Nissan 350Z Years To Avoid (Best and Worst)

Nissan 350Z Years To Avoid – Are you considering purchasing a Nissan 350Z? This iconic sports car has been a favorite among enthusiasts since its debut in 2003. However, not all 350Z models are created equal, and it’s important to do your research before making a purchase.

The 350Z has had its share of ups and downs, with some years being better than others in terms of reliability and performance.

Nissan 350Z Years To Avoid

In this post, we’ll be discussing the 350Z years to avoid and the best year for the Nissan 350Z, so you can make an informed decision and drive away with the perfect Z for you.

By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each model year, you can make a more informed decision when choosing the perfect 350Z for you.

Nissan 350Z Reliability

When it comes to reliability, the Nissan 350Z stands out among its competitors. This iconic sports car not only offers thrilling performance but also delivers superb comfort.

Its resale value depreciates about 41% in five years, making it a great investment for enthusiasts.

According to, the Nissan 350Z has a rating of 4.8 out of 5.0, with a 100% recommendation rate. This means that the majority of owners are satisfied with its reliability and overall performance.

If you’re looking for a car that combines style, power, and reliability, the Nissan 350Z is an excellent choice.

The 350Z’s best years and most reliable years make it even more appealing to potential buyers.

Nissan 350Z Reliability

350Z Years To Avoid

Over its production span, there have been reported issues or challenges faced by some models during certain years. It’s crucial to understand these potential challenges while also acknowledging the overall positive aspects of the vehicle.

Let’s explore the concerns reported with the 2003 and 2004-2005 Nissan 350Z in more detail:

2003 Nissan 350Z

Teething Troubles: The inaugural year of the Nissan 350Z encountered issues that often accompany a new model’s launch. These could include initial production challenges related to assembly, parts, or engineering, which might affect a small percentage of vehicles.

However, with subsequent production runs, manufacturers typically address these teething problems.

Tire Woes: Some owners of the 2003 Nissan 350Z reported concerns about excessive tire wear. This issue may have been attributed to factors like alignment problems, tire quality, or suspension setup.

Routine tire maintenance and alignment checks could help mitigate this problem.

Transmission Glitches: Instances of synchro problems in manual transmission models were observed. These issues might manifest as difficulty shifting gears or unusual grinding noises during gear changes, potentially leading to transmission wear if not addressed promptly.

2004-2005 Nissan 350Z

Continuation of Transmission Troubles: Synchro-related transmission issues persisted from the previous year into the 2004-2005 models. These recurring problems might have affected a portion of vehicles during this period, highlighting a continued concern with manual transmissions.

Fuel Damper Squeal: Some units of the 2004-2005 Nissan 350Z reported a high-pitched squeal attributed to the fuel damper.

This issue might have caused discomfort for owners due to the noise, although it wasn’t necessarily a mechanical failure affecting the vehicle’s performance.

These issues were reported within these model years, it’s crucial to emphasize that not every vehicle experienced these problems. Many 350Zs from these years might have performed reliably without encountering these specific concerns.

Nissan 350Z Best Years

The Nissan 350Z, in certain years truly stands out in terms of performance and reliability. These are the years that the 350Z truly shined and offered an optimal blend of power and dependability.

2007-2009 Nissan 350Z

Nissan 350Z Best Years

The first standout years for the 350Z are from 2007 to 2009. During this time, Nissan introduced the VQ35HR engine, which delivered more power and addressed the oil consumption issue that was present in previous models.

The build quality of the 350Z also saw refinements and improvements, resulting in a sturdier car overall.

Additionally, these years saw an interior facelift, enhancing both comfort and aesthetics. Upgraded brakes were also introduced, providing top-notch responsiveness for an even more thrilling driving experience.

2006 Nissan 350Z (With A Caveat)

Nissan 350Z Best Years

Another year to consider is the 2006 Nissan 350Z but with a caveat. Certain models from this year boasted the VQ35DE RevUp engine, which offered increased power.

However, these models did come with potential oil consumption issues.

If you are meticulous about checking your car’s oil level and don’t mind topping up when necessary, the 2006 350Z could be a good buy. This year also saw a styling update, with fresh features and tweaks that set it apart from its predecessors.

The 2007-2009 Nissan 350Z and the 2006 350Z (with a caveat) are the years to keep an eye out for if you’re looking for the best combination of performance and reliability.

These years offer enhanced power, improved build quality, enhanced comfort and aesthetics, and upgraded brakes.

Common 350z Problems

Nissan’s iconic 350z has long been celebrated for its sleek design and exhilarating performance. However, like any vehicle, it is not without its quirks and common problems that owners may encounter.

Common 350z Problems

Common 350z Problems Explained

1. VQ35DE Oil Consumption

The VQ35DE engine, renowned for its power, is also known for oil consumption. Regular maintenance is vital; neglecting oil checks might lead to piston ring damage.

When considering buying a 350z, ensure the oil levels are regularly monitored and topped up to prevent potential issues with piston rings.

2. Exhaust Leaks

An often-reported issue is exhaust leaks near the catalytic converters. Audible when the car idles, these leaks might signal a need for repair or an opportunity for an aftermarket exhaust upgrade.

While an upgrade can enhance performance, repairing the stock exhaust might pose a costly exercise.

3. Driveshaft Clicking

Owners frequently encounter clicking driveshafts, a prevalent problem among Nissans of that era. Fortunately, this issue typically necessitates a simple fix.

