The Complete Nissan VQ35DE Engine and VQ35HR Engine Guide

Nissan’s VQ series is a powerhouse in the world of engines. First launched in 1994, the VQ series quickly gained recognition for its perfect blend of performance, reliability, and efficiency. Its reputation has been cemented over the years through multiple awards, including making it into the "Ward’s 10 Best Engines" list for 14 straight years.

Out of the famed VQ family, the VQ35 engine holds a special place. Its a high-revving 3.5L V6 engine, excellent mid-range torque, and an intoxicating sound that car enthusiasts can’t get enough of. Whether it's sitting under the hood of a sporty Nissan 350Z or a family-friendly Murano, the VQ35 delivers consistently across the board.

This comprehensive guide aims to become your one-stop source for everything VQ35. We'll dig deep into its specs, mechanical design, performance capabilities, and much more. If you're a car geek, a potential buyer, or just someone interested in learning about what makes this engine tick, keep reading!

Nissan VQ35 Engine 101

What is the VQ35 Engine?

The VQ35 engine is a part of Nissan’s venerable VQ engine series, primarily designed as a naturally aspirated V6 engine. Introduced in 2000, the VQ35DE quickly became popular for its blend of good fuel economy, performance, and reliability. Over the years, various versions of the VQ35 have been created, including the DE and HR, each fine-tuned for specific performance criteria.

V6 Engine Configuration

The VQ35 is a V6 engine, which means it has six cylinders arranged in a V-shape. This configuration is ideal for achieving a balanced mix of power and fuel efficiency. Its compact design also allows for easier placement in a variety of car models, ranging from sporty coupes to bulky SUVs.

Comparing to Other Nissan VQ Series Engines

While the VQ35 may not be the biggest or most powerful engine in Nissan’s VQ lineup, it's certainly one of the most versatile. It's been used in a wide range of Nissan models and even found its way into other brands under the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Its versatility and all-around performance make it a go-to engine within the series.

Nissan VQ35 Engine Specs

Horsepower and Torque

Depending on the specific model and version, the VQ35 can produce between 230 to 300 horsepower and 240 to 270 lb-ft of torque. This range makes it suitable for a variety of applications, from daily commuting to spirited driving on twisty roads.

Engine Displacement

The VQ35 has an engine displacement of 3.5 liters. This substantial volume contributes to its ability to produce generous amounts of power and torque across a wide RPM range.

Fuel Efficiency

When it comes to fuel efficiency, the VQ35 doesn't disappoint. Averaging between 18 to 26 miles per gallon depending on the vehicle it’s housed in, this engine offers a reasonable compromise between performance and fuel economy.


Nissan VQ35DE vs Nissan VQ35HR

The Nissan VQ35DE Engine Specs

General Info and Production Years

The VQ35DE 3.5L engine was the first in the line of VQ35 engines and made its debut in 2000. Over its life cycle, it's been featured in a variety of Nissan and Infiniti models, becoming a mainstay for over a decade.

Key Features and Specifications

The VQ35DE is equipped with a variable valve timing system and has an engine displacement of 3.5 liters. The engine produces around 230 to 280 horsepower and 240 to 270 lb-ft of torque depending on the specific model. It also features an aluminum block and heads, contributing to its relatively lightweight nature.

The VQ35HR Engine Specs

General Info and Production Years

The VQ35HR was introduced in 2007 as an updated version of the VQ35DE. The "HR" stands for “High Revolution,” and it lives up to its name with a higher redline and improved power output.

How it Improves Upon the DE

The HR features a reworked dual intake system and an increased compression ratio. The engine block and internals are also more robust, designed to handle the higher RPMs. These enhancements make the VQ35HR more powerful, with horsepower ranging from 260 to over 300.

Comparing the VQ35DE vs the VQ35HR Engines

Performance Differences

When it comes to performance, the VQ35HR generally has a slight edge. Its modifications allow it to deliver a crisper throttle response and more power at high RPMs. However, the DE is by no means a slouch and still offers robust performance.

