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Nissan 350Z (2003-2008)

  By Richard Dredge
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The original Z cars were all-time greats; while the brand went off the boil for a while, this masterpiece made sure it didn't wither on the vine. With a free-revving V6 up front there's power aplenty while handling is an enthusiast's dream - oversteer is available on demand. Despite superb performance credentials, the 350Z is easy to drive and reliable too - and although there's no prestige badge in evidence, you're not paying premium prices to buy or run one either.
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Key Dates
3/03: The 350Z coupé goes on sale with a 276bhp 3.5-litre V6 only.
10/04: A roadster joins the range, powered by the same V6 as the coupé.
1/05: The Gran Turismo 4 limited edition arrives, with a 296bhp V6 and special wheels.
3/06: A facelift for both the coupé and roadster brings new headlamps and tail lights, extra power (now 296bhp) and a revised dash.

Nissan 350Z (2003-2008) Checklist

  • Clutches can fail in under 10,000 miles, especially on hard-driven cars, so check for slipping.
  • Don't be put off by a noisy gearbox in neutral - they all do that.
  • Gunmetal cars can suffer from the paint blistering or discolouring on the various plastic components.
  • The paint is also generally not especially durable, as it stone chips easily; look for damage on the nose particularly.
  • The final cars offer more power, but the engines don't feel as free-revving or powerful as earlier units.
  • Exhausts can fracture near the rear silencer, leading to blowing.
We Like
Performance
Styling
Dynamics
Reliability
We Don't Like
Thirsty engine
Cheap plastics
Nissan badge
No 2+2 option
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