2011 Nissan 370Z Touring

Matt Tierney

From the moment you get behind the fat little steering wheel in the Nissan 370Z, there's no mistaking that this car is about performance, not comfort. Once you're underway, the rather raucous engine and the stiff suspension calibration further reinforce the fact that you're in a sports car, which means that ride comfort isn't the car's strong suit, and neither is cargo capacity or outward visibility. Still, in this Touring version of the 370Z, Nissan manages to add a few nice upscale touches. The leather upholstery is very nice to the touch, as are the soft suede inserts on the doors. The door pulls themselves are very well designed (for some reason, I've noticed lately that Nissan does an exceedingly good job on the design of its door pulls). The entertainment system is generic Nissan, but that's OK, as the buttons are big and well labeled. One niggle, the center console only has one cupholder. Perhaps not a high priority for some, but I like to have one cupholder for a water bottle and the other to hold my keys, my parking card, and other assorted items like lip balm and my garage door opener. (Maybe I just need to learn to travel lighter.)

Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor

My night with a Mazda Miata was followed by several days with the Nissan 370Z Touring coupe, and, ironically, the differences between the two are about as different as night and day. Where the Miata is as adept at being a sports car as it is a casual, Sunday driver, the Nissan 370Z is all sports car, all the time. From the moment you depress the firm, long-travel clutch, the Z demands your full attention; a quality that can be as much a blessing as it is a burden. When the opportunity to have a little fun arises, precise steering, strong brakes, and super-glue-like grip (the Touring coupe is fitted with sticky Bridgestone Potenzas) make the Z incredibly rewarding. In daily driving, though, its stiff chassis, heavy steering, coarse engine, and firm, notchy shifter can be a drag.

The Z is easily Nissan's most attractive vehicle and the pearly white paint on this example, which looks like an upgrade but is a no-cost option, makes it even sexier. As is typical in sleek, low-slung sports cars, the swoopy exterior translates into compromises inside. The interior is tight, storage is almost non-existent save for the small shelf behind the seats, and the ultra-wide C-pillar and relatively small and sharply angled rear glass can make backing out of parking spots a scary endeavor especially when your tucked in amongst bulky SUVs. The hatch definitely increases this cars usability, but not by much. The shallow and weirdly shaped cargo area can make loading your stuff feel like you're playing a game of Tetris.

Jennifer Misaros, Managing Editor, Ditigal Platforms

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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