2009 Nissan 370Z

Base RWD 2-Dr Coupe V6 man trans

2009 nissan 370z Reviews and News

0811 25 Pl+2009 Nissan 370Z+overhead View
0811 25 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+overhead View
The financial bear has taken a deep bite out of every sports car's hide. During October, entry-level roadster sales plummeted by more than fifty percent versus a year ago. Honda S2000 and Pontiac Solstice sales were down by two-thirds.
The one way to sustain interest in two seaters is to inject them with fresh vitality. Nissan's timing is perfect: After a successful six-year run, the 350Z is being replaced by a comprehensively new 370Z.
The larger middle digit is your clue that piston displacement jumps (thanks to a longer stroke). But the more salient message is that the new kid hasn't started over with an A in its name. The 370Z still honors the same design, performance, and value attributes that have defined Nissan's sports car for four decades.
0811 05 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+front Three Quarter View
Few photos do the new Z justice. But, from a standing perspective, the roof seems thinner, the upper sculpted contours more evident and interesting. Viewed in the metal, the new shorter, lower, wider proportions look just right. Nissan's La Jolla, California, designers exercised restraint in the basic surfaces, saving the drama for the boomerang-shaped head and taillamp assemblies, some of the most interesting styling touches I've seen in ages.
While the new interior is reminiscent of the previous edition, there are sweeping upgrades in contour, quality, and overall execution. Instruments are larger, more legible, and higher in entertainment value. The seats are more comfortable and provide better support. A 1.1-inch increase in overall width maintains a spacious feeling even though exterior length has been trimmed by 2.7-inches and the new Z's wheelbase is shorter by 3.9-inches. An astute repackaging job has made the slightly smaller cargo hold more useful and easier to access. The space behind the seats is fitted with handy places to stash small-to-medium sized objects. One feature that really helps this cockpit fit you like custom-tailored gloves is a gauge cluster that adjusts vertically with the steering column for optimum visibility, a feature Ferrari neglected to install in its new $200,000+ GT.
0811 10 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+interior
Punch the start button and Nissan's VQ37VHR V-6 barely murmurs until you send the tack needle to the upper half of its 7500-rpm rev range where the engine's growl gets edgy with anticipation. Load and rpm are controlled by electricity and variable intake valve lift instead of by a mechanical cable and throttle plate. The response of the gas pedal, now hinged from the floor, is lackadaisical and sometimes out of phase with large throttle adjustments. But used in the recommended all-or-nothing mode, there is plenty of action and enthusiasm at the working end of the pedal. We clocked acceleration to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and a quarter mile run in a brisk 14.0 seconds at 105 mph. That's a few tenths quicker and 2 mph faster than the 350Z that survived our Four Seasons abuse five years ago.
0811 01 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+side View
Although Nissan put this Z on a diet with tighter dimensions and aluminum replacing steel or composite in the hood, doors, and decklid, keeping up with more stringent collision-protection and occupant-entertainment standards is no small task. The 370Z's unibody is noticeably stiffer and more substantial feeling in the driver's hands and the optional Sport package includes wider rear tires and significantly larger brakes. So the geared-to-go base model (with the Sport upgrade) we tested weighed 3380 pounds, 120 more than the 350Z mentioned above. While Nissan quotes a credible 88-pound weight savings with comparable equipment and 26 more horsepower than the final 350Z brought to the party, the real-world speed gains are nominal. The most noticeable acceleration improvement is the 0.4-seconds trimmed from third-gear passing ability: previously 6.5 seconds, now 6.1 seconds.
