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Nissan 350Z Reliability and Maintenance Costs



  • alaw35alaw35 Posts: 5
    Thanks for all the input. I appreciate your thoughts on the car. I have to now get to the dealer and do a test drive on the car. I will let you know what I end up getting. I will be following the forum.
  • I agree with the reasons for a lot of Z's on the market. Not really a practical car for everyday use and the Z is priced just right to make it very enticing. It could easily be the champaign on a beer budget. When I was in my 20's and 30's the Z was out of reach. Now that I hit the magic 50, it is easily in my budget. Between my wife and I, we now have 3 cars and a motorcycle. Wife's car is a Solara (2 door). 3rd car is a Sable (4 door) which is good for the dogs since they like to hang their heads out. It also has a hitch on it so I can haul a trailer when needed.

    I just bought my 350ZR 3 weeks ago and dropped 15 years off of the mental age (wasn't that high to start with). 2005 new left over in Ultra Yellow. Now if that is not a ticket getter I don't know what is. Speaking of which, Virginia has a law against radar detectors. Anyone have any good suggestions on the discrete (invisible) detectors. I'm thinking of getting one the next time I am visiting NC. I have read several posts from folks in the VA/NC arae. I just moved to Richmond a year ago from Winston-Salem. One tobacco town to another.
  • One other thing. If you are looking and can find a left-over 2005, I got mine for $7K below sticker ($4K under invoice) without any rebates or incentives. Sticker was $39.5 and dealership started with $34K. I ended up paying $32.5K and also paid an additional $1600 for the 6 yr/ 100K mile bumper to bumper warranty. Nice thing about the warranty is that if I do not use it, they will re-imburse me 100% of what I paid for it. There did not seem to be enough difference between the 2005 and the 2006 to account for the cost difference.
  • biancarbiancar Posts: 913
    Hey, I recognize you from the 350 site! Glad you're enjoying the car.

    And definitely second the advice about buying a left-over 2005 if at all possible, if there still are any. I did the same thing in April and got a similar deal. You have to be in the right place at the right time for that. Very good financial move when it works right. The dealer and/or Nissan corporate gets to pay the first year's depreciation that way.
  • I know the Nissan dealer in Richmond has 1 more 2005 left (as of 3 days ago). Don't know what trim level. All I know is that it is black. Since I was only interested in the roadster, I did not pay any real attention to the coupe. I do know that you can get a hell of a deal on the car (based oon what I did).
  • magzmagz Posts: 1
    Ok, all you Z'd lovers beware of the horror that you are about to read....

    So I'm about to purchase my first sports car. I've been OBSESSING about the 350Z for a year now. I finally save my money up, find one in Minnesota (Touring Package/6 speed)....

    It takes 3 weeks to get to Calgary, Canada.... My dealer picks it up... 2 hours before I'm suppose to buy it he TOTALS THE DAMN THING!!!!

    Ok.. my questions is truly what happened...
    The man claims he was taking a turn of probably 40 degrees going 38 miles an hour.. There was a piece of metal on the curb (size of hood) he jerked the steering wheel probably to go around it.. Then the back tires started to skid... he ended up flying up in the air from smoking the curb and took out the light post...

    Needless to repeat (because it hurts), the car is totalled.

    Doesn't the car have VDC? How could this happen? What he just a dumb [non-permissible content removed]? Or do I have to reconsider what I'm about to buy AGAIN here, giving that I live close the mountains where the roads are icy... Not DRY like it was on Saturday when the accident occurred??????

    @#$@$^%$&$^*%&*(%&*^%& I"M SO PISSED! :sick:
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    sorry to hear it.

    As for VDC, there are 2 issues at play here. One is that no form of traction and stability control can stop a person from destroying their car if they are really intent on doing so. There is a point where physics outweighs electronic intervention. 2nd, the Z's VDC is not a great system. I've heard many stories of people skidding off the road in rain, and I myself had a bad experience in just a light dusting of snow. DO NOT buy this car if you plan to drive it on ice! i don't know who in their right mind would intentionally drive ANY 6-speed rear-drive sportscar on ice or snow.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • biancarbiancar Posts: 913
    Agreed. This is not the car to have as your only car if you live in Canada, unless you put snow tires on it October 1.

