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Drives, Nissan — August 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm

2012 Nissan 370Z: First Look


Here’s a first look at the latest Ride of the Week, the 2012 Nissan 370Z.

Rejoice! For the it is a sports car and, even better, one with a six-speed manual transmission! How many proper rear-wheel drive sports cars are available these days, especially in the low $30,000 range? They certainly number few. And Nissan has been in the sports car game for a long time with the Z, so decades of refinement make the Z top-tier in ways that are obvious from behind the wheel.

But it’s not time for a review just yet, so let’s get to the details. Roadster aside, the Z is available in three trim levels – base 370Z Coupe, 370Z Coupe Touring and NISMO 370Z. The Touring model gets extras like heated leather and synthetic suede sport seats with power adjustment, a 6-CD changer, Bluetooth, XM satellite radio and a cargo cover. The NISMO brings a bump to 350 horsepower and a range of performance and design upgrades, including tuned suspension and exhaust, big spoilers and super lightweight wheels. The test car is the base 370Z Coupe which, in some ways, is the best choice.

The test vehicle is the base Coupe with cloth interior, a single-disc, 4-speaker audio system with an auxiliary input, automatic climate control, power windows and locks with a proximity key and push-button start, cruise control and xenon headlights. The base manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $31,450. An optional rearview mirror incorporates a backup camera monitor, Homelink and a digital compass, adding $785 to the bottom line. The $3,030 Sport package adds 19″ RAYS staggered width wheels, sport brakes with larger rotors, spoilers, a limited-slip differential and rev-matching program for the transmission.

Quick Specs: 2012 Nissan 370Z

body type2-passenger, 2-door coupe
as-tested price$36,150
engine size/configuration3.7-liter V6
horsepower/torque (hp/lb-ft)332/270
transmission6-speed manual
fuelpremium unleaded
EPA city fuel economy rating (mpg)18
EPA highway fuel economy rating (mpg)26
option packagesSport package, rearview mirror backup camera & floor mats