Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2006 Chevrolet CORVETTE VS 2006 Nissan 350Z Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2006 Chevrolet CORVETTE

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VS

2006 Nissan 350Z

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Chevrolet Corvette are height adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Nissan 350Z doesn’t offer height adjustable seat belts.

The Corvette has a standard Active Handling System, which uses the antilock brake hardware along with powerful software and additional sensors to detect the beginning of a skid. The Active Handling System then intervenes by automatically applying the brake at one appropriate wheel, preventing a skid. A skid prevention system is only available on the 350Z Grand Touring/Touring Manual/Track. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study showed that skid control systems reduced single-vehicle car crashes by 30%.

The Chevrolet Corvette has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. 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.

The Corvette offers optional OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The 350Z doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies.

Both the Corvette and the 350Z have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four wheel antilock brakes, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available front and rear side-impact airbags and head airbags.

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.

Engine Comparison

The Corvette’s standard 6.0 LS2 V8 produces 113 more horsepower (400 vs. 287) and 126 lbs.-ft. more torque (400 vs. 274) than the 350Z automatic’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The Corvette’s 6.0 LS2 V8 produces 100 more horsepower (400 vs. 300) and 140 lbs.-ft. more torque (400 vs. 260) than the 350Z manual’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The Corvette Z06 Coupe’s standard 7.0 LS2 V8 produces 205 more horsepower (505 vs. 300) and 210 lbs.-ft. more torque (470 vs. 260) than the 350Z manual’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Corvette 6.0 LS2 V8 is faster than the Nissan 350Z (manual transmissions tested):

Corvette

350Z automatic

350Z manual

Zero to 60 MPH

4.1 sec

5.7 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

12.6 sec

14.3 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

114 MPH

100 MPH

101 MPH

In a Road & Track race course test, the Chevrolet Corvette Coupe was clocked 4.54 seconds faster than the Nissan 350Z Coupe (66.32 sec. vs. 70.86 sec.).

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Corvette gets better fuel mileage than the 350Z:

Corvette

350Z

6.0 LS2 V8/Manual

18 city/28 hwy

19 city/25 hwy

3.5 V6 (300 HP)

6.0 LS2 V8/Auto

17 city/27 hwy

19 city/25 hwy

3.5 V6 (287 HP)

3.5 V6 (287 HP)/Auto

n/a

18 city/24 hwy

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

Corvette

Corvette Z06 Coupe

350Z

350Z Track/GT

Front Rotors

12.8 inches

14 inches

12.59 inches

12.76 inches

Rear Rotors

12 inches

13.4 inches

12.13 inches

12.68 inches

The Corvette stops much shorter than the 350Z:

Corvette

350Z

80 to 0 MPH

194 feet

217 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

164 feet

167 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

113 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Corvette has larger standard tires than the 350Z (F:245/40R18 & R:285/35R19 vs. F:225/45R18 & R:245/45R18). The Corvette Z06 Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 350Z (F:275/35R18 & R:325/30R19 vs. F:245/40R18 & R:265/40R19).

The Corvette’s standard 245/40R18 front and 285/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio), which provides a stiffer sidewall than the 350Z’s standard 45 series tires. The Corvette Z06 Coupe’s 275/35R18 front and 325/30R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the 350Z Track/GT’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Corvette has standard 19-inch rear wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the 350Z.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard 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 2.3 inches wider in the front and 1 inch wider in the rear than the track on the 350Z.

The Corvette’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51% to 49%) than the 350Z’s (53% to 47%). This gives the Corvette more stable handling and braking.

The Corvette Z06 Coupe handles at 1.05 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 .96 G’s, while the 350Z Touring Roadster pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The Corvette Coupe goes through Road & Track’s slalom 4.6 MPH faster than the 350Z Track Coupe (70.2 vs. 65.6 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

The Chevrolet Corvette may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 400 pounds less than the Nissan 350Z.

The design of the Chevrolet Corvette amounts to more than styling. The Corvette offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .286 to .31 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the 350Z (.3 to .34). A more efficient exterior helps the Corvette go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the Corvette get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Road & Track while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Corvette Coupe is quieter than the 350Z Track Coupe (76 vs. 78 dB).

As tested by Road & Track while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Corvette Convertible is quieter than the 350Z Touring Roadster (75 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Corvette Coupe has .5 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more front hip room and 1.6 inches more front shoulder room than the 350Z Coupe.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Corvette Coupe has a much larger trunk than the 350Z Coupe (22.4 vs. 6.8 cubic feet).

The Corvette Convertible has a larger trunk with its top up than the 350Z Roadster (10.4 vs. 4.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The engine computer on the Corvette automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and 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 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 two different drivers share the Corvette, the optional memory systems make it convenient for both. 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’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 350Z doesn’t offer an easy entry 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 power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Corvette’s standard power locks automatically lock the doors 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.)

Consumer Reports rated the Corvette’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the 350Z’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The Corvette has a standard 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 optional heated front seats keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. The 350Z doesn’t offer heated seats.

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.

With optional voice command, the Corvette offers the driver hands free control of the navigation computer by simply speaking. The 350Z doesn’t offer a voice control system.

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 56.47% to 56.82% of its original price after five years, while the 350Z only retains 49.54% to 53.92%.

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