Used Nissan 350Z Convertible 2003 - 2009 review

Category: Sports car

The Nissan 350Z is a real soft-top muscle car, but it's a little unrefined

Nissan 350Z Convertible (03 - 09)
  • Nissan 350Z Convertible (03 - 09)
  • Nissan 350Z Convertible (03 - 09)
Used Nissan 350Z Convertible 2003 - 2009 review
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Steve Huntingford
Published01 January 2006

What's the used Nissan 350Z sports like?

If you want a quiet life, ignore the Nissan 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 Nissan 350Z is a real soft-top muscle car, but it's a little unrefined

  • You lose a roof but gain a glorious V6 growl
  • Some of the 350Z's rivals are better on twisty roads and have more prestige

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.

Ownership cost

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

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

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.

Our recommendations

Which used Nissan 350Z sports should I buy?

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.

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