Nissan 350 Z Roadster Enthusiast

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Keywords: Nissan 350 Z Roadster Enthusiast, 2006 nissan 350z
Description: Read our review of the 2006 Nissan 350Z at Edmunds.com for pricing, specs, photos, safety ratings, incentives & local inventory of the 2006 350Z.

Nissan's crown jewel. For the money, the 2006 Nissan 350Z is one of the best performance buys on the market.

Strong and willing V6 engine, precision handling, powerful brakes, available drop-top version, a bargain compared to anything that can run with it.

Rough ride on Track model, some low-grade interior materials, lack of luggage space, poor rearward visibility.

The 2006 Nissan 350Z sports car receives a host of minor changes. Mechanical updates include an increase in horsepower, to 300, for all manual-transmission-equipped cars, larger brake rotors for cars without the Brembo brake package and a new vehicle speed-sensitive steering rack. For the exterior, the Z sports a revised front bumper and new headlight and taillight designs. Eighteen-inch wheels and HID headlights are now standard on all models. Changes inside include new cloth seat material, revised climate controls and a new navigation system. Finally, Nissan has made some adjustments to the Z's trim levels. A Grand Touring trim level is now available for the coupe body style; it features the Touring trim's equipment plus Brembo brakes, spoilers and stability control. Additionally, the Track and Grand Touring trims get new RAYS super lightweight forged-alloy wheels that measure 18 inches in front and 19 out back.

The 2006 Nissan 350Z sports car receives a host of minor changes. Mechanical updates include an increase in horsepower, to 300, for all manual-transmission-equipped cars, larger brake rotors for cars without the Brembo brake package and a new vehicle speed-sensitive steering rack. For the exterior, the Z sports a revised front bumper and new headlight and taillight designs. Eighteen-inch wheels and HID headlights are now standard on all models. Changes inside include new cloth seat material, revised climate controls and a new navigation system. Finally, Nissan has made some adjustments to the Z's trim levels. A Grand Touring trim level is now available for the coupe body style; it features the Touring trim's equipment plus Brembo brakes, spoilers and stability control. Additionally, the Track and Grand Touring trims get new RAYS super lightweight forged-alloy wheels that measure 18 inches in front and 19 out back.

Few Nissan products have a more loyal following than the Z. Light, nimble, sporty and affordable, the original 1970 Datsun 240Z was the company's first big success in America. Prospective owners had to wait nearly six months to get one. Horsepower was set at 150, and the Nissan car listed at $3,526. Though it became increasingly heavier and more luxurious, the Z continued to sell well throughout the '70s and '80s. In 1990, Nissan debuted an all-new 300ZX. The car had a 222-hp V6 and a completely new body and interior. Later in the model year, a twin-turbo 300ZX went on sale with 300 horsepower. By the mid-'90s, however, the sports car market was shrinking. A strong yen also caused the Z's price to skyrocket. Sales slid and Nissan pulled the plug on the 300ZX in 1996. Within the depths of Nissan, however, the eternal light wasn't quite extinguished.

In 1999, the Z Concept first appeared on the auto show circuit. Created in secret by a team of designers at Nissan's Southern California studios, this metallic orange car relied heavily on cues from the first-generation 240Z. Its styling wasn't perfect, and the hardware underneath was mostly 240SX, but it was enough to get Nissan's top execs -- as well as the public -- excited about another Z. Nearly a decade later, the Z returned and Nissan's fortunes have been on the rise ever since. The 350Z is built on Nissan's FM platform. FM (front midship) refers to the positioning of the engine. Compared to most front-engine cars in which a considerable amount of engine weight is placed over the front wheels, the 350Z's engine is located further rearward behind the front wheels. Handling, as you might imagine, is fantastic. Blast through the gears and there's a constant, insistent rush apt to make even the most jaded driver grin like a grade-schooler driving a go-kart. Although several other manufacturers have introduced performance cars in this price range over the last few years, the 2006 Nissan 350Z remains an excellent buy for enthusiastic drivers who don't want to spend big bucks.

The 2006 Nissan 350Z is available as both a two-seat coupe and a roadster. The coupe comes in base, Enthusiast, Touring, Grand Touring and Track versions, while the roadster is limited to Enthusiast, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels. Base models come with automatic climate control; 18-inch alloy wheels; HID headlamps; power windows, locks and mirrors; a tire-pressure monitor; a CD player; and remote keyless entry. Going with an Enthusiast model sets you up with cruise control, traction control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a limited-slip rear differential and, on the roadster, a power-operated soft top and wind deflector. The Touring model offers an upgraded audio system, power and heated seats, leather upholstery and, on the roadster only, side airbags. For even more performance, the Grand Touring model has front and rear spoilers, stability control, 18-inch front and 19-inch rear lightweight wheels and upgraded Brembo brakes. Geared for the serious enthusiasts, the Track model has all the Grand Touring performance goodies and none of the Touring luxury items.



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