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MPG: 17 City / 24 Hwy
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2009 Nissan 350Z Review

This review was written when the 2009 Nissan 350Z was new.

The 350Z is a comfortable two-seat convertible that garners a lot of praise for its powerful engine and sports handling. However, limited visibility, low grade materials, and a stiff suspension detract from its appeal.

Though the 350Z Coupe has been replaced by the '09 370Z, the 350Z Roadster carries into the 2009 model-year virtually unchanged -- which, for those in search of a thrilling convertible with real sports performance, is a good thing. Comparing its performance to competitors, Motor Trend writes: "Think of the Mustang GT as Jake LaMotta, a punch-drunk heavyweight making a comeback from the brink of retirement. With a 300-horse V-8, it still packs quite a wallop. The 350Z, on the other hand, is Jackie Chan, kickboxing the competition with faster moves, quicker reflexes, and a more animated personality."

Even so, the 350Z is far from perfect. In addition to low-grade interior materials and limited visibility, its stiff suspension makes driving over every bump a painful experience. However, taken as a whole, reviewers are impressed.

If you're in the market for a two-door convertible sports car, consider the MX-5 Miata. Not only does it provide superior sports handling, but its ride quality is comfortable too. However, if you value sexy sports car looks over performance, both the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice make excellent choices. For those willing to spend a bit more, be sure to short-list the BMW Z4.

The 2009 350Z Roadster is available in three trims -- Enthusiast, Touring and Grand Touring.

  • "The first task of a sports car is to make the driver happy. The second is to look cool. Nissan's 350Z Roadster hits a bull's-eye on both." -- USA Today
  • "There are very few cars that match up in comparison. The closest would be the Mazda RX-8 or the Chevrolet Corvette, but the RX-8 has been plagued by reliability problems and isn't as powerful. The Corvette costs more and is actually a slightly different animal. That leaves the 350Z to dominate the affordable sports car niche market." -- Cars.com
  • "With a powerful engine, sharp handling, retractable roof and relatively low price, the 350Z Roadster offers a lot of style, performance and driving pleasure for the money." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2009 Nissan 350Z roadster still presents one of the best performance values in the sports car segment."-- Edmunds
Review Last Updated: 6/4/09

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