2007 Nissan 350Z

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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2007 Nissan 350Z. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Handling and maneuverability
  • Stability
  • Gearbox operation
  • Resale value
  • Stylish appearance

The Bad

  • Ride comfort
  • Cargo and storage space
  • Snug cockpit
  • Engine and road noise

Notable Features of the 2007 Nissan 350Z

  • Coupe or roadster
  • 306-hp, 3.5-liter V-6
  • Bulging hood
  • Three new exterior colors

2007 Nissan 350Z Road Test

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David Thomas

Something strange happened between the time Nissan introduced the 350Z in 2003 and today, when the deceptively similar-looking 2007 model arrived for this review. The once-rickety, temperamental and basically uncivilized two-door went from being one of my least-desired cars to gaining must-have status.

How did Nissan do it? Over the past few years, the company has made tweaks here and there to each year's model, leading up to the 2007 version and its more-powerful engine and telltale bulging hood. It can now be honestly considered one of the best sports cars for the money.

 

Performance
One attribute I look for in every car, even the most tried-and-true sports-oriented one, is its ability to be a daily driver. These days, if you can't conquer both the worlds of the enthusiast driver and that of the real-world mpg-conscious commuter, you're losing half your potential audience. That's no concern here; the Nissan 350Z is a joyous daily driver. Don't get me wrong — even with the Touring model's softer suspension it takes bumps severely, but the resulting jolt through the seats is acceptable. An intuitive clutch and short manual shifter help lessen any repetitive stress to the joints.

As for the engine, it's a tweaked version of the V6 in the previous model, but with more horsepower: 306, up from 300, and now with 268 lb-ft torque. The increase is more significant when you factor in new horsepower-rating regulations, so the real gain is ...

Something strange happened between the time Nissan introduced the 350Z in 2003 and today, when the deceptively similar-looking 2007 model arrived for this review. The once-rickety, temperamental and basically uncivilized two-door went from being one of my least-desired cars to gaining must-have status.

How did Nissan do it? Over the past few years, the company has made tweaks here and there to each year's model, leading up to the 2007 version and its more-powerful engine and telltale bulging hood. It can now be honestly considered one of the best sports cars for the money.

 

Performance
One attribute I look for in every car, even the most tried-and-true sports-oriented one, is its ability to be a daily driver. These days, if you can't conquer both the worlds of the enthusiast driver and that of the real-world mpg-conscious commuter, you're losing half your potential audience. That's no concern here; the Nissan 350Z is a joyous daily driver. Don't get me wrong — even with the Touring model's softer suspension it takes bumps severely, but the resulting jolt through the seats is acceptable. An intuitive clutch and short manual shifter help lessen any repetitive stress to the joints.

As for the engine, it's a tweaked version of the V6 in the previous model, but with more horsepower: 306, up from 300, and now with 268 lb-ft torque. The increase is more significant when you factor in new horsepower-rating regulations, so the real gain is slightly higher. Power comes smoothly, and the large 19-inch rear tires — with 18 inchers up front as part of an optional alloy wheel package; 18-inch wheels and tires in the front and rear are standard — put the power on the road with efficient deviousness and nimble brakes. You would think that this kind of power supplied to the rear wheels would translate into smoky burnouts from stoplights, but that wasn't the case. Sure, launches were quick, but the car remained planted and ran through the gears precisely. It does zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, which is very fast for this segment.

You may be thinking, "Sure, it's fast, but to be a sports car it needs to handle, too." Oh, it handles. The 350Z's most impressive driving characteristic had to be the sure-footed paths it carved on winding roads and steep highway onramps.

I was also able to take the Nissan 350Z on an actual racetrack, and not just a little one: Road America in Wisconsin, which is one of the country's fastest and most dangerous tracks. The course is filled with elevation changes, sharp turns and short straightaways, and the 350Z performed almost flawlessly. Tested against serious competition, including much more expensive and performance-oriented models, the Z stood out as one of the day's best rides.

The fact that I could pack the Z up and drive it home to Chicago makes it the epitome of practical-sports-car perfection; I didn't have to swap the tires or make any other modifications.

Exterior
To the common observer, the outside of the 2007 350Z will look remarkably similar to every other Z since 2003. The only relevant changes are that bulging hood to fit the larger engine, revised headlights and a slightly altered front bumper.

Why no other changes? Nissan must be adhering to the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of thought. The Z still looks good and surprisingly up-to-date. My only beef, if I were buying one, would be the fact that no one would know I was driving this new, vastly improved Nissan 350Z instead of one from last year or five years ago. Where's the fun in that?

Interior
Another surprise to me was the interior. The leather seats in the Touring edition were soft and looked like they came from a much more expensive sports car. The same can't be said of the somewhat bulky steering wheel, but it did its job well, and that's what counts.

All the tactile areas — buttons, knobs and switches — were nicely finished for the price, and I couldn't find much to complain about. Plus, as the driver, your eyes will be on the road virtually all the time in this car.

One thing to remember, though, is that this is a two-seater — a real one, so it has no backseat even to rest your briefcase on. The cargo space is surprisingly large, though, fitting suitcases and a fair amount of grocery bags easily. However, the large strut-tower brace that runs across the back makes it hard to fit things like golf clubs back there. Also, the cargo area is exposed, so anything back there reflects brightly against the rear glass.

A current 350Z owner noted the best change of all: two cupholders in the center column that are much more accessible than those in the old model.

I could tell the interior's age only when I noticed it had no audio input for my MP3 player. The stereo overall offered a muddy listening experience. Sound systems are hard to mess up in such small cars, but I found the music and its excessive amounts of treble hard to stomach. Punk rock especially sounded lifeless and tinny.

Roadster
Along with the new coupe, Nissan also updated the convertible version, called the 350Z roadster, for 2007. It has the same engine and similar performance attributes in a soft-top convertible style.

Safety
Side-impact and side curtain airbags are optional on every Z model, which is not ideal because many buyers won't pay the extra money for safety features as options. The required-by-law dual-stage front airbags are standard, but active head restraints and electronic stability control, two rapidly growing must-have safety features, are not available on all models. Stability control is standard on the more expensive Touring and Grand Touring models. Obviously, we'd like to see those features added across the lineup, as well as the side-impact airbags as standard equipment. Still, those shopping for a Z might not consider safety a top priority in their decision.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety hasn't tested the 2007 350Z or any past models.

Nissan 350Z in the Market
Believe it or not, automotive journalists like it when an automaker gets it right. Even though it took Nissan a few years longer than it should have, it's finally gotten the 350Z right. Starting under $30,000 and offering an assortment of trims for Nissan 350Z enthusiasts or casual drivers, it also offers impressive performance for the money.

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.

Send David an email  

 


2007 350Z Video

Joe Wiesenfelder walks you through the new features of the 2007 Nissan 350Z Roadster.

Latest 2007 350Z Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(5.0)
Performance
(4.9)
Interior Design
(4.2)
Comfort
(4.2)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Best bang for the buck

by Lovernotafighter from rockville,md on September 20, 2018

If you want a two door thats fast and stylish without super charging it, this is the one. The convertible just looks amazing. Looking to customize this car in the winter and will potentially list it ... Read full review

(4.0)

Checks all the boxes for a sports car.

by SSMITTY475 from MD on June 22, 2018

Great 2 seat roadster with plenty of power. Grips the road with short shifter 6 speed manual with acceleration in all gears. Seating is close to road with good leg room & bolstered sides to keep you ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2007 Nissan 350Z currently has 1 recall

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2007 Nissan 350Z has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The 350Z received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker