Nissan 350z Coupe 2003 - 2010

Nissan 350z Coupe 2003 - 2010

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • A low-priced sports car
  • Great road hold and performance
  • High reliability and practical value
  • A well-designed engine and suspension

Cons:

  • Very stiff suspension
  • The exterior design is not sporty enough to suit the car

Overview

The Nissan 350Z is the 5th generation in the long history of Z-class sports models that started in the 1960s. For the last 5 decades, the Z-cars have remained one of the most exciting models produced by the Japanese manufacturer.

Exterior and Interior

It looks like the 5th generation 350Z embodies everything that Nissan has learnt during the 50-year stint at perfecting the Z-Class cars. Although it features entirely different proportions, you can notice elements borrowed from both the 3rd and 4th generations of the Z-Class. The concept car preceding the official release of the 350Z was designed in the Nissan Design American headquarters in California by Ajay Panchal. The reason why it was designed in the USA is because it was designed for the US markets. It’s traditionally the most important market for the Nissan’s sports cars. Three years after the concept, the official production version was presented. Surprisingly, it was more daring than the concept, featuring an even sleeker roof-line and more aggressive front end design. Although, the 350Z displays a harmonious design, it doesn’t look as fierce as a Honda NSX or Mazda RX-8. The car is often chosen by people who are not too bothered about the badge or the visual appeal of the car. The interior of the 350Z is sportier than the body of the car. The wide 2-seat cockpit offers exceptional comfort and the usual low seating position. The anatomical seats are hard, but they offer excellent support during fast corners. The steering column regulates together with the dashboard making sure the steering wheel never disrupts the visibility to the speedometer and other gauges. The car is well equipped even in the basic trim level.

Performance and Economy

The Nissan 350Z was built on a shortened platform of a Nissan Skyline supercar. As such, it inherited many features of its older brother. Just like the Skyline, the 350Z is a serious sports car and the hard-sprung professional suspension makes sure you enjoy every moment behind the wheel of the car. The V6 engine has plenty of power, even in the lower spec 276bhp version. Its torque curve is quite balanced so, unlike with other performance cars, the 350Z can be your everyday car. It won’t clatter or judder when driving at low-speeds or in a stream of city traffic. Being a supercar it can still be called practical. The Nissan 350Z can deliver 24mpg in the city and 28mpg on a motorway.

Like to Drive

The car is only supplied with a manual gearbox and there’s no option for an auto gearbox. It is positioned as a real sports car and many people don’t give it the justice it deserves, thinking that it’s just another pseudo sports car that looks good, but cannot do anything when it comes to performance. It’s certainly not the case with the Nissan 350Z. It’s a serious car with exceptional performance, although the higher-spec engines feature an electronic speed limiter. The 308bhp version can manage more than 155mph, but it’s not allowed to, unless the car is specially prepared for track events. It’s much more fun to drive than any pseudo-sport coupes. It feels different than the Porsche 911, but the Nissan is by no means worse than the German competitor, although it is far cheaper to buy.

Faults and Repairs

Overall, the 350Z is a reliable car. It’s built to sustain an increased load of enthusiastic driving, but some owners take it to the limits, so make sure you buy a well cared for example. As with many hard-sprung cars, the Nissan suffers from suspension failures.