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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For You lose a roof, but gain a glorious V6 growl

Against Some of the 350Z's rivals are better on twisty roads and have more prestige

Verdict A real soft-top muscle car, but a little unrefined

Go for… Standard spec

Avoid… Imports

Nissan 350Z Convertible
  • 1. Check the registration documents carefully to check you're not buying a grey import
  • 2. Check the hood for signs of wear or damage. If you need to replace it, you’ll spend a small fortune
  • 3. Overall reliability is good, although some cars suffer from noisy rear suspension
  • 4. The roadster is quite a bit more expensive than the coupe, so it’s likely to hold its value even better in the future
  • 5. A face-lift in 2006 introduced a slightly better trim level and a more powerful 300bhp engine
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Nissan 350Z Convertible full review with expert trade views

If you want a quiet life, ignore the 350Z roadster. Without the coupe's roof, you get an aural assault from the V6 engine, which sings as you wring out its 300bhp.

Thanks to the extra 150kg of body stiffening, there's no shaking when you tackle imperfect or twisting roads, but the loss in performance is virtually undetectable. The coupe's chassis stiffness and steering feel have been retained, and the car rides bumps well, even it does lack the ultimate agility of the best roadsters.

The 350Z is big enough for a couple of tall adults, even with the roof up. However, the fabric hood folds neatly under a metal cover, so the boot is even smaller than the coupe’s.

At least, the folding top is easy to use - simply pressing a button stows it electrically in 20 seconds - and there's precious little buffeting inside, thanks to the snug driving position and effective glass wind blocker behind the seats.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Soft-top not as much fun as the Coupe. Stunning looks. Future classic

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

When it was launched, the 350Z had a 287bhp engine, but the range received a mild face-lift in 2006, giving a slightly higher trim level and a hike in power to 297bhp. Power went up again in 2007 to 309bhp.

Equipment levels are similar to those on the coupe. The convertible comes with air-con, remote central locking, a CD changer, alloy wheels and electric windows as standard. GT spec adds heated leather seats, cruise control and an upgraded stereo.

There are only six colour options, including bright Sunset Orange. For some it’s the perfect match for the aggressive nature of the car, but for others it's a complete turn-off, so beware. It’s the same story for the Alezan orange leather interior. The only other option of note is parking sensors. There was no automatic option.

You could also shop around for a car fitted with some of the selection of dealer-fit extras available from Nissan’s motorsport division, Nismo, including body styling kits and alloy wheels.

Trade view

James Ruppert

GT specification, Roadster always easier to shift

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The roadster was quite a bit more expensive than the coupe, so it’s likely to hold its value even better, and be more expensive as a used car.

Servicing intervals are quite frequent, at 9000 miles. However, you could opt to use an independent garage, which will save you about 20% off your bills, but you’ll need to make sure they follow the schedule and use the particular type of oil the 350Z has a taste for.

You may also spend a fair bit of time in the petrol station - average fuel economy is just 24.8mpg - and you should use the more expensive premium-grade unleaded. Insurance costs will also be high.

The BMW Z4 and Audi TT are the Nissan’s competition, and while the 350Z doesn’t have a prestige brand behind it, and doesn’t drive quite as well, it should prove cheaper to run.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Soft-top not as much fun as the Coupe. Stunning looks. Future classic

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

Due to the popularity of the roadster version, there are lots of grey imports from Japan. While these are cheaper to buy, they don’t come with exactly the same spec as UK cars, and your insurer will probably want to charge you a higher premium for them. The exact service history and background of the imports may also be unknown.

When you're looking at a car, check the hood for signs of wear or damage. If you need to replace it, you’ll spend a small fortune. The sexy alloy wheels look good, but they are prone to kerbing, so examine the rims and tyre sidewalls for possible damage.

Otherwise, there's little to fear, as Nissan has a good reliability record. Independent warranty provider Warranty Direct reckons that only 20% of Nissans require any attention. There are a few complaints about the 350Z that concern rear suspension noise, but these are rare.

Trade view

James Ruppert

GT specification, Roadster always easier to shift

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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