By KBB.com Editors
Much like the original Datsun 240Z, Nissan's intention for the 2009 370Z is to offer world-class design and performance at an enticing value. Competitors for the Nissan 370Z include affordable coupes like the Ford Mustang and Honda Accord Coupe all the way up to premium competitors like the Porsche Cayman and BMW Z4 Coupe. Compared to the 350Z that preceded it, the 370Z's exterior and interior have been thoroughly redesigned along with significant improvements in quality, performance and technology that should help it remain a strong performer in the sports coupe category. Fans of the Z Convertible may be disappointed to learn that only the 370Z Coupe will be sold during the first year of production.
You'll like the Nissan 370Z if you want a fast, fun and approachably priced sports coupe. Buyers eyeing the offerings from Porsche and BMW will find the 370Z offers similar thrills at a much lower price.
The original 240Z won fans by delivering great style and performance at an impressively low price. While still a good value, the 370Z's starting price around $30,000 may no longer fit everyone's definition of affordable.
Big changes for 2009 include more power, less weight, a revised engine, a new seven-speed automatic transmission and an automatic rev-matching downshift feature for the six-speed manual transmission. There have also been noticeable improvements made to the interior that address the quality concerns of the previous 350Z.
Driving Impressions In motion, the Nissan 370Z's lighter chassis, shorter wheel base and wider track work together to provide immediate, sporty handling. Yet, on long stretches of highway, the ride never feels...overly harsh and the cabin remains impressively quiet. When pushed hard, at the racetrack perhaps, the stability control system can feel overly eager to intervene. Turn stability control off, and the 370Z remains balanced and forgiving. There is plenty of power coming out of the corners, lots of grip when turning, and the brakes are strong and easy to modulate. The 370Z's automatic transmission works quite well, but the easy-to-modulate clutch, short throw shifter and SynchroRev Match option of the manual transmission make it hard to pass up. Forward visibility is good thanks to thin A-pillars, but rear visibility is limited to a narrow slit of glass by the stylishly raked rear hatch.
Heel-toe down shifting, which requires using the right foot to both brake and blip the throttle, is one of the most difficult skills for any driver to learn. The 370Z's SynchroRev Match system blips the throttle, automatically providing butter-smooth downshifts every time. Driving purists who would rather match revs the old fashioned way are given the option to shut the system off.
Seven-Speed Automatic Transmission
Delivering the direct feel and fuel economy of a manual transmission along with quick, smooth shifts, the paddle shifter-equipped seven-speed automatic found in the Nissan 370Z is a winner.
Some of the biggest improvements made to the 2009 Nissan 370Z are found inside. The new 370Z does away with the hard plastic that graced the old model, opting instead for soft-touch surfaces covering the dash, door trim and almost anywhere an occupant's hand might rest. Overall interior volume has shrunk slightly, but efficient use of the available space resulted in identical head room and improved leg, hip and shoulder room. The large structural element that bisected the previous model's trunk has also been removed, which, along with storage nooks behind the seats, greatly improves the 370Z's cargo-carrying abilities.
Unlike most new cars, the 2009 Nissan 370Z is actually smaller in length, height, and wheel base than the car it replaced, its tidier dimensions contributing to the new model's reduced weight and solid, planted stance. In shaping the 370Z's exterior Nissan's design team retained enough of the 350Z's essence to make the new model immediately recognizable as a member of the Z family. However, the 370Z has a distinct persona of its own thanks to unique details including "boomerang" head and tail lights, big flared fenders and a cantilevered roof reminiscent of the Nissan GT-R's.
The 2009 Nissan 370Z comes in two trims, base and Touring. Even in base form, the 370Z is well equipped with automatic climate control, steering wheel audio and cruise controls, keyless entry and start, xenon headlights and a four-speaker audio system with auxiliary input. Moving up to the Touring trim adds niceties like power-adjustable heated seats, Bluetooth, leather and suede interior, aluminum pedals and a Bose audio system with eight speakers including two subwoofers. Adding to the safety of both trims are standard stability control, traction control, active head restraints, tire pressure monitoring system and six airbags.
