This is a debate that’s been going on for a long time over here in the UK, well at least as long as the 350Z has been available (since 2003). Both cars are available in both coupe and cabriolet versions. At the top end, both cars offer engines which are V6 and over three litres in displacement.
Looking at the Audi first, it’s easier to pick up a cheaper TT than an 350Z, if just because it has been available longer. It also helps that a new body design has just been released, meaning that the older versions now look a little dated. Bad for depreciation, great news if you’re looking at buying.
The top of the range Audi TT comes with Quattro four wheel drive, a 3.2 litre V6 and very small back seats which are pretty much unusable! The TT, much like every other Audi, is a very well designed and presented car. The only problem levelled toward it is that the drive can seem a little clinical. The price range for the cheapest coupe at the moment seems to have dropped to about £8,000. The V6 will set you back more, but does have close to 250 hp.
The Nissan 350Z is a very different car to the Audi. The engine is always a 3.5 litre V6 (unless you go for the newest model out very soon) and the power is all sent to the rear wheels. This is one of the reasons why it is a major draw for the drifting crowd – and for those who are craving close to 300 hp. The Nissan is much more of a muscle car in either guise, with very little scuttle with the drop-top. The top end version of a 2003 model will set you back close to £16,000.
To round this up, I’ve only driven an Audi TT so far. It was good and enjoyable – as well as feeling quite high end. The price of course is a factor between the two cars and in fact the difference is double. However, I went to a new showroom yesterday and saw a 2005 Nissan 350Z cabriolet. I going to test drive it soon. If it is as fun as it looks I might have a hard time resisting…