Nissan's successful 350Z sports car was replaced in late 2008 with the 370Z, which enjoyed its world debut at the '08 Los Angeles Auto Show. Since then, this rear-wheel-drive coupe has evolved with the market and is available in several trims and in drop-top Roadster form.
The 370Z received a mild refresh for the latest model year that includes a number of aesthetic tweaks to the exterior and interior. Outside, the 370Z's fascia gains vertical LED daytime running lamps, while a red reflector has been added to the rear end in place of a black covering. The standard 370Z coupe gains new 18-inch alloy wheels, while Sport Package-equipped Zs ride on revised 19-inchers with new red brake calipers.
Otherwise, the 370Z's athletic proportions, "boomerang" headlight treatment and fishhook taillight design remain unchanged.
The 370Z's cabin benefits from new dark-finish trim for its gauges and an uprated Bose package that comes with two additional speakers and two subwoofers for those who want to hear more than just the powertrain.
The 370Z continues to use the same 3.7-liter V6 found in the Infiniti G37. This powerplant delivers 332 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque and can be paired with either a seven-speed automatic or a six-speed manual gearbox. Of note, the six-speed 370Z is the first vehicle to offer a synchronized downshift rev matching system with a manual transmission.
Fuel economy checks in at 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway for the manual, while the automatic ekes out a single extra mpg in the city cycle.
The 370Z rides on a shorter wheelbase than the 350Z and uses more lightweight materials. Those changes net a lighter curb weight, meaning all around performance -- acceleration, braking and cornering -- saw a marked improvement.
Suspension duties for the car are handled by a double wishbone setup up front with a multi-link setup out back. Brembo brakes and 18 and 19 inch wheels are also part of the 370Z package.
Compared to the 350Z, the 370Z offers buyers a little more cargo room -- although the coupe is not cavernous by any stretch of the imagination -- thanks to the relocation of the car's trunk-mounted support member.
Standard and Optional Features
The entry-level 370Z comes standard with automatic climate control, a four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack, power adjustable front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The better-equipped Touring model adds heated leather seats, HomeLink, Universal Transceiver, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, eight-speaker Bose audio system, XM Satellite Radio, cargo cover and aluminum pedals.
An optional Sport Package can be spec'd, adding 19-inch RAYS forged wheels, Bridgestone Potenza tires, aerodynamic front and rear spoilers, larger Nissan Sport Brakes, SynchroRev Match, and a Viscous Limited Slip Differential. The self-explanatory Navigation Package offers a hard drive-based navigation interface with a 9.3GB Music Box Hard Drive and iPod connectivity.
There are many optional features for the 370Z, including an aerodynamics kit, premium paint colors like Chicane Yellow, an Illuminated Kick Plate, painted splash guards, and the usuals such as carpeted floor and trunk mats.
All 370Z models come standard with dual front, side and side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
The 370Z faces competition from a wide array of rivals, including the powerful Ford Mustang GT, the sharp handling BMW 1-Series and the value-laden Hyundai Genesis Coupe.