., manual

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 8
80%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 4
40%
Steering/Handling - 9
90%
Quietness - 3
30%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Rear - N/A
N/A0%
Cargo Room - 2
20%

Other

Value - 8
80%

Total: 51

Specifications

2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
100.4 167.2 72.8 52.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
4.2 19.0 2
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.7 42.9
2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
100.4 167.2 72.6 51.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
6.9 19.0 2
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.7 42.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A Not tested. 2-door convertible

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Clutch
Description: Some owners complain of clutch chatter, but it is usually input shaft rattle and not a durability issue. (2009-10)
Hood/trunk
Description: Rear hatch does not always release when button is first depressed. (2009)
Navigation system
Description: Various navigation system glitches, including rebooting during Bluetooth phone calls or inability to locate destinations, requires updating the software. (2010)

Recall History

2011 370Z
Description: Incorrectly programmed power-window switch has faulty auto-reverse activation and may cause pinch injuries if a body part becomes trapped in the closing window.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.