Z tradition

2009 Nissan 370Z

Changes

GT-R touches

Upgraded engine

Reshaped body

Suspension

Cargo area

Sports car cabin

Tight steering

Instrument cluster

Gauge pods

Six-speed manual

Stock stereo

Navigation option

Rear visibility

Nissan has been building Z cars since 1969, starting with the 240Z. For the 2009 model year, Nissan has launched the latest iteration of this car, the 370Z, replacing the 350Z launched in 2002.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
The 370Z is Nissan's dedicated sports car. It's a two-seater with a little extra cargo room in back. There isn't a roadster version yet--Nissan will continue selling the convertible version of the 350Z.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
Nissan made significant changes to the Z for the 2009 model year, widening the track, shortening the wheelbase, and taking some weight out.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
The 370Z borrows a number of design touches from the GT-R launched last year, including these boomerang headlights. The taillights have a similar design.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
The previous model used a 3.5-liter V-6. Nissan ups that to a 3.7-liter V-6 using variable lift and timing on the intake valves. This engine puts out 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
Nissan gave the Z a longer nose and a faster back for the 2009 model year, a significant reshaping over the previous car. The 370Z looks like a mini-GT-R.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
Cornering is very good in this car because of its sport-tuned suspension, V-brace under the rear of the car, and wide tires, but long runs on the freeway can be uncomfortable.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
The cargo area is long and wide, but too shallow to hold big bags.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
The fit and finish in the cabin feels very good, and this is definitely a sports car cockpit. The seating position is nice and low to the ground.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
The steering is very tightly tuned, and exhibits oversteer. It doesn't take much input to change the car's direction.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
Appropriate for a sports car, the tachometer is front and center on the instrument cluster, with the speedometer off to the side.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
As in the previous model, three pods rise from the center dash. Two show gauges for battery and temperature, while the third has a clock.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
Our car had a six-speed manual. This transmission uses an innovative feature called SynchroRev Matching, which blips the throttle during downshifts so you don't lose engine speed. A seven-speed automatic is available.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
The stock stereo is pretty poor. Its single CD player doesn't even read MP3 CDs. But the unit does have an auxiliary jack in the face plate.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
This picture is from the new Nissan Maxima, showing the hard drive-based navigation system and controls that are also available in the 370Z.
Caption by / Photo by CBS Interactive
Rearward visibility is very poor in the 370Z, with just a gun-slit view in the mirror.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
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