GO
Avg. Price Paid:$10,995 - $17,418
Original MSRP: $27,900 - $41,250
MPG: 20 City / 27 Hwy
Search Used Listings:

2007 Nissan 350Z Performance

This performance review was written when the 2007 Nissan 350Z was new.

According to reviewers, the Nissan 350Z is a high-performance sports car with good power and responsive handling. The New York Times writes, "The car is fast, agile and great fun, with impressive torque across a wide band of engine speeds, accompanied by a lusty exhaust growl."

That growl comes from a 3.5-liter V6 that Kelley Blue Book deems "marvelously torque-laden." USA TODAY says that the 350Z "is infused with right-now response that forces you to polish your smoothness around town. Let off the gas, the car slows fast. Hit the pedal, it jumps forward."

Handling is similarly impressive. The 350Z, asserts AutoWeek, "takes a big bite going into corners, holds on to it through apexes and spits it out at the exits." The Detroit News reports: "The chassis is beautifully balanced. It hugs the pavement like a mama's boy, and is agreeably nimble without being a drama queen." Cars.com says, "Simply put, the 350Z is a sweet machine."

Acceleration and Power

The Nissan 350Z is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that creates 306 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. While it may lack "the sheer muscle and bragging rights of a V8," argues Forbes, "this engine is still able to take the car to 60 mph in around 5.5 seconds, and it gets reasonably good fuel economy." Paired with the standard six-speed manual transmission, the engine gets an Environmental Protection Agency- estimated 18 miles per gallon in the city and 25 on the highway. Paired with a five-speed automatic (optional on all models but the entry-level 350Z and top-level NISMO), the engine gets 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. Consumer Guide decides that there's "ample power from any speed with either transmission." Kelley Blue Book reports: "Off-the-line acceleration is so quick that it may catch you by surprise the first time you drive the car. You'll find the same to be true of the 350Z's passing power."

For 2007, the 350Z gets a revised engine. "The VQ35DE is gone, replaced by the VQ35HR," reports The Auto Channel. "Results? A higher redline, 7500 rpm to the DE's 7000, and a little more peak power." Car and Driver asserts, "Engine smoothness is improved as well." AutoWeek writes: "Even with only the minor improvements of a mid-cycle change, the 350Z is a highly enjoyable sports car. The return on investment may be small for all the changes, but the original investment still pays dividends in grins." The Sacramento Bee likes how "even a mild press of the accelerator prompts a satisfying growl from the engine," deciding, "The car quickly walks away from most of the other machinery on the road."

Most reviewers prefer the manual transmission. That's because, as New Car Test Drive puts it, "The six-speed manual gearbox is racier than the five-speed automatic." The manual transmission, explains the Orlando Sentinel, "is a slick, smooth unit, and just snicking an automatic from gear to gear isn't the same." The Los Angeles Times says the transmission's shift pattern is "so short you can work from first through sixth almost on wrist action alone." Kelley Blue Book says the shift pattern "is terrifically precise as you move the shift lever from gear to gear."

But while reviewers prefer the manual transmission, the automatic does have its selling points. The Orlando Sentinel concedes, "In rush-hour, stop-and-go traffic, the automatic is awfully nice." It's "smooth and responsive," says New Car Test Drive, "and it's neat when the engine blips on its own, with each aggressive downshift (Nissan calls this DRM, Downshift Rev Matching). But with the automatic, the redline of the engine is only 6600 rpm. If you buy an automatic, you're robbing yourself of the joy of hearing the top 900 revs." The automatic has a feature that allows the driver to manually choose gears. A reviewer for the Boston Globe says: "I drove the six-speed briefly and found it superior to the automatic. That's partly because of my bias toward standard transmissions in high-performance cars, but it's also because the manual option on the automatic in my five-day test car would not deliver the downshifts I asked for at higher speeds."

Handling and Braking

Power isn't all the 350Z has going for it, reviewers find. The Chicago Tribune reports, "The Z is agile, limber yet sure-footed." The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel asserts, "Handling is super," and adds, "The car feels like it's glued to the road with no body lean and precise handling that befits a racer." Cars.com claims, "The 350Z's most impressive driving characteristic had to be the sure-footed paths it carved on winding roads and steep highway onramps." Kelley Blue Book explains, "With its wheels pushed to the outer edges and its stiff suspension setup, the 350Z stays low to the ground and always conveys a feeling of stability and assured handling."

The ride is more sporty than smooth. A reviewer for the Sacramento Bee writes, "I understand the nature of this high-performance toy. The suspension is sport-tuned, but novice performance-seekers should be forewarned -- a smooth, Infiniti-like sedan ride is not part of this Z's repertoire." The Los Angeles Times says, "Suspension tuning lets you feel the road but isn't so bumpy you want to pull over every few miles for relief." The Auto Channel agrees, reporting, "Spring and shock rates are very firm, but balanced and not harsh." The Orlando Sentinel determines, "Nissan has really found a happy balance between a sporting feel and on-the-road comfort."

Steering, argues the Detroit Free Press, "is joyfully direct and accurate, relaying your every command through a three-spoke cast-magnesium wheel." Other reviewers are just as impressed. Edmunds says, "The steering is sharp and quick with good feedback," while the Los Angeles Times claims, "Steering is tight, linear and almost too responsive." "Speed-sensitive variable assistance power steering," explains The Auto Channel, "means that it's not an upper body workout to park." As for the 350Z's standard anti-lock brakes, Consumer Guide says their "performance and feel inspire confidence." MSN writes, "The brake pedal has a linear action that allows smooth stops, and the standard anti-lock all-disc brakes provide impressively short stopping distances."

Performance Options

NISMO

In addition to regular trim options, Nissan offers a NISMO model of the 350Z that will appeal to driving enthusiasts with its Brembo braking system, 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels, and NISMO-tuned exhaust and sport suspension. "It's the newest and ultimate version of Nissan's popular 350Z sports car, a limited-edition hardcore coupe with styling and handling components developed by the company's in-house performance-parts operation, NISMO (NISsan MOtorsports)," reports Consumer Guide. "The 2007 Nissan NISMO 350Z is basically a ready-made 'factory tuner' car designed to tear up the racetrack."

Review Last Updated: 5/6/08

Next Steps: Nissan 350Z

  • Search used Nissan 350Z for sale (2,456 listings)
  • Calculate monthly payment and apply for a loan
  • See Affordable Sports Cars rankings