Fuel Economy

Fuel efficiency between the two engines is relatively similar, but the HR's advanced features may result in slightly better fuel economy in some driving conditions. However, the actual MPG can vary based on the vehicle and driving style.

Reliability and Maintenance

Both variants are known for their reliability, but the HR comes with a few updates that can extend its lifespan even further. That said, the DE has proven itself time and time again as a dependable engine, making either choice a reliable option.

What Vehicles Come Equipped with a VQ35?

During its long production run, the Nissan VQ35DE and VQ35HR were used in cars, trucks and SUVs across a wide variety of manufacturers under both the Nissan/Renault umbrella and outside of it.

North American Vehicles

  • 2001 – 2004 Nissan Pathfinder

  • 2001 – 2004 Infiniti Q4X

  • 2002 – present Nissan Maxima

  • 2002 – 2004 Infiniti I35

  • 2002 – 2018 Nissan Altima

  • 2002 – 2008 Infiniti FX35

  • 2002 – 2006 Nissan 350Z

  • 2003 – 2007 Infiniti G35

  • 2003 – present Nissan Murano

  • 2004 – 2017 Nissan Quest

  •  2004 – 2008 Infiniti M35

  • 2013 – present Nissan Pathfinder

  • 2013 Infiniti JX35

  • 2013 – 2016 Infiniti QX60

International Market Vehicles

  • 2000 – present Nissan Elgrand

  • 2001 – 2009 Renault Vel Satis

  • 2001 – 2007 Nissan Stagea

  • 2002 – 2007 Nissan Skyline

  • 2003 – 2004 Formula Renault V6 Eurocup

  • 2003 – 2004 Tatuus Formula V6

  • 2003 – 2009 Nissan Presage

  • 2003 – present Nissan Teana

  • 2004 – 2007 Nissan Fuga 350 GT

  • 2005 – 2007 Dallara T05

  • 2005 – 2006 Nismo Fairlady Z S-Tune GT

  • 2005 – 2007 Dallara T05

  • 2006 – present Renault Samsung SM7

  • 2008 – present Renault Laguna Coupé

  • 2008 – 2011 Dallara T08

  • 2010 – present Renault Latitude

  • 2012 – Dallara T12

Nissan VQ35 Engine Performance Specs

Engine Performance Numbers

Stock VQ35 Engine Power Numbers

In its factory setting, the VQ35 engine packs quite a punch, especially when it comes to horsepower. With the DE variant, you can expect anywhere from 230 to 280 horsepower depending on the model and year. The HR takes it up a notch, offering a range from about 260 to over 300 horsepower. These aren't just numbers on a sheet; you'll feel that power every time you step on the gas. Whether you're looking for smooth daily driving or you want that extra oomph for spirited rides, both the DE and HR variants deliver in spades.

Acceleration Stats

In its stock form, the VQ35 engine gives you plenty to smile about. Whether it’s the DE or the HR variant, you're looking at a 0-60 mph time ranging from around 5.5 to 7 seconds, depending on the car it's in. These engines are not just about moving from point A to B; they're about getting there quickly and with style.

Top Speeds

As for top speeds, you're generally looking at a range of 130 to 155 mph. Again, these figures can vary based on the car model and specific engine variant.

How To Add More Power To Your VQ35

Popular Performance Upgrades

For those wanting to go beyond stock performance, the VQ35 offers an extensive aftermarket. From cold air intakes and exhaust systems to advanced ECU tuning, the options are almost endless. You can easily bump the horsepower by 20 to 50, depending on how deep your pockets are.

Forced Induction Upgrades

While the VQ35 doesn't come boosted from the factory, there are multiple aftermarket turbo and supercharger kits available. Adding a turbo or supercharger can significantly boost performance but remember, going down this route will need a good deal of expertise and potentially increase engine wear.

