Is a Nissan 300ZX a good first car?

I’m looking into buying a used car for my teenage son—but I’m far from being an expert on brands! He’s shown me a few he’s found online from private sellers, including an old Nissan 300ZX. I understand he wants something that looks cool to drive, but I’m hesitant to invest in a car for him that I don’t know anything about. Is a Nissan 300ZX a good first car?

Kathryn Mae Kurlychek · Answered on Nov 30, 2022
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
The Nissan 300ZX is a classic sports car that earned many accolades, including a seven-time appearance on Car and Driver’s “Ten Best” list. That being said, we’re hesitant to recommend it as a good first car—and here’s why:
  • The Nissan 300ZX is an older car, produced in the 1990s and eventually discontinued in 2000, over 20 years ago. Older and defunct vehicles like this can be pricer to take care of and insure, as finding replacement parts is much more difficult.
  • Insurance rates may also be higher given the Nissan 300ZX is a sports car built for speed—and that’s before you put a teen driver behind the wheel. Teen drivers have some of the highest insurance rates of any demographic.
  • The Nissan 300ZX has a turbocharged engine that may be overly powerful and unnecessarily risky for first-time drivers.
  • The Nissan 300ZX earned an underwhelming 3 out of 5 stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and some earlier models lack essential safety features like airbags.
Even if high insurance premiums aren’t of primary concern, we wouldn’t recommend young drivers take to the roads for the first time in a car as unpredictable as the Nissan 300ZX.
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