Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2006 Porsche 911 VS 2006 Nissan 350Z Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2006 Porsche 911

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VS

2006 Nissan 350Z

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Porsche 911 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 911 has standard head airbag curtains which act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and front passenger’s upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. Head airbags cost extra in the 350Z and requires Coupe.

The 911 offers all wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The 350Z doesn’t offer all wheel drive.

The 911 has standard Porsche Stability Management (PSM), which uses the antilock brake hardware along with powerful software and additional sensors to detect the beginning of a skid. The PSM 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 911 offers an optional backup radar to help warn drivers about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind their vehicle. This collision warning system uses radar to detect obstacles behind the rear bumper. The 350Z doesn’t offer a rear collision sensor.

Both the 911 and the 350Z have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four wheel antilock brakes and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

The 911 comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The 350Z’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The 911 comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years 50,000 miles. Porsche 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 911’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the 350Z’s (10 vs. 5 years).

Engine Comparison

The 911’s standard 3.6 DOHC 6 cyl. produces 38 more horsepower (325 vs. 287) than the 350Z automatic’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The 911’s 3.6 DOHC 6 cyl. produces 25 more horsepower (325 vs. 300) and 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (274 vs. 260) than the 350Z manual’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The 911 S’ standard 3.8 DOHC 6 cyl. produces 55 more horsepower (355 vs. 300) and 35 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 260) than the 350Z manual’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Porsche 911 is faster than the Nissan 350Z (manual transmissions tested):

911 3.6

911 S

350Z

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

4.1 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

12.8 sec

12.6 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

109 MPH

112 MPH

101 MPH

Top Speed

181 MPH

179 MPH

n/a

In a Road & Track race course test, the Porsche 911 S was clocked 4.15 seconds faster than the Nissan 350Z Coupe (66.71 sec. vs. 70.86 sec.).

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 911 lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The 350Z doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the 911 RWD gets better fuel mileage than the 350Z:

911

350Z

RWD

911/Manual

18 city/26 hwy

19 city/25 hwy

Coupe

911 S/Manual

18 city/26 hwy

19 city/25 hwy

Roadster

911/Auto

19 city/26 hwy

19 city/25 hwy

Coupe

911 S/Auto

18 city/25 hwy

18 city/24 hwy

Roadster

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the 911’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the 350Z:

911

350Z

350Z Track/GT

Front Rotors

13.78 inches

12.59 inches

12.76 inches

Rear Rotors

13.78 inches

12.13 inches

12.68 inches

The 911 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The 350Z doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The 911 stops much shorter than the 350Z:

911

350Z

80 to 0 MPH

184 feet

217 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

150 feet

167 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

113 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the 911 has larger standard tires than the 350Z (F:235/40R18 & R:265/40R18 vs. F:225/45R18 & R:245/45R18).

The 911’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the 350Z’s standard 45 series tires. The 911 S’ 235/35R19 front and 295/30R19 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 911 S has standard 19 inch wheels. The 350Z’s largest wheels are only 18 inches in the front and 19 inches in the rear.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The 911 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.

The 911 S handles at .97 G’s, while the 350Z Touring Coupe pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 911 S goes through Road & Track’s slalom 6.1 MPH faster than the 350Z Track Coupe (71.7 vs. 65.6 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

The Porsche 911 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 250 pounds less than the Nissan 350Z.

The design of the Porsche 911 amounts to more than styling. The 911 offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .28 to .29 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the 350Z (.3 to .34). A more efficient exterior helps the 911 go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the 911 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Road & Track while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the 911 S is quieter than the 350Z Track Coupe (75 vs. 78 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The 911 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the 350Z can only carry 2.

The 911 has 13.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 350Z Coupe (64 vs. 50.5).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The 911 has a much larger trunk than the 350Z Coupe (10.6 vs. 6.8 cubic feet).

The 911 Cabriolet has a larger trunk than the 350Z Roadster (4.8 vs. 4.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The engine computer on the 911 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 911 has a 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 four different drivers share the 911, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all four. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the seat position and outside mirror positions. The 350Z doesn’t offer a memory system.

The 911’s front and rear power windows raise and lower automatically with one touch, especially convenient at tollbooths or drive-up windows. Only the front windows of the 350Z work automatically with one touch.

The 911’s standard rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The 350Z’s intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 911 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The 350Z doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The 911 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 911’s optional heated front seats keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. The 350Z doesn’t offer heated seats.

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