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Nissan 350Z



  • rjgcparjgcpa Posts: 11
    I recently purchased a 2004 Z. I also purchased a Nissan extended warranty. I know the dealer marks these up. Can anyone tell me whether $1,360 is reasonable for a 7 year 70,000 mile coverage?
  • scantyscanty Posts: 171
    The new Road & Track has a picture and blurb about the '07 GTR. It's coming here. Suspension and steering tuning have been outsourced to Lotus (test mules are regular sightings around Hethel) and engine work is being done by Cosworth. They are expecting 450 BHP from the 3.5L VQ, probably turbocharged.
  • earlfargisearlfargis Posts: 16
    I dunno. The worse problem with the Z is the tire feathering problem and the extended warranty doesn't cover tires or alignments. The second worse problem is paint chipping. Nissan doesn't seem interested in doing anything about that (of course, short of repainting over the thin, Walmart paint job what's a fix?).

    As a company, Nissan's ranked slightly less than average by JD Edwards (based on surveys of 2001 models). The Z's quality thus far is sub-par even though the oldest ones on the road are about 2 years young.

    Me, I'd try to haggle them down (everything's negotiable at a dealership). If they wouldn't give much or anything I'd probably take my chances and sweat it out after the standard 3-year warranty was over. But then I know a darn good mechanic. P^)

    Is $1,360 exorbitant profit or a sign of lack of confidence on Nissan's part? Maybe a bit of each?
  • earlfargisearlfargis Posts: 16
    The only thing I heard was Nissan is considering, I believe, supercharging the Z upping the HP to 335. Won't see that in '05. '06 maybe?

    But there's a philosophical problem here. The 350Z was supposed to get back to the Z's roots. Any man's cheap thrill. The $26k sports car. True, the base coupe fulfills the promise. But for every base that shows up on a dealer's lot there's 5 or 6 $34-36k Track and Touring coupes. Add a supercharger (with whatever other options redefines the Z's high end) and the Z's marketing mix crosses well into the $40k range. Then it just becomes another high-priced sports coupe most of us can but drool over as they pass our commuter 'beaters' on the interstate. 8^)
  • rjgcparjgcpa Posts: 11
    I read in this forum about the paint and tire problems before buying my '04 Z. I hoped the tire problem (suspension related or otherwise) had been fixed for the '04 model year. I had autobahnd invisible bra applied to try and protect the paint. My '99 Lexus RX300 has experienced a lot of paint chipping on the front hood (maybe this is a sign of a problem related to the paint many companies are using today?).

    I like the car so much that maybe I foolishly wished the problems away. Kind of like 'my experience will be different' syndrome.

    As far as the warranty, you make a very good point. I can probably pick up an after-market warranty if I am still interested in owning the car 3 years from now.

    Thanks for the feedback.
  • scantyscanty Posts: 171
    Since Infiniti has already announced upgrades to the '05 G35 Sport Coupe, including 295+ horsepower, suspension upgrades, improvements to the shifter, and forged 19" aluminum alloy wheels. I've been checking for announcements, but there is nothing so far.

    Paint is an issue for many manufacturers, since they have gone away from solvent-based paints to more environmentally friendly water-based paint.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I have heard that '04's also have the tire feathering problem. You have to wonder how many 350 Z owners live with this problem. They just think since it is a sports car, the tires wear out sooner that a non performance car. I bet we would be surprised.
  • earlfargisearlfargis Posts: 16
    Here's the changes I've heard about for the '05. This is pretty much for certain:

    - An adjustable lower control arm change (from fixed) for the front
      suspension to fix the tire feathering;
    - A new color: yellow;
    - Front and rear driver seat raisers standard;
    - Navigation option available only on the Touring model;
    - Upgraded interior plastic bits (e.g., dash storage bin door);
    - Heated side mirrors standard on all models.

