in 2011 Affordable Sports Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $21,494 - $26,355
Original MSRP: $31,450 - $43,500
MPG: 18 City / 26 Hwy

2011 Nissan 370Z Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2011 Nissan 370Z continues to impress reviewers with nimble handling, impressive acceleration and rev-matching transmissions that ease gear changes and inspire confidence. They do note that the 370Z’s 3.7-liter V6 can feel unrefined as engine speed approaches the redline. Base and Touring models come equipped with a 332-horsepower version of the V6, while Nismo 370Z’s benefit from an additional 18 ponies, bringing total power output up to 350-horsepower.

  • "The six-speed manual clicks through the gears short throw after short throw, and the low ride makes you feel like a race car driver. The SynchroRev Match adds to that experience by automatically matching the engine's rpm on downshifts, giving the car a smooth throttle blip and eliminating that lurching feeling you can experience downshifting too early. It also just sounds cool when coming up to a stop sign.” -- The Detroit News
  • "In some regards, the Z is well-priced for what it gives you, mainly in terms of overall performance and aptitude on a racetrack. You get this sophisticated performance in the base model.” -- Cars.com
  • "Similarly, we have tested a 370Z with a manual transmission and like that car's shift feel, along with the rev matching technology. The automatic transmission wins a few tech points, too, but it isn't the best choice for sport driving. Transmissions aside, the cars excellent handling and usable power from the engine earns the 370Z an excellent score for performance tech.” -- CNET


Acceleration and Power

The Nissan 370Z continues to impress reviewers with impressive acceleration and good transmissions, but its engine is criticized for feeling unrefined in the upper revs.

A 3.7-liter, 332 horsepower V6 provides power for the 370Z, which includes Nissan’s Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) to optimize engine performance and fuel economy. Reviewers praise Nissan for its SynchroRev and Downshift Rev systems; which match engine speed to gear changes made in manual and automatic transmission-equipped vehicles, respectively. However, if you’d like your 370Z to have a little added oomph, the top-of-the-line Nismo 370Z puts out an impressive 350 horsepower.

  • "On the highway and in traffic, the 370Z is one Z-licious companion. From rest, the car rolls away elegantly, asking for a mere handful of revs above idle. Clutch takeup is predictable, and the shifter's throws are so short and smooth that your forearm barely moves. Power manifests as low as 1900 rpm and flows in one great, seamless rush to redline, with no discernible variable-valve step.” -- Car and Driver
  • "The V6, while strong, lacks some refinement and feels labored at high revs. This might seem a petty complaint, but it substantially dulls the enjoyment of a spirited run on open roads.” -- Edmunds
  • "Although it never lets us down, the VQ engine isn't known around these circles for smoothness either. This character trait is immediately apparent once the tach speeds past 4,500 rpm and the stick shift starts really trembling. By 6,000 rpm, it's vibrating like a blender full of margarita mix and square ice cubes. The VQ wins countless awards, but it will never be confused with a smooth-running inline- or flat-six. "-- Autoblog


Handling and Braking

Sporty handling generally earns the Nissan 370Z good reviews, with test drivers citing the Z’s agility on the road. Reviewers also note impressive steering, as well as brakes which draw comparisons to much more expensive sports cars.

  • "Brake-pedal travel is minimal, taut, linear. And the structure feels as solid as a Porsche 911’s, issuing exactly zero rattles or squeaks.” -- Car and Driver
  • "The 370Z may have a small, light body and a powerful engine, but it always feels perfectly balanced on the road.” -- The Detroit News
  • "It's nimble and responsive, with precise steering and good feedback.” -- Cars.com
  • "Bolted to an amazingly rigid platform, the non-adjustable Z suspension is tight, but there is still noticeable body roll in the corners and nose dive under braking (the Nissan would brush its lower splitter on the asphalt into a tight banked uphill turn). “ -- Autoblog