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2008 Nissan 350Z

2008 Nissan 350Z Review

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Nissan 350Z


A Nissan might think of its two-seater 350Z as a man's car. But not if it's a woman who's driving it. We can picture Jessica Simpson with her blonde determination, brilliant smile and boundless, seductive energy blowing the boys right off the road. (Sorry Denzell Washington. Sorry Richard Gere. You may be hunks, but one-upmanship can win here.)

2008 Nissan 350Z Interior
2008 Nissan 350Z Interior

"Z," after all, is not only the last letter of the alphabet, but the last word in sports cars if you just ask Nissan. With a storied past, it was brought back to life a few years ago to stake claim to monarch status and has been duking it out with the competition ever since. A makeover a year ago was designed to confirm that dominance, and included a late arriving NISMO coupe edition, the progeny of Nissan's ultimate racing technology effort, that's about as close to steroids on wheels as one can find.

For 2008, that leaves room for a breather and a new premium paint for both feature-laden coupe and convertible that by its name — Nogaro Red — could be an other gauntlet thrown down.

Being choosey can be a good thing. Anyone wanting a new Z can take their pick of styles. There are three variants of the power-operated soft-top roadster and five of the fist-in-your-face coupe, with prices started at $35,630 and $27,980 respectively. All ride on Nissan's fourth generation VQ35HR 3.5-liter V-6 powerplant that churns out 306-horsepower and 268-lb.-ft. of grunt-producing torque that can propel a lunge forward from a stoplight or tame other traffic when one owns the passing lane. Expect the Z to eke out some 17 city and 24 (manual) highway miles per gallon in the process. Go NISMO if you also want the winged rear spoiler, tuned exhaust and performance features such as Brembo brakes.

Women, who might take offence at Nissan's stated interest in designing its vehicles just for men, shouldn't get angry, however. Better to simply get even. So distaff side, if it bugs you then like Jessica's Daisy Duke, just blow the smoke off the barrel, hitch up your short shorts and let 'er ride. (Sorry guys.)