This car is relatively hard to explain, the reason is that most people don’t understand the Nissan 350z, they don’t get the point of spending so much money on just a Nissan. Okay lets admit it, Nissan don’t exactly have the best credibility in the world when it comes to reliability, nevertheless they have a sporting heritage richer than many European manufacturers and Australian manufacturers such as, dare I say it, Holden and Ford.
Nissan started the Z dream in Australia back in 1980 with the 280ZX (having previously marketed the car under Datsun), and continued that dream with the 300zx. When the 300zx finished production in 1996, Nissan was having a hard time, the company wasn’t doing so well financially and the Z car went to sleep, waiting to be reborn in 2002.
So in Dec 2002, Nissan brought back the Z name to Australia with the Nissan 350z. Initially powered by a 3.5L V6 engine that produced a massive 206kw of power and 363Nm of torque, the 350z was an instant winner. Questions about the car’s ability to match up to the Z name were quickly put aside once it was driven. So Nissan had not only produced a miracle sports car but styled it so well that it became an irresistible choice.
In early 2005 Nissan brought out the 35th Anniversary edition of the 350z and increased power to 221kW and 353Nm of Torque, later in 2005, the standard Nissan 350z’s powerplant was also upgraded to match that of the anniversary edition. The 350z that I’ve picked as the 4th best sports car you can buy for less than $65,000 is the Manual Coupe model which starts at $63,000 and comes with
The Z gets to 100km/hr in just 6.1 and with a little more practice you might be able to take that down to just below 6. The Automatic version only comes with 206kW so if you are buying this car, please do the world (and yourself) a favour and go with the manual instead, if you want a 350z for what it is, and what it is meant to be, you need the manual version. The road dynamics of this car put it alongside the likes of the Subaru WRX, but more centered towards drifting than rally driving. Featured recently in the Fast & Furious 3 movie, the 350z has become not only an icon as a sports car, but will go down in History as one of Nissan’s best machines. The official fuel usage figures are around 11.6L/100km for city and highway driving combined, nevertheless, if you want to enjoy the 350z’s potential, the fuel usage is going to reach around 15L/100km.
Enough about the advantages of the 350z, so whats wrong with this car? Why didn’t it rank any higher than number 4? Simply because the cars listed above the 350z, are genuinely better cars, the RX-8 wins over the 350z because it is by far the most unique sports car you can buy for the money, the STi and the EVO IX win over the 350z because not only are they faster but they handle better, cost less, and sure they don’t look as good as the 350z but they are still more practical than the 350z.
Furthermore the 350z lacks some basic luxuries, the BOSE sound system would be the first to go – even with the sub it doesn’t sound like a BOSE sound system should! The engine note is also worth a mention, it sounds like a V6 Toyota Camry, where is the deep sports sound that you get from the likes of the STi and EVO IX? There is no sports note from the exhausts!
Nonetheless, if you are keen on a 350z and you have more than $65,000 to spend, I would highly recommend the MY06 350z Track Roadster for $73,000. The convertible look and the power of the 350z will satisfy both your ego and your desire for speed. Also if you are keen to modify the car, the Nissan engine is built for modifications and with a little work under the hood (e.g. a turbo charger) buyers have been able to get the Nissan 350z to 500 horsepower!
Standard features on the Nissan 350z are listed below