Nissan 370Z (2009-2020) Review
The Nissan 370Z is a performance car bargain, as long as you can put up with the outdated tech
Strengths & weaknesses
- Good value
- Dated interior
- Heavy controls
- Small boot
The Z moniker has been attached to the rear of Nissans (and Datsuns) since 1969, earning the company a reputation for well-made and grin inducing sports cars.
Its most recent Z car goes toe to toe with both traditional sports cars like the Porsche 718 Cayman, Audi TT, and BMW M2, as well as muscle cars like the Ford Mustang. This 370Z is aimed at the car enthusiast market - which is good, because in many ways it’s hard to recommend to non-petrolheads.
New prices start from £29,805 - considerably cheaper than most of its rivals. Used prices start from .
On the outside it looks sleek and muscular, with a long bonnett and swollen rear arches that allude to the car’s rear-wheel-drive setup. This means that the power from the engine at the front, is sent to the rear wheels. This makes the car’s driving dynamics balanced, as the front wheels are only used for steering and the rear wheels are only used to deliver power.
It works too. The 350Z is much better to drive than a regular front-wheel-drive hatchback like the Ford Fiesta, and the 350Z’s on par with most of its other sports car rivals.
The steering is heavy, which means it's easier to place exactly where you want it. The 370Z is really at home on fast and smooth roads, where the car clicks and is a joy to use. It provides oodles of feedback through the steering wheel and into your hands, as well as through the suede-lined seats. Every bump tells you exactly what the 19-inch wheels are up to, giving you confidence to push on an enjoy a spirited drive.
The engine plays a great roll in the innate driving experience too. Despite its large capacity of 3.7-litres, it needs a lot of revs to feel alive - you have to wait until 5200rpm for the engine to produce the maximum amount of power, which is great for enthusiasts who love to keep their right foot planted.
The motor sounds husky when accelerating too, but it's hard to hear over tyre roar at motorway speeds. Those massive 19-inch wheels and low profile rubber don’t help in that department, and also don’t help the Z around town. While at speed in can simply smash through bumps, below 30mph it crashes and thumps into drain covers and potholes.
The six-speed manual gearbox uses an innovative SynchoRev Match control feature. This matches the engine’s rpm to the gear you’re in - which means when shifting down a gear it will blip the throttle to ensure a smooth change. It works faultlessly, even when shifting down to first gear.
That clutch is heavy though. Really heavy. It might remind some readers of a much, much older car. The bite is relatively low, and while it feels sturdy, it will make shifting gear a bit more of an effort in comparison to some sports cars. The gearbox itself is fantastic - a short and stubby gear lever helps you place the mechanical feeling shift exactly where you want it. Annoyingly, when selecting a gear, your left elbow can open a cubbyhole as the button to open it sits just where your elbow lies.
Apart from that, the interior works well ergonomically. Everything is easy enough to find, the suede seats are supportive and comfortable, and the rear reversing camera is especially helpful in something so low slung. The interior however, is dated. The Nissan 370Z first went on sale in 2009 and it really tells in here. The steering wheel is full of buttons, the 9inch sat-nav screen looks like a children’s toy in comparison to offerings from Audi and BMW, and the fonts used on the entertainment systems look like they were borrowed from Casio Classic watch.
These downfalls make the 370Z hard to recommend to people who want the latest tech, or to brand snobs who only want German hardwear. However, for driving enthusiasts it offers an almost unparalleled bang-for-buck experience.
|Three year/60,000 miles
|£2,070 in the first year, £140 thereafter
Best Nissan 370Z for...
Best for Economy – Nissan 350Z GT
If you’re worried about economy, you’re really looking at the wrong car. Nevertheless, non-Nismo models offer one more mile per gallon than Nismo cars.
Best for Performance – Nissan 350Z Nismo
All 370zs have lightning performance, but the Nismo model cars have a useful extra 13hp and a 0-62mph time of half a second quicker.
- 2009: 370Z debuts
- 2010: 370Z roadster (convertible) is released
- 2013: Facelift - updated front, vertical LED daytime running lights, new 18-inch wheels
- 2013: Nismo specification introduced
- 2014: 370Z roadster discontinued
- 2014: Nismo specification upgraded
- 2017: New 19 inch alloy wheels, Exedy performance clutch, new Red metallic paint
Understanding Nissan 370Z names
Engine 3.7-litre V6
There’s only one engine available, it’s a 3.7-litre V6 and comes with 326hp, or 339hp in Nismo spec cars.
Nissan offers three trim levels – 370Z, 370Z GT and Nismo.
There are only two options - a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic.
Nissan 370Z Engines
The 370Z only has one engine on offer, although it comes in two different states of tune.
It’s a 3.7-litre V6, and it feels muscular. It makes 326hp and easily feels that quick, although it does need to be revved hard to get the most out of it. It’s different to other muscle cars like the Ford Mustang in this respect - as a 5.0-litre V8 Ford Mustang feels brawny, even with very few revs. The 370Z needs to be beaten in order to get the most out of this.
Acceleration is brisk, and a 5.5 second 0-60mph time is easily believable. As it doesn’t make use of turbos, acceleration is straightforward and linear. Put your foot down and the revs build and build and you can feel the car getting faster and faster in a safe and predictable way - there are no sudden surges of power at random points. If you’re an enthusiast who loves driving you’ll love it. If you’re not an enthusiast, you might get tired of this.
The engine also sounds sporty. When it gets past 6,000 rpm you can hear it working. It has an active sound enhancement system, which funnels desirable sounds from the engine into the interior via the speakers.
Nismo spec cars get power upped from 326hp to 339hp and a 0-62mph time a full half a second quicker. Although this is noticeably faster car, it’s comes at a cost. Nismo cars cost a full £10,000 more than a base spec car, making it hard to recommend.
Nissan 370Z Trims
370Z, 370ZGT, 370Z Nismo
Nissan has kept things simple for trim levels. There are only three to select from, and even the cheapest is pretty well specced.
Base specification cars have 18 inch alloy wheels, an excellent SynchroRev Match control system, and climate control.
370Z GT cars get larger 19 inch wheels, a Bose stereo with 8 speakers, cruise control, and hill start assist.
The 370Z Nismo is the only trim that changes performance figures. Power is upped to 339hp thanks to engine modifications, and they also gets different 19 inch wheels, Recaro sport seats, plus, a Nismo branded bodykit.
Nissan 370Z Reliability and warranty
The 370Z has been on sale for nearly 10 years, meaning parts are well known, and have a reputation for reliability. Like other Nissans, it comes with a three-year/60,000 mile warranty.
It doesn’t sell well enough to be featured in Auto Express’ Driver Power customer survey satisfaction. But Nissan did finish fourth out of 26 manufacturers for the 2018 survey.
Customers liked Nissan’s exterior design, safety features, and entertainment systems. Although the 370Z itself is lacking in the last two departments.
Used Nissan 370Z
Used 370Zs are interesting propositions. New cars when bought from Nissan can be had for as little as £250 a month if you’ve got around £7,000 to put down as a deposit. These cars are brand-new, but also cost £2,070 for the first year’s tax.
Buying a car first registered between 31 Mar 2017 - 30 Jun 2018 will only cost £140 a year to tax.
While Nismo cars cost £10,000 more than base-spec cars when new, the gap between the two on the used market is notably less. Close to 50% of new 350Zs sold are in Nismo specifaction, which means there are plenty on the used market. Expect to pay around £27,000 for a nearly-new 370Z GT, but only around £34,000 for a nearly new Nismo.
|1 year old
|2 years old
|3 years old
|Best for performance Nissan 370Z Nismo
|Best for economy Nissan 370Z GT