The burly 1,525kg kerbweight remains the Z's biggest handicap and contributes to its old-fashioned thirst, profligate 273g/km CO2 and resulting expensive VED banding. Running costs are not going to be cheap. But it's a Nissan so it isn't going to wrong. And the 350Z's substance is – mainly – a virtue.
It's not a delicate car to drive, let's get that straight. The Z-car heritage is a very Japanese interpretation of the 'sportscar as statement of virility' mindset, combining American muscle car values with European chuckability and style. But, ultimately, as true to the chestwig and medallion image as 240Z and its successors. Everything about the 350Z is macho, from the weight of the steering to the grittiness of the gearchange and the assertively rear-wheel drive handling balance. I like that, though. In the Japanese style, it's a car built for drivers who appreciate details like pedal positioning, steering feedback and meaningful control weights. It's a car that responds well to being grabbed by the scruff of the neck and is tough enough to take a beating. If not beautiful, the looks have a handsome muscularity and are dating better than the 370Z that replaced it too.