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From another thread:

Alwaysthatway said:
I do not remember which, but one of the auto buff magazines last month did a comparo of covertible sports car. The S2000, the Benz and especially the Vette creamed the 350Z. Just creamed it.
That's really interesting. Despite the whole anti-GM sentiment in the media that many people on this forum have been complaining about, they've got it easy compared to Nissan 350Z fans! Except for the initial reports when the 350Z was first released it seems every magazine and Internet review site hates it now!

Do you recall what R&T said about the Z that they didn't like? Anybody driven/owned one and can comment? Is the media being too picky or is the 350Z seriously flawed?
 

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I wouldn't call the 350Z a dud at all. Its sold well, and in a stand alone review is a good budget sports car for what you get.

The Z coupe can be had well equipped for just under $30K. That makes its prime competitors the Mustang GT and Mazda RX-8, and low end Crossfire coupes. Its right between those power, handles better than the Mustang, not as good as the RX-8. The higher trim levels start to get expensive however, as track models reach into the $30's and give you a punishing ride.

The z roadster is another story, since there are a number of really good roadsters in the low to mid $30's. Maybe that car is more of a dud, but I still wouldn't use the term dud. Maybe just dissappointment. At that price, there is the Honda S2000, BMW Z4, Merc SLK, Crossfire vert, Audi TT. Get into the $40's with a loaded one and you start seeing base Corvettes and Porsche Boxtster's. A lot of those cars will make better all out sports cars than the Z.

Its a good sports car. Its not top of the heap, but its not a bad buy either, as long as you stay away from heavily loaded versions.
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The main problem with the Z is the tire feathering. It goes through both front tires every 4-10k miles, just from normal driving. Nissan put out several TSBs but none of them fixed the problem.

I've taken one on a test drive. It's not bad, I liked it. I don't think it has timeless lines to it, but still nice.

But for whatever reason, they seem to attract a lot of younger and bling focused drivers...which surprises me given the price of admission.
 

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I owned one from Sept 02 to Nov 04. Very nice car but a little heavier than I would like and the low seating position combined with the short side windows made you feel a little confined. First year models had tire feathering issues and some owners had problems with the transmission. Ride was too harsh for some, especially for the first year and a half before Nissan made a suspension change.
 

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The number of younger drivers is probably related to its price. Although not many people will call a sports car in the upper $20’s cheap, its also not all that expensive for a sports car offering that level of performance. Compared to a Subaru WRX Sti, its downright cheap. Of course, that assumes you stay away from loaded track models, but at $28K-$29K, a decently optioned Enthusiast model is a pretty good sports car buy.
 
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