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2009 Nissan 350Z

Overview
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2009 Nissan 350Z Review

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A bona fide legend in the sportscar world, Nissan's 350Z comes off of a recent revamp that brought mild cosmetic upgrades and major enhancements to its superb 3.5-liter V6 engine with virtually no changes. For 2009, the 350Z Roadster set includes Enthusiast, Touring and Grand Touring variants to complement the existing 350Z Coupe lineup (reviewed separately). Based on Nissan's brilliant FM (Front Mid-ship) platform, the drop-top version of this automotive icon matches outstanding overall performance and features with an impressive price-to-value ratio. Aimed at competitors like the Mitsubishi Eclipse GT and Ford Mustang GT Premium convertibles, this rear-drive two-seater also matches well against even-costlier open-air alternatives, including vehicles like the Audi TT 3.2, BMW Z4 3.0, Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 and Porsche Boxster.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a well-engineered, affordably priced convertible with scintillating performance, head-turning style and loads of features, the 350Z Roadster belongs on your must-drive list.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those whose tastes in convertibles run more towards touring than performance may find the 350Z's ride quality too firm to live with on a daily basis, especially over rougher road surfaces. Trunk space is minimal and the look and feel of some of the plastic interior trim still falls well short of best in class.

What's New for 2009

A pure mechanical carryover for 2009, the only change to the Nissan 350Z Roadster is the addition of Moonlight White paint to its exterior color palette.

Driving the 350Z

Driving Impressions Composed and controllable in all trims, the 2009 Nissan 350Z Roadster delivers an outstanding overall driving experience, especially with the top down. Big credit goes to its world-class V6, with...

remarkably wide power and torque bands that ensure quick response whether you're dealing with a tedious commute or out challenging some twisty backroad. Ideally backed by the slick-shifting manual gearbox, the 350Z's electronically controlled automatic sacrifices little quickness in return for its added convenience in stop-and-go traffic conditions. Well-engineered structural reinforcing maintains the Z's sharp handling while minimizing body shake and flex while driver-selectable traction/stability control systems let you take full advantage of the multilink suspension's phenomenal capabilities – although the ride can get a bit choppy on broken road surfaces. There's an equally positive feel to the car's speed-sensitive power steering, and potent anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) add a reassuring measure of stopping security, especially the premium Brembo units on Grand Touring model.

3.5-liter V6
One of the world's most highly-acclaimed production engines, the Gen IV "High Output" version of Nissan's VQ35 V6 underwent a comprehensive makeover two years ago, gaining loads of design enhancements that resulted in significantly more power and torque plus improved fuel efficiency.

Modular Steering Column and Instrument Cluster
The 350Z's three-spoke sport steering wheel and main gauge pod adjust for rake angle as a single unit to ensure both a comfortable driving position and an unobstructed view of the legible yellow-on-black analog instruments.

2009 Nissan 350Z Details
Interior

Surprisingly spacious, even for a pair of six-footers, the 2009 Nissan 350Z Roadster's feature-rich cabin features ergonomic control layouts, legible gauges and supportive, comfortable bucket seats. There are a number of neat styling cues, including an angled three-pod central gauge cluster reminiscent of the original Z-car and aluminum sport pedals. However, some of the plastic trim still lacks a premium look and feel. Open storage is limited and covered center console space modest, but a locking utility bin behind the passenger seat can stow and secure your smaller carry-alongs. But be prepared to travel light, as the Roadster's diminutive trunk holds only 4.1 cubic feet, top up or down.

Exterior

Like the Coupe, the 350Z Roadster has a classic long-nose and short-deck design that hearkens back to the original 240Z. However, the convertible Z-car is crowned with a fully-lined, power-operated cloth top requires only 20 seconds to tuck neatly away beneath its body-colored tonneau cover. Transitioning to al fresco mode creates a much sleeker look and provides the driver with far superior side/rear sightlines. The Roadster also shares the Coupe's aggressive stance, accentuated by short front/rear overhangs, prominent fender flares, vertical aluminum door handles, bi-xenon headlamps and super-bright LED taillamps. All Roadsters are fitted with Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires – 225/45 front and 245/45 rear – on handsome 18-inch alloy wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In addition to a fully-lined, power-activated top, all 350Z Roadsters share a common 3.5-liter V6, standard six-speed manual transmission, anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), bi-xenon headlights, numerous power assists, automatic climate control, an AM/FM/CD stereo and dual front airbags. Enthusiast models also feature traction control, a limited-slip differential, a multifunction steering wheel and aluminum pedal set. The 350Z Touring adds leather heated seats, 240-watt premium Bose audio with XM Satellite Radio/MP3 capability and a six-disc CD changer, while Grand Touring enhancements include Vehicle Dynamic Control and Brembo brakes.

