There aren't too many Japanese cars with a long line of pedigree
and heritage. But the 350Z is one of them. The line started
with the legendary 240Z in the 1970s, progressing through
to the 260Z, 280Z and on to the ZX series - that's where it
went wrong for a bit.
The retro-styled 350Z was designed to recall the shape of the
240Z, and it does. A bit. The proportions of the car, with its
classic coupe profile and contemporary styling elements look
unbelievably good. Even now, after the introduction of its successor,
the Nissan 370Z, it turns heads with ease.
The Nissan 350Z has sold well all over the world. Its strong
sales figures could be attributed to its competitive price and
great looks. Once word got out that it was also a strong performer
on both the road and track it became even more desirable.
The 350Z was initially available just as a coupe, but soon a
convertible model arrived. Usually convertibles
are far more floppy and flabby than their coupe counterparts.
But with the 350Z the differences were minimal - although driving
purists will still prefer the Coupe's sharper dynamics.
Due to its styling, performance, reliability and character you
can almost guarantee that the 350Z is a future classic.
The Nissan 350Z was powered by a strong and dependable 3.5 litre
V6 which, depending on the year and whether or not its a special
edition model (like the UK-spec GT4 edition), produces 276 horsepower
and 268 lb-ft (363 Nm) of torque
@ 4,800 rpm. Later cars, and the GT4 model had engines which
developed just shy of 300 horsepower. In 2007 the engine received
a thorough redesign and 309 hp was achieved. The engine, in
all its iterations, has proved to be strong and reliable, even
after lots of miles and episodes of 'spirited' driving. If you're
buying a 350-zee make sure the engine pulls strongly and revs
smoothly. Any rattles or clicking noises can be a sign of a
The 6-speed manual transmission (there was an auto option, but
you're crazy to choose it) of the 350Z has a heavyweight feel
to it, and this is normal. Early cars also had an odd habit
of sending a tingling vibration up through the gear stick -
again this is normal, just a bit weird! The only thing to watch
out for with the transmission is a notchy feel when selecting
a gear - usually it's most noticeable when engaging 4th or 6th
gear. This can be a sign of a lifetime of aggressive gearshifts
and it should be investigated further. All in all the 350Z's
drivetrain is a pretty tough setup, and relatively low maintenance
for a sports car. Although if stuff does start to go wrong it
isn't the cheapest car to put right.
Nissan blessed the 350Z with a sublime chassis. In fact for
the price and segment it was probably top of the class. It provides
an entertaining and involving drive, and it's also easy to get
the best of the car's handling. It'll put a smile on the face
of all drivers - irrespective of experience or driving style.
The 350Z is a great looking car from every angle. Its short
front and rear overhangs and classic cab-rearward coupe profile
look beautifully balanced. The paintwork is of a high standard,
and even though the front bumper and nose of the car can suffer
from stone chips due to its blunt shape, the paintwork holds
up surprisingly well.
Suspension and Brakes
The brakes are generally pretty good, but there are a few tricks
to them. First off, if you're on a test drive and it has squeaky
brakes, this can actually be a sign that they haven't been used
in anger much - so it can be an indication of an unmolested
example. Check to be sure though! Another characteristic of
the 350Z's braking system is long pedal travel. This is completely
normal, and most noticeable when the brakes are either cold
or very hot.
The 350Z was equipped with different suspension components depending
on where it was sold. The US market 350Z had a softer setup
than the European cars. Essentially the suspension system was
setup to match the types of roads they would encounter. In general
however the 350Z's suspension system was a decent setup and
it contributed greatly to the cars handling prowess.
The interior of the Nissan 350Z is a highly focused environment
which is designed to put the driver right in the middle of the
action. The triple gauge cluster inset into the dashboard, and
the deeply coweled instrument panel is a throwback tot eh original
240Z - and they look great. Deeply bolstered sports seats hold
the driver and passenger firmly in place. And while there's
not too much drama or fancy trim inside, and the materials are
of a slightly lower quality than that of its main competitor,
the Audi TT, overall it's a nice place to find yourself.
Review by: Anon.
The Nissan 350Z which was first introduced in 2002 is the current
successor to the popular 'Z' range of Nissan sports cars originally
introduced in 1969.
After the passing of the Nissan 300ZX in 1996 Nissan was left
without a sports coupe in its lineup. However when the 350Z
was introduced its styling emulated the original car, not the
later 300ZX model.
The layout of the 350Z follows in the footsteps of the previous
cars, front-engined, rear-wheel-drive and like the original
the 350Z has impeccable handling characteristics and strong
In Japan the Nissan 350Z is sold under the name of the 'Fairlady
Z'. In 2004 Nissan introduced the convertible version, the 350Z
For the 2007 model year, the 350Z was moderately revised. The
VQ35DE V6 was replaced with a new 3.5 L VQ35HR V6. It produces
306 hp at 6800 rpm with 268 lb-ft at 4800 rpm. The front bumper,
hood, and headlamps were also revised with the hood featuring
a bulge reminiscent of the original 240Z.