    Best bet is to buy some sort of older small SUV or something for your winter car, and drive the Z from April 1 to first snowfall, and then keep it garaged until end of snow season.
  • zeeyazeeya Posts: 5
    Well, as to a previous poster's comments, I am neither under 25, nor over 40. I am selling my 2003 Z simply because my lease is up and I am purchasing another one. The only repair in 60K was the driver's window motor, around $500 including labor. The car runs great and it's not my "weekend" car. I drive around 300 miles a week, highway and city. I own two other cars but refuse to drive them unless the snow is flying. I drove it from CT to Florida Keys, straight thru, no stopping and made it in 26 hours and my butt didn't even fall asleep, although I think I did a few times. This car is what it is, a true sports car. It's not a luxury ride, but if you want to bang a corner doing 80, 90, 100, it'll do it. I drive motorcycles, and if my bike is down, I take the Z and keep up with everyone else on their bikes and the driving/riding is just as exhilarating. If I do one day get pregnant, the hubby will have to drive the mini-van and I'm keeping my Z!!!! Good luck in your decision! :)
  • The Touring Roadster doesn't have VDC but the Coupe does. I would beg to differ on the effectiveness of VDC on slippery surfaces -- you are correct by saying that there are limits to what VDC can do, and a point where physics outweighs electronic intervention. But the VDC works extremely well within its limits, and is just as effective as VDC on any other vehicle. NO VEHICLE will perform well on ice. But the Z works well in up to 3 or 4" of snow if you use good snow tires on all 4 wheels. The only bad thing about a Z in the snow are the stock summer tires, and you're inviting certain disaster by driving on them in the snow. I live in Minnesota and have a Z as my daily driver. Snow tires make a huge difference... you make up the rest!
  • Hi everyone. I'm new to this site, but after seeing the knowledge everyone has here about 350Zs, I decided to join to ask for some advice. I'm in the below 24 age group and ever since 350Z came out, I've always loved its looks and performance. I'm still in the progress of saving up for a 350Z, and I was thinking about getting a 03 one, since its the cheapest, but is the rumours about them having so much problems true? And do the brakes and tires wear fast? Plus are they driveable in the rain? My plan is to use the 350Z during March to September and stick with a Subaru the rest of the year. Any advices and suggestions are greatly appreciated, thanks! :)
  • The 350z is an awesome car. I don't know much about the 03 models (I have an 06 Roadster) but I'd recommend checking out a good 350z enthusiast forum like There have been issues in older models with tire feathering and wear, but I'm not aware of any brake issues. Rain performance will depend on the tires - the stock performance summer tires are NOT suitable for cold weather driving and/or snow. But with good snows and common sense, driving in 3 to 4" is generally ok. Traction control and VDC will help, as well.
  • looseburglooseburg Posts: 4
    My wife and I are finally ready (mid 50's) to break from the practical and buy in to the fun factor with a convertible. I absolutely love the look and test drive of the 350Z roadster, but am struck by the total lack of stowage space. Hence, the consideration of the BMW 3 series. The 3 series has the space, but lacked the Z's thrill quotient when I test drove it. More importantly, however, while I know it's a premier performance car, I am scared off a little by the high maintenance cost required to keep the 3 that way. Am I naive in thinking the Z wouldn't have similar maintenance costs?
  • barmatsbarmats Posts: 3
    Interesting to hear you say that. I've had my Z Roadster now for almost a year, and have just purchased the 2007 BMW 335i convertible. I take delivery in Aug/Sept. This decision was made primarily for space reasons, and the fact that I could never take my family with me in the car. We have an SUV, which we use all the time, but I miss being able to go places with the family in my car. There have also been times when we've had to do family outings and couldn't fit everyone in both cars. If I'd had 2 more seats in the back, we could have avoided renting the van! I'm in my late 40's, and am very glad I had time with this car. The Z is simply gorgeous -- I get compliments on it everywhere -- and it drives like a real sports car. I will miss it a lot, but I'm looking forward to the 335i.

    Regarding the thrill quotient - if you've only driven the 328i, you MUST drive the 335i with twin turbos. It's an incredible engine with peak torque occurring at 1400 rpm. Unlike most turbos, it's very transparent and linear. No lag, just power whenever and wherever you need it. The convertibles are slightly slower (~ .2 sec) than their fixed roof counterparts, but I think the folding hardtop is the best of both worlds with no performance compromise. Don't forget that BMW includes 4 years of maintenance at no additional cost, which is a fantastic service plan. With Nissan, you pay for all of your maintenance, service and most consumable items. Unfortunately, the BMW will cost considerably more, but will hold its value well over time. Use Edmunds' True Cost of Ownership to compare vehicles and you'll see that the BMW rates amongst the lowest in its class.
  • biancarbiancar Posts: 913
    Why are you buying a convertible? If it's for the fun factor alone (per your first sentence), then go with what seems like more fun.

    I'm also mid-50's, married, no kids. I've found the Z has enough stowage space for my/our needs. We can pack the trunk with an airline-size carry on plus a duffel plus miscellaneous odds and ends, and there's quite a bit of space in the cubby behind the passenger seat.

    However, it's a second car for us. The other car is a Maxima, which we use for long driving vacations, picking up stuff from Home Depot, and the like. In daily use, I drive the Z and my husband has the Max.

    The Z would be hard to live with if it's your *only* car. It totally fills the bill (for me) as a second car. Will this be your one and only or will this be the fun-mobile with some other car doing the heavy-duty hauling and what not?
  • looseburglooseburg Posts: 4
    All great and helpful points if I were buying new, which my budget doesn't allow. Whether it be Z or 3 series, I'm looking at about an '04 model. Many of the 330's I'm looking at still have some miles but very few months left on their warranty program.
  • looseburglooseburg Posts: 4
    This is definitely "just" the fun car. We've got an SUV and a local run-around car. We just made a weekend trip that would have been perfect with the Z, a trip to the southern tip of Maryland from here in Central VA (I see you're NOVA yourself.) However, this was for a wedding, requiring several changes of clothes, my wife alone packing a huge suitcase. Short of some major fashion adjustments for my wife, we couldn't have done it with the Z.
  • biancarbiancar Posts: 913
    Well, yeah, speaking as a woman, that is TOTALLY understandable! ;-)

    Although - be advised that you can buy a complete set of luggage, with four pieces (suitcase, duffel bag, garment bag, and ... one other piece which escapes me now. Weekender or some such? I think Courtesy Nissan has it.

    Those four pieces will fit in the trunk perfectly, and I'd bet you could get a LOT of stuff in there.

    Just sayin'. ;-)
  • I am soooo sorry that happen! Is the man going to replace the Z?? That is the least he could do, I have a hard time during icy conditions, I got the performace package on a 2003 Z and if I leave the transmission in automactic drive, it handles better. Being a rear-wheel drive and no experience in driving the car may cause the accident. It took me a few months to get the feel of the Z, I now enjoy controling the gears and hardly need to use my brakes! But on icy conditions I rather stay home! Oklahoma City has a military base and speeders seem to think it is a dry road. Oh, do I love carvey roads, I wish I am back in Colorado! Good luck, don't give up!
  • I have heard good things about the Z's reliability. the one bad thing I did see what that people had complained about oil consumption.
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