Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2004 Chevrolet CORVETTE VS 2004 Nissan 350Z Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2004 Chevrolet CORVETTE

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2004 Nissan 350Z

Safety Comparison

The Chevrolet Corvette has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Daytime Running Lights decrease the chances of collisions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The 350Z doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

Both the Corvette and the 350Z have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags and four wheel antilock brakes.

Warranty Comparison

The Corvette comes with free roadside assistance for 3 years 36,000 miles. Chevrolet will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Nissan doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the 350Z.

The Corvette’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the 350Z’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 4 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Corvette’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Corvette has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The 350Z doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Corvette has a standard 120 amp alternator. The 350Z’s 110 amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corvette first among premium sports cars in initial quality. The 350Z isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of new car owners provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 13th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 21st, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The Corvette automatic’s standard 5.7 V8 produces 63 more horsepower (350 vs. 287) and 86 lbs.-ft. more torque (360 vs. 274) than the 350Z’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The Corvette 6 speed’s standard 5.7 V8 produces 63 more horsepower (350 vs. 287) and 101 lbs.-ft. more torque (375 vs. 274) than the 350Z’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The Corvette Z06’s standard 5.7 V8 produces 118 more horsepower (405 vs. 287) and 126 lbs.-ft. more torque (400 vs. 274) than the 350Z’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Corvette is faster than the Nissan 350Z (manual transmissions tested):

Corvette LS1

Corvette Z06


Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

4 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

13.1 sec

12.4 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

111 MPH

116 MPH

100 MPH

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Corvette’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the 350Z:



Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.5 inches

The Corvette stops much shorter than the 350Z:



80 to 0 MPH

204 feet

217 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

152 feet

164 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Corvette has larger standard tires than the 350Z (F:245/45R17 & R:275/40R18 vs. F:225/50R17 & R:235/50R17). The Corvette Z06’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 350Z (F:265/40R17 & R:295/35R18 vs. F:225/45R18 & R:245/45R18).

The Corvette’s standard 245/45R17 front and 275/40R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the 350Z’s standard 50 series tires. The Corvette Z06’s 265/40R17 front and 295/35R18 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the 350Z’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Corvette has standard 18 inch rear wheels. Smaller 17 inch wheels are standard on the 350Z.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Corvette can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The 350Z doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Corvette offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The 350Z’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Corvette is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 350Z.

The Corvette Z06 handles at 1.00 G’s, while the 350Z Enthusiast Coupe pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Corvette Convertible handles at .92 G’s, while the 350Z Touring Roadster pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The Corvette Z06 goes through Motor Trend’s slalom 4 MPH faster than the 350Z Enthusiast Coupe (70.4 vs. 66.4 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Road & Track, the interior of the Corvette Convertible is quieter than the 350Z Track Coupe:




80 dB

82 dB

70 MPH Cruising

77 dB

78 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Corvette Coupe has .1 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front hip room and 1.7 inches more front shoulder room than the 350Z Coupe.

The Corvette Convertible has .1 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front hip room and 1.7 inches more front shoulder room than the 350Z Roadster.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Corvette Coupe has a much larger trunk than the 350Z Coupe (24.8 vs. 6.8 cubic feet).

The Corvette Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top up than the 350Z Roadster (13.9 vs. 4.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The engine computer on the Corvette disables the starter while the engine is running. The 350Z’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Corvette (except Z06) offers a power telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The 350Z doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

When three different drivers share the Corvette (except Hardtop), the optional memory systems make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the seat position, steering wheel position, outside mirror positions and radio stations. The 350Z doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Corvette offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The 350Z doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Corvette’s standard power locks have lockout prevention to prevent locking the keys in the car: they won’t lock when the key is in the ignition and the driver’s door is open. The 350Z’s power door locks will readily lock the keys in the ignition.

The 350Z’s standard power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Corvette’s standard doors lock when the transmission is engaged. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

The Corvette offers an optional automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The 350Z doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

The Corvette offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The 350Z has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Corvette’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The 350Z doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Corvette will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that the Corvette will retain 60.97% to 62.3% of its original price after five years, while the 350Z only retains 52.88% to 54.69%.

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