0811 09 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+engine View
Handling and braking enhancements are more substantial. Thanks to a new cast-aluminum front cradle bolted rigidly to the unibody, a carbon-fiber reinforced radiator support, and a triangular underhood reinforcement, there is no wasted motion when you wheel the steering to enter a bend. The variable-assist rack and pinion is quick to act, free of friction, and perfectly weighted. The shorter wheelbase helps the new Z feel light on its feet. There's minimal understeer at the adhesion limit - especially during left turning - and the tail steps obediently wide with indulgences of the throttle. You can back this car into a bend like a drift pro thanks to its well located drive wheels, a substantial rubber-isolated rear crossmember, and stiffening tubes running every which way under the car. While conducting an underbody inspection tour, we also spotted a differential cooler plumbed with the aluminum fittings and braided-stainless-shrouded hoses like you'd expect to see on a racing car.
0811 29 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+rear Three Quarter View
The Sport package's massive brakes boast four pistons per wheel in front, two in back. The brakes are no longer supplied by Brembo, but Nissan engineers have obviously paid rapt attention to that Italian brake master. The pedal is not only firm feeling and linear in response, a heavy brake application triggers deceleration forceful enough to pump bodily fluids. We measured a 70-0 mph stopping distance of 154 feet, a seven foot improvement over the 350Z. No hint of fade was detected.
There are two unexpected pleasures. One is a remarkably pleasant ride. This is one of the most livable sport suspensions in captivity and downright BMW-like in the way it manages speed-related rock and roll while coddling the occupants. The other is a nifty gimmick that blips the throttle during downshifts like a pro heel-and-toe artist. Real pros will surely turn it off but hot-shoes in training can put it to good use while they ascend the learning curve.
0811 26 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+taillight
What's not to like? The near-horizontal rear window, the stylish quarter windows, and the tall seat backs annihilate the view to the sides and rear. First gear in the manual transmission sounds like it came from a garbage truck and there's a subtle but annoying whine from under the hood proportional to rpm that sounds like an unruly fan or drive belt. The engine and transmission team are discordant when thrashed. And the button that unlatches the center-dash storage box (where the optional navigation screen lives) is awkward to operate.
The most loveable detail is the new 370Z's price. With a base tab of $30,625, this is the screaming sports car deal for tough times. You'll certainly want the Sport Package, which will probably add another three grand but the base equipment is so generous you'll be able to bypass the Touring edition's creature comforts (mainly Bose audio, power seats, and leather trim). Adding navigation, which includes Ipod connectivity and a 9.3gigabyte Music Box hard drive, is possible only after you step up to life in the Touring lane.
So keep the faith. With the world economy in a funk, at least we can find solace in nifty sports cars like the 370Z when our spirits need a lift.
0902 02 Pl+2009 Nissan 370Z+profile
0902 02 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+profile
We automotive critics have one major thing in common with journalists who review movies: we love to fall back on the cliché that second acts are difficult to pull off. And here we are, doing it again as we step onto the curb outside Automobile Magazine' s editorial offices in Ann Arbor, taking a good, long look at the 2009 Nissan 370z that just pulled up.
Second act, you ask? Well, yes. For the purposes of considering the modern-day Z-Car, let's look back only to 2002, when the Z was resurrected after a six-year absence. The 350Z that went on sale in August of that year effectively reset the Z-Car clock, proving once again that the Z could be desirable - unlike the 1980s models - yet affordable, unlike the famed 300ZX of the 1990s. The question in 2009, then, was whether Nissan would build on the success of the 350Z - some 160,000 examples of which found homes in America - or once again stray from the proper course for what is essentially Japan's version of the Chevrolet Corvette. After all, there are so many bad things that can happen to a sports car in the transition from one generation to another, especially when its maker's resources are diverted by a program to build a world-class hard-core machine like the GT-R. Would the new Z get bigger, heavier, and more expensive? Or would Nissan keep it simple, keep it cheap, and keep it hot? Happily, Nissan has managed to do the latter.
0902 03 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+headlight
In fact, the new 370Z, which is just now going on sale as a 2009 model, has a starting price of only $30,625, compared with $29,205 for the outgoing 350Z. This is for a car that, as its new name suggests, has a bigger and more powerful engine under its hood. You've probably already figured out that the newest Z-Car gets Nissan's new 3.7-liter V-6 with VVEL (variable valve event and lift), a system similar to BMW's Valvetronic. Known as the VQ37VHR, the new V-6 has an extra 0.2 liter of displacement, which comes from a longer stroke. It debuted recently in the Infiniti G37 coupe and sedan, and in the 370Z it makes 26 hp more than the 350Z's 3.5-liter V-6, for a total of 332 hp. There's also a slight bump in torque.
