Living With A Sports Car – Nissan 350Z Part VIII



Having driven the Audi A5 S-line yesterday (review still to come), a few elements of the 350Z were elucidated to me. Firstly, the steering of the 350Z feels as if it is wrought from granite. Actually, so does the clutch. And the gearbox. And the suspension. And yes, I realize that it is usually iron, not granite that is wrought, but that’s just how it feels.

I also came to another conclusion. This conclusion was as follows: I would prefer a vehicle like the 350Z to a vehicle like the A5. Not to say that I prefer the 350Z over the A5, they’re far too different in personalities and missions to make a direct comparison. But as far as genres of cars go, would prefer a car that makes the driver feel good by involving him or her, rather than a car that makes the driver feel good by cosseting and being aesthetically pleasing.

The Audi A5 was nothing if not aesthetically pleasing and I’d even go so far to say that this was the mission of the car, and that the car was therefore a success. And yet, I wouldn’t have one. Not at this point in my life, anyways.

While the Nissan 350Z may be demanding of the driver, it’s this demand that results in a rewarding driving experience. When you drive the A5, nothing is asked of you, and nothing returned. Instead the A5 gives its driver the sense that he or she looks fantastic, and that that’s good enough. The Audi is all about show.

Car enthusiasts will tend to fall into one category or another, the “show” or the “go”. Driving the A5 made me realize that I’m part of the latter group. This was a slightly surprising realization because prior to purchasing my 350Z, I contemplated everything from an Audi A6 to a GTI. But now I’m glad that I went for the car I did, because it really does an excellent job of engaging the lobe in my brain associated with driving pleasure.

Maybe the A5 would have been a bit more my thing if it had had this STaSIS exhaust?