Is the Nissan 350Z a Good First Car? (Solved & Explained)

The Nissan 350Z is a sporty and fast, two-door coupe.

This car has been extremely popular over the years, often featuring in movies and TV shows.

If you’ve recently passed your driving test then you may be wondering if the 350Z is the right first car for you.

In this article we’ll cover exactly that…

Here is the short answer about whether the Nissan 350Z is a good first car:

The Nissan 350Z can be a reasonably good first car if driven responsibly. 350Z’s have traction control, airbags and a great style, all of which contribute to making a good first car. Other factors such as poor visibility, little room for passengers and the temptation to drive fast make it less suitable.

Is a Nissan 350Z a Good First Car?

The Nissan 350Z is a decent first car if the driver is responsible. Every teenager would love to have a sporty car as their first, however it’s not always the best idea. The fact that it is a sports car does mean that insurance will be more expensive.

The 350Z also has high maintenance costs because of it being an ‘exotic’ type of car. In addition, if you are buying a second-hand one, you never know how the car was driven by the previous owner.

This is always a concern when it comes to second-hand sports cars.

The car might look great from the outside, however there may be some underlying engine or suspension damage that you will never know about when buying the car.

This is damage that could cause you headaches in the future.

On the plus side, the general maintenance and repair costs for a Nissan 350Z are reasonably low at around $450 per year.

The 350Z is also reasonably reliable and does not often give the owner a ton of problems. That is if the car is taken good care of.

In addition, the car is very stylish despite its age, and it is certainly still a good-looking car even though there is an updated model that has been released in the form of the 370Z.

What Features Make the Nissan 350Z a Good First Car?

The Nissan 350Z has a lot of good features that make it a good first car. There’s a reasonable amount of safety features and technology in the 350Z.

The 350Z may be a sporty car, but that can actually be an advantage to a first car…

Traction Control

Being a sports car means that the Nissan 350Z is equipped with a great traction control system.

The traction control system will ensure that the car remains stable and it prevents the wheels from spinning under heavy acceleration.

This will improve the handling of the car and the overall safety of it.


The Nissan 350Z is equipped with driver and passenger airbags.

In the event of an accident, the airbags will deploy in order to protect the driver and passengers from the impact.

This is a safety feature which is essential for a first car.


The Nissan 350Z is a very stylish car.

It’s been extremely popular ever since its release in the early 2000’s.

It has been used in many movies and TV series since then. Having a 350Z as a first car will definitely catch people’s attention.


The Nissan 350Z is equipped with some good security features including an alarm system and central locking.

This is a fantastic feature to have for a first car as new drivers can sometimes be forgetful when it comes to locking their cars.

Cost Effective Maintenance

The Nissan 350Z is relatively cheap to maintain which is great for a first car.

When it comes to having a first car, a driver does not need to be spending a lot of money on maintenance, especially if they are driving a lot and need extra money for fuel.

What Features Do Not Make the Nissan 350Z a Good First Car?

When it comes to first cars, there are some features that need to be looked at and carefully considered before buying the car.

The Nissan 350Z does have some negative features that aren’t ideal for inexperienced drivers.


Normally being fast is a good feature on a car. However, when it comes to having a first car, being fast is not necessarily good.

New drivers, specifically teenagers can be reckless with their driving. The Nissan 350Z is designed to be fast and driving it recklessly could end very badly.

The 350Z produces 276 horsepower, which is a lot more than is needed for a first car.

The sporty nature of the car also makes it difficult and expensive to insure for new and younger drivers.

Generally, insurance companies are hesitant to insure a sports car to a young and inexperienced driver.

Blind Spots

When you’re an inexperienced driver it’s important to have a good field of vision.

Unfortunately due to the shape of the 350Z it has large blinds spots (over the shoulder) which can obstruct your view.

To help overcome this we recommend purchasing some blind spot mirrors.


Despite being an extremely popular car, the 350Z has not been updated for a number of years now.

The new model is the 370Z which was released in 2009. This means that the 350Z is a bit outdated in its technology and safety features.

Despite not being updated for a number of years, the 350Z still has some decent safety features, and it is a safe car.

The outdated models may have some wear on crucial parts such as the engine and suspension though.

Expensive Running Costs

Although the actual maintenance costs of the 350Z are cheap, the running costs are a little bit pricier.

This includes consumables such as fuel and oil.

The V6 engine can be quite heavy on fuel, especially with new drivers who tend to still be learning how to drive efficiently.

Limited Space

The Nissan 350Z is a two-door sports car and is naturally limited with space.

This means that a new driver will struggle with transporting more than one passenger at a time.

There also is not much space in the luggage compartment, which is certainly not ideal for a first car, but it’s also not the worst.

You might also be interested in our article: Is a BMW a good first car? and Nissan 350Z in snow and winter driving

Are Nissan 350Z’s Safe?

Although the 350Z has a reputation of being the most deadly car, if driven safely and responsibly, any accidents caused by reckless driving can be mitigated. However, in the wrong hands, a 350Z can be incredibly dangerous.

If you are a new driver and feel you may be tempted to speed, or drive recklessly than it is highly advisable you don’t chose a 350Z as your first car.

That being said, the Nissan 350Z is equipped with a number of safety features such as airbags, ABS and traction control, all of which are great features for a first car.

What Is the Price Range of Nissan 350Z?

It’s important to set yourself a budget when buying your first car, and its equally important to do as much research about the car as possible.

For example, make sure you know how much the gas mileage is and how much the maintenance and repair costs workout to.

A 350Z will cost around $6800 on average. A model with low mileage will cost around $16,000. There’s a big difference between low milage and a higher mileage model.

It’s best to pay the full amount for the car or try to pay it off in as little time as possible. This will save you money on interest rates and price fluctuations. Try to find a model that is relatively new and has low mileage if you can afford it.

When buying a 350Z it’s crucial to test drive the car before buying it and consider having a professional inspect the car to check for underlying damage.

Second-hand sports cars are often bought and used for track days before they are sold again.

What are the Best and Worst Years for the Nissan 350Z?

The earlier models are the worst years for the 350Z.

These models have the highest mileage and are the most outdated in terms of their mechanics and technology.

Try to avoid these older models unless they have low mileage and have spent most of their time in a garage or storage unit.

Some issues reported on the Nissan 350Z include:

  • Damaged headlights
  • Radiator fan issues
  • Rust
  • Fuel dampener problems
  • Fenders and interior panel issues

Damaged and failing headlights have been the biggest concern for 350Z owners, these generally cost around $700 to replace.

The best model for the 350Z was in its final year of production before being replaced by the 370Z.

In 2008 the F-Type model was released in Japan. Nissan went all out with this model and it has received high praise from owners over the years.

We would advise buying a 2006 model. The 2008 model was only released in Japan as a limited edition, so this can drive the price up a lot.

The 2006 model saw various upgrades such as bigger brakes, a stronger engine, better interior and exterior features as well as better headlights which was the most common complaint on previous models.

What to Look Out for When Buying a Nissan 350Z

There are some important factors to look out for when buying a Nissan 350Z. Firstly, it’s important that you test drive the car and look for any underlying engine or handling issues the car may have.

What Should I Look For When Buying A Used Nissan 350Z:

  • Front bumper chips.
  • Sides and rear for dents and scratches
  • Headlights
  • If the engine has a ticking sound (fuel dampeners need replacement).
  • Brake pads and discs.
  • Worn out tread on tires.
  • Electrics (any warning lights).

Are Nissan 350Z Expensive to Maintain?

The Nissan 350Z can have some expensive parts.

For example, if the engine needs to be replaced, a used one can be found for around $3000. However, the 350Z engine is very durable and will last a very long time if it is kept in good condition.

The clutch is an item that wears quickly on the 350Z and it will last around 40,000 miles. These are around $1000 to replace.

Headlights are also a part that wears out quickly on the 350Z and replacing these costs around $700.

If the car is taken care of well and is driven sensibly these parts can last much longer than their expected lifespan.

Do Nissan 350Z Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Nissan 350Z gets around 20-30 miles per gallon.

This is quite a lot for a sporty car.

Depending on the driving style, the driver can either experience better gas mileage or worse.

The 350Z does not have an economy mode, so the only way to save gas is by driving efficiently.

How Reliable is the Nissan 350Z?

The Nissan 350Z has been a very reliable car for many years now with a solid engine.

If the car has been well looked after it should not have any major issues.

However, if the car has been driven fast and taken to track days, then it may begin to experience some handling and engine issues over time.

Related: 12 Best & Worst Nissan 370Z Years (Pictures & Stats)



  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...

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