How To Make Your VQ35 Get Better MPGs

Fuel Saving Techniques

If you’re more into optimizing for efficiency than pushing the speedometer, you can do that too. Simple things like keeping the air filter clean and running higher-grade fuel can make a noticeable difference.

Modifications for Better Mileage

Additionally, lighter wheels and low-resistance tires can improve fuel economy. ECU remapping specifically for better mileage can also be an option, but be cautious; modifying engine settings should only be done by professionals.


Common Nissan VQ35 Mechanical Issues

While the VQ35 engine is generally reliable, there are some mechanical issues that owners should be aware of, ranked from most to least common:

Oil Consumption

Excessive oil consumption is the most commonly reported issue, especially in older or high-mileage engines. Causes often include worn piston rings or faulty PCV valves. The fix typically involves replacing these parts, which can be somewhat costly but is crucial to prevent future complications related to high oil consumption issues in these Nissan engines.

Timing Chain Noise

This issue is less frequent but still significant. Owners report noise coming from the timing chain, particularly during cold starts. This could be due to a stretched chain or worn tensioners and guides. Replacement of these parts is advised to avoid severe engine damage.

Ignition Coil Issues

While not overly common, problems with the ignition coils can degrade the VQ35's performance and even cause engine misfires. Symptoms may include a rough idle or loss of power, especially under load. Replacing the coils is the go-to solution and should be done promptly to prevent further engine issues.

Valve Cover Leaks

This is the least common among the listed issues but can still occur. Valve cover leaks can lead to oil leaks and potentially a smoky exhaust if oil drips onto the hot exhaust manifold. Addressing this issue involves replacing the valve cover gaskets to ensure a proper seal.


Nissan VQ35 Maintenance Tips

Oil Change Intervals

For a VQ35, regular oil changes are crucial. Depending on your driving habits, an oil change is generally recommended every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

Important Parts to Check Regularly

Beyond oil, regularly check your coolant levels, air filter, and belts. Consistent attention to these components can help you avoid unwanted surprises down the road.


Are Nissan VQ35 Engines Expensive To Own?

Repair Costs

Ownership of a VQ35 engine is generally affordable in terms of repairs. Due to its popularity, parts are readily available and many mechanics are familiar with the engine, which keeps labor costs reasonable.

Parts Availability and Cost

One of the benefits of the VQ35’s widespread use is the availability of parts. Whether you're shopping for OEM or aftermarket parts, you'll find plenty of options. Prices can vary but are usually moderate, making it easier to maintain or upgrade your engine.

OverRev’s Nissan VQ35 Engine Guide

"015A3290_resized_no_watermark" by Cook24v is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The Nissan VQ35 is a jack-of-all-trades, excelling in performance, reliability, and fuel efficiency. Whether you're after a nimble sports car or a reliable family SUV, this engine won't let you down. Its well-rounded capabilities and robust aftermarket support make it a top pick, whether you're a casual driver or an automotive tuner.

If you're keen on maximizing the potential of this versatile engine, don't miss our comprehensive tuning guides for the Nissan 350Z and G35 Coupe. These guides delve deep into the world of performance enhancements, giving you the tools you need to make your vehicle truly your own.

Thanks for reading, and here's to many happy miles ahead with your VQ35 engine!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many miles can a VQ35 last?

Absolutely. With proper maintenance, these engines can easily reach the 200,000-mile mark.

What cars are equipped with the VQ35?

The VQ35 has been used in various models like the Nissan 350Z, Altima, Maxima, and Murano, as well as some Infiniti models like the G35.

How much does it cost to maintain a VQ35?

Maintenance costs are moderate. Regular oil changes, air filter replacements, and other routine tasks are all that's typically needed.

Can the VQ35 be turbocharged?

Yes, aftermarket turbo kits are available for those looking to significantly boost performance.

How much power does the VQ35DE and VQ35HR make?

The VQ35DE and VQ35DE Rev Up produces between 230 to 280 horsepower, and the VQ35HR ranges from 260 to over 300 horsepower.

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