There are only two options available for the Nissan 370Z. A Sport Package is available for both base and Touring trims and includes a Viscous limited-slip differential, 19-inch forged wheels, sport brakes and downshift rev matching on cars equipped with the manual transmission. The Sport Package also includes a rear spoiler and front chin spoiler that eliminate aerodynamic lift at higher speeds. Available only for the Touring trim is a Navigation Package that includes a navigation system, real-time traffic information, iPod connectivity and 9.3 gigabytes of on-board music storage.
Power for the 2009 370Z comes from the latest generation of Nissan's venerated VQ series V6 engine. Producing 332-horsepower, the 370Z's engine delivers more power than last year's model while moving less mass thanks to a chassis that weighs approximately 95 pounds less. Stealing some of the focus away from the Z's excellent engine are its advanced transmission options: a standard six-speed manual and an optional seven-speed automatic. Manual-equipped cars with the optional Sport Package also feature SynchroRev Match, a system that automatically blips the throttle for seamless downshifts.
332 horsepower @ 7000 rpm
270 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26
By olive on Monday, June 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great styling, really powerful."
Cons: "Just the balky synchro in first to second."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Very reliable and fun to drive. Great build quality. Unbelievable value for the money. Resale holds up well too. Takes a while to master a somewhat notchy clutch/transmission combo; but not a deal breaker by any means. Would buy another if they ever change the style. Great Japanese engineering and quality. Except for a somewhat imperfect first to second synchromesh connection. Otherwise, would recommend to anyone."
8 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By OfficerFriendly on Monday, May 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great handling...good power...fun to drive."
Cons: "Poor visability...high road/tire noise."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Purchased vehicle new and it's been fun to drive and own. Value as far as bang 4 the buck is high. Has performance to match more expensive brands. Handles great and more than adequate power. I avg. 20 mpg in a typical week...mostly work commute. Major cons would be high level of road/tire noise as not much noise deadening was used in wheel wells."
8 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By zman on Friday, April 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "nice looking car, fun to drive"
Cons: "continuous problems with manual transmissions"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Purchased new. Excessive oil consumption=engine replacement while under warranty (not uncommon), routine Concentric Slave Cylinder failure (will leave you stranded with no previous warning)causes clutch pedal to remain stuck on the floor and the car left immobile. Repair to this product is in excess of $1000.00, and may fail again within low mileage. Steering Wheel locking mechanism replaced while under warranty (vehicle recall). On a good note, the car starts without interruptions but is unreliable because of routine problems with the concentric slave cylinder. If buying a Z, buy the automatic transmission, as you will definitely have problems with the standard transmission."
8 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By Ronrizz on Tuesday, March 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Power, Looks, Handling, Driveability"
Cons: "Road noise (it IS a sports car)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Waited almost a year for my dealer to find me exactly what I wanted, and couldn't be happier with it. So much fun to drive, Tons of power for a small car and handles incredibly. I get alot of comments on its appearance, because you don't see them everyday, and its such a sexy car in Black cherry."
6 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By FricFrac on Saturday, March 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Cons: "No heated steering wheel."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought my car new in 2009 and I still own it. I've been impressed by every aspect of the car. I purchased the sports package and all Canadian models have the LSD, etc so the only upgrades are the sports and navigation packages. I daily drive this car during the spring/summer/fall and put her away during the winter months. I've taken it to the track and auto X and everyone ridding shot gun was blown away by how it handles. For some reason the 2009 model didn't come with heated side mirrors. I'd also like the option of a heated steering wheel but other than that there isn't anything else I don't like about the car."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Roadster on Friday, February 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, sporty looks, handling"
Cons: "Limited trunk space, but enough for a suitcase."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned this car for two years and love it. I especially like the ride and handling. The suspension is tight and for a convertible, is very quiet. I wanted one with a stow away top, an this one is great. I do not drive it during the winter, but love it all other times of year. I receive compliments on the car every time I take it out. I drove it from Virginia to Florida this past summer, and then my wife and I drove it from Central Florida to Key West and back, and we both loved it, especially when we could put the top down. Was fun cruising around Key West. If not for this trip, it would have only 5,000 miles on it. Great acceleration for the highway. Comfortable ride."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful