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Nissan 350Z – Not for the Faint Hearted!

Submitted by on Monday, 14 January 2008No Comment

Nissan 350ZDating back to the 1970’s Nissan was under the name Datsun, which presented the UK market with the 240Z sports coupe providing driving pleasure, glossy looks and enticing prices to coupe buyers, but now quite frankly the 240Z holds not value to the ordinary car buyer, so now what’s next for Nissan?

It appears Nissan are driving down the route of re-branding, leading to the revival of the sports coupe under the name 350Z. Is Nissan’s 350Z really on an unambiguous route?

Style
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Nissan 350zExterior
All credit to Nissan for the accomplishment of an exterior which certainly gives the 350Z presence on the road. The 350Z lays presenting its attractive features;  bulging wide arches where 18″ 6-spoke alloy wheels lounge, silver door handles inline with the door lining providing a sleek feel every time you enter, and xenon headlamps dazzle you while two dimples in the bumper hold a smile.

Nissan 350zInterior
As the door opens; insight is black interior, with silver trim blending agreeably.  Nissan have added some pleasant touches, the digital read-out display which displays information such as the rev limit, and the column-mounted instruments which move in harmony with the steering wheel to ensure the perfect driving position. Like the exterior, Nissan have also gone to the effort of implementing sporty door handles, which I feel resemble a Porsche GT3. 

Comparing the Audi TT’s interior the finish with the 350Z, its evident the 350Z doesn’t quite offer material worthy for a £25,000 car.

Comfort & Practicality
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Comfort
Like a true sports car, well reinforced seats provide plenty of support under hard cornering. A fair bit of road noise trembles into the car, Nissan’s solution seems to be the seven-speaker sound system from Bose, where no distortion in noticeable when you pump up the volume. My Solution – turn the stereo off and instead enjoy the hardcore grunt of a perfect V6 tone.

Nissan 350ZPracticality
The driver and front passenger have plenty of head and leg space. As the 350Z lacks back seats Nissan have tried to recompensate with 235 litres of boot space which unpracticality is split into two by a huge strut brace marked with Nissan’s Z symbol. Plenty of equipment is provided as standard, electronic adjustable heated leather seats, bi-xenon headlights, LED rear lights, lightweight alloys and Bluetooth capability. 

 

Performance & Handling
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PerformanceNissan 350z
The exhaust note eggs you on from the moment the car starts right up to the rev limiter. A 3.5-litre V6 producing 280bhp lies under the hood capable of acccelerating from 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds and a top speed limited to 155mph. It’s proving difficult to get the prodigious V6 grunt out of my mind.

Handling
The 350Z is not for the faint hearted, like a true sports car, through the flat corners the electronic stability control system allows the rear tyres to slide slightly before intervening and regaing control in the eager enjoyment. The 350Z isn’t as agile as expected when diving into a series of fast bends.  The suspension setup allows a firm ride and the steering is compliant, providing feedback when pushed. The stiff body, low centre of gravity and near perfect 53/47% front to rear weight distribution feels responsive.

Safety & Reliability
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Nissan 350ZSafety
The 350Z arrives with all the essentials; ABS, electronic stability control, front & side airbags and Brilliant Brembo brakes proving immense braking power. Hand the task of deterring thieves to the Japanese, and security is taken car of, with alarmed remote central locking and an immobiliser. 

Reliability
Nissan are one of the top ten most reliable car manufacturers, so long as you keep the 350Z to the service schedule, there’s no reason to expect the 350Z to dishearten.

Costs
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Running Cost
The main turn off for the 350z is the group 20 Insurance and 25mpg. However, overall as you would expect from Nissan the running costs are relatively low and high demand pushes residual values up.

Servicing: 9000 miles
Warranty – Three years/60,000 miles
Estimated fuel cost for 12,000 miles per annum: £1,969
Road tax for 12 months: Between £210 to £400

Depreciation
Below a vague depreciation guide based on 10,000 miles per annum.

Cost New £29,295
Year 1 £21,467
Year 2 £17,096
Year 3 £14,462
Year 4 £12,288

 

 

 

Buying & Selling Used
Demand for coupes in the UK is fairly high, and after all there is a lot of car here for the money, so getting a decent deal may prove to be difficult for a new model, however for a used model it’s possible as low volume and high demand for the 350Z is fading. I wouldn’t recommend imports as these are not the same as the UK models offered from the official UK Nissan dealers.

Verdict
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Love – Value for money sports, Packed with fun, V6 Engine Grunt

Hate – Insurance & Economy Costs, Interior

I knew a time would come where I would approve of a Japanese sports car, and the 350Z cuts it. Like the predecessor Datsun 240Z, the 350Z combins driving pleasure, sleek looks and an accessible price to appeal to coupe buyers. If you’re considering an Audi TT or a Porsche Boxster, add the Nissan 350Z to your test-drive list.  The Nissan 350Zs are proving to be popular sport coupe choice, but what will the future bring.

Rivals:
Audi TT Coupe – Build Quality, Style, Driving Behaviour
BMW Z4 Coupe – Good looks and drive
Chrysler Crossfire Coupe – Appealing looks, Mercedes-Benz foundations

 

What do you rate the 350Z?

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