Used Nissan 350Z Coupe 2003 - 2009 review

Category: Coupé

The Nissan 350Z is a good head-turner, but not as civilised as rivals

Nissan 350Z Coupe (03 - 09)
  • Nissan 350Z Coupe (03 - 09)
  • Nissan 350Z Coupe (03 - 09)
Used Nissan 350Z Coupe 2003 - 2009 review
Star rating
Author Avatar
Steve Huntingford
Published01 January 2006

What's the used Nissan 350Z coupe like?

The Nissan 350Z 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 Nissan 350Z is a good head-turner, but not as civilised as rivals

  • It's got bucketloads of brute force and aggression and stands out from the crowd
  • Other cars in the class are better to drive and the 350Z lacks a prestige badge

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.

Ownership cost

What used Nissan 350Z coupe will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Nissan 350Z coupe?

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.

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.

Our recommendations

Which used Nissan 350Z coupe should I buy?

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.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here


What alternatives should I consider to a used Nissan 350Z coupe?