Is the 2023 Nissan Z a Good Car?
Yes, the Nissan Z is a good car. Fully redesigned for 2023, the Z is better than it has been in a long time. A potent 400-horsepower engine, deft handling and a surprisingly comfortable ride start the list of highlights. Inside, there are plenty of quality materials, modern features and two welcoming seats.
The Z’s so-so ranking among sports cars is mostly due to the strength of the competition. Many rivals are just outright more engaging to drive or they offer more cargo space.
Should I Buy the 2023 Nissan Z?
You should buy the Z if you’re a longtime fan of the Z line and like this vastly improved model. If you’re considering any two-seat sports car, this Nissan merits a lot of consideration. However, with a base price of about $40,000 – and a roughly $50,000 version that should be the pick for enthusiasts – you may find that it’s not a good value.
There’s a lot more affordable fun available in the form of the Toyota GR86 and the Mazda MX-5 Miata. More in line with the Z’s price range are the aggressive Toyota Supra and performance trims of the venerable Ford Mustang.
2020 vs. 2023 Nissan Z: What’s the Difference?
The 2023 Z is fully redesigned, ushering in the car’s seventh generation. In addition to revamped styling, the 2023 model gets a stronger 400-horsepower engine, a classier interior design, loads of new infotainment and active safety technology and a better balance of ride and handling attributes. All told, the 2023 Z is greatly changed – and much better – than the 2020 370Z that it ultimately replaces. Nissan did not offer a Z for the 2021 and 2022 model years.
This is the first time in the North American market that the Z comes with no numerical attachment, contrasting to prior versions such as the 350Z and 370Z.
If you’re considering an older Z-car model, be sure to read our 2018 370Z, 2019 370Z and 2020 370Z reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.
How Much Does the 2023 Nissan Z Cost?
The 2023 Nissan Z starts at $39,990, which is by far the highest base price among affordable sports cars. Nearly all class rivals retail for between $25,000 and $30,000. However, the Z’s price ceiling of around $50,000 is in line with higher trims of some other cars in the segment.
Nissan Z Versus the Competition
Nissan Z vs. Toyota Supra
The Toyota Supra was right in Nissan’s crosshairs when it was developing the redesigned Z. The Supra is a two-seat, two-door luxury sports car that features a high-end cabin, deft handling, good fuel economy and a solid amount of cargo space. With the Z, you can get 400 horsepower for less than $40,000; the Supra comes standard with a 255-horsepower four-cylinder for around $43,000, and there’s a 382-horsepower, six-cylinder model for around $51,500. Though the Toyota is a little more expensive for a comparable level of performance, it’s more well-rounded than the Nissan in most other areas.
Nissan Z vs. Ford Mustang
The Ford Mustang is a perennial challenger for a top ranking among sports cars. With multiple powertrain options, several more powerful trims and a wide range of prices, it’s easy to match a Mustang to your budget and appetite for performance. The Ford retails for about $13,000 less than the Z, but it comes standard with a punchy 310-horsepower engine and seating for four. Within the Mustang stable, closer competitors to the Z’s price and power are the 460-horsepower V8 GT (around $37,000) and the 480-horsepower Mach 1 (about $53,000). This Ford hustles through corners and offers a spacious cargo hold, plus it’s available as a convertible. For most buyers, the Mustang is a better pick than the Z.
Z Performance: Heart-Pumping
2023 Z Engine
The 2023 Nissan Z is outfitted with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine making 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. This mill is shared with the Infiniti Q50 and Q60 Red Sport performance models, and it’s right at home in the Z, too. Ample torque comes on low in the rev range, propelling you off the line as the rest of the power kicks in smooth and strong.
Transmission choices include a six-speed manual or a nine-speed automatic. You really can’t go wrong with either. The manual offers sleek and precise operation. It’s the clear choice for ultimate driver engagement, and if you spring for the Z Performance trim, you’ll get SynchroRev Match that helps with downshifts.
The automatic is a better pick to get the most out of the powertrain. Ripping off snappy shifts, it allows the car to get to a level that most drivers likely won’t be able to match by rowing their own gears. The Z Performance model with the automatic transmission features a rocketlike launch control mode.
2023 Z Ride and Handling
Along with the improvements under the hood, the 2023 Z rides and handles better than the 370Z it replaces. The Z dives willingly into corners and comes out unscathed, exhibiting just enough body lean to communicate the limits. Braking is strong, with larger discs in the available Z Performance model offering better stopping power. A retuned suspension provides a softer ride quality that’s much more livable for day-to-day driving than the raw and sometimes harsh setup of the 370.
With the redesign, Nissan gives the Z electric steering that results in sharp, accurate mobility. However, there’s a little more disconnect from the road than what the 370Z’s hydraulic steering allowed.
How Fast Is the 2023 Nissan Z?
Nissan has not published official acceleration figures for the new Z, but the company estimates that zero-to-60-mph times have been improved by about 15% over the 370Z.
Does the 2023 Nissan Z Have All-Wheel Drive?
No, the Nissan Z is rear-wheel drive only.
