2003 Nissan 350Z Reviews - Page 2 of 5

2003 Nissan 350Z from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 2 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired71000 miles
Most recent distance73000 miles
Previous carFord F250 Super Duty

Summary:

Looks cool and moves fast, that's about it

Faults:

Mine is a piece of junk at 73k miles.

General Comments:

If you drive this car in the snow you're risking your life.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th January, 2009

23rd Mar 2009, 01:04

I don't understand how you can expect it to drive good in the snow. It's a sports car, not a jeep.

24th May 2009, 23:08

I bought my Z and drove it to Michigan. The dealer misguided me and said that the tires were All-Season, which actually were summer tires (OEM Potenza 18 inch). I drove to MI and on my way I went through snow at midnight and the car fishtails and started spinning, I had zero traction and the car finally went into a ditch. Luckily there was a damage to the front bumper, rear splash guards, bruises / scratches on the rims and to the exhaust only. I missed trees by inches on my way to the ditch and it could have been fatal. Got a ticket from Police without having any fault, and paid for the tow. Immediately went and bought Dunlop M3 Sports for the car next day. My advice to all the new owners of 350Z is to not even consider driving it in snow without WINTER TIRES. You are inviting trouble if you do.

2003 Nissan 350Z Touring 3.5 from North America

Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 3.5 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.7 / 10
Distance when acquired5660 miles
Most recent distance11666 miles
Previous carNissan 240SX

Summary:

It's a true sports car for an enthusiast

Faults:

Front tires wear prematurely due to bad factory alignment.

General Comments:

Factory Bose head-unit has poor sound quality.

Rear speakers produce monotone sound quality.

Upgrading the headunit and rear speakers is recommended.

Using factory Bose amp with aftermarket radio actually produces great sound quality.

Automatic transmission shifts very slowly for tiptronic. Shifts are too soft and lag. Trans-Go reprogramming shift kit is recommended. Stillen's valve body upgrade isn't worth the money.

OEM rims and tires are HEAVY and have terrible traction.

Acceleration is quick, MPG is fair, styling is beautiful, interior is well designed, engine/transmission reliability seems solid, handling is quite nice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd October, 2008

2003 Nissan 350Z Performance 3.5 from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 3.5 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired80 kilometres
Most recent distance46000 kilometres
Previous carNissan 300ZX

Summary:

Close, but no cigar

Faults:

Improper tire wear.

General Comments:

Driven by the romantic vision of a young obligation free existence, embodied and expressed in the purchase of a completely frivoulous and expensive asset (or more simply a desire to impress chicks), I purchased a 2003 350Z brand new in June of 2003. It has since accumulated some 10000 km, being driven through the varied climate that we Ontarians all cherish.

As I suspect is the case with a brand new marriage, the first few months together were practically blissful. Following the manufacturer’s recommendation, I never exceeded 4000 rpm and constantly varied the engine speed (this made me very popular indeed!). Kept at this sedate level, the engine impressed me with its instant response and wonderful exhaust note. I felt comfortable and well placed in the enveloping and basic, but stylish interior. I marveled at the granite-like solidity of the car’s platform and the corresponding poise in all maneouvers from the mundane to the maniacal. All the time I savoured its beauty and its magical ability to attract the attention of all.

But alas the honeymoon was to end. By about October the car had accumulated the requisite 5000 km to allow for more adventurous probing of its throttle. Such probing meant the end of my short-lived automotive bliss. What I soon discovered was the coarse and utterly truck-like character of the VQ engine. The VQ is simply an unlikable brute. It grunts and strains as it pushes forward (admittedly with great force) all the time emitting very unpleasant noises. All of this stands in stark contrast to the wonderful snarl and push of a BMW inline six, or even the buttery smooth progression provided by the VQ’s own 3.0 liter predecessor. The unsavoury character of the VQ meant the end of my love-affair with the 350Z. For, as all true enthusiasts know, the engine is the true soul of a car, the part of the sum that makes all the difference and most influence’s one’s feelings for a car.

Yes, the Z is still rock solid, poised, beautiful inside and out, but whenever I get the urge to press forward in a frenzy, there is a corresponding reluctance grounded in a desire to avoid the unpleasant sounds and sensations that the VQ generates. I avoid taking the VQ over 3500 rpm, whereas I savoured the moments where I could take its predecessor to its upper limits.

I recently drove a BMW 330CI back to back with my car, and the contrast between the engines was immediate and undeniable. While the inline six emitted a gorgeous roar, the VQ groaned unpleasantries. Had I, as I should have, undertaken such an immediate comparison between the cars prior to purchase, I would have certainly not bought the 350Z.

In the end, this glaring deficieny of the Z is truly regrettable. With all its attributes, the Z is a great car that delivers much automotive return given its relatively modest price. But a car without an engine that stirs one’s soul is one that regrettably fails to deserve the moniker of promoting sport.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th March, 2007

30th Mar 2007, 12:27

You wrote all that just to tell us that the engine sounds coarse?

Buy an aftermarket exhaust system and be done with it...

31st Mar 2007, 00:08

Have you considered there might be something wrong with the car if the engine sounds strange?

8th Apr 2007, 03:50

Everyone has a story. I bought a Porsche Boxster brand new, sold it to buy a house and then went for a 350z.

The 350z is a better sports car.

Also, the looks of a BMW I find so bland that any engine sound would be played to deaf ears. The 350z puts a smile on your face before you even get to the door. And you don't seem like a junior exec wannabe.

You seem like someone who could have bought a Boxster, but didn't.

9th Jul 2007, 13:13

I had a 350 with this same engine problem and it is caused by a jammed inductor which the garage fixed post haste. I suggest a visit to the stealer.

2nd Aug 2009, 07:17

I didn't really understand this review... What exactly was the problem? You just didn't like how the engine sounded and for that one reason you wanted to buy a new car? uh...

Average review marks: 7.9 / 10, based on 14 reviews