The Nissan 350Z (also known as the Fairlady Z in the Japanese Domestic Market – read more here about the differences between the 350Z and Fairlady Z) is one of the most popular cars we cover on this site.
Our 350Z buyer’s guide is one of our most-read articles, and we have slowly been working our way through answering some of the most frequently asked questions about this legendary and enduringly-popular car, such as:
- Whether the 350Z is dangerous
- If it makes a good first car
- Whether there were any 350Zs sold with rear seats
In this edition of Car Facts we are answering another question about this car, specifically whether or not the 350Z is a fast car.
Lots of people seem to like to jump on Google and ask “are 350Z fast?” so we thought we would oblige an answer.
Let’s take a look!
Nissan 350Z 0-60 MPH Time (0-100 KPH)
While 0-60mph (0-100kph) figures are notoriously unreliable when it comes to precise times, there is no doubt that this statistic is perhaps the most commonly accepted measurement of whether or not a car is fast (only the quarter mile could be considered in the same league, although that seems to be a more popular measurement in America than in other markets).
As such, in order to answer the question “are 350Z fast” it’s important to look at what the 0-60mph performance of this car is, and compare it to what we might consider to be a fast car by today’s standards.
As you might expect, the “real world” 0-60 time of a 350Z will differ depending on factors like model year (later cars had slightly more power but also more weight) trim/spec level (e.g. convertibles are slower) transmission type, driver skill, road surface and so on. In fact, official measures from Nissan seemed to vary depending on which market they were selling the car into etc.
With that in mind, the most reliable Nissan 350Z 0-60 time we could find from looking at various publications and forums is around 5.4 seconds, for a 2004 Track model with a manual transmission, and around 5.8-6 seconds for an automatic car.
Some claim they have achieved as low as 5.2 seconds on a bone stock example, so basically you are looking at anywhere from 5-6 seconds depending on a few different factors.
Does That Mean The 350Z Is A Fast Car?
If the 350Z can achieve 0-60mph in around 5-6 seconds, does that mean it is a fast car?
In our opinion, it is fast – at least in a straight line.
Take the current Honda Civic Type R, which most people would agree is a fast car (it might not be supercar fast, but it is surely quick enough for the vast majority of applications).
A current Civic Type R dispatches the 0-60mph sprint in around 5.5-5.8 seconds, depending on who exactly is doing the testing.
Therefore, the 350Z – which is basically a 20 year old car – is able to accelerate to the highway speed limit just as fast (if not slightly faster) than one of the best “affordable” modern performance cars on the market.
If that doesn’t make the 350Z a fast car, then we don’t know what to say.
Of course the Civic Type R would no doubt monster the 350Z around a track, but in terms of day-to-day, real world usage, the humble 350Z is plenty fast enough. Where the 350Z would probably fall behind the current crop of attainable fast cars is in the handling stakes, due to its relatively heavy weight and lack of sophisticated driver aids.
Conclusion – Are 350Z Fast?
Yes, the Nissan 350Z is a fast car. While the general standard in terms of speed/power for performance cars has definitely shifted since the 350Z first launched in the early 2000s, there is no doubt that it is still a quick car.
With the 350Z capable of dispatching a 0-60mph run in the mid-5 second mark (depending on exactly which model and transmission option) this car is no slouch at all.
As we discussed in our article about whether or not the 300ZX is fast, the perception of what constitutes a fast car has been warped somewhat by the fact that many modern cars (even fairly mundane family-type cars) are achieving performance figures that would make sports cars of yesteryear blush.
However, we can guarantee you that unless you are used to driving the current crop of performance cars that are pulling 0-60 times in the low 3 to high 4 second mark, you will not be disappointed with a 350Z.
It’s also important to remember that if you have a true need for speed, there is a lot you can do to modify the 350Z to make it even faster! Read our Nissan 350Z buyer’s guide and history for more information.