2008 Nissan 350z Convertible

The 2008 Nissan 350z Roadster

The 2008 350Z Roadster is a thrilling roadster packed with sportscar performance, combining athletic handling with daily driver comfort.

The 2008 Nissan 350Z convertible avoids being relegated to a play car role by offering a level of comfort not often found in a sport roadster. Reviewers love its performance, yet praise its practical side, too. For example, the Orlando Sentinel says, “Nissan has really found a happy balance between a sporting feel and on-the-road comfort.”

Like most convertibles, the 350Z is derived from a sports coupe, yet the droptop Z manages to be its own car. As the reviewer for the Sacramento Bee so aptly put it, “the 350Z is still one of those cars that looks so sleek and sporty that you can’t help but say, “Wow,' when walking up to it. Stepping in, you just feel, well, cool.” Of course, the 350Z looks the best with its nicely upholstered fabric power top (with heated glass rear window) neatly stowed under the body-color tonneau cover, a push- button process that takes around 20 seconds.

Eighteen-inch five-spoke cast aluminum-alloy wheels complete the picture-perfect Z.

The 2008 Nissan 350Z convertibles come in Enthusiast, Touring and Grand Touring trims. Pricing starts at an MSRP of $35,630. All models have a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated with a six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment.
The Z’s safety features include ABS, traction control, an antiskid system, front side airbags and curtain side airbags. In addition, the convertibles have standard side airbags that provide head and torso protection.

Of course, power—and lots of it—is what defines the modern sportscar. The 350Z Roadster does its thing with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that develops 306 hp at 6,800 rpm and puts out 268 lb/ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. That’s a lot of power for a roadster. “The V6 is quite docile, though, and opening it up a bit produces an enjoyable and throaty growl,” observes Edmunds.com. “Power delivery is linear and athletic, and although the engine is full of vigor at any rpm, it’s particularly entertaining at higher revs.”

A Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) optimizes engine performance and fuel economy in the Z by gauging intake flow and rpm and adjusting valve movement accordingly. As a result, gobs of torque are at the ready. “The car is fast, agile and great fun with impressive torque across a wide band of engine speeds, accompanied by a lusty exhaust growl,” says the New York Times. Zero-to-60-mph in the Z takes just 5.5 seconds.

Being light and compact, the 350Z earns an EPA fuel economy estimate of 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway when equipped with the stick, impressive for a high-powered sportscar.
2008 Nissan 350z

Traditionalists will prefer the standard six-speed close-ratio manual transmission while paddle-shifters will go for the optional five-speed automatic transmission and Downshift Rev Matching, an available option. According to Kelley Blue Book, “With the six-speed manual and a professional driver behind the wheel, the car is almost a half-second quicker to 60 miles per hour than if equipped with the automatic.” That’s great, but wait until you hear the engine perform a perfect throttle “blip” upon downshifting. Now that’s cool and only available with the automatic.

The 350Z convertible displays none of the shake, rattle and roll that can plague convertible versions of a sports coupe. “The car feels so taut, assured and crisp that it’s easy to forget what a magnificent accomplishment that is for a car with a cloth top,” says USA Today. To enhance ride quality, the 350Z Roadster uses a three-link aluminum-alloy suspension in the front and four-link aluminum-alloy suspension with aluminum-alloy subframe in the rear. Front and rear stabilizer bars as well as a front strut bar and ripple-control shock absorbers complete the suspension. According to MSN.com, “The firm, all-independent suspension provides excellent handling. Braking is particularly impressive, say most reviewers. According to MSN, “The brake pedal has a linear action that allows smooth stops, and the standard antilock all-disc brakes provide impressively short stopping distances.”

2008 Nissan 350z Although the 350Z Roadster is a small two-seater, reviewers find it roomy and comfortable. Both front seats are very comfortable and supportive. “The cabin is well designed with large, legible gauges (they tilt along with the steering wheel, so they are always visible) and nicely situated controls,” says the New York Times. Among the many standard interior comfort and convenience features in the 2008 350Z Roadster are power seats, a trip computer, Automatic Temperature Control (ATC) and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and parking-brake lever. While the Enthusiast trim's seats are upholstered in cloth, the Touring and
Grand Touring trims feature heated leather seats. The Touring and Grand Touring trims feature a digital Bose stereo with AM/FM/in-dash six-CD changer and seven speakers including a 10-inch subwoofer. Also included are a Radio Data System (RDS), AudioPilot noise-compensating technology, MP3/WMA CD capability and wheel-mounted audio controls. A DVD navigation system is available on the Touring and Grand Touring models.

Driving enthusiasts are thrilled with the 2008 Nissan 350Z roadster. Sun- and fun-lovers adore this convertible. And, top-up, they both agree the 350Z is a practical all-around car.