Optional Equipment

All three 350Z Roadster variants are comprehensively equipped, and save for the feature upgrades that constitute the ascending trim levels, offer few extras. The standard six-speed manual gearbox can be replaced by a five-speed automatic transmission with Sportshift manual mode on all models, but the only other factory-installed options are a voice-activated DVD-based navigation system (Touring and Grand Touring only and a grey cloth top.

Under the Hood

Regardless of trim level or transmission type, all versions of the 350Z Roadster share an identical 3.5-liter V6. Made from lightweight aluminum and fitted with efficiency-enhancing continuously variable valve timing, this fourth generation of Nissan's VQ35 engine produces a stout 306 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. Even more impressive, over 90 percent of that peak twist is on hand between 2,000-7,000 rpm, so it's almost always operating in high-enthusiasm mode. Back it with the manual gearbox and you can expect six well-matched gear ratios and smooth-acting/short-throw linkage. Opt for the optional electronically controlled five-speed automatic with Sportshift mode, and you'll get a rev-matching throttle-blip feature that ensures smoother transitions.

3.5-liter V6
306 horsepower @ 6800 rpm
268 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (manual), 17/23 (automatic)

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2009 Nissan 350Z Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 523 Ratings for the 2003 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

It's a Z for me!

By on Monday, July 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 152,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This my 2nd Z & 3rd Nissan (240SX, 300ZX))each of them fun to drive & modify, reliable, great handling & no problems beyond normal wear & tear. 200K + on SX & 300ZX TT & 152K on the 350. I'm looking at purchasing a 370..why not!!"

8 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Fun car, get up and goes avg 26 mpg

By on Sunday, July 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Cons: "Tire Road Noise, Especially on back country roads"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Over all great car. Have only had to replace to passenger window motor, common problem, Trans fluid changed every 15,000 miles with Nissan S Matic fluid oil changed every 3,000 miles, super cold A/C heated seats Awesome Bose stereo system 6 disc factory system. Had it repainted complete car, due to rock chips on hood and wash scratches only. Very Dependable,"

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Love to drive as much as I can. Total reliability.

By on Saturday, July 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 175,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Looks/ driving/sound/reliability/comfort"

Cons: "storage area/front tire wear"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought the car new. 175,000 miles. Owned an S2000 before but needed more storage and because virtually all my driving is long distance interstate I wanted lower revs at high speeds. The Z has had Tanabe springs, Nismo exhaust, Stillen rear spoiler and polished stock wheels from the beginning. Still love the way it looks, sounds and drives. I could sit and drive all day and have no aches. Favorite moments? When the car is washed, gassed up and loaded with luggage just before leaving on an extended road trip with the wife. Problems? The hatch latch mechanism needed to be rebuilt last year. Cost? $60. The front tires wear on the inside so I have them dismounted and swapped to opposite sides every 10K to even the tread. Everything is original including clutch and brakes. I get comments on the Daytona Blue all the time. Keep the fluids changed and I expect it to last 300K+ miles plus. Usually get 26 MPG at 80. Last trip, I had to drive around 60 because of the roads and got 30 MPG. Some of you don't care about mileage but when I get 540 miles to a tank and it only takes 18 gallons to fill it up (20 gallon capacity) I can't help but appreciate that when the next station is 30 miles away. I won't own this car forever but it will be one of the best I've had along with the S2000."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best sports car for the price!

By on Monday, June 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "styling, performance, handling, great price, fun"

Cons: "harsh ride, low storage space, no front glove box"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I've owned my 2007 350z for over 4 years and I still love her like when she was new! Great styling of the exterior! I'm always getting compliments on it. Interior is nice too especially with the touring package. This car drives incredibly well! Throaty V6 engine putting out over 300 hp is a blast to drive, especially with the 7500 rpm redline. Handles very good on curvy roads and on the track. For the price you can get this car these days, it makes it one of the best sports car for the dollar today."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

i own 5 cars and this 350 z its my favorite

By on Friday, June 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "so much fun ..."

Cons: "not much trunk room"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"my 350 z its so much fun ..love shifting gears,,,and the sound that it makes from the tail pipes is so awesome...."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

I love this car!

By on Sunday, June 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive, handles well."

Cons: "vinyl convertible tops only last about 8 years."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The Nissan 350 z convertible is an awesome ride for the money. Real head turner! Very powerful with great handling! I wouldn't drive the Z in snow conditions due to rear wheel drive and so much power. They will not handle well in the snow. Definitely a summertime car!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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