Nissan 370 Z Coupe (2009 - 2013) review
Read the Nissan 370Z coupe (2009 - ) car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives.
- Stunning looks
- Great engine
- Superb chassis
- High running costs
- Seats lack support
- Limited practicality
At a glance
How wrong we were. The
Nissan 370Z looks so much better in three dimensions than it does in pictures. It looks every inch the red-blooded sportscar. The headlights give the car a modern twist and hugely flared rear wheelarches remind you this is a powerful rear-wheel drive sportscar. The optional 19-inch RAYS alloy wheels are some of the best-looking and most spidery we’ve seen.
Nissan has taken significant steps to make the 370Z a premium car. While its predecessor – the 350Z – had the muscle to compete with the
Porsche Cayman and
Mercedes SLK, its interior quality gave away its lower price tag. This time around you’d be less inclined to believe the 370Z is a almost £10k cheaper than the entry-level Cayman. A soft-touch dashboard with neat stitching, well-integrated media system with huge screen and good-looking dials are all welcome. We just wish the seats offered a bit more support during hard cornering.
There is plenty of room in the cabin for two large adults and the glovebox and door pockets are of adequate size and shape. Access to the boot is much better than in the 350Z thanks to the repositioning of suspension bracing, but it’s still the same size at 235 litres. A new addition is the retractable load cover which keeps your valuables out of sight.
Ride and handling
There is a sizeable heft to all of the controls in the Z, and you really feel engaged in the process of driving the car through the weighty steering and chunky gearchange. It has an endearing character, but can become tiring in slow-moving traffic when skill and a firm hand are needed to drive smoothly. The ride is very composed making longer motorway trips well within its grasp and the high levels of road noise found in the 350Z have been reduced but not eliminated.
The 3.7-litre V6 is a gutsy engine which will pile on speed from low revs, but it gives its best when worked hard. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 5.3 seconds or 5.6 seconds if you choose the seven-speed semi-automatic gearbox. The manual gearbox features a world first called Synchro Rev Control, which accurately blips the throttle during downshifts for a smoother gearchange. For most drivers it’s a brilliant addition which makes driving fast safer and smoother.
While cars like this are rarely cheap to run, the 26.9mpg (248g/km CO2) claimed economy of the manual Z is easily achievable and we bettered it on a few motorway runs – hitting around 30mpg. Thanks to a big 72-litre fuel tank a range of more than 420 miles is possible, making visits to the petrol station less frequent than you might expect. Reversing the usual trend, it’s the automatic gearbox which returns slightly better economy figures. It manages 27.2mpg while emitting 249g/km CO2.
Being a macho kind of car, the 370Z has a tough personality which should have reliability to match. The engine is a fairly straightforward development of a tried and tested V6, so it’s expected to be strong. Built to cope with the speed and performance, the gearbox and other parts are also likely to prove reliable.
While the 370Z hasn’t been EuroNCAP crash tested yet, it should be very safe thanks to huge brakes, stability control and front, side and curtain airbags.
The 370Z is exceptionally well equipped for its price, so much so it’s one of its biggest selling points. Alloy wheels, electric seats, climate control, Xenon headlights, Keyless entry and engine starting, Bluetooth and an auxiliary input are all standard. GT trim brings heated leather seats, CD multichanger and cruise control. Ultimate spec cars get satellite navigation. The 370Z Yellow special edition models have illuminated sill plates, satellite navigation, forged 19-inch RAYS alloy wheels and racing side stripes as standard.