4 Reasons the Nissan 350Z Is a Great Starter Sports Car

If you’re looking for a starter sports car and don’t know what to choose, we recommend checking out a Nissan 350Z. Yes, it’s also a great starter car for drifting too. But if you’re not into driving sideways and just want a quick car at a reasonable price, the 350Z is a good option. Here are four reasons that could convince you to look one up.

1. The Nissan 350Z can be found for cheap nowadays

2005 Nissan 350Z 35th Anniversary Edition
2005 Nissan 350Z 35th Anniversary Edition | Nissan

When it was new, the Nissan 350Z had a starting MSRP of $36,500. Nowadays, you can find used examples for much cheaper. How cheap? According to a recent nationwide search on CarGurus, we found 350Z examples selling for around $5,000 to $28,000, depending on the car’s mileage, condition, and location. Keep in mind that the higher-priced examples are in pristine condition, so if you aim a little lower, you can still find a low-mileage one in good condition.

2. The 350Z is old, but it has a timeless design

2005 Nissan 350Z 35th Anniversary Edition
2005 Nissan 350Z 35th Anniversary Edition | Nissan

Although the Nissan 350Z was produced in the early 2000s, it still has a timeless design. Hot Cars notes, “The 350Z had everything a recipe of a sports coupe from the early 2000s demanded – a curvaceous bodyline with sharp lines and a hint of aggression. It also had a cue of inspiration from the 240Z in its long hood and 300ZX in its rear hatch.”

We have to agree. The 350Z may look a little porky compared to sports cars in today’s market, but its design has aged well over the past 15 years.

3. The 3.5-liter V6 engine under the hood is quite the performer

2005 Nissan 350Z engine
Nissan 350Z | Nissan

The Nissan 350Z was powered by the venerable VQ35DE V6 engine, which could be found in a number of other Nissan models. In the Z, it made 287 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque, which was a stout figure at the time and is not bad by today’s standards. With its optional six-speed manual shifter, the 350Z could get up to 60 mph from a standstill in 5.5 seconds.

In 2007, Nissan revamped the engine to make 305 hp and raised the redline to 7,500 rpm. So if you want your 350Z to be a little more lively, we suggest looking for that model year or later.

4. Although it’s more of a touring car, the Nissan 350Z handles well

nissan 350z front view on the track
Nissan 350Z | Nissan
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Weighing in at around 3,200 pounds, the Nissan 350Z was more of a twinkle-toed touring car than a razor-sharp canyon carver. However, its responsive steering and excellent weight distribution – thanks to a mid-mounted front engine – allowed for good handling characteristics. That said, the 350Z does its job when it comes to providing a sporty experience, but it’s also great for cruising.

The Nissan 350Z is a good sports car to start with

If you’re looking for a sports car but have a tight budget, the Nissan 350Z is a good choice. Its powerful engine, cheap price point, and spritely handling make it an excellent value proposition. Maybe you should check one out.