One of the most common questions is which Nissan Z car is better, the 350z or 370z. This question has a highly complicated answer that requires a lot of factors to be considered.
To summarize my response to this question as concisely as possible: the 350z and the 370z are great cars. There isn’t a superior automotive choice between them. The truth behind their performance is much murkier than any summary can describe.
To understand why that is, we have to dive deep into what makes these two cars different from each other. Both cars differ in many ways aside from engine displacement alone; there are significant changes in suspension design/setup, weight, styling, and interior features.
To get even more specific, each Z car has multiple different variations within the model line-up. The differences between 350z trims can’t necessarily be applied to the 370z’s corresponding trim because of these significant mechanical changes that distinguish these two cars from one another.
Some Major Differences:
To truly distinguish between these two cars, we’ll need to start with some basic facts about them:
- 2004-2006 Nissan 350Z – 3498 cc VQ35HR engine producing 287 hp @ 6400 rpm and 274 ft-lbs torque @ 5200 rpm. 7 speed automatic and six-speed manual transmission options. 2007 Nissan 370Z – 3696 ccs VQ37VHR engine producing 326 hp @ 7000 rpm and 276 ft-lbs torque @ 4400 rpm. 7 speed automatic and six-speed manual transmission options.
- Although both cars have the same horsepower, the 370z has 177 more pound-feet of torque than the 350z, so in general, power is higher across all RPM range with the 370z’s engine. The apparent reason for this difference in power output is that the displacement of each Z car’s engine changed: The 350Z uses a 3498 cc (VQ35HR), and the 370Z uses a 3696 cc (VQ37VHR), which means it’s the same engine with 436 less cc’s. It seems like a minor difference in size, but it has quite a significant effect on how each car performs.
- The next difference between these two cars is how much weight they can carry. There are too many Z variations to get into detail for this question alone, but I’ll do my best to explain it briefly for this article. The ’04-’06 350z trim weighed 3267 lbs (manual) and 3310 lbs (automatic). The manual 370z came in at 3027 lbs, while the automatic was slightly heavier at 3046 lbs. This means that the 350z weighs an average of 337 lbs more than both trims of the 370z, so it would be reasonable to assume that the 370z should feel lighter and more agile than its predecessor. With those basic facts out of the way, we can dive deeper into each vehicle’s specifications to learn more about them individually.
- “Styling” is a broad term, and every car has a unique style that differentiates it from other cars on the road. For this comparison, I’ll stick with what makes these two Z cars similar and different from one another rather than splitting hairs between minute details like door handles. The biggest styling difference between these two cars (that may not be immediately apparent without some research) is their headlights: The 350z used pop-up lights while the 370z used projector-beam headlights with LED running lights. Although some people may prefer the 350z’s headlight style, I find that the 370z’s headlights look more high-end and luxurious than its predecessor.
- The wheels of both cars are different, but again it seems like a small detail compared to other things we’ll be discussing. It may not seem like much, but when you’re modifying your car (which most people looking at these two will probably do), something as basic as wheel choice can make all the difference, depending on what you want to accomplish. The ’04-’06 350z came with 17″ wheels standard and 18″ optional (the larger size was only available on manual trims). The ’07 370z comes with, you guessed it: 18″ wheels as standard and 19″ optional (also available on manual trims only).
- The 370z, on the other hand, came out in 2009 and has almost nothing in common with any iteration of Z cars before it. The exterior styling was revamped entirely to give off a “luxury sports” look while still retaining Nissan’s signature curves and body lines. Its front-midship engine placement is excellent for weight distribution but not so much for aftermarket support. However, the location of the intake manifold makes it super easy to perform BOV (blow-off valve) retrofits because there’s plenty of room to insert any piping you may need to run between your turbo(s), intakes, and throttle body(s).
- The 370z’s interior falls somewhere between that of a sports car like an RX8 or Supra versus something like a Porsche 911 or Corvette Stingray; this means if you want luxury, then you should probably look elsewhere; however, if you’re looking for both power and luxury, then I’d suggest taking a closer look at Nissan’s GTR. The 370z interior is pretty clean and attractive despite being somewhat rudimentary in its design; it gets the job done without being super luxurious but screaming, “I have a sports car!”
Now for some areas where these two cars are identical:
Their engines are both naturally aspirated V6s built by Nissan with displacements of 3.7 that the Nliter for the 350z and 3.5 liters for the 370z (we’re talking about non-turbo versions here).
Both engines are pretty similar when they’re stock, producing almost the same power in almost every aspect you can measure (power to weight ratio, torque, etc.).
Some people may tell you that the 370z’s engine is a monster when compared to the 350z’s, but this isn’t exactly true. The ’09 370z makes slightly more torque and horsepower than the ’04-’06 350z, but it doesn’t have any more power at redline despite being larger in displacement; however, you might be surprised to hear that a stock dyno’d 370z has been known to produce slightly more horsepower than a 350Z with an aftermarket intake and exhaust.
These cars are both rear-wheel drive which means they’re perfect for going fast around corners whether you’re on a track or just driving through your town (yes, I’m talking about drifting). They can both pull 1g+ of lateral acceleration, making them great for autocross and other types of road racing.
Both cars are known to have responsive steering with tight turning radiuses, which means they each handle similarly.
Both these cars come with rear differentials equipped with limited-slip technology. Still, where the 350z’s diff is just your typical viscous unit, the 370z’s gearbox uses a multi-disc clutch pack that can transfer more torque than its predecessor, allowing it to reach speeds the previous 350zs couldn’t achieve without spinning its tires up to said speeds (the only real downside is that because this diff relies on “clutch” technology rather than mechanical strength it cannot handle as much power as an open differential like the 350z’s).
Although both these cars are fun to drive, they each have their pros and cons (just as anything does), so if you’re looking for a sports car, I’d suggest doing more research on whichever one of these models catches your eye. If you’re looking for a fast, loud, and possibly exotic looking daily driver, then any version of the Z will do; however, if you want something that has crazy capabilities yet isn’t quite as expensive as an R35 GTR or Porsche 911 Turbo, then there is another option…
I’m going to come right out and say it: The 350z is probably not the best car to start modifying for a beginner. It’s got its unique quirks that need to be worked through, such as its “worn-out” look despite being brand new, and whether or not you like keeping up with maintenance every month will play a significant role in how much you enjoy your Z.
That having been said, for someone who has already owned at least one car before then this shouldn’t be a problem because they’ll know what they’re getting into.
Most 350z owners will tell you that the car’s front-mid engine placement makes it super easy to modify because the entire engine bay is accessible from both sides of the car; its lack of an intake manifold also benefits this design by mimicking a bottom mount turbo layout while not requiring extra piping (and cost) to feed air to the top end like other cars with similar power handling capabilities (e.g., RX8, Supra).