2005 Nissan 350Z (569)


This week I went to the GM roll out of their 2006 line of cars in this 2005 Nissan 350Z. How could it get any better you ask. Well, the Corvette Z06 is a good way to start, but you know what – this Z is really cool. I could own this car.

And if I were true to the profile of older men I would get it in the convertible version. So the wind could blow through what hair I have left. Ok, so I’m not balding, but it is thinner than ever.  

Yellllll-O ! Wow, a press car that draws attention more than RED. Mustard? Well I suppose so, but it is really a great color. This is NOT a boring color. And I don’t think I would tire of it.

A lot of cars look pretty and that’s as far as it goes. But Nissan is confident about its looks and has put a lot of emphasis on the mechanical. It doesn’t show but it gives depth and interest to the car. It keeps impressing you and before you know it you have been seduced and fall in love.

Editorial Comment: Lately there has been a lot of talk about the EPA fuel performance being wrong or over stated. I don’t buy that. From all the cars I test – up to 80 per year I have always found the stated MPG numbers to be fairly accurate.

On this 350Z I found the Highway miles to be better in reality. I got over 26 mpg on the freeway with no town driving and no traffic jams between LA and San Diego.

General Info:

Parts – Japan

Assembly – Japan

Class:  Sports Car

Cars:  350Z, Altima, Armada, Frontier, Maxima, Murano, Pathfinder, Quest, Sentra, Titan and          Xterra.

Handling & Performance:

wesome! How else can you put it? Riding on rails is the best parallel in how you feel when you pull “G’s” in the mountain turns. Exhillerating describes it. you’re going to love the way this handles. And it is f a a a s t! I appreciated the close ration gear shifting and in the mountains you appreciate more the power at your disposal so you don’t need to shift often. Literally the 287 horsepower allows you to stay in a long 4th gear and still pull the grades. Really a lot of fun.

Traction control and  Vehicle dynamic control is the kind of technology you want for a performance car. It keeps you out of trouble from the typical tendency to “Oversteer” in a sharp corner. Look at the features standard on this Z and you begin to appreciate the price tag. This car is not only great looking it is a sophisticated driver.


Wonderful, in my humble opinion. There is a brace in the trunk that is functional and they have made it look pretty but I wish it weren’t needed because it really screws up the storage area. Nice touch with the cross drilled aluminum foot pedals and accents that finishes the sport performance look – but then they knew that.

Fit and Finish:

First cabin.


Not bad. It may seem a little pricey for a two seater but take a look at the standard equipment list. That will quickly explain what the extra cost is for. Performance for when you drive on the edge. And on the roads today you are on the edge more often than you care to be.



Consumer Recommendation:

If a “TWO” seat car fits your passion and you travel light – under 25 or over 50 years old – this is a great sports car. I must admit if money were not an issue I would pop for a Cad XLR. Not as much trunk space but for those getaway weekends up the coast to Santa Barbara with your favorite friend who doesn’t play golf … well you know. But since I really don’t want to spend $70,000 for the Cad this stylish 350Z makes a lot of sense.

The Competition:

Nissan 350Z $27-37,000, Toyota Celica $18-22,000, BMW Z4 $35-42,000, Volkswagen GTI $20-22,000, Mazda RX-8 $25-32,000, Infiniti G35 $31-33,000, Porsche Boxster $44-53,000, Mitsubishi Eclipse $19-24,000, Ford Mustang $19-31,000, Chevrolet Corvette $44-65,000, Acura RSX $20-24,000, Audi TT $34-44,000.

Good News:

F a a a s t, fun, fancy, fairly good fuel economy.

Bad News:

A little pricey unless you are performance minded, although it is equipped with “Seal Tight” windows there was a little mis-fit and it whistled. I suspect that is just an adjustment issue.

Standard Equipment:

3.5 liter 387 hp V6 engine, continuously variable valve timing, Microfinished crankshaft and camshaft, direct ignition system, electronic drive by wire throttle, 6-speed close ration transmission, carbon fiber reinforced driveshaft, viscous limited slip differentaial, traction control, Vehicle dynamic Control, independent Aluminum multi link suspension, front and rear Stabilizer bars, rear integrated strut tower brace, 4-wheel power vented anti lock disc brake system with electronic brake force distribution, 18 inch aluminum alloy wheels, flush mounted Xenon headlights, rear window wiper, heated power mirrors, 8-way manual adjustable drivers seat, 4-way manual adjustable passenger seat, power windows and locks, climate control, audio system with CD player and 6-speakers, tilt steering , cruise control, trip computer tire pressure monitor system, cross drilled aluminum foot pedals, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, aluminum interior accents, security system with immobilizer, remote keyless entry and dual air bags,

Gas Stats:

20 City and 26 Highway MPG


MSRP $31,790.

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