0902 07 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+side View
What's more, the increase in power is accompanied by an effective decrease in curb weight of about 88 pounds, according to Nissan. Our test car, though, a base model with the six-speed manual transmission, weighed in at 3380 pounds, some 120 pounds more than our Four Seasons 2003 350Z. Weight reduction in new cars has largely become a zero-sum game. Although Nissan shaved more than 50 pounds from the upper body section through the use of aluminum for the hood, door skins, and deck lid, the company's engineers had to add more structural stiffness to meet new crash standards, which put that fifty pounds, and more, right back on. Our test car's optional sport package also includes nineteen-inch rather than eighteen-inch wheels and adds bigger brakes. So the fact that the new Z weighs roughly the same as the old one is still a considerable achievement.
0902 05 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+shift Knob
Any concerns that we might have had that the 370Z would become bloated compared with the 350Z were also put to rest when our bright blue test car pulled up to the curb. Something was different about the Z, something we hadn't noticed in the initial photographs of the car. It looked tighter, leaner, and more purposeful than its predecessor, with a sportier stance. It turns out that Nissan cut a whopping 3.9 inches from the car's wheelbase, most of it between the doors and the rear wheels. The car is also fractionally lower but about an inch wider. Overall length has decreased by nearly three inches. The sheetmetal itself, of course, has also changed. The way that the A-pillars no longer flow into the natural arc of the roof and the side glass that kicks up at the rear evoke the original 240Z. The vertical door handles have been slightly restyled and remain a striking exterior design element, and they now feature a tiny button to lock and unlock the doors via the keyless-entry system. But what really sets the new Z apart from the old one, visually, are its dramatic, boomerang-shaped headlights and taillights. Technical editor Don Sherman calls them "some of the most interesting styling touches I've seen in ages." And we hereby nominate the sport package's nineteen-inch, forged-aluminum Rays Engineering wheels as one of 2009's most stunning examples of automotive footwear.
0902 08 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+front View
Like its exterior, the 370Z's interior is at once familiar yet remarkably different. The low-rent atmosphere that plagued the 350Z is gone, and even our relatively Spartan test car's cabin felt like a quality effort. Most noticeable, the lid for the storage bin atop the center stack, which in the 350Z was a flimsy piece of plastic hardly fit for a Fisher-Price toy, now has a dampening mechanism and is covered with a soft-touch faux-leather material with French stitching. (Unfortunately, the latch to open the door is difficult to operate.) As before, the bin can be filled with an optional navigation system, now controlled by the signature Nissan piano-inspired keypad and dial.
0902 04 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+taillight
But, let's go on to the show. How does this baby drive? Well, since the Z-Car rides on the latest version of the FM (front-midship) platform that underpins every rear-wheel-drive car in the Nissan/Infiniti stables, you know it's got very athletic, if not particularly lithe, bones. At low, around-town speeds, the somewhat ponderous, heavy feeling that plagued the 350Z is still evident, the engine lugs and whines like a tractor's, and the manual gearshifter is the antithesis of a snick-snick device. The good news is that, thanks in no small part to a new cast-aluminum front cradle, a carbon-fiber-reinforced radiator support, and a triangular engine-compartment brace, the 370Z feels far stiffer, more substantial, and more refined than the 350Z, and its dynamic responses grow exponentially more satisfying the faster you go and the more you ask of it. Once you shoot the tach needle into the upper half of the 7500-rpm rev range, the VQ V-6 emits more pleasing noises, but the Z could still use a bit more exhaust bark. The accelerator pedal is now hinged from the floor rather than the firewall, which ought to give old-time Porsche 911 fans a few goosebumps. Sherman found its response to be "lackadaisical." But he added, "When it's used in the all-or-nothing mode, there is plenty of action. I clocked acceleration to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, a few tenths quicker than the 350Z."