Greasing and servicing the driveshafts often resolve the problem without significant expense.

4. Quick Synchro Wear in Some Models

Models ranging from MY03 to MY06 experienced accelerated synchro wear issues. While not widespread, it’s advisable to be cautious during test drives. Notably, MY07 and later models don’t exhibit this problem.

5. Worn Clutch

The standard clutch generally lasts over 40,000 miles, but replacement is inevitable. Replacement parts are accessible, yet labor costs can be high. Despite the expense, a replaced clutch promises prolonged durability.

6. Paint Fading and Chipping

Many owners observe faster paint fading, notably on the front bumper, with certain colors prone to quicker deterioration. Moreover, the interior plastic paint tends to chip, particularly in extreme weather conditions.

7. Suspension and Shock Absorbers

Suspension components like rubber bushes often need replacement after 15 years. While rubber bushes are cost-effective, opting for polyurethane bushes can enhance handling.

Additionally, stock shock absorbers might feel worn; inspecting the service log for replacements can save future expenses. Coilovers serve as a popular upgrade for those aiming to improve handling.

Understanding these common issues is key for both current and prospective owners of the Nissan 350z.

Important Notes:

Before we delve into the best and worst years for the Nissan 350Z, it’s important to note that there is no definitive scientific measure of what constitutes the best or worst years for any car.

It’s also essential to understand that buying a car from one of the better years doesn’t guarantee a problem-free experience, just as buying a car from one of the worse years doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll end up with a lemon.

The condition and service history of the specific 350Z you are considering are more critical than the model year.

That being said, it is crucial to consult a comprehensive buyer’s guide and undertake a pre-purchase vehicle history check before making a decision.

These steps will help you ensure that you find a 350Z in the best possible condition and within your budget.

With these important notes in mind, let’s dive into the years to buy and avoid the Nissan 350Z.

Why Are The Nissan 350Z So Cheap?

Opinions about the Nissan 350Z vary among drivers and enthusiasts. Here are different viewpoints contributing to the perceived cheapness of the 350Z:

1. Depreciation and Age

Early 2000s 350Z models are perceived as relatively inexpensive due to the natural depreciation most vehicles experience over time.

Being from this era and being a Nissan, which might not hold its value as well as some other brands, could contribute to their affordability in the used car market.

2. Individual Experiences

Some individuals have had less-than-ideal experiences with the 350Z, leading to negative perceptions.

Factors like personal preferences, previous ownership experiences, or encountering issues with specific cars might influence opinions, leading some to regard the 350Z as a regretful purchase.

3. Bottoming out in Depreciation

Opinions suggest that the 350Z is reaching the bottom of its depreciation curve, making it a financially feasible option in the used car market.

Some drivers find value in picking up low-mileage models with reliable VQ engines, indicating they can be a cost-effective choice for those seeking a dependable vehicle.

4. Differing Performance and Modifications

Opinions on the engine variants vary, with suggestions that the DE engine offers better aftermarket support for modifications, while the HR engine has superior stock horsepower.

However, caution is advised to steer clear of the Rev-up engines, which might pose issues.

5. Varied Assessments of Performance

Contrasting opinions on the 350Z’s performance highlight differences in personal preference.

Some consider it an exceptional GT car with impressive chassis construction and features like aluminum panels and a carbon fiber driveshaft, others have expressed dissatisfaction, claiming that the 350Z didn’t meet their expectations and that its successor, the 370Z, rectified its flaws.

Is a Nissan 350Z a good used car?

The consensus is that the Nissan 350Z stands out as a superb used sports car. Praised for its thrilling driving experience, rear-wheel drive, and exceptional handling, it’s regarded as an attractive choice for enthusiasts seeking a lively and enjoyable ride.

What to look out for 350Z?

Potential buyers are advised to be mindful of the gearbox, known to be slightly stiffer than modern transmissions. However, this characteristic is considered a quirk rather than a significant issue. A thorough test drive is recommended to ensure the gearbox’s condition.

Is 350Z easy to maintain?

The maintenance costs for a Nissan 350Z are reportedly not notably higher than those for a Nissan Maxima, unless an owner chooses to opt for high-performance oils or more frequent servicing. Treating the 350Z like any other car is said to result in manageable servicing costs.

Are Nissan 350Z expensive to fix?

The estimated annual maintenance cost for a Nissan 350Z is around $452. However, the actual repair and maintenance expenses may vary based on factors such as age, mileage, location, and chosen repair shop.

Are 350z’s Reliable?

Despite listing a few common issues, the overall sentiment is that the Nissan 350Z boasts the reliability typically expected from Nissan vehicles. Problems that arise are often attributed to poor maintenance or extreme usage. Even when driven spiritedly, well-maintained 350Zs are believed to maintain their reliability without significant issues.


If you’re in the market for a Nissan 350Z, it’s essential to consider the best years for this iconic sports car.

The 350Z truly shines during the 2007-2009 period, with the introduction of the VQ35HR engine delivering more power and addressing previous oil consumption issues.

These years also saw refinements in build quality, enhanced comfort and aesthetics in the cabin, and upgraded brakes for top-notch responsiveness.

Another year to consider is the 2006 350Z, with its RevUp engine and styling updates.

However, remember that the specific condition and service history of the 350Z you choose are more critical than the model year. So, do your research, consult a buyer’s guide, and undertake a pre-purchase vehicle history check to find the best 350Z for you. Happy driving!

Find More Articles About Nissan Years To Avoid: