2012 Nissan 370Z Review
With its powerful engine and athletic handling, the 2012 Nissan 370Z is a truly engaging sports car, but its high price makes the 370Z less attainable than competitors like the Chevrolet Camaro.
With its quality interior, attractive styling and top-notch performance, critics say the 2012 Nissan 370Z is a top performer among affordable sports cars. However, there is one negative that separates the 370Z from the rest of the class: a high price tag.
Sports cars like the Mazda Miata and the Mini Coupe can be had for thousands less. However, many reviewers report that since the 370Z offers performance that rivals luxury sports cars, it’s actually a great value. Motor Trend says, “In an automotive world filled with expensive sports cars touting questionable bang-for-your-buck returns, the Z carries on as one of the best values around, especially in the dollar-per-grin category.”
While test drivers agree that the Nissan 370Z offers thrilling performance, it’s not the most refined. Some mention engine vibrations in the upper rpms, road noise and rearward visibility issues. The Z’s two-seat cockpit and small cargo bay also mean it lacks the practicality of larger sports cars like the Dodge Challenger.
However, the automotive press maintains that if you’re shopping for performance, the 370Z’s positive attributes outweigh its shortcomings. While many affordable sports cars make you add expensive engine options to get the most performance, the base 2012 Nissan 370Z is extremely capable right out of the box.
Other Sports Cars to Consider
If you like the 370Z’s performance, but need more trunk space and a back seat, consider the Ford Mustang. Like the 370Z, the Mustang is available as a coupe or a convertible, and V6 models will cost you thousands less. If you opt for the V8-powered GT trim, the Mustang will match the Z’s straight-line performance, although it’s not quite as nimble as the 370Z.
Consider the Mazda Miata if you’re in the market for a two-seat convertible, but don’t like the 370Z Roadster’s high price. Like the Z Roadster, the Miata is a perennial favorite among reviewers for its nimble driving dynamics, plus it’s also available with a retractable hardtop. Granted, the Miata is less powerful than the 370Z, but even upper trims cost significantly less than the base 370Z Roadster.
Nissan 370Z: The Details
The 2012 Nissan 370Z is available as a coupe or roadster in three trims: base, Touring and NISMO. A V6 engine and manual transmission are standard equipment, while an automatic transmission is optional. The 370Z sees no major changes for the 2012 model year. For more details, see the full 2012 Nissan 370Z specs.
- "While it's on the noisy side, the 370Z's strong acceleration, potent handling, and refined interior more than make up for that deficit. It might seem expensive, but for all its performance, Base 370Z models are actually something of a bargain." -- Consumer Guide
- "What the Z roadster lacks in hardcore performance and value it turns out in refinement: The tidy soft-top, smooth-shifting stick and cabin materials all deserve Infiniti badges." -- Cars.com
- "There was no satellite radio and no navigation system, for instance. But there was lots of driving fun from the Z's eager- to-please six-cylinder engine, six-speed manual tranny and excellent bucket seats." -- MarketWatch
- "Draw up the criteria for an ideal sports car and you'll find that the … Nissan 370Z covers nearly all the bases: two seats, lightweight coupe body, more than 300 horsepower, rear-wheel drive, big wheels and tires, and curves for days.” -- Edmunds