By Cars.com EditorsJuly 13, 2011
About the video
Cars.com's Kelsey Mays takes a look at the 2011 Nissan 370Z Roadster.
<v man>Cars.com Auto Review. Hi, I'm Kelsey Mays for cars.com here with the 2011 Nissan 370Z Roadster. This is a convertible version of the hardtop 370Z and 2011 marks its second year on the market.
Like a lot of performance roadsters, the 370Z is both quick and refined. Unfortunately it's not very inexpensive and it doesn't have a lot of room. We'll show you why. The Roadster has identical styling to the Coupe but with additional reinforcements to the A pillars and the door seals down there. The results are pretty good. You get over a broken pavement and the Z doesn't shutter a lot like some convertibles do. The soft top goes down in less than 20 seconds with a switch in the center console or this button along either door. It's a continuous process. There's an automatic latching system and a body colored tonneau cover that powers into place. So you don't actually have to latch or unlatch anything to start or end the process. Nice thing about a convertible soft top is that it doesn't take up any trunk room. It all stows right there and this comes down over it. The problem with the Z unfortunately is that what's left isn't all that much even with the top up or down. There's only about 4 cubic feet of space back here. Even for this class, that's pretty small. The primary disadvantage of a soft top is with noise levels. Even with the top up, wind noise is kind of always present and road noise with our car's optional 19 inch wheels and summer high-performance tires is kinda just kicked back to you all the time. So there's two ways to avoid this. One, you could not drive anywhere. Anytime. That sounds about as fun as sitting down to watch Garfield 2. Two, you could drown it out with engine noise. You wind out the 370Z's 332 horsepower V6 close to its red line and it's pretty explosive. It pulls really strong from 2500 RPM up. Our test car is 6 speed manual transmission. Doesn't feel quite as precise as the old 350Z's 6 speed manual but it's got this kind of hefty durability that lets you really wanna ram through the gears quickly. We do like that. Nissan has an optional feature here called Synchro Rev Match as well. You can turn it off or on and it basically blips the throttle on downshifts After you get used to it, it's kinda cool too. Here's the catch. The Z Roadster starts north of $38,000. That's nearly seven grand more than an equivalently equipped 370Z Coupe. A pretty high premium for a soft top convertible. Similar money gets you into a Ford Mustang or Chevy Camaro convertible with their V8 engines. Not much more, we'll get you into a BMW 135 convertible. Don't get me wrong, this is a fun car. It handles well and it's got plenty of power and a pretty well-executed convertible soft top but make sure you check out some of those other options before settling down with this one. <v man>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog kickingtires.net.
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