The Nissan 350Z was released in 2003 and produced until 2008 when it was retired for the 370Z. The 350Z was initially launched with the VQ35DE engine, a 3.5L naturally aspirated V6 producing 287hp and 274lb-ft. of torque. In 2006, the engine received some minor updates, dubbed the ‘Rev-up‘ which increased power to 300hp but reduced torque to 260lb-ft. Again in 2007 the engine was revised with the VQ35HR and output was increased to 306hp and 268lb-ft. of torque.
In model year 2009, the 350Z was succeeded by the 370Z. As the name suggests, the 370Z received a larger 3.7L engine, the VQ37VHR. The new 3.7L engine was based off of the predecessor VQ35 and used the same naturally aspirated V6 layout. The 370Z received a facelift in 2013 and also had numerous special trim levels such as the NISMO. The 3.7L VQ37 engine lasted until the 370Z was retired in 2020. The engine underwent a handful of small design changes throughout the years and produced power levels ranging from 331-350hp and 269-276lb-ft. of torque.
With the retirement of the 370Z, Nissan has announced production plans in 2022 for the new Nissan Z, a 3.0L twin-turbocharged V6. The Nissan Z will use the VR30DDTT engine which is already used in a handful of Infiniti mid-size vehicles. The Z will produce 400hp and 350lb-ft. of torque, leading to the 400Z nickname.
350Z & 370Z Performance Specs
|Displacement||3,498cc / 3.5L||3,696cc / 3.7L|
|Redline||6500-7000 rpm||7500 rpm|
|Fueling||Port injection||Direct injection|
|Compression||10.1, 10.3, or 10.6||11.0:1|
350Z vs. 370Z Performance
The biggest differentiation between the 350Z and 370Z from a performance standpoint is the extra 0.2L of displacement that the 370Z has. Additionally, the only other material change is a higher compression ratio and a switch from port to direct injection.
While the torque numbers are rather similar, the 370Z offers up to 63hp more than early model 350Z’s. This additional power propels the 370Z to 60mph about 0.4 seconds quicker than its predecessor. Additionally, the 370Z has a quarter mile time 1.0 seconds faster than the 350Z with a 1/4 mile time of 12.5 seconds. If we look at performance around a track rather than in a straight line, the 370Z also prevails. Posting a Nurburgring time of 8:11, the 370Z beat the 350Z’s 8:26 time by 15 seconds.
From a stock or baseline perspective, the 370Z is faster both in straight lines and around the corners. However, when we consider performance we can’t just focus on stock numbers. Instead we have to factor in the “tuneability” of the engines under the hood.
350Z vs 370Z Tuning Potential
With both the VQ35 and VQ37 being naturally aspirated, neither the 350Z nor the 370Z really has a head start from a tuning perspective. However, the head start the 370Z does have is its extra horsepower. Since these engines are not turbo or supercharged there aren’t too many power gains to be had from simple bolt-on modifications. To produce serious power for either of these engines you will need to look to forced induction.
A stock 350Z without the “rev-up” engine will dyno about 235-240whp. A rev-up 350z will dyno approximately 250whp. A stock 370Z will dyno in the 270-275whp range.
Full Bolt-On Power Gains
A 350Z with an intake, exhaust, and tune adds around 25whp, pushing the DE engines to 260-265whp and rev-up 350Z’s to 275whp. While these are the best modifications to start with, adding additional mods such as throttle body spacers, pullies, a lighter flywheel, etc. you can get an additional 10whp or so out of the 350Z.
A 370Z with an intake, exhaust, and tune will add around 25whp, pushing power levels to about 300whp. Not terrible power gains for $1,000 of mods, but certainly nothing compared to adding full bolt-ons to a forced induction engine.
Ultimately, spending $1,000 on mods for the 370Z will put you around 300whp, whereas reaching 300whp on a 350Z even with cams and all the additional mods listed is unlikely. 350Z’s will tap out right around the 295-300whp range for rev-up engines and getting to these levels will require a few thousand dollars of additional mods.
