2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
The Nissan 350Z has everything a sports car needs. But success is denied to the Japanese - even the low price compared to the German competition cannot attract customers.
By Thomas Flehmer
It's like an attractive football game in front of empty stands. It is regretted that too few spectators were present. In a similar situation, the Nissan 350Z is fighting for shares in the German market. The cult athlete from Japan, descendant of the legendary Datsun 240Z, deserved more buyers. Because the Nissan leaves a brilliant impression, as our test drives showed.
First of all, the newly strengthened 3.5 liter engine contributes to this. In the meantime, 230 kW / 313 PS drive the six-cylinder, which catapults the sports car towards 100 km / h in 6.1 seconds. The road should be quite dry, otherwise the rear-wheel drive will want to pull out quickly, but will also be caught again just as quickly by the ESP.
Thanks to short gear changes with the manual six-speed gearbox, the sporty driving style is guaranteed at all times. But the well-rotating engine is also a pleasure in city traffic. At 40 km / h the fourth gear can be engaged, at 50 km / h the fifth gear is on, the engine still purrs gratefully without slipping into low speed. This means that fuel consumption can also be kept in a range that is reasonably tolerable for a sports car. Between 12.4 and 13.4 liters of SuperPlus were on the on-board computer, depending on the driving style.
Specially tuned exhaust sound
But it is clear that it is more fun to test the car for its sporty attributes. There is even joy when the speedometer exceeds the actually regulated 250 km / h and only comes to a standstill 12 km / h later. A curtailment is still available, says Nissan spokesman Michael Schweitzer, the speedometer could just vary slightly.
Incidentally, the fast drive should take place without great conversation. On the one hand you can hear the specially tuned exhaust sound, on the other hand there is hardly anything else left at these speeds. The soft top, which opens or closes within 20 seconds, does not keep out a lot of driving noises.
But this tribute should be paid to the machine in connection with the excellently adjusted chassis. The steering provides the necessary safety and also the sporty comfort, in the sport seats even longer tours can be done without problems.
On the one hand, the leather seats, which can be ordered as an option, provide support; on the other hand, the wheelbase of 2.65 meters ensures a comfortable sitting posture - even for people over 1.85 meters; good. Everything just fits.
Radio with cassette part
The interior also offers a harmonious picture. The round instruments in the upper area of the center console are reminiscent of the first 240Z from 1969. The speedometer and rev counter are clearly visible behind the steering wheel. But the interior also makes it clear why the 350Z is almost 20,000 euros cheaper than a Porsche Cayman. Nissan has done without the expensive leather panels without having to slip into the chubby, as the plastic offered can fully meet the requirements. You will also look in vain for a comfort indicator.
The CD combination is a bit tricky to use. The tuner was also unable to receive all the channels properly on the test drives in Berlin. As a compensation, the device offers a cassette part (!) For nostalgic people.
Another balance is the design with the beautiful side line. But the front, which tends towards understatement, with the trapezoidal headlights ensures absolute sportiness. While the long hatch dominates the rear of the Coupé, the Roadster has to stow the roof. The rear looks a bit wider here than on the Coupé, similar to the new Alfa Spider, which also weighs over 1.7 tons.
But these compromises can be accepted with the Nissan 350Z Roadster. Because the starting price of 40,890 euros - with Premium Pack 43,290 euros - is an absolute blast. Our test car with the Alezan Orange leather package and DVD navigation system cost an additional 3000 euros. After all, that's the equivalent of over 90,000 marks, but you would still have missed something if you hadn't driven it.