Goodbye 350Z. Hello Future

By Peter Dushenski @carenvy

Last week, after 25 months of driving and 41 months of ownership, I sold the Silverstone Silver Chrome Nissan 350Z (H/T to commenter Confused!). It was my first sports car.

It wasn’t particularly pre-meditated but nor did I ever, not even once, imagine I’d keep it indefinitely.

So off it went. I won’t be replacing the 350Z with anything else. It’ll just be the ever-steady Mazda Protege5 filling schedule gaps between test cars. I’ll miss having a pitch-perfect benchmark in the CarEnvy Garage, but owning a car that’s driven 10 times a year is a lunatic luxury for a 26-year-old. Even this one. A local Sheriff who commutes 100km each day will be introducing the Zee (Zed?), which had only 78,000km at the time of sale, to its first winter.

So how was the overall ownership experience?

Except for maybe the Mazda RX-8 I drove earlier this summer, there’s simply no way to have more fun, more reliably for under C$15,000. (If you can think of one, drop me a line). As an owner who prizes value above all else, that’s the highest compliment I can give. Overall, I was very content with the ownership experience and with the transactions that bookended it.

Looking back, the highlight of my time with the Z was probably two years ago when I made a 1,100km road trip to Invermere BC for a weekend of golf. I drove by myself both ways, accompanied only by the open road and, briefly, a friendly hitchhiker. The 350Z was truly in its element on the open highway. With tall gearing and torque for days, the Z slurped down those miles like a lemonade on a hot day. Like in any relationship, where she was happiest, I was happiest too. In the city, the Z was never quite comfortable. It just rode too firmly. But on the highway…

Now that I’m good and misty-eyed, let’s turn our gaze towards the level of material indulgence I’ve actually enjoyed over the last 41 months and the economic dent the 350Z made. The following costs are near-enough approximations:

  1. Depreciation: C$5,350
  2. Insurance: C$1,500
  3. Gas: C$2,500
  4. Maintenance: C$4,500 (tires, brakes, rim repair, more tires…)

Total cost of ownership over 23,000km was C$13,850 or $0.62/km. On a monthly basis, that’s C$337/mo of ownership but C$554/mo of driving. Running a brand-new Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback (that you could actually drive year-round) would be about as costly. That might not be an informative comparison, but it’s an interesting perspective nonetheless.

Having recently driven her successor, the far spendier Nissan 370Z, I’ll give myself-at-age-22 some credit for the original purchase. I can honestly say that I would rather own a 350Z than a 370. As brilliant as SynchroRev is, and it’s exceptional, the longer wheelbase of the more senior model imbues it with greater stability and the driver with more confidence. While the 350Z’s on your side if you’re brave enough to finesse its considerable mass through the bends, the smaller, lighter 370Z can’t settle down under pressure (even Chris Harris agrees). Yes, both cars are ultimately grand tourers in the vein of the original 240Z but the 3.5L model maintains more of the driver’s edge. That the 370Z is thrice-as-costly and less classically beautiful just makes the choice between the two that much easier.

What does the future hold? I still think a Fiat 500 would be ideal for my lifestyle so I’ll see if the P5 (and my impulses) can wait until they’re sub-C$10k on the used market. That’s assuming they maintain some measure of reliability too… Honda Preludes also hold some appeal, but I hear they get stolen a lot. Really though, thanks to the privilege that are manufacturer-provided test cars, there’s no rush.

Besides, there’s still a wedding next summer, a few more trips upcoming, and it never hurts to have some cash on hand should an investment opportunity arise. Sense, it seems, has prevailed.

Goodbye 350Z. Hello…?

 

[Photo credits: author]

3 thoughts on “Goodbye 350Z. Hello Future

  1. Confused says:

    I’ve seen this car since you sold it… I talked to the new owner. I’d have to say… for an automotive enthusiast with your own website as well as someone connected with manufacturers and others in the industry, you sure don’t seem to know your stuff. First, your old 350Z was not Silverstone Metallic. Silverstone is the darker grey. Your car was simply silver. Silver and neglected. Interior lights that didn’t work? A 5 minute fix taken care of with a simple google search. A stereo system that seemed surprisingly poor… a faulty fuse. The car had thousands of dollars in high end audio equipment with custom racks and enclosures. The wheels… should I get started on the wheels?… in the 41 months of ownership did you clean them? It sure didn’t look like it. Selling that car was the best move you made. Hopefully the new owner can breathe some life back into it as it really needed a makeover and hopefully the new owner gives her the pampering she deserves.

    • Peter says:

      Dear Confused,

      Firstly, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. No one else took the time to point out the errors you mentioned, not a one. Not only did I not even notice that the interior light wasn’t functional, but I ashamedly neglected the other problems of which I was aware. I wish I had taken the few short minutes necessary to attend to them. I feel quite foolish now, but at the time, I felt inadequate in diagnosing the stereo shortcomings myself and I feared the costs I might incur in having the stereo repaired. This was cowardly and inept behaviour on my part. As for the wheels, I couldn’t agree more. They were in awful shape from the day I bought the car but because they looked so good from just 10 feet away, I made do – again, not wanting to incur unnecessary cost. I wrestled with the idea of replacing them several times, but never pulled the trigger.

      After more thorough research, I found that you were 100% correct about the colour code. I’ve made the necessary correction. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

      I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t lavish the attention and care on my 350Z that she deserved and I too hope that the new owner is better able to care for her. Based on the few interactions I had with him, I’m confident that the new owner will do just that.

      I thank you for your patience, time, and understanding in this matter. Should you have any other automotive or editorial concerns in the future, please don’t hesitate to bring them to my attention.

      Yours Sincerely,
      Peter

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