You Know You Want To: Nissan 350Z

The recent announcement by Nismo of its 344hp upgrade to the 370Z caused us to waste... ooh... a good 15 minutes combing through the classifieds to find drool over second-hand examples of the standard car, and another 15 minutes looking at its predecessor, the 350Z.

From here, you'd never guess how leggy it is
From here, you'd never guess how leggy it is
Naturally, the first thing we did was to find out how little cash you could buy one for – and the result astonished us. £3,750, was the measly answer. For a rear-wheel drive, 276hp coupe that’s under 10 years old, that seems an exceptionally reasonable figure.

So, what’s the catch? Well, the example you can buy for that price does have a big one: miles. 182,152 of them, to be precise. In other words, 20,000 a year, for all nine years of its life. Golly.

The big question, then, is how much faith you put in that fabled Japanese reliability. The good news is that the 350Z seems to have plenty of that, with most owners reporting good things. Whether the same applies to a such a high-mileage example will depend largely upon how well it’s been cared for, but the signs are promising: full history until 20,000 miles ago, and regular servicing by a Nissan tech since then; fresh gearbox and diff oils, full four-wheel alignment, and recent rear discs and pads. And for those among you who subscribe to the theory that a pricey tyre brand suggests a careful owner, feast your eyes on the two new Bridgestone Potenzas at the back end.

You might from here, though...
You might from here, though...
Faults? Not many, if the ad is to be believed. The front end stone chips should ideally be treated before they start to rust, but their presence does at least confirm that the car’s probably spent most of those miles on the motorway at unstressed cruising speeds, rather than being revved to within an inch of its life on a country road. There’s a tear on the driver’s seat, but that’s no biggie, and... er... that’s about it, actually.

So while the mileage is daunting, the signs are there that they might not be cause for too much concern. And when you consider that this is a rear-drive coupe with a great chassis and a sonorous V6, that can hit 60 in under six seconds, that price is sorely tempting. Naturally, we’d advise caution and a very careful inspection – but it’s such a great proposition that we’re finding ourselves struggling not to pick up the phone. Please, someone, get it bought – before we do something daft!

Why you should: Fast, reliable, fun-to-drive, and handsome - what's not to like?
Why you shouldn't: It's been to the moon and back. Well, nearly.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (218) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Dale Lomas 24 Jan 2013

    My favourite colour, and the Rays wheels too. Nice. Good job I already bought the 328i!

  • Ved 24 Jan 2013

    I do 20k a year in a lazy V6 so this could well be worth a look. The fact it does that mileage suggests it's for work and has to be well maintained simply for the chap to do his job.

    Surely he'll take £3500 smile

    Edited by Ved on Thursday 24th January 11:25

  • Kong 24 Jan 2013

    350Zs are great value these days, you can buy a facelift model with the 313bhp engine for £8,000 - that would be my choice.

  • Finlandia 24 Jan 2013

    Pah, it's not even been to the moon, let alone back. Average distance to the moon is approx. 240,000 miles, so nearly 60k short on its way there. nerd

  • Mr Gear 24 Jan 2013

    I like 350Zs. Nice, heavy controls make it feel like an old-fashioned musclecar... in a good way.

    Christ-knows who does those sorts of mileages in a car that will struggle to crack 25mpg though!

    But at this price, it would make a great toy.

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