350Z vs 370Z with Forced Induction
If you are considering forced induction, checkout our ultimate 350Z turbo upgrade guide. The topic of forced induction is challenging. Power levels vary greatly depending on the setup you are going for. We’ll cover the power limits of each of these engines and the cost to achieve them. If you’re willing to spend the money you can make a 350Z or 370Z faster than 99.9% of cars on the street, but this requires tens of thousands of dollars in mods so we are going to focus on stock motor limits.
The VQ35 engine on the 350Z is capable of handling approximately 450-500whp before major internal upgrades are required. Once you surpass these levels you will need to consider upgraded pistons, rods, cams, and ported heads. Additionally, with the introduction of forced induction you will need fueling upgrades and potentially some cooling upgrades as well. There are a number of 350’s running 700whp+ but this requires a fully built engine.
Overall, for about $8,000-$10,000 you can get yourself a ~450whp 350Z. Shooting for power levels above that will start pushing those numbers northwards pretty quickly.
The VQ37 engine in the 370Z is capable of handling 500-550whp on the stock block and internals. Fully built 370Z’s have exceeded 1000whp for perspective on what they can do fully built out. As is with the 350Z, even hitting the 500whp mark is going to require a lot of additional money in supporting modifications beyond just the turbo kit. Most modest turbocharger setups will push the 370Z to 500whp before reliability is seriously sacrificed.
Overall, the 370Z is capable of producing about 50whp more than the 350Z with all the same modifications. The costs to turbocharge the two are very similar so on an apples-to-apples basis the 370Z has more power potential when tuned with forced induction. This is predominantly because of the extra horsepower the VQ37 starts with over the VQ35.
350Z vs 370Z Reliability
Both the VQ35DE and VQ35HR engines in the 350Z are very reliable. In our VQ35 common problems post, we discussed the most common problems with the 350Z. On the list were oil leaks, timing chain failure, and oil consumption. Out of these issues, excessive oil consumption isn’t much of a problem so long as you keep oil levels high, and oil leaks are common with just about any high mileage cars. The only scary problem on the list is timing chain failure. However, the timing chain on the 350Z usually lasts a good bit beyond 100,000 miles before it becomes a problem.
The 350Z is highly reliable up to 100,000 miles and still very reliable until the 200,000 mile mark. As always, high mileage causes various maintenance items to arise. Don’t expect this kind of mileage without some general maintenance like water pumps, spark plugs and coils, etc. But overall these engines are quite reliable when left stock. Of course adding additional power will have some effects on reliability, especially for high mileage 350Z’s.
The 370Z has mostly the same issues as the 350Z. It is also timing chain driven which causes potential for failure, albeit it is not common until you reach the 150,000 mile mark. The VQ37 is also prone to excessive oil consumption, but again this isn’t an alarming issue. From what we have seen, the 370Z is very reliable up to the 200,000 mile mark as well.
Overall, both the 350Z and 370Z are highly reliable with respect to engine reliability. Obviously, the 350Z’s are all at least 13 years old at this point whereas some of the 370Z’s are only a year old. Age is a big factor for reliability. As cars get older they become more problematic. So while these engines are comparatively equivalently reliable, a 15 year old 350Z is going to require a lot more money in the form of normal old-age maintenance.
Is the 370Z better than the 350Z?
The 370Z is more powerful, just as reliable, and slightly newer. Additionally, it is capable of producing more power with the same amount of mod $ invested. Both in a straight line and around a track the 370Z is faster. So, conventional wisdom would say, yes, the 370Z is better than the 350Z.
However, one thing to factor in is the cost of the two. You can find a sub-100k mile 350Z for $10k-$15k from a dealer, and sub-$10k from a private seller. Even for an older 370Z you are looking closer to the $20k ballpark, with prices going north of $30k for newer, low mileage ones.
You could buy a 350Z for $10k and drop a 450whp turbocharger setup on it for the same $20k you would be spending on a stock 275whp 370Z. So while on a stock-to-stock basis the 370Z is better, it might not be the best option for someone looking for a fun, powerful, and affordable car. Additionally, the availability of already modded discount 350Z’s is a lot greater.
So which is better? It depends. It depends on your budget, on your power goals, what you plan to use the car for, etc. I would say that the 350Z tends to be more popular these days simply due to the low entry cost and availability of used turbo kits and other mods.
What’re your thoughts on the 350Z vs. 370Z?