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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
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 545 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

This car is a blast to drive. super fast.

By on Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

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
9/10

Pros: "Handles like a porsche, but 1/2 the price"

Cons: "has a blind spot when driving"

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

"I have owned this car for 3 years, never had any problems with it. I have owned many sports cars and this is by far the most fun to drive. It's very quick, handles corners like a dream."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

I LOVE NISSAN

By on Saturday, March 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,829

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
7/10

Pros: "Last well, retain their value, and are great to dr"

Cons: "A bit too low, and difficult for seniors to get in"

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

"I have owned Nissans since the first Datsun 240-Z. I love them. They are well engineered, handle beautifully, and retain their value."

Will go .5 past the speed of light!

By on Friday, March 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,448

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: "Best BANG for the buck!"

Cons: "Watch the engine oil lvl. Check oil every 3 weeks."

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

"This car is the total package! Has off the line power, 60+ mph acceleration, TS, handling, and more. People spend $1,000's in upgrades just to rival what this car have OE. I have the factory upgraded Super Touring with the added Hp/torque, hyped suspension, bigger exhaust, and Brembo brakes. Adding just cold air gives a little more and with this car, the littlest of more will be noticed immediately. The key is Hp to weight ratio, great Hp with low weight equals ZOOM! Period! This car viciously holds the road in the curves with very little stress or effort on the suspension. This car absolutely slaughters all of the big block SC's when you are in the curves. So, if they try to pick at you, get them on a curvy road and step on it! It won't even be close! The way Ric Flair would say it....."WHOO!!!". I'm 6'4", 260 lbs; there's plenty of space for me. This car holds me right. The seats are comfy and adjustable for long trips. To me, this car is for serious experienced drivers! Not the car for learners! Other than riding a motorcycle, this car makes me feel "One" with it and the road. Drive safe, and may the force be with you! (God Bless!)"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Fun Car!

By on Wednesday, March 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, Attractive car"

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

"I enjoy driving this car. It is almost perfect for a two-seat sports car. Mine was a daily driver. It looks great, drives fast, and handles everything I throw at it. There is more room in the back than what you would imagine. Flaws: The alignment does not allow for a change in camber, which means that you may have to replace the front lower control arm bushing every 60,000 miles. This car does not like water, ice, or any kind of rough road, but it always comes through. My 2003 has an interior setup which isn't perfectly ideal. I think later models fixed this. I also have a problem with the Bose radio. My bass hasn't worked properly since I bought the car, and it is next to impossible to get to the stereo components without damaging anything. (I decided not to press my luck, and my factory subwoofer still doesn't work)"

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

good second car, sporty, fast,

By on Saturday, February 28, 2015

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

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "cheap, sporty, fun"

Cons: "paint, interior noise, interior trim."

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

"Had this for my second vehicle. Sat in the garage in the winter. Drove it in the spring in till fall. Love my 350z. It's not an everyday car. Cheap to maintain and cheap parts. Great car. Not really a daily commuter, the comfort level isn't that great, interior is noisy since it's a hatch back. The paint is also cheap quality. Interior trim pieces scratch easily. But overall great sporty car."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

This car was built up as a promotional car.

By on Friday, February 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,500

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: "Very fast and handles great."

Cons: "A real attention getter."

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

Georgous blue 2005 Nissan 350z Roadster.

"This car was built up as a promotional car for a professional baseball player on California Angels. Have proof. He was only allowed to drive for 3,000 miles then returned to dealership in 100% condition. I am 2nd owner besides the professional pitcher. Car is always garaged. Car has never been driven with over 2,500 miles per year. Car has all high performance parts including cold air intake,21 inch chrome rims with extra wide low profile Z rated high performance expensive new tires and expensive high quality brake pads all the way around. Never been in accident. Only driven 28,500 miles in 11 years. All leather and power instruments. Extra horsepower than normal 350Z's."

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Georgous blue 2005 Nissan 350z Roadster.

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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

Buying this car?