Used 2011 Nissan 370Z Convertible Used 2011
Nissan 370Z Convertible

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

While the legendary Nissan Z-car has been around for more than 40 years, its convertible counterpart didn’t make an appearance until 1993. Nissan’s performance coupe and roadster have seen challengers come and go, but through it all, the “Z car” has remained true to the original 240Z concept. With room for only two people, the 2011 Nissan 370Z sticks to the roadster formula, offering power and handling in league with such cars as the Porsche Boxster, Audi TT Roadster and BMW Z4 sDrive35i. Of course, there are lower cost competitors, such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang Convertible, but they don’t feel as light or precise as the 370Z Roadster. The only other affordable Japanese two-seat convertible, the Mazda MX-5 Miata, has all the right moves but can’t match the 370Z’s 332 horsepower.

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You'll Like This Car If...

If you love the performance and looks of a premium roadster, but think anything above $40,000 is asking too much, you’ll love the 332 horsepower, rear-wheel-drive Nissan 370Z Roadster.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the 2011 Nissan 370Z Roadster has all the right parts, its Nissan badging doesn’t carry the same status as a blue and white propeller or a quadruple interlocking ring badge.

What's New for 2011

Changes for the 2011 Nissan 370Z Roadster are limited to the addition of Nissan’s RearView Monitor to the optional navigation system and a new paint color, Gun Metallic.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Nissan 370Z Roadster is the most fun you can have in a V6-powered, rear-drive convertible costing less than $40,000. In day-to-day driving situations, the 370Z Roadster feels a bit stiff and hard sprung, but not uncomfortably so. Interior sound levels are higher than we’re accustomed to, especially at highway speeds. We did notice that with the top down there is an obnoxious amount of wind noise around the upper seatbelt mounts; a problem we later discovered could be mitigated by rolling the windows up about four inches. Small complaints such as these are easily forgotten once the Z Roadster is permitted to stretch its legs. Approaching a corner, good brake feel and the world’s first downshift rev-matching manual transmission deliver curiously smooth deceleration; turn the wheel and the Z Roadster responds with the crispness of a smaller, lighter roadster. Push faster and hold the wheel in the curve and the connection between driver and car deepens; clip the apex, roll back on the power and the engine responds with building acceleration that’s more smooth than neck-snapping.

Favorite Features

SynchroRev Match
On cars equipped with the six-speed manual transmission, the Sport Package includes a system that delivers smooth manual downshifts by electronically using the throttle to match engine rpm to outgoing gear rpm. This is first-of-its-kind technology, and it’s incredibly cool.

Bluetooth Streaming Audio
The 2011 Nissan 370Z Roadster’s Navigation Package includes Bluetooth streaming audio, which lets you play music from your compatible cellphone while it’s in your pocket. You don’t get the full functionality of proper iPod integration, but we’ve found it ideal for short trips when plugging in your phone wouldn’t be worth it.

Vehicle Details

Interior

No mater how hard we looked, we simply could not find serious fault with the 2011 Nissan 370Z Roadster’s interior. From the whimsical curves on the dash and controls to the high quality materials used throughout, the 370Z Roadster’s interior never failed to make us feel as though we were sitting in a much more expensive and exotic car. Functionality has not been forgotten, however, with extremely comfortable bucket seats that provide good lateral support when cornering and bright, legible instrumentation. Available heated and cooled seats further enhance the open air driving experience. Despite its rather small stature, there is a decent amount of cargo room inside the 370Z Roadster, including a covered center console bin and useful storage areas behind the front seats. The single cup holder, however, doesn’t seem very practical. Luggage, so long as it’s in the form of a few small overnight bags, can fit quite easily into the 370Z Roadster’s trunk, which doesn’t lose any room with the top down. Lowering the Z Roadster’s convertible soft top requires only the push of a button and takes just 20 seconds.

Exterior

With some of the most seductive and distinctive styling since the original Z-car, the 2011 Nissan 370Z Roadster may actually be more beautiful than its coupe counterpart. Nissan engineers took painstaking measures to lighten the 370Z’s body, while simultaneously strengthening the chassis to prevent body flex. The additional bracing adds a mere 200 pounds to the roadster, making it every bit as exciting to drive as the coupe. Where many convertibles now use a power retractable hardtop – a design that not only adds weight and cost, but severely decreases cargo volume – Nissan wisely chose to stick with a soft top design. The newest electric top employs smoother hydraulic operation instead of electric motors to raise and lower the top.

Notable Standard Equipment

Highlights from the 2011 Nissan 370 Roadster’s standard equipment list include keyless entry and push-button start, automatic climate control, auto up/down power windows and illuminated steering wheel-mounted controls. The base-level sound system is a four-speaker AM/FM/CD/AUX unit. Unfortunately, Bluetooth phone connectivity is not included on the base car, and is only available on the Touring trim, which adds an addition $3,500 to the 370Z Roadster’s price tag. A full complement of standard safety equipment includes six airbags and Nissan’s VDC electronic stability control.

Notable Optional Equipment

The Touring model adds features like a Bose six-CD audio system with MP3/WMA playback, XM Satellite Radio and eight speakers, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, plus heated/cooled net and leather power seats. The Sport Package adds SynchroRev Match smooth downshifting (on manual transmission-equipped models), 19-inch wheels, stronger brakes and a viscous limited-slip differential. The Navigation Package includes a new-generation touch-screen navigation system with traffic and weather info, RearView Monitor, on-board Zagat restaurant ratings, 9.3GB digital music storage, a USB port for iPod integration, Bluetooth audio streaming and an in-dash DVD player.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Nissan 370Z Roadster features an iteration of Nissan’s celebrated VQ engine, one with a 7,500 rpm redline. Variations of this engine can be found in everything from the Nissan Frontier pickup to the Infiniti G37. Transmission options include a smooth-shifting seven-speed automatic with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters and a high-tech six-speed manual available with SynchroRev Match.

3.7-liter V6
332 horsepower @ 7000 rpm
270 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg (auto and manual)

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Pricing Notes

The 2011 Nissan 370Z Roadster has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $38,500, while the Touring model starts just over $42,500. When equipped with the Sport Package ($2,830) and the Navigation Package ($2,150), the 370Z Roadster tops out around $48,000. A seven-speed automatic transmission is a $1,300 option. We expect our Fair Purchase Price to reflect real-world transaction prices within a few hundred dollars of sticker price, so be sure to check it out before you decide to purchase. Even though the 2011 Nissan 370Z Roadster has no true direct competitor, we consider it quite a value in the grand scheme of things. As for resale value, we expect the 370Z Roadster to perform as well (from a percentage standpoint) as pricier, premium roadsters like the Audi TT, BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster.

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