Well, well, well – 64% of you agree that it’s turbo time. The F10 M5 wins the day. It’s true you can’t lose with either, but perhaps the modern M is more likely to pull me towards the wallet. This week, in honor of a coming new Nissan Z review, I’m going back in time with a 2005 Nissan 350Z Anniversary Edition. Can this car still V my Q?
2005 Nissan 350Z 35th Anniversary Edition
So exciting was it, when the 350Z first appeared 20 years ago. Gone were the classics like the Supra and yes, 300ZX. In their place was…nothing. No sports car or anything even remotely exciting below $40,000.
The 350Z was different. It had a VQ V-6 that sounded like a buzz saw but made the car reasonably quick. A six-speed manual that loved to eat itself alive but was nonetheless fun to use. And enough other performance goodies like strut tower braces and even Brembo brakes to really give this car some honest-to-Z-ness performance chops.
I loved it so much, I bought two of them. Mainly because the first one broke a lot, but perhaps that’s a story for another day.
What makes the 350Z 35th Anniversary Edition special?
Just like BMWs, the Z received a mid-cycle refresh that brought styling changes, a new “Rev-up” HR VQ engine, and some nice interior updates. That came out in 2007.
This 2005 Z juuust missed that boat, so you get the car as it was originally designed, but still with some cool kit. This particular one has seen better days though:
- 105,366 miles
- Six previous owners. Hookah lounges pass things around less.
- Lived its entire life in the NY/NJ area.
- No accidents
- Modz yo – scope the exhaust
- Gulp – it’s an automatic.
- This car should come with a trim tool standard because damn, the interior is messed up.
There’s lots of minutia to cut through, but the big one is the transmission. Nissan released the automatic Anniversary Edition first with 287 horsepower. The manual version came later, with an uprated engine and 300 horsepower. Manual Zs are better, but automatic ones are actually pretty good, with a transmission that offers responsive shifts.
This car does get a nice two-tone interior (what’s left of it), Brembo brakes and what looks like an unmolested engine bay.
Typical 350Z problems
Are you even a car enthusiast if you do not know that Nissan’s famed VQ V-6 loves to drink oil? Doesn’t matter what it goes in, they will burn through a quart every 1,000 miles or so. Nissan never issued a fix, so it’s like, whatever man at this point. Check for oil leaks and failing gaskets.
The timing chain guides can go, sort of negating the advantage of using one over a belt. A few engine sensor problems and fuel damper issues exist, but nothing is truly terrible on a 350Z. Parts are numerous and the car itself is not difficult to work on.
Do you want a 350Z with an HR motor?
This isn’t a case of F87 M2 N55 vs S55, but the VQ HR motor was a nice improvement that fixed most of the issues listed above.
- 306 horsepower, but actually more due to revised SAE benchmarking
- A raised redline to 7,500 RPM
- A broader torque curve, though torque was slightly reduced to 268 lb-ft.
The 2007-08 model also had a cool power dome because the HR motor has a raised deck, and new head and taillights. The interior was also improved, and believe me, it needed it.
Still, this is a 35th Anniversary Edition. Hard to pass this one up, and it can be refreshed with a few thousand dollars. So, should I Z?
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