- Jagged-edge styling
- Rear-drive handling
- Quick, smooth steering
- Feels heavy
- Ride can get rough
- Somewhat stark interior
The 2008 Nissan 350Z returns to its roots, with amazing V-6 power and rear-drive handling.
The 2008 Nissan 350Z is an elemental sportscar with rear-wheel drive, a choice of coupe and roadster body styles, seating for two, and a big V-6 engine producing more than 300 horsepower.
The style of the Nissan 350Z is modern. The Audi TT and Ford Mustang steer toward retro themes; with the 350Z, Nissan has drawn sharp lines and smoothly rounded curves that echo older Z-cars only a little. Inside the 350Z, Nissan lets the controls do the talking--there's little extra trim, though the interior has been warmed up a bit since the 350Z bowed in 2003. The plastics feel a tad ritzier, but all the basics remain as before.
All 2008 Nissan 350Zs blast out power through Nissan's 3.5-liter V-6, which produces 306 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. Different models offer a choice of six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions. Fuel economy is a decent 18/25 mpg with the manual gearbox and 17/23 mpg with the automatic. The 350Z's 0-60 time is about 5.6 seconds for the manual (6.0 seconds for the automatic), with a top speed hovering around the 150-mph mark for both. Top-class dynamics, blistering speed, and undiluted driving pleasure are standard equipment; the Nissan 350Z has scalpel-sharp steering, a meaty gear change, an amazing exhaust rasp, and big brakes.
Anti-lock brakes are standard across the line, with front-side and side-curtain airbags. Crash ratings from the NHTSA are mostly four stars, save for five stars for passenger side impact.
Eighteen-inch wheels and tires are standard, as is a speed-sensitive power steering system. A navigation system, a choice of satellite radio systems, and an Aerodynamics Package are optional.