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2012 Nissan 370Z Review

While some critics said that a noisy cabin makes it less-than-ideal as a daily driver, most agreed that the 2012 Nissan 370Z offers a combination of power and agility that few sports cars can match.

Pros & Cons

  • Nimble handling
  • Powerful engine
  • Attractive, upscale interior
  • Road noise at highway speeds
  • Limited interior space




Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 7.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.4
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
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2012 Nissan 370Z Overview

A V6 engine comes standard in the 2012 Nissan 370Z, and test drivers agreed that it provides plenty of power from a stop, as well as for passing or merging on the highway. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a seven-speed automatic transmission is available. Critics said that the manual transmission offers short, quick throws, and that the available SynchroRev Match feature enhances the driving fun by automatically blipping the throttle on downshifts, which helps match engine speed to the new gear. A more powerful NISMO 370Z model is available, which comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission. The base 370Z gets an EPA-estimated 18/26 mpg city/highway, which is typical for a V6-powered 2012 sports car. Athletic handling is one of the 370Z’s strongest attributes, as some reviewers said that it matches the cornering ability of significantly more expensive sports cars. Additionally, the 2012 370Z pleased the automotive press with strong brakes, as well as an accurate steering system that provides great road feel.

The 370Z is available as a coupe or a convertible, and most test drivers were impressed with its attractively styled cabin, which features a mix of nicely grained plastics and soft-touch materials. However, some wrote that road noise is a constant companion in the 370Z, which detracts from its appeal as a daily driver. A few reviewers also noted that taller occupants may want more head- or legroom, but others thought that the two-seat 370Z provides enough passenger space for most body types. Critics were pleased with the 370Z’s logically placed audio and climate controls, though a few reviewers noted that they could be more clearly labeled. The 370Z packs less cargo space than many cars in the class, with 6.9 and 4.2 cubic feet of trunk space in coupe and convertible models, respectively. All 2012 Nissan 370Z models come with automatic headlights, proximity key, push-button start, automatic climate control and a four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary jack. Available features include a Bose stereo system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a touch-screen navigation system, a rearview camera, heated seats and leather-trimmed, power-adjustable seats.

Other Cars to Consider

If you want more trunk space and a back seat, consider the Ford Mustang. The Mustang is also available in coupe and convertible body styles, and it gets slightly better fuel economy than the 370Z. Additionally, critics loved the Mustang’s powerful engine choices and athletic handling when it was new.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata gets significantly better fuel economy than the 370Z Roadster, and its nimble driving dynamics make it a perennial favorite of the automotive press. The Miata also is also available with features like a power-retractable hardtop.

Compare the 370Z, Mustang and Miata »

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