ENGINES – Unsurprisingly it’s petrol all the way with the 350Z, specifically a 3.5-litre V6 motor outputting a useful 276bhp in launch trim. This smooth engine delivers a tuneful and distinctive rasp when worked hard, which does much to boost the overall fun factor.
EXTERIOR – A handsome and compact car, the 350Z ushered in a new era of sporting cars for the Japanese firm. In convertible Roadster trim, the 350Z looses nothing in the conversion from low-slung coupe. In fact, contrary to some rivals, Nissan has done a great job in the way the fabric roof is stored when down.
INTERIOR – Lots of hard black plastic abounds in the cabin but there’s a slight retro feel to 305Z’s interior, what with its chunky switchgear and no nonsense instruments. There’s enough room for two and that’s pretty much it, although oddment space is ample.
DRIVING – The rear-wheel drive 350Z won over the critics in coupe form and its much the same story with the Roadster. A sprightly car that demands concentration from the driver when pressing on, the Roadster offers real world thrills and a tuneful soundtrack to boot. Easy to drive on a daily basis, the car’s ample power ensures rapid progress.
OWNERSHIP – The car’s powered fabric roof operates quickly and stows with little fuss, while roof down motoring is surprisingly refined. Elsewhere, the car boasts plenty of kit, is straightforward to drive and the running costs are modest. Rearward vision isn’t the best with the roof up, but that’s a small price to pay for the flexibility and enjoyment the 350Z delivers.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR – With the convertible roof performing a large role here, it’s essential to inspect it for damage and ensure it works as described. Performance cars can lead a hard life, which makes conducting a test drive an essential part of the buying routine. Be alert to unusual sounds and behaviour – soggy brakes, worn clutch, clunking suspension – that could hint at neglect and costly repair bills. Along with a spotless interior a comprehensive service history is a must.
2005: Nissan launches the convertible Roadster version of its popular 350Z sports car coupe. Powered by the same 3.5-litre petrol V6 engine, this rear-wheel drive car offered an affordable alternative to the likes of Porsche’s Boxster. Generous kit levels and a powered roof topped off an already impressive package.
REASONS TO BUY – looks, performance, roof, ease of use, kit levels
REASONS TO BEWARE – modest size cabin, dark ambiance with roof up, limited boot space
PICK OF THE RANGE – 350Z Roadster GT
WHAT TO PAY
2007 07 11,160
2007 57 11,580
2008 08 12,650
2008 58 13,170
2009 09 14,660
2009 59 14,960
2010 10 16,690
Figures relate to showroom prices for cars in A1 condition.