2.10.2009

Nissan 350Z Roadster GT Review




There's a lot to be said for buying the final year of any design. The main point is that the bugs have all been ironed out. So, as much as I'm waiting with great anticipation for the new Nissan 370Z, the final-year 350Z Roadster is looking mighty good.

I was among those disappointed with Nissan's execution of the new Z when it first landed. Way-too-cheap materials (especially in the interior) marred what could have been an incredible bargain. To Nissan's credit, they've worked on the Z continuously over the past five or so years, to the point where it's hard to find fault with the outgoing Z.


I recently spent a week in the Roadster GT, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The base price of $41.570 takes care of a 306 horsepower, 3.5 liter V6, a six-speed manual transmission, electric soft top, 18 inch wheels, 8-way power driver's seat (4-way for the passenger), keyless enry, power everything, a 7-speaker Bose audio system that can actually be impressive with the top down at speed (a neat trick) and a bunch more. The only options were floor mats for $95.00 and an $1800 nav system that I'd skip in a heartbeat.

Still, the fun-per-dollar factor, even with the nav driving the bottom line to $44,160, is awfully high...and with strong crash test ratings and an EPA estimated 17 city/24 highway miles per gallon, the Z Roadster GT is a fairly responsible choice (at least in the realm of two-seat sports roadsters).

A strong finish for what's become a very good car. May the next generation do so well.

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