Complaints: The new Z is tight, but it's anything but light. It tips the scales at 3,322 pounds. That's Chevrolet Corvette territory.
Also, there's very little storage space in this one (6.8 cubic feet for cargo). The narrow rear window diminishes the rear view.
Praise: I drove the Enthusiast 6MT model of the 350Z. It's simple, comfortable, beautiful, friendly on the road.
Head-turning quotient: Zing! Out of the park.
Ride, acceleration and handling: Triple aces. I didn't push the car to its limits. Limit-pushers might have other opinions.
Engine/transmissions: Nissan's 287-horsepower, 3.5-liter VQ V6. A six-speed manual transmission is standard. An electronically controlled five-speed automatic (with a clutchless manual mode) is optional.
Body style and layout: Two-door coupe, rear hatch. Front engine (located behind front axle), rear-wheel drive.
Capacities: Seats two. Can accommodate two soft overnight bags.
Mileage: I averaged 28 miles per gallon in mostly highway travel.
Premium unleaded gasoline is required.
Price: There are seven versions of the 350Z. Preliminary prices range from $25,269 for the base 350Z 5MT to $34,079 for the Track 6MT. All carry an additional $540 destination charge. The optional navigation system costs $1,999. An optional package of side and curtain air bags costs $569. Prices are subject to change.
Purse-strings note: Assuming that Nissan's dealers can restrain themselves, the 350Zs below the more expensive Track and Touring models represent a darn good value. At the Track level, my temptation would be to look at the Porsche Boxster or the Chevy Corvette.