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2006 Nissan 350Z

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2006 Nissan 350Z Review

Offers superb handling and powerful performance.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2006 Nissan 350Z is built on the front midship, which means that the engine sits behind the front wheels, while most front-engine cars have the engine located in the front of the car. This makes the car easier to handle and better balanced. Although several other manufacturers have introduced performance cars in this price range over the years, the 2006 Nissan 350Z remains an excellent buy for enthusiastic drivers who want performance but don't want to spend big bucks.

The Range

Body Styles: Coupe, Convertible
Engines: 3.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: six-speed automatic, six-speed manual
Models: 350Z, 350Z Enthusiast, 350Z Touring, 350Z Grand Touring, 350Z Track

What's New

The 2006 Nissan 350Z sports car receives a host of minor changes. The horsepower gets a boost up to 300 and all models equipped with manual transmissions receive larger brake rotors (for cars without the Brembo brake package) and a new speed-sensitive steering rack. The exterior shows off a revised front bumper and new headlight and taillight designs. Eighteen-inch wheels and HID headlights come standard on all models. Other interior tweaks include new cloth seat material, revised climate controls, and a new navigation system.

Nissan also makes some changes to the Z's trim levels. A Grand Touring trim level is available for the coupe body style; it features the Touring trim's equipment plus Brembo brakes, spoilers, and stability control. The Track and Grand Touring trims get new RAYS, super lightweight, forged-alloy wheels that measure 18 inches in the front and 19 inches in the back.

Exterior

The 2006 Nissan 350Z comes as both a two-seat coupe and a convertible. The coupe offers base, Enthusiast, Touring, Grand Touring, and Track trim levels, while the Enthusiast, Touring, and Grand Touring trim levels come in the convertible style. The only feature that the convertible version adds is the power-operated softtop.

Base models come with 18-inch alloy wheels; HID headlamps; power windows, locks, and mirrors; a tire-pressure monitor; remote trunk release; and remote keyless entry. The Enthusiast model adds traction control, a limited-slip rear differential, and the convertible gets a power-operated softtop and wind deflector. The Grand Touring model features front and rear spoilers, stability control, 18-inch front wheels and 19-inch rear wheels, and upgraded Brembo brakes. Models equipped with the Track trim include all of the Grand Touring performance features but none of the Touring luxury items.

Interior

Base models include automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel and shift knob, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player. The Enthusiast adds cruise control and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. The Touring trim adds an upgraded audio system, power and heated seats, leather upholstery, and on the roadster only, side airbags.

Drivers should feel relatively comfortable behind the wheel, but drivers with long legs may feel a little confined with the steering wheel moved closer. With a tilt of the steering wheel, the gauges move also. This ensures that you always have an unobstructed view of the gauges. However, the placement of the gauges requires more than just a glance in order to read them. The quality of the materials remains average.

Performance & Handling

The 2006 Nissan 350Z comes equipped with a strong and flexible, 3.5-liter V-6. Similar to the engines found in the Maxima and Altima 3.5 SE, the engine in the 350Z has variable valve timing and an electronically controlled throttle. In the manual transmission models, the engine produces 300 horsepower, while automatic-equipped models produce 287 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard and a five-speed automatic transmission remains optional on all models.

This car offers sharp steering, fast acceleration, excellent grip, and exceptional handling. Buffeting at highway speeds with the top down is kept to a minimum with the tempered glass deflector mounted between the roll bars behind the seats and the racy body panels tapering back from each of the seat positions.

Safety

All Nissan 350Z models come equipped with four-wheel, ventilated, anti-lock disc brakes. The Grand Touring and Track models upgrade to a set of four-piston Brembo calipers and side airbags. For the Enthusiast trim, side airbags remain optional. All Nissan 350Z models offer side curtain airbags as an option. In government crash tests, it receives a perfect five out of five stars for rollover protection.

EPA Fuel Economy

350Z Base: 17/23 mpg city/highway
350Z Enthusiast: 17/23 mpg city/highway
350Z Touring: 17/23 mpg city/highway
350Z Grand Touring: 17/23 mpg city/highway
350Z Track: 17/23 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Strong, powerful engine
  • Precise handling
  • Powerful brakes
  • Convertible option

You Won't Like

  • Subpar interior materials
  • Small luggage space
  • Poor rear visibility
  • Rough ride in the Track model

Sum Up

Offers superb handling and powerful performance.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • BMW M3
  • Ford Mustang
  • Audi TT
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