Nissan initially came to the US market under the name Datsun for fear of failure. With that Datsun name, they brought the 240Z; since then, they have been a top competitor in the sports car market.
The Z family has changed a bunch over the years, but some key factors still make them all related. A low roofline, squished trunk, and a long hood are features that every single Z has.
What about the most recent Zs? The 350Z and 370Z were incredibly successful sports cars, but which one is actually better?
After the success of the 300ZX ended in 1996, Nissan was a little unsure what to do with the Z. They created a new 240Z concept, but that was scrapped for fear of going backward.
Eventually, Nissan showed the world their new Z concept, and they called it the “350Z”. The 350Z was a lot like the outgoing 300ZX.
They both shared similar design features, like the long hood, but the 350Z was designed to fit into the modern world.
Additional 350Z info on Wikipedia
In Japan, the 350Z was known as the Fairlady Z Z33. Overseas many of the Z cars were named the Fairlady. The Z33 is the chassis code, which identifies this specific generation of Z.
Its sleek lines and aggressive stance offered a hint of the power hidden under the hood. With a front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, the vehicle maintained a perfect balance between luxury and sportiness, encapsulating the essential aspects of a true sports car.
The heart of the 350Z was its potent 3.5L V6 engine, the VQ35DE, and later the VQ35HR. This powerplant offered impressive output figures, starting from 287 horsepower in the early models and ultimately reaching 306 horsepower in later models.
Though the production of the 350Z ended in 2009, replaced by its successor, the 370Z, it continues to hold a special place in the hearts of car enthusiasts. Its blend of power, handling, and style, all offered at an affordable price point, makes it a popular choice for driving aficionados and car collectors alike.
Moreover, the Nissan 350Z’s durable construction and mod-friendly design have made it a favorite in the aftermarket modification scene. Whether it’s an engine tune, suspension upgrade, or a forced-induction setup, the 350Z serves as an excellent canvas for car enthusiasts to express their creativity and personal preferences.
Fast forward to 2009, and Nissan is now producing their next Z car. The all-new 370Z is the 6th generation in the Z family.
The 370Z shares nothing with the outgoing 350Z. The 370Z is smaller, lighter, faster, and much curvier than the 350Z. It has a 4″ shorter wheelbase, 2.7″ shorter length, 0.3″ lower height, and 1.3″ wider body.
What do all of these numbers mean? These numbers mean the 370Z is designed to handle better than the 350Z in every way possible.
Additional 370Z info on Wikipedia
Just like the 350Z, the 370Z was known as the Fairlady in Japan. This time, it was the Fairlady Z Z34.
The 370Z brought an updated, more aggressive design compared to its predecessor, featuring a more compact wheelbase and overall size, resulting in a lower weight and increased performance.
Its muscular stance, sleek lines, and distinctive boomerang-shaped headlights and taillights emphasized its sporty nature and attracted attention wherever it went.
Under the hood, the 370Z housed a 3.7L V6 engine, the VQ37VHR, that was capable of producing 332 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. The ‘NISMO’ performance model boosted these figures to 350 horsepower and 276 lb-ft of torque, highlighting the car’s high-performance potential.
And despite its performance credentials, the 370Z didn’t compromise on comfort. The driver-focused cabin featured well-bolstered seats and easy-to-reach controls, ensuring an enjoyable driving experience. Higher trim levels offered luxuries like leather seats, a Bose sound system, and navigation, further enhancing the 370Z’s appeal.
350Z vs 370Z: Exterior
I mentioned the 370Z has smaller dimensions than the 350Z. The odd thing is the 370Z looks larger to me and many others. They are obviously related. The overall shape is extremely similar.
They’re both long, low, and simple, with a simple fastback rear. The 370Z is much curvier than the 350Z. This was done to make it look more aggressive but also much more modern.
Just like countless other models throughout history, the successor is curvier and modern-looking.
The 350Z is a timeless design; it will never look dated. Sitting next to the 350Z, it looks just as modern. That being said, I think that they’re both incredibly good-looking sports cars.
But the 350Z’s simpler design arguably makes it the better-looking of the two.
350Z vs 370Z: Interior
This shouldn’t take you by surprise; the 370Z’s interiors have features that weren’t even available on the 350Z. The 370Z also has a redesigned interior that feels more modern and more expensive.
They both have features that are a tribute to the original 240Z, such as the three gauges high up on the dashboard.
One thing that Nissan didn’t really change between these two is their race car feel. Everything in the cockpit is angled towards the driver, making it a true driving experience.
The seats are mounted low, and they are surrounded, making it feel like a true race car.
