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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For It's got bucketloads of brute force and aggression, and stands out from the crowd

Against Other cars in the class are better to drive, and the 350Z lacks a prestige badge

Verdict Good head-turner, but not as civilised as rivals

Go for… Standard spec

Avoid… Imports

Nissan 350Z Coupe
  • 1. Check the registration documents carefully to check you're not buying a grey import
  • 2. Fuel economy is just 24.8mpg and you need to use more expensive higher-octane unleaded
  • 3. Overall reliability is good, although some cars suffer from noisy rear suspension
  • 4. A face-lift in 2006 introduced a slightly better trim level and a more powerful 300bhp engine
  • 5. The 350Z is strictly a two-seater, and cargo space in the boot is very restricted
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Nissan 350Z Coupe full review with expert trade views

Wimps need not apply. This is an old-school muscle car for grown-ups. With a 3.5-litre V6 engine driving the rear wheels and a six-speed manual gearbox, this is one mean coupe. You can sprint from rest to 60mph in 5.9 seconds and max out at 155mph. The engine sounds far bigger than it really is, and delivers great acceleration low down in the rev range, as well as having mid-range grunt.

It may have loads of grip, but the 350Z isn’t quite as nimble as many rivals through a series of fast bends. However, the ride is firm but compliant, and the steering weights up nicely as speeds increase, providing plenty of feedback.

The Z is strictly a two-seater, and although driver and front passenger have plenty of head- and legroom, useable cargo space in the boot is very limited.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Go for the GT model. Many grey imports distorting prices. Look good value now

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

There’s only one engine, which comes with a manual gearbox, so there's just colour and spec to pick. However, there was a face-lift in 2006, giving slightly more power (297bhp) for better drivability. Power was increased again in 2007 to 309bhp.

The 350Z is well kitted out as standard, and features 18-inch alloy wheels, climate control, xenon headlamps, electric front windows, remote central locking and a CD multichanger.

Sat-nav was available as an option, and the optional GT pack adds electrically adjustable and heated leather seats, cruise control and an upgraded stereo system.

There are only six colours available, including Sunset Orange. The Z is aggressive enough to get away with it, but it is a turn-off for some buyers, and could make the car difficult to sell on.

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

Trade view

John Owen

GT is model of choice. Values easing quite dramatically as more appear

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

The 350Z has strong residual values, and because there aren’t many around, you may have to pay high prices for the car you want.

Running it will be an expensive business, too. Average fuel economy is just 24.8mpg and, according to the handbook, you should feed the 350Z higher-octane premium unleaded petrol. Insurance costs will also be dear because the coupe has a rating of group 19.

Servicing intervals are quite frequent at every 9000 miles. However, you could opt to use an independent garage for this, which will save you about 20% off your bills.

For all that, compared to the competition, the Nissan looks a good second-hand buy. And, although it’s clearly in a lower league than the Porsche Boxster, the Audi TT and Mazda RX-8 are squarely in its sights. The 350Z holds its value well and it should prove cheaper to maintain, but for some the stumbling block will be that it doesn’t have the same quality image as the other two.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Go for the GT model. Many grey imports distorting prices. Look good value now

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

Because of the popularity of the 350Z, there are lots of grey imports from Japan. While these work out cheaper to buy, they don’t come with exactly the same specification as UK cars, and your insurer will probably want to charge you a higher premium. The exact service history and background of the imported car may also be unknown.

Overall, though, you should have little to fear. The company has a good reliability record, and Warranty Direct says that only 20% of Nissans require any attention. The only complaints about the 350Z concern knocking noises from the rear suspension, but this appears to be rare.

Depending on the age of the car, the service schedule should be complete, but the 350Z is a driver's car, so be wary of any vehicle that looks like it’s had a hard life. Those big alloys are also prone to kerbing, and any uneven tyre wear will show up problems with the suspension.

Trade view

John Owen

GT is model of choice. Values easing quite dramatically as more appear

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford
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