Saturday, 22 June 2024

Long-awaited 2023 Nissan Z delivers old-school styling, sporty ride and modern tech

Posted On Sunday, 21 August 2022 03:57 Written by
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The 2023 Nissan Z is a seventh-generation two-seater sports car in a series whose history goes back to 1969. The 2023 Nissan Z is a seventh-generation two-seater sports car in a series whose history goes back to 1969. Photo courtesy of Nissan


“Wow. That’s a Nissan?”

This was a common expression I heard all week when people would walk by and stare at the 2023 Nissan Z I was test-driving.

The long-awaited vehicle — the 7th generation of the Z model aimed at driving enthusiasts — has finally arrived this summer, offering a more affordable option to fans of speed and power who don’t want to spend luxury dollars for a rear-wheel-drive coupe offering a pure thrill ride. With few true competitors — most notably the Toyota GR Supra — the latest Z has a great shot at drawing a significant fan base among devoted enthusiasts. 

In an era where most big launches are electric vehicles, the arrival of the new Z is a big deal.

The 2023 Nissan Z is the 7th generation of the Z legacy, which stretches back all the way to 1969. I was able to test a prototype of this highly anticipated sports car, and I’m back with a full report on the vehicle — which aims to continue the Z’s historic styling and sporty nature while adding in some modern tech features.


The 2023 Nissan Z is a rarity in today’s automotive world, as it comes only as a two-seater. The sleek throwback look features a unique front grille, a long hood, and a nicely angled rear design with spoiler.

The Z features LED headlamps and taillamps, and the prototype I drove featured a premium paint scheme called Passion Red TriCoat that was extremely eye-catching.

18-inch alloy wheels are standard on the base Sport model, but the Performance version will get you bumped up to 19-inch super lightweight alloy wheels. The Performance model also adds performance exhaust and heated mirrors.

Moving to the inside (what little there is), this is not a vehicle about practicality, it’s about what’s under the hood. So you just get a very minimal amount of storage space behind the two seats … So pack light. Calling this vehicle “snug” is being generous.

There are some strong elements to the interior, such as a leather steering wheel, leather upholstery with faux suede inserts, aluminum performance pedals, power adjustable heated seats, and automatic climate control. Materials used are decent quality, but won’t measure up to more costly luxury sport rides. There are also minimal small storage spots in the vehicle.


When we’re talking about the Z, this is what it’s all about: Performance.

In terms of specs, the 2023 Z comes equipped with a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V6 engine, and delivers a respectable 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. These numbers are a big boost from the 370Z model that this new Z replaces.

It’s a rear-wheel drive vehicle, and the save-the-manuals crowd will appreciate that the Z is offered with a 6-speed manual in addition to the 9-speed automatic transmission option. Even if you get the automatic option, paddle shifters are included to help you control the gears if you’d like.

Straight-line speed is stout, as the Z delivers a 0-to-60 time of just over 4 seconds.
Braking is quite impressive via the Nissan Performance brakes that are included, and the lowness of the seating design helps make the driving experience feel even more exciting — making you more connected to the road.

Also helping the ride quality is a mechanical limited slip differential that enhances traction to improve acceleration in the Z, and Launch Control that helps to adjust throttle and traction settings.

Whether I was driving the 2023 Nissan Z on a twisty road, on the highway or the neighborhood streets, I found myself truly loving every minute of the ride. It takes a bit to get used to the limited space of the two-seat setup, but once this bad boy gets moving you’ll be fully focused on the ride and forget about anything else.

The vehicle gets moving fast, is extremely responsive to driver input, handles tremendously well, and is extra nimble due to its small size.

Add this all together, and you’ll quickly realize that in a sports car at this price range, you’re going to find very few options that will perform in a manner that provides as complete of a driving performance as the 2023 Nissan Z.


There is a simple but user-friendly tech setup on the 2023 Nissan Z, keeping it modern amid the throwback styling.

The Sport model comes with an 8-inch touchscreen, but the Performance model upgrades it to 9 inches. A pair of USB ports come in all models, as does Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Satellite radio is standard, and Navigation comes with the Performance trim. The audio system offers six speakers on Sport model, and an eight-speaker Bose system on the Performance trim, which also offers a WiFi option.

Bluetooth allows for streaming of music and phone calls, and voice commands are effective.

On the safety front, you have to be realistic with a small, sporty vehicle like the Z. You’re not going to get the whole kit and kaboodle when it comes to safety features, but some of the most critical features are included — such as Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Forward Collision Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control.


Fuel mileage isn’t going to drive most choices in the sports car category, but for those keeping count, The 2023 Nissan offers respectable fuel mileage. Numbers on the automatic transmission come in at 19 city/28 highway/22 combined. Manual transmission will get you 18 city/24 highway/20 combined. 

The Toyota GR Supra offers numbers that are slightly better, but not enough to make a major difference in your pocketbook. If drivers are choosing between the two, it will come down to which car they feel drives the best. 


There are two main trim levels on the 2023 Nissan Z. The Sport model is priced starting around $40K, and the Performance starts at $50K. My test vehicle, a Performance model, had a final price tag of $53,610.

Additionally, an extremely limited edition Proto Spec version of the Z is being made, but good luck getting a hold of one of those.

This pricing compares favorably to the Z’s main nemesis, the Toyota GR Supra, which starts at around $44K. Beyond the Supra, the 2023 Z also compares very favorably in price to similar fun-sized sports cars from the luxury realm.


Nissan’s Z brand comes with a ton of awesome sports car history, so all industry eyes will be on this modernized throwback ride to see whether it can live up to that reputation.

And those eyes will be quite pleased with what they see, while drivers will also love the fun driving experience the 2023 Nissan Z offers. As a brand, Nissan could use a strong shot in the arm, and this will definitely do the trick — it almost perfectly straddles the future of driving with a strong nod to the past.

If you are someone who is looking for an attractive little ride that’s going to deliver a thrill every time you get behind the wheel, and will bring to you a pure joy of driving, the 2023 Nissan Z is made with people like you in mind, and for a much more affordable price than you might have imagined.

=== can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2023 Nissan Z
  • Price as tested: $53,610 (Starts around $40K) 
  • Best feature: Thrilling and powerful ride, beautiful throwback styling 
  • Rating: 4.5 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Fun, affordable sports car that revives a classic brand 
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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