Living With A Sports Car: Nissan 350Z Part II



You can read Part I here

So tomorrow, the new Toyo Proxes 4 tires will meet with the 19″ Axis wheels. Until then, I’m driving the Protege5 again because 1) the front right Eagle tire on the Zed is committing seppuka and making an unnerving sound in the process, 2) it is once again snowing in Edmonton and I don’t feel like driving the Zed on bald, blown tires in the snow, and 3) I need to get the Proxes 4’s from my house, where they were shipped to, to the tire shop, and they won’t all fit in the Zed.

This process and coinciding weather anomaly have served to reveal a few shortcomings of the 350.

First, obviously, is the lack of storage space. Now, for a sports car, the 350Z has greater-than-average capacity, but that’s about as significant as the old world’s tallest midget adage. Second, that I don’t feel comfortable in it when the weather goes sour. Perhaps my level of confidence will increase over time, as I befriend and conform to the Zed’s eccentricities, but for now there is very healthy degree of skepticism and hesitancy towards testing the 350 under less-than-ideal conditions.

Also, over the last few days, I’ve developed a distaste for the 350Z’s 93 octane-flavoured thirst. Filling up at a buck a litre when everyone else is filling up at less than ninety cents has certainly caught my attention. And not in a good way. 

I realize that these all sound terribly negative but they only stand out in my mind because of their relatively anomalous nature. Overall, my experience with the Zed has been very positive. The torque is fantastic, the sound above 5,000 rpm still makes me smile, the comfort provided so far is surprisingly, errr… comfortable, and the cruise control, of all things, is nearly flawless. 

Mentioning the cruise control function of a sports car might seem to be nit-picky at best and irrelevant at worst, but it really makes driving a lot easier, even around town. The cruise control, once the upper toggle switch is depressed, sets immediately. There’s no hesitation. No wavering. Just an engagement of the function you’ve requested. There is no doubt in my mind that the 350Z owes this to its mainstream manufacturer, parts-sharing, heritage. And it’s a better car for it. 

Well, that’s all for today. I’ll let you know how the Proxes 4 tires (chosen for their ability in all-weather conditions) perform once they’re on. I’ve not planned any other modifications yet, but I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop as I start to brainstorm as to the direction I want my 350Z to take.