Nissan 350Z 2004 Review
Young turks pump the ¿hang loose¿ sign with their fists, their girlfriends call out complimentary exple-tives, dads drool and mums swoon – well almost.
It's a good looker that's for sure.
This is the soft-top version of the 350Z coupe and is exactly the same mechanically as the coupe sharing a 3.5-litre, 206kW, V6 engine and a six-speed manual transmission or optional five-speed auto.
It also has the coupe's interior and the same equipment.
Chassis reinforcments provide more stiffness – necessary because of the soft top. Weight is only slightly up compared with the coupe at 1548kg for the manual roadster.
Only one version is offered while there are two coupes.
Roof operation is electric and takes about 30 seconds either way. It's stowed in a special compartment behind the two seats under a slick looking lid with twin head pods.
A single, centre mounted roof lock is manually operated.
Included in the equipment is a superb Bose Audiopilot sound system that ranks as one of the best around. It automatically adjusts volume according to ambient noise.
The 350Z roadster has European developed suspen-sion dampers to retain the car's sporty feel and enhance ride quality despite the chassis changes and increased weight. For top down driving, a neat perspex wind buffer sits between the seats so your hair isn't ruffled.
The 350Z roadster is impressive dynamically offering superb grip through 18in wheels and low profile rubber.
The steering is direct and responsive while the suspension gives a relatively comfortable ride. Com-bined that with multi piston brakes and the roadster is in the upper echelon of handling for a road car.
Hi-tech components include a carbon fibre com-posite drive shaft and a viscous limited slip differential. The throttle is electronic and a twin outlet exhaust is fitted.
On road performance and feel is sporty with superb acceleration available from the big V6. Gear changes are quick and slick and the pedals are well placed for easy control. The engine isn't the smoothest around, growling and bellowing at times but that probably adds to the sporty allure of the car.
I found the cabin cramped with not enough seat movement provided. Access can at times be challeng-ing.
Boot room is surprisingly large and there are plenty of practical storage areas inside the cabnin to make up for the lack of a glovebox.
It's up against some classy competition but at $69,990, the 350Z roadster is right on the money in just about every area.
Range and Specs
Lowest price, based on third party pricing data