0902 06 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+interior
The 370Z's steering is quick and perfectly weighted, although road test editor and fussbudget Marc Noordeloos thought it was perhaps "a touch too quick just off-center." Body roll is well-checked, and the car reacts with utter ease when you pitch it into a corner, with minimal understeer. Determined pilots can induce oversteer, and the stability control system can be turned off completely. While the sport package's upgraded brakes - with four-piston calipers in front - are no longer supplied by Brembo, they perform superbly, with firm pedal feel, linear response, and no evidence of fading. In our tests, they cut seven feet off the 350Z's 70-to-0-mph stopping distance, at 154 feet.
So, you're in your rear-wheel-drive sports car with a six-speed manual, ready to finally master your heel-and-toeing technique. But wait! There's no need to blip the 370Z's throttle; Nissan's new SynchroRev Match device will do it for you. At first glance, it seems like a gimmick, but after a while you start enjoying the feature, which comes into play once the gearbox detects a certain degree of shift-lever movement. From sixth, fifth, and fourth gears, revs rise by about 1000 rpm as you downshift, making you feel like a pro even if you don't have on your Pilotis. At 50 mph in third gear, drop to second and revs leap from 3000 to 5000 rpm. Even if you're stuck in traffic, you can shove the gearshifter toward the left side of the gate, just to hear the engine scream. A new, seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is also offered.
0902 01 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+top View
Even with its shorter wheelbase and with our test car's nineteen-inch wheels, the 370Z provides noticeably better ride comfort than the 350Z. Sherman, again: "This is one of the most livable sport suspensions in captivity, downright BMW-like in the way it manages speed-related rock and roll while coddling its occupants." It's not hard to imagine two people taking the 370Z on a road trip without complaint. They can even pack a medium-size suitcase, since the cargo area (although slightly smaller than the 350Z's) is no longer dissected by the structural brace, which has been moved forward to a position just behind the seats.
Nissan's mainstream vehicle efforts in recent years have been hit-or-miss affairs - witness the uninspiring Altima coupe, the bloated new Murano, and the handsome but ho-hum new Maxima that falls short of its four-door-sports-car billing. So it's especially nice to see that Nissan, which historically has provided a lot of bang for the enthusiast's buck, has enhanced what was already a very affordable and desirable sports car. Hollywood might have problems with second acts, but Nissan proves that a sequel really can top the original.
2009 Nissan 370Z
Price (base/as tested): $30,625/$33,625 (est.)
Engine: DOHC 24-valve V-6
Displacement: 3.7 liters (226 cu in)
Horsepower: 332 hp @ 7000 rpm
Torque: 270 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm
Transmission Type: 6-speed manual
Drive: Rear-wheel
Mileage 18/26 mpg (est.)
Steering: Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Suspension, front: Control arms, coil springs
Suspension, rear: Multilink, coil springs
Brakes: Vented discs, ABS
Tires: Bridgestone Potenza RE050A
Tire size f, r: 245/40WR-19, 275/35WR-19
L x W x H: 167.1 x 72.6 x 52.1 in
Wheelbase: 100.4 in
Track f/r: 61.0/62.8 in
Weight: 3380 lb
Our Test Results
0-60 mph: 5.3 sec
0-100 mph: 12.8 sec
0-120 mph: 18.0 sec
0-140 mph: 27.5 sec
1/4-mile: 14.0 sec @ 105 mph 30-70 mph 6.1 sec
Peak acceleration: 0.65 g
Speed in gears:
1) 41; 2) 67; 3) 96; 4) 122; 5) 155; 6) 145 mph
Cornering L/R: 0.98/0.93 g
70-0 mph braking: 154 ft
Peak braking: 1.15 g
0908 05 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z Sport+2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 38 Track
This week we've been blessed with an overabundance of terrific sports coupes, from an Aston Martin V8 Vantage at the very high end to an affordable Hyundai Genesis coupe. To my mind, though, this retina-searing yellow Nissan 370Z sits at the perfect cross-section of value and performance.
