2011 Nissan 370Z Touring

Matt Tierney

Our test car's white exterior over a black and orange interior made for a very sharp color combination. This is a serious sports car, with a very stout chassis, nicely communicative, precise steering, great body control, and excellent roadholding and grip. What we've also got is a VQ-series V-6 that is bordering on unacceptably coarse, hoarse, and harsh. When you give this car the stick, you're not rewarded with mellifluous mechanical noises; instead, you get a lot of harshness and a lot of driveline resonance and lash. I had forgotten that the 370Z has the automatic blipping of the throttle, which is kinda fun. This is a competent and competitive car for the price, but it borders on not being refined enough. I know it's not an Infiniti, but still. All that said, it sure looks great, and it telegraphs "sports car" to all onlookers. In fact, I was driving along a country road that paralleled an open field where several guys were playing with four-wheelers. One of them happened to be in line with my direction of travel. He looked over at me and gunned it, clearly itching for a race. I obliged. He beat me, but only because I came up on traffic and had to slow down. To celebrate his victory, he did a wheelie. I gave him a wave but kept all four of the 370Z's wheels on the ground.

Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor

If the Nissan 370Z doesn't make you smile, you're not a car enthusiast. Sure, other cars might handle better, accelerate quicker, top out at a higher speed, look better, boast more refined powertrains, or be more practical, but the 370Z does an excellent job of being an all-around awesome sports car that can squelch a bad mood or turn a good day into a great one.

Our test car's white paint looked fantastic in tandem with the brownish-orange leather trim and upholstery in the cabin. The seats aren't the most comfortable, with a hard seatback and a narrow cushion, but I got used to that within a few miles. The gearbox's action could be a bit slicker, too, but it's still a pleasure, with or without the rev-matching electronic function enabled. The long-travel gas pedal is good for precise inputs, like that in a Chevy Corvette.

Speaking of the Vette, I was surprised to learn that the 370Z's sales aren't all that far behind the (admittedly more expensive) Corvette -- 10,215 sales for the Nissan in 2010 versus 12,624 for the Chevy. To me, the Nissan wins the styling category hands-down, but the Vette's lusty V-8 and extra luggage space would make it a tough call, were I forced to choose one over the other. Unfortunately for me, I'm not forced me to make such a decision. Bummer.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

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Great article, thanks guys and gals! It just goes to show that everyone can have a different reaction to this car, and the fact that Nissan can still make a car in this day and age that can polarize a group of auto journalists says a lot about it and the intentions of the Z car too. It's definitely an acquired taste! And the fact that is nearly keeps up with a Mustang 5.0 with almost 100 less horsepower is pretty amazing. Most tests show the 370Z is only .1 or .2 tenths of a second off the 5.0 in acceleration tests and a 370 that is properly prepped for the track should eventually pull away from the Mustang.
Tingwell said it best ... I was soooooo underwhelmend when I test drove this car recently ... heavy feeling ... slow revving .. difficult to shift, etc. Everyime I floored it I said "where's the beef"??? Outside the car's exhaust sounds great .. inside its like a constant droaning sound ... yuck.

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