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PERFORMANCE | 9 out of 10
delights with ample power
V6 is just about perfect
this car totally books
Car and Driver
The 2008 Nissan 350Z is one of the top-performing cars reviewed by TheCarConnection.com.
Car and Driver sums up the 2008 Nissan 350Z neatly: "With its short shift throws, linear throttle response, excellent torque, excellent steering, and excellent ride and handling responses, this car totally books."
Piece by piece, the 2008 Nissan 350Z builds its sportscar credentials. It ¬¬comes with a sole engine and a choice of manual and automatic transmissions. It comes equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that puts out a whopping 306 hp and 268 pound-feet of torque. “Combined with a six-speed manual transmission for more fun and control when driving,” Car and Driver goes on, “the engine starts out strong with massive acceleration, completing the 0-60 mph test in a mere 5.4 seconds.” That kind of performance is “essentially the same performance as a Porsche Boxster S, which has a base price of more than 50 grand.”
“Although the automatic transmission matches revs on downshifts,” Edmunds says, “a manual transmission brings out the most in the 350Z. Nissan’s six-speed's shifter feels heavy through the gates, but it's fairly precise and clutch take-up is smooth (if not stiff).” TheCarConnection.com notes that fuel economy is a decent 18/25 mpg with the manual gearbox and 17/23 mpg with the automatic.
Enthusiasts laud the handling of the Nissan 350Z; 2008’s edition is tight around curves and maintains excellent road and steering feel, even at high speeds. As MyRide.com puts it, the car "hugs tighter than your grandma on Christmas morning and attacks challenging curves with zeal." Cars.com writes that “the 350Z's most impressive driving characteristic had to be the sure-footed paths it carved on winding roads and steep highway onramps.” And Car and Driver says, “not only is the Z swift in a straight line and around corners, but it is effortlessly so.”
Much of the appeal lies in a simple, uncomplicated feel from the 2008 Nissan 350Z. “The shifter is precise and accurate, with a direct mechanical feel,” Car and Driver says. “The brakes are firm, proportional, and easy to feather on and off. And the pedals are perfectly arrayed for heel-and-toe shifting. Most important, the steering is direct, linear, and beautifully weighted.” Edmunds points out that with the "track-tuned NISMO version of the 350Z,” Nissan has dialed in “the sharpest reflexes of the Z-car family, though its excessive road noise and predisposition toward freeway hop make it unsuitable as a daily driver.”
Overall, the 2008 Nissan 350Z is exactly what it was intended to be: a car that accomplishes the performance levels of high-end sportscars without the hefty price tag.