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I bought a Nissan 350Z

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  • I bought a Nissan 350Z

    My old Altima was looking more and more boring, so it was time for an upgrade.

    Black 350Z touring model with 287BHP, manual 6 speeder, black leather, nice stereo, LSD, shift light, tire pressure sensor and some other stuff.

    In summary: A very nice package for the money.

    Here is a very amateurish review:

    Once you find the somewhat hidden button that turns of the traction control bore-o-matic, a very well balanced chassis stands out.

    The only issue with it is that, even with a 53/47 distribution, the engine hangs over the front axle. This limits the speed of the turn-in a bit since the front must swing the engine weight with it. This is, however, only a minor problem.

    During last week's rain I got a very nice oportunity to try out the chassis on various ramps. Very nice and controlled slides. Oversteering comes with no surprises and can be maintained for as long as necessary while exiting the curve. Having owned a Porsche 356, the return swings from the back end are minimal.

    The car is a bit on the heavy side with its 3247 lbs curb weight. There is definetly a massive feeling to the drive, especially with a suspension that is quite stiff. Please note that I am utterly Caterham damaged and that anything larger than a Mini feels like a bus these days.

    The 3.5L V6 24v engine is very raw for a production car, which in my view is a plus. Smooth powerband. When doing Highway 2 in a spirited mood, I found myself in the 4-6000 RPM band more or less constantly. The engine likes to be revved.

    Gearbox is close ratio and, while not at all as distinct as the Caterham 6 speeder, still tighter than the vast majority of production boxes on the market. Sixth is pure overdrive.

    Clutch is heavy with, in my opinion, too much travel.

    This one is definetly a sports car in more than just the name. It is about as far away you can come from Toyota Celicas and other wanna-bes. Closest cousin would be the Subaru WRX, which is more of a rally car than the track racer that the 350 aspires to be.

    Finding a comfortable driving position is not hard. The instrumentation does its work. The (configurable) shift lite is not bright enough to do its job.

    The main drawback of this car is that your view out absolutely sucks. You have to slide down in the driver's seat if you want to use you rearview mirror to watch anything else than the rear end of your roof. The waistline is so high that hanging your elbow out the window actually will put it on the same height as your shoulder.

    The front roofline is cut so low that it feels like peeking out of a tank. The rearview mirror, with its automatic dimming and homelink system is so far down in your vision that it blocks your view.

    All this gives a cosy, enclosed feeling which you may or may not like. On the track, however, you will probably not be able to see the cones (in Solo II) or chicanes.

    Again, I am spolied since ye olde Caterham lets me see both wheels. Ah Colin Chapman, why aren't you alive?

    Don't take this wrong. I really love this car, and will probably keep it for many years. If it proves itself on the track, I may eventually strip it and do some serious track time with it.

    I'll bring it along to the next event so that interested people can take it for a spin.

    /Magnus F.
    Last edited by magnusfeuer; March 3, 2013, 01:51 PM.

  • #2
    What? Did ya win the lottery or something?

    Personally, if I was going to go back to a Japanese car, I'd....

    A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted


    • #3
      No lottery, just the end of a really crappy Altima lease I got when I first moved here with no credit history. I got the 350 for just $100 extra per month, and I bought this car instead of leasing it.

      Yes the Evo is a nice package. Problem is that my wife has a strong say in my car purchases these days. She liked this car, she will drive this car a lot (I work from home), so her opinion matters. She will probably Solo II it as well.

      /Magnus F.


      • #4
        Her next opportunity to do a solo II will be tomorrow, Dec 4, @ the Q. 8)