2023 Z Gas Mileage
The 2023 Z gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway when equipped with its manual transmission. Fuel economy for automatic models comes in at 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
Z Interior: Updated and Still Driver-Centric
2023 Z Interior Quality
The full redesign brings a breadth of improvement for the 2023 Z’s cabin. Everything looks and feels fresh and modern, and there are enough high-quality materials to justify the car’s price. Three performance gauges atop the dash are a cool nod to the model’s history.
It’s not all peachy, though. Some interior pieces are clearly pulled out of the retired 2020 370Z, which itself went more than a decade without a total revamp. Also, a fair bit of road and wind noise permeates the cabin to remind you that you’re not in a luxury car.
2023 Z Infotainment, Bluetooth and Navigation
In-cabin technology is another huge leap the new Z makes compared to its predecessor. Smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay debut in a Z-car for the first time, and the main infotainment touch screen generally works well. However, the graphics still feel a bit dated.
More laudable is the fully digital instrument cluster. It’s configurable for viewing different pages and car information. This display looks brilliant and is easy to glance at when driving.
To the delight of many, controls for things like climate, audio volume and tuning are still in the form of ergonomic physical buttons and knobs.
- Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, satellite radio, voice recognition and two USB ports
- Available infotainment features: a 9-inch touch screen, navigation, a Wi-Fi hot spot and an eight-speaker Bose stereo
- Additional standard features: a digital instrument cluster, proximity keyless entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and automatic climate control
- Other available features: a universal garage door opener
2023 Z Cargo Space
The Z has around 7 cubic feet of trunk space, which is typical for a smaller sports car. Keep in mind that the cargo hold opens to the rest of the cabin, meaning that the entire rear window lifts up when you open the hatch. If you pack the back to the brim with gear, you’ll have some rear visibility issues.
How Many People Does the 2023 Z Seat?
Like its immediate predecessors, the newest Nissan Z is a two-seat sports car. It’s easy to find an agreeable driving position, aided by a newly available telescoping steering wheel. The seats provide solid side bolstering without impeding your entry or egress.
Taller occupants should have sufficient head- and legroom in everyday outings. However, if you plan on taking the car to the track, headroom will be more limited for taller drivers wearing a helmet.
2023 Z and Child Car Seats
The two-seat Nissan Z does not have LATCH car-seat connectors. We do not recommend installing a car seat in the front row of any vehicle.
Is the 2023 Nissan Z Reliable?
The 2023 Nissan Z does not have a predicted reliability score at the time of writing.
2023 Nissan Z Warranty
Nissan covers the Z with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
2023 Z Crash Test Results
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2023 Z.
2023 Z Safety Features
Standard driver-assistance features:
- Forward collision warning
- Forward automatic emergency braking
- Pedestrian detection
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Lane departure warning
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Adaptive cruise control
- Automatic high-beam headlights
- Rearview camera
Available driver-assistance features:
2023 Z Dimensions and Weight
The Z is 14.4 feet long, and its curb weight ranges from 3,486 to 3,602 pounds.
Where Is the 2023 Nissan Z Built?
Nissan builds the 2023 Z in Japan.
Which Nissan Z Model Is Right for Me?
The 2023 Nissan Z comes in two main trims – Sport and Performance – plus a limited edition Proto Spec that mostly features cosmetic differences. All models have a 400-horsepower engine and rear-wheel drive and can be equipped with a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission.
If you’re buying the Z for its performance and you have the extra $10,000 in your budget, spring for the aptly named Performance trim. You’ll get goodies like launch control, upgraded brakes and suspension and lightweight wheels, as well as a slew of interior upgrades that aren’t available in the base model.
The 2023 Nissan Z Sport starts at $39,990. Standard features include cloth upholstery, manually adjustable seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, proximity keyless entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic climate control, a digital instrument cluster and an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, satellite radio, voice recognition and two USB ports.
The Z also comes standard with forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights and a rearview camera.
With a base price of $49,990, the Nissan Z Performance adds a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch lightweight RAYS wheels, a limited-slip differential, larger brakes, red brake calipers, launch control (for automatic models), automatic rev matching (for manual models), a rear spoiler, enhanced seat side bolsters and aluminum sport pedals.
This trim also features leather upholstery, four-way power-adjustable and heated seats, suede door trim, a 9-inch touch screen, navigation, a Wi-Fi hot spot, an eight-speaker Bose stereo, a premium leather steering wheel, heated outside mirrors and a universal garage door opener.
Limited to just 240 models, the $52,990 Nissan Z Proto Spec builds on the Performance trim with yellow brake calipers, trim-specific yellow interior stitching and accents and bronze wheels.
Why You Can Trust Our Reviews
U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry.
This 2023 Z review combines 13 professional reviews with concrete data like performance specs, fuel economy estimates and cargo space dimensions.
Check out excerpts from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.
- “It’s easy to like the new Z, but it’s too early to say we’ve completely fallen for it. … But accolades don’t always translate into sales success, and vicious competition means we won’t know if it’s true love until we compare the Z to its enemies.” — Car and Driver
- “The new 2023 Nissan Z’s updates transform the two-seater into a modern, fun-to-drive sports car that still honors the nameplate’s rich heritage.” — Cars.com
- “The new Z is a wonderfully engaging sports car to drive with no pretensions about being something it’s not.” — Forbes