cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

First Look Review: 2023 Nissan Z

Once you become an icon, you can choose to go by a shorter name. A-Rod, Bruce, The King, LeBron. Fame bestows brevity. It can work with cars, too, as Nissan has demonstrated with the new Z. No numbers. Just "Z". Nissan's sports car has, no question, earned this status.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/new-car-reviews/first-look-review-2023-nissan-z/
32 REPLIES 32
Snailish
Instructor

A good review. Z cars beyond the early years are due for more love. The comments about ride firmness are interesting and I totally agree we are on a 10+ year bender of sporty = rides like an unloaded 1 ton. I'm 6'1" and fit great in the 2005 era Mustang (at least with the 6-way power seat) and that is often the sticking point with cars like this along with poor visibility.

The long platform/run of the previous generation is an asset to enthusiasts. I get that the typical auto writer habitually goes into the cliche bin to make comments about any "platform" that is older than 3 years as a negative, it would be nice for Hagerty to do a workshop with their writers and get past this trope.

The vast majority of platform changes seem to be about: obsoleting parts, overcomplicating things that already worked fine, and making a change so you can say it is all-new. Something that a consumer would actually notice and appreciate --in most cases no.
banditracing
Intermediate Driver

Thanks Snailish. This is Eddy, the author. We talked about the platform thing a bit, and I agree with you. There are a few cars out there that are plenty fun using "dated" platforms, and as you mention, a known commodity is a good thing for enthusiasts. I included it to acknowledge the internet criticism (and how wrong it can be) that's been going on from the reveal to now-- the fact is that despite the old platform, Nissan created a fundamentally different and better car without breaking the bank.
buellerdan
Instructor

And without shared platforms, there may not be the justification for many manufacturers to produce enthusiast vehicles such as these.
hyperv6
Racer

Share platforms and parts bins are key to lower cost sports cars today. The Miata sell well but needed Fiat sharing to hold cost down. 

The Solstice  and Sky relied on parts bins. 

Even then updates are sparse and car lives are 10 years or less on average. 

autowriter
Detailer


As an owner of two S30 280Z's, I am pleased to see that Nissan has managed to refine the original design once again in its new offering. My 1978 Black Pearl was perhaps the best car I have ever owned, or ever will again. But after 39 years, I sold it because there was Nothing I could think of doing to it that would have made it better. The only thing I have issues with in the new one is turbocharging. I much prefer normally aspirated engines, even if they have less horsepower than the turbo engines. They are simpler to live with overall. A n/a version would be somewhat less expensive, and still deliver excellent performance in its class. But overall, kudos to the Nissan team. There will be no misidentifying the car when seen on the road.
Air_and_Water
Instructor

I've wondered recently if a non-turbo could eventually be offered as a base model. It would probably compete very favorably with the 2.0 Supra (and certainly undercut the price since the base model already does!), plus would have the added benefit of being offered with a manual, which the 2.0 Supra will not. If automobile production ever comes back to previous levels I could see Nissan wanting to sell a greater number, though certainly not in this era of limited inventory.
Nfolse33
Pit Crew

With the VQ engine all but dead. It could have a place with the 300hp/300tq option from the Infiniti lineup. We will see though
JoshHoward
Intermediate Driver

2.0 Supras as selling even fewer than the 6cyl. There is zero need for a non-turbo version of this car. Nissan, looking back to the 300zx, only has to see how sales numbers worked out for a "base" non-turbo car. They were awful. As a "slicktop" owner of a Z32, I can tell you there's a reason they're rare. NO ONE BOUGHT THEM.

Given that it's a tough sell to even get a coupe out the door these days, they made the right choice by doing twin turbo and charging what they needed to. The car is finally competitive in the coupe market again.
autowriter
Detailer

Few Z32s were ordered directly.  Most were bought off the lots.  At the time, the dealers ordered what they thought might sell.  So they ordered T-tops, believing that almost all of their customers would want them.  Those who requested a slicktop coupe were told they were not available, unless they wanted to wait for a year to get them.  As a result, there were few available more because the dealers simply didn't order them in the first place.  As for the twin turbos, now those were unusual because there was a group of buyers who wanted a Go Fast car.  Within only a few years, most of them had been pretty well wrung out, and it was difficult to find a good one anywhere in the used market.  

ROBBO99
Detailer

Dont like the new body style at all it looks very bland . Nothing exciting or special it looks like a scion to me .
JoshHoward
Intermediate Driver

Hello single person that thinks it doesn't look exciting or special.

LOL
hyperv6
Racer

He is not alone. Like most sports cars from Japan they tend to be bland or copies. 

The original Z was nice and copied much from Jag. This one they really missed it on the nose. 

Air_and_Water
Instructor

Just what car do you think this emulates?

I think it looks outstanding in a field of overly styled blobs festooned with fake vents. By "field" I mean "Supra".
Nfolse33
Pit Crew

Hi, my question is for the lower trim level in a Manual. Do you think they will have the lsd and rev matching as an option? Personally I would love the bigger brakes but don’t need the bigger tires/extra luxury items. I would be disappointed if I couldn’t get rev matching and an lsd as an option though. Thanks
banditracing
Intermediate Driver

Several of us asked that question at the event. As of this time, they won't offer specific Performance trim parts as individual options on the base Sport. I spoke with them about the LSD and brakes in particular. Nissan figures if someone is going to heavily track day or race the base car, they'll look to the aftermarket or NISMO for those parts.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

This car is going to be fun. Unlike the BMW Supra it is a true