"I did alot of research before purchasing my Z, not only what the manufacturers wanted me to know, but how the cars were actually performing. After searching online, magazines, and autocross events, the choice was clear. The Z is the best bang for your buck out of a stock vehicle. The 350 has plenty of cabin space for a sports car, although the rear strut tower brace minimizes the trunk, so if you are going to pick up granny from the airport, or parts for your hot rod project, you may want to consider borrowing a vehicle. I have not had any problems with my Z and have never been left stranded. The only time its up on a rack is for oil changes. The gas mileage is accurate to that on the window sticker, I get 21-22 avg. with a heavy foot. I have driven this car hard at the track and all i have had to replace are the tires. Alot of tires. The Z is an awesome vehicle and i would recommend it to everyone who are in the market for a sports car."
Cons: "Interior Dash/Door Materials need upgrading."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The only issues I have had with malfunctions in my Z is the Bose 6-disc changer. Not that big of a deal. Put in a used Z player for cheap.
I love the get-up-and-go of this car, and as much as my foot is in the gas, I still avg 20mpg. Handling is great, turning radius is great. I can park anywhere from anywhere. I also like the option to manually shift this car, similar to "slap stick".
Not something you want to take for a "grocery getter" unless you're only buying a weeks worth of food and nothing bulky ! Trunk space is small but not a problem once you get used to it. Several compartments and good sized glove box in the cockpit, so basic storage is not an issue.
I would complain about the covering on the door handle and compartment in the dash. . whatever material is covering the metal (thin black stuff) flakes off and looks horrible. Radio also prone to scratches. Other than that, interior holds up well. My leather seating has also held up quite well.
Overall this is my favorite car I have driven, and that includes owning a C320 Mercedes with similar engine size and interior functions. Much cheaper, and honestly much more reliable the the C class."
Pros: "Reliable, good value, fun to drive, great looks."
Cons: "Premium fuel recommended, foreign brand."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My husband and I both keep cars a loooooong time. We currently have seven vehicles, all have more than 100000 miles except for the Z which has 82000 miles. We have never owned a more reliable and trouble-free car.
I purchased this car from a friend 6 years ago when it had 48000 miles on it. He drove it as his primary vehicle and was the first owner. He did not have any issues with it except for the front tire wear / alignment issue that plagued 2003 and 2004 models until Nissan figured out how to re-align the cars and build a tire that was not prone to the uneven wear that the original tire would get. Nissan paid for the alignments and new tires so by the time I got the car, all was well.
2004 was a sweet-spot year in my opinion. In 03 they didn't have a power point in the footwell of the passenger seat - necessary for a radar detector if you use one. In 03 there wasn't a retractable cup holder to the right of the radio - necessary if you aren't double jointed and like to have your coffee in the morning. The center console cup holders are back by your right elbow. In 05 they lightened up the clutch feel which I really don't like. In 06 they increased the horsepower to 303... but if you look closely the car also got much heavier! I work for an automotive manufacturer, so I know that this was due to changes in the safety regulations that year. So the increased horsepower was to counteract the heavier structure of the 06. I drive my car on the track, so the difference in weight matters to me for agility. However, if you are interested in having the latest safety technology, a newer car would be a better choice for you.
Since purchasing the car, I have only performed routine maintenance. I have never seen a check-engine light or had a malfunction that required me to go to the dealer. This is unprecedented in my experience. I do work on the car myself - change brakes"
"I bought the 2003 model 5 years ago. absolutely loved the styling and 5 years later it still looks good. I have always owned new sports cars so I was amazed that the car could be purchased for less than 30000. There used to be a weird quirk in the pricing in that the automatic was a 600 add on the entusiast model while the 5 speed manual was a 600 add on the touring model. this made the touring model an excellent value if you want the automatic.
To achieve the low price the tires are are the cheapest available ( wear rating 140).
The ride can be a little harsh and the seats are a little narrow in the shoulder area. The pikes peak white is a pearl paint that tends to develope little rust specks in the paint.
The brakes also go very quickly compared to other cars I have owned. The rear hatch struts are weak and the hatch does not always fully release when opening, especially in cold weather. Otherwise the car has been excellent and is an excellent value."
"Great car - totally trouble free. Drives great, fantastic brakes and handling.
Draws a lot of looks and comments - gets 'thumbs-ups going down the road.
It's a shame Nissan only offered the blue top one year, but it makes my car more unique."