    Some plausible rumors I've heard:

    - An upgrade in HP. This speculation is based upon the announcement
      the G35 coupe gets boosted HP. Makes perfect sense but every dealer
      preordering Zs claims this isn't mentioned among the listed changes;
    - A mid-'05 anniversary Z based upon the NISMO S-Tune GT. It's rumored
      to be 300 or more HP. This car will be made for the Japanese market
      but no announcement regarding the US. I believe I read an article
      which said Nissan would produce it for export BUT that could mean
      Europe gets one while the US goes begging <sigh>;
    - Euro-tuned suspension to quiet critics of harsh ride. Actually, I've
      heard this was a "running" change for '04 that already has been
      implemented in Japan. Tied to the adjustable control arm fix which
      I understand may take a tad of the bite out of the Z's current
      handling, especially at high speeds?

    Other rumors float around but I wouldn't put much faith in them. The 350Z is only going into its 3rd production year. Too early for radical changes. But with sales off double-digit in '04 I have a feeling they'll have to do something by '06 to revitalize sales.
  • scantyscanty Posts: 171
    that I wish they would address is the interior. Not just the shoddy materials, but the styling and the ergonomics. It might work for a $26k base model, but when they are asking almost $40k for a decked out Touring Roadster, it's almost embarrassing. And would it kill them to offer a moonroof?
  • zzz350zzz350 Posts: 44
    It's a utilitarian interior. Look inside a Porsche or an older Ferrari, not a hell of a lot of refinement in them. If you want it real soft, go by a Lexus or something of similar refinement.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    If you see a Porsche or a Ferrari -- any vintage will do -- the materials are of high quality. You're right, of course, that the Porsche's (until 99) looked the same in the interior for three decades, and the ergonomics were designed by drunken German elves. And Ferrari, especially in the "blue collar" 3x8 series, had a pretty pragmatic approach, too. But all was top quality, be it leather or switches or gauges. JW
  • scantyscanty Posts: 171
    and if by "utilitarian" you mean crappy, I'd agree with you. If you look at other sports cars in the $30,000 range, the 350Z is not getting it done.

    The interior in my '94 Z is almost perfect (no cupholders, tiny glovebox, quirky parking brake location, no steering wheel adjustments), which could have easily been addressed, but the new car's faults are glaring. I'd keep the seats and adjustable steering wheel/instrument cluster, throw out everything else, and start over.
  • I haven't seen any lease offers on new Z's. I would think they should lease well considering the resale and the fact that they don't seem to depreciate much. With sales down 14%, lease offers would give sales a boost. What would be a good lease on a base stickering at 27,280. Does anyone know how to find out how many Z's Nissan plans to produce for 04 and 05. Thanks
  • zzz350zzz350 Posts: 44
    Interior is not much to look at or sit in (like most generations of vettes however). I had an original 240Z and I guess the sparse interior is sort of what I was looking for when I jumped back into the Z world. Some people also [non-permissible content removed] about the rear-view site lines in a Z (or all sports cars for that fact), my advice buy a 4-door soft ride and you'll get that soft interior for your posterior.
  • scantyscanty Posts: 171
    without being cheap. I can understand the cheap interior on the base model, but it's the same for every trim level. Asking for better materials and better layout is not the same as asking for a Cadillac.
  • marks1970marks1970 Posts: 25
    I guess everyone has their own opinion, but I don't see any problems with the Z interior. I don't own one, but I've test driven several of them. Aesthetically, I think it looks pretty good for a sports car. My boss' 2004 Boxter S doesn't look any better, and it has a couple cheapo materials in there also.

    I know they made changes to the 2004 interior in terms of materials. Do most of you who have issues with the interior own 2003 models?
  • earlfargisearlfargis Posts: 16
    Personal taste is well... personal taste. Many complain about the cheap plastic -- which is supposed to be upgraded for '05. I don't see a real problem with the car's interior compared to other cars in its class.

    It has a full instrument cluster which is more than can be said for, say, the Pontiac GTO. It has automatic climate control which I don't think is available in, say, the Honda S2000. The dash layout is neat, attractive, and simple. Better than, say, a Mustang GT (even the pictures I've seen of the upcoming '05) or much pricier Porsche Boxster (which suffers from being extremely dated).

    Many complain about the lack of a dash glovebox. I'd agree, it's a problem. But you mention your '94 had a tiny one. And what makes up for the other 'quirks' your '94 Z has like no cupholders (that'd really suck in my book) and no steering wheel adjustments (unforgivable)?

    The big complaint regarding the 350Z is lack of storage but that's almost universal for these budget sport coupes. Witness the small trunks of the S2000 or Chrysler Crossfire, for example. Of course, it's funny. Ever hear of someone gripe that a Ferrari can't carry a set of golf clubs? Like someone would care! 8^)

    I've been reading forums on the S2000, RX8, Crossfire, and, of course, the Z. While not exactly cheap cars they are low-cost for sports cars. Every one of them has issues and compromises. Heck, even pricier cars like the Audi TT and Porsche Boxster have issues inside, outside, and performance-wise. You've just got to find the ones you can live with.

    The old Zs of your vintage were fine cars. I've ridden in them and was impressed. But it's not really fair to compare to the current model because they grew expensive by comparison. The new Z is less pure (shares much from the Nissan parts bin) and scrimped on some things to save a buck but it has fulfilled the promise of the sub-$30,000 sports car. A base Z can had for thousands less than any of the aforementioned cars except the RX8.

    If Nissan can fix their horrific tire feathering problem for '05 -- the deal killer for that car -- it's by far the best of the bunch, IMHO. What would you buy?
  • scantyscanty Posts: 171
    really bothers me, but I still have the car, after 10 years and 123,000 miles. I can take out the ashtray and get a "small bottom" cup in there, but that's a kludge. I think the last gen Z's got the tiny glovebox as a result of adding a passenger side airbag.

    The steering wheel placement is absolutely perfect, so adjustments would have been superfluous.

    The trunk on mine is quite large. It easily swallows my hockey bag, a full size cooler, and I've had three sets of golf clubs back there without having to remove the long clubs. The new roadster has a tiny trunk, which is a shame since it has a J-Lo butt.

    I like the interior of the RX-8, but if anyone thinks they have trouble with blind spots in the Z, just wait until you try driving the RX. The side windows are so small that they can't even get a full window sticker in it. The B pillar is massive, since it's the anchor for the freestyle doors. It should have a hatch instead of a trunk, since the trunk is reasonably sized, but the opening is so small that you can't get anything big in there.

    I think my dislike of the 350Z interior is due to the acres of dark plastic. Like almost all new cars, the beltline is very high, and the door panels really need something to break it up.

    Do any current owners have problems with the left side bolster on the driver's seat showing premature wear? Almost every 300ZX I've seen has a wear spot or hole in the bolster.
  • scantyscanty Posts: 171
    just because it uses the FM platform and the VQ engine. Mine shares the 3.0L VG engine with the old jelly bean Infiniti J-30. Nissan makes the best V-6 in the business, so why not put it in everything?

    I think the other cars on the FM platform (G35 sedan, coupe, and FX) benefit from the platform sharing, rather than the Z being hindered by it. Just think, they all get double wishbones all around, with cast and forged aluminum members. And a carbon fiber driveshaft? That's not cutting corners.
  • titantitan Posts: 16
    Gentlemen: (Assuming no ladies are driving this ride)

    I have been thinking hard about purchasing a new Z with Nismo options- wheels, aero kit and exhaust. My questions are many but I will limit them to a few. First, does the Z on a set of 18s ride loud? Everything I read mentions that road noise becomes a pain in the a@@ after crusing for a while. Second, can anyone truly speak about the performance of this car? (i.e. acceleration, braking, etc.) Third, what had been paid for the Touring model with Nismo? Any Z lovers who can speak to this, I thank you in advance.
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