North Georgia Ford Compares 2005 Ford Mustang VS 2005 Nissan 350Z Near Calhoun, GA

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2005 Ford Mustang

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VS

2005 Nissan 350Z

Safety Comparison

Both the Mustang and the 350Z have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, available front seat side-impact airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes and traction control.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new cars. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Mustang Coupe is safer than the 350Z Coupe:

Mustang

350Z

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Head Injury Index

325

361

Chest forces

37 g’s

45 g’s

Leg injuries (L/R)

144 / 463

625 / 716

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Head Injury Index

367

411

Chest forces

40 g’s

47 g’s

More stars indicate a better overall result. Lower numbers indicate better individual test results.

Warranty Comparison

The Mustang comes with free roadside assistance for 3 years 36,000 miles. Ford 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.

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

Reliability Comparison

The engines in the Mustang have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the 350Z have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

The Mustang 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 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.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2004 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 23rd in initial quality. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 32nd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics, which show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 16th in reliability, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 17th.

Engine Comparison

The Mustang GT’s standard 4.6 SOHC V8 produces 60 lbs.-ft. more torque (320 vs. 260) than the 350Z Track Coupe’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Mustang V6 5-speed manual gets better highway fuel mileage than the 350Z 6-speed manual (28 vs. 26 mpg).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Mustang uses regular unleaded gasoline. The 350Z requires premium, which can cost 25 to 50 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Mustang with optional antilock brakes stops shorter than the 350Z with antilock brakes:

Mustang

350Z

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Mustang GT’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 350Z (235/55R17 vs. 225/45R18).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mustang’s wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer than on the 350Z (107.1 vs. 104.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Mustang is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 350Z.

The Mustang Coupe handles at .87 G’s, while the 350Z Touring Coupe pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The Mustang Coupe has 47.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 350Z Coupe (97.9 vs. 50.5). The Mustang Convertible has 29.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 350Z Roadster (81.6 vs. 51.8).

The Mustang Coupe has .4 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more front hip room and 1.8 inches more front shoulder room than the 350Z Coupe.

The Mustang Convertible has .1 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more front hip room and 1.8 inches more front shoulder room than the 350Z Roadster.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Mustang Coupe has a much larger trunk than the 350Z Coupe (13.1 vs. 6.8 cubic feet).

The Mustang Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top up than the 350Z Roadster (9.7 vs. 4.1 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Mustang easier. The Mustang’s trunk lift-over height is 31 inches, while the 350Z’s liftover is 36 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

The engine computer on the Mustang 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.

The Mustang’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 Mustang’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 Mustang’s standard speed sensitive intermittent wipers speed up as the car does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The 350Z’s intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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