350Z vs 370Z: Performance Data
So if you’re an enthusiast, then this is the part that you actually care about. Which one of these cars is actually faster?
Logic would tell you that the 370Z is going to be the faster of the two, but is it really? Let’s look at some of the 350Z’s numbers.
- Horsepower: 300 @ 6,400 RPM
- Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 4,800 RPM
- Curb Weight: 3,200 lbs
- 0-60: 5.1 seconds
- 60-0: 112 feet
- 1/4 mile: 13.5 seconds
As you can see from these numbers, the 350Z is actually pretty quick. It’s not “Mustang” fast, but it’s plenty fast for the average person.
- Horsepower: 332 @ 7,000 rpm
- Torque: 270 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm
- Curb Weight: 3,300 lbs
- 0-60: 4.5 seconds
- 60-0: 105 feet
- 1/4 miles: 12.5 seconds
The 370Z is more powerful, which isn’t surprising considering its larger engine. The interesting part is that even though it weighs 100 lbs more, it’s still faster in every single way.
I hope this didn’t take you by surprise, but the 370Z is faster in every single way. This is funny because I’ve never seen a 370Z on a track, but I’ve seen countless 350Zs on a track. This is probably due to the price difference.
350Z vs 370Z: Reliability
The topic of reliability can be very subjective when it comes to Nissan. That is, everyone has a different agenda.
Many Nissan enthusiasts claim to have had incredibly reliable 350Zs, and incredibly reliable 370Zs.
Many enthusiasts also claim the exact opposite. Either way, the Nissan brand is actually less reliable than you might think.
With that out of the way, we can return to the subject at hand: Which one is more reliable? Unfortunately, I was unable to find any concrete numbers regarding the reliability of these two.
So I resorted to the forums, and I found that most Z enthusiasts both are incredibly reliable. This is odd, considering the chart above shows that Nissan is below average in terms of reliability.
I really couldn’t find any forum posts complaining about the reliability of either. If you have any insight on the reliability of the 350Z or the 370Z, let me know in the comments!
350Z vs 370Z: Price
Unfortunately, we are all limited to price. For this single reason, most people will never get to own their dream car. Both the 350Z and the 370Z can be found used for a fraction of their original price.
The 370Z is obviously going to be more expensive, and it’s newer. You need to understand that automobile prices vary by location, age, mileage, seller motivation, number of problems, and luck.
These prices I’m going to quote you might be entirely different from the prices that you find.
A 2006 350Z enthusiast coupe with 50,000 miles in good condition has a Kelly Blue Book price of $11k. This surprised me. I expected it to be closer to $7k based on my experience with 350Zs.
When I hopped on Phoenix’s Craigslist, I found 350Zs from $6,500 to $14,500. All of the cheaper ones had 160k miles or more.
From what I’ve found, a good condition 350Z with around 100,000 miles is about $10k.
A 2010 370Z touring coupe with 50,000 miles in good condition has a Kelly Blue Book price of $17k.
This also surprised me. I expected it to be closer to $20k. The KBB for the 370Z is $6k more. For that, you get a model 4 years newer than the 350Z.
When I hopped on Phoenix’s Craigslist, I found 370Zs from $13,500 all the way up to $33,000. This means that in the real world, a 370Z is about 2x as expensive as a 350Z.
350Z vs 370Z: Engine
The engine is where things get really interesting because the Nissan VQ can either be terrible or amazing, depending on the variant.
In the 350z, you’ll find a few different versions of the VQ35, but the two main versions are the VQ35DE and VQ35HR.
In the 370z, you’ll find the VQ37VHR.
Objectively speaking, the VQ37 is better in almost every way than the VQ35. More specifically, the VQ35DE had a lot of problems that hindered performance and reliability.
Nissan learned from those problems and fixed them all when they created the VQ35HR. The VQ37 fixes the remaining issues of the VQ35HR and increases displacement, plus it introduced new features that increase performance even further.
For more info on this, I recommend reading our VQ35DE vs VQ35HR article or our VQ35HR vs VQ37VHR article. Both of these articles explain the differences in more detail, but the simplified answer is that the 370z has a far superior engine.
So Which One is Better?
This is a tough decision to make. Both the 350Z and the 370Z are incredible sports cars.
They have both set the bar for all of their Japanese competitors. Due to the 350Z’s lower price, it’s the better option for tinkering, but if you have the money, the 370z is the objectively superior car.
Yes, it is slightly slower, but with the money you save going with a 350Z, does it really matter? That money can be used for suspension, brakes, and tires.
A 350Z full of modifications will be faster than a 370Z; however, a 370z with equal mods is entirely in a different league. Let me know what you think in the comments below!