0908 05 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z Sport+2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 38 Track
This car is a riot. Perhaps I'm so happy with the 370Z because I never really cared for the 350Z, but there's no denying the power or handling this coupe brings to the table. While the 3232-pound curb weight didn't impress Mr. Zenlea, it certainly looks enticing next to a 3849-pound V-8 Camaro or many of the other heavyweight sports cars on the market these days. The VQ engine could be more refined, but I don't think the NVH levels are out of line with the expectations of a Nissan sports car shopper.
0908 01 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z Sport+2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 38 Track
Here's a great aspirational car for all those twenty- and thirty-something single gearheads who want a fun car that makes a statement. The 370Z is plenty quick and very raw yet still reasonably livable day-to-day, so long as you can forgive the roughish ride of a sports car on nineteen-inch wheels. I noticed a bit of gear whine, especially at low speeds, but the overall driving experience is pretty invigorating. The novel S mode of the shifter is pretty cool; I don't want to like it because it interferes with the purity of driving, but it works really well, matching engine revs on both up- and downshifts. I even tried to make clumsy, clutch-dumping downshifts and upset the balance of the car, but I wasn't able to fool S mode into permitting a sloppy shift. The gearbox action is quite nice, too, and although it's a bit too stiff for my liking, it works well with the Nissan's raw character.
0908 07 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z Sport+2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 38 Track
Zenlea is right that this 370Z is as close as it gets to a poor man's Cayman. The 3.7-liter V-6 produces enough power to provide thrust at any speed, but rarely overwhelms the Z. The six-speed stick and rev-matching wizardry entice you to swap gears to pour on the power. Weighty steering directs a chassis that wants to be challenged. It all adds up to a very complete sports car.
0908 03 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z Sport+2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 38 Track
This is my first face-to-face meeting with the Z and, after seeing it in photos for six months and not really being wowed, I'm surprised at how much better it looks in-person and how much sleeker and more upscale it looks compared to its predecessor. The sharp lines of Nissan's new signature boomerang head- and taillights contrast nicely with the taught, aerodynamic sheetmetal. And those wheels! The off-camber "V" detail on the radiating arms is really unique and - combined with the sculpted spokes - almost gives the appearance of motion.
0908 10 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z Sport+2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 38 Track
2009 Nissan 370Z Sport
0908 09 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z Sport+2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 38 Track
My, how time flies. Although we first saw Nissan’s track-prepped Nismo 370Z at April’s New York auto show, the sportiest Z is officially on sale as of today.
0905 01 Pl+2009 Nissan 370Z+front Three Quarter View
0905 01 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+front Three Quarter View
0905 01 Z+2009 Nissan 370Z+front Exterior

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2009 Nissan 370Z
2009 Nissan 370Z
Base RWD 2-Dr Coupe V6
18 MPG City | 26 MPG Hwy
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18 MPG City | 26 MPG Hwy
2009 Infiniti G37
Base RWD 2-Dr Coupe V6
18 MPG City | 26 MPG Hwy
2009 Nissan 370Z
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Base RWD 2-Dr Coupe V6
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2009 Nissan 370Z
2009 Nissan 370Z
Base RWD 2-Dr Coupe V6
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2009 Nissan 370Z
2009 Nissan 370Z
Base RWD 2-Dr Coupe V6

2009 Nissan 370Z Specifications

Quick Glance:
3.7L V6Engine
Fuel economy City:
18 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
26 MPG
332 hp @ 7000rpm
270 ft lb of torque @ 5200rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
36,000 miles / 36 months
60,000 miles / 60 months
Unlimited miles / 60 months
36,000 miles / 36 months
IIHS Best Pick
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Tested
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Tested
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Tested
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Tested
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Tested
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Applicable

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