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Nissan 350Z Roadster 2004 Review

One thing the original Zed failed to deliver was a rag top, drop top or whatever you want to call it top – although it came close with a glass, targa-style roof in the 80s.

Enter stage right the gorgeous 350Z Roadster which carries a $10,000 premium over the coupe, but is easily the pick of the pair.

It's a steal compared to some of the high-priced Euros and gives little away in terms of style or performance.

There's only one model. priced from $69,990, and if you want an auto it is going to cost another $2800.

  • Nissan is renowned for the 3.5-litre V6 that resides in the Zed. It's the same power plant as in Maxima, albeit in a very different state of tune. It delivers 206kW of power at 6200rpm and 363Nm of torque at 3800rpm.
  • It's not the smoothest or quietest of engine around but we don't think anyone is going to find this a major problem. Drop back a gear, drop the top and listen to the note from the twin exhausts.
  • We were particularly surprised by the good economy that we got out of the roadster. It returned more than 600km from a single 76-litre tank of fuel, although we should point out it drinks premium. That's better than 12.6L/100km.
  • When you cut the top off a car you need to compensate for the loss of structural rigidity by reinforcing the underbody to stop the chassis twisting. They've made a good fist of this with the Zed because there is little or no scuttle shake, at least on the roads we travelled.
  • The roof is a snap to release. Push the release button, pull down the central handle and then hold down the under dash button until the cloth roof is fully retracted, stowed neatly under the twin bubbles of the hard cover.
  • Our test vehicle was the six-speed manual and while it was a little stiff at first the changes were reasonable smooth by the time we got the hang of it. There's plenty of torque so the car will happily dawdle around in top gear.
  • Acceleration is strong across the range but the car is hard to get off the line cleanly and we'd like to see a bit of work done in this area.
  • Handling is excellent with a traction control system that can be turned off. But we wouldn't recommend this unless you're an experienced driver.
  • The roadster is not the easiest of cars to get in and out of. It's a long way down with huge doors that open wide and this can be a problem in narrow spaces.
  • Standard equipment includes leather upholstery, heated seats and a kick butt 240 watt Bose sound system.

Pricing Guides

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Range and Specs

Roadster 3.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $8,140 – 11,440 2004 Nissan 350Z 2004 Roadster Pricing and Specs
Touring 3.5L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $10,990 – 14,990 2004 Nissan 350Z 2004 Touring Pricing and Specs
Track 3.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $7,700 – 10,780 2004 Nissan 350Z 2004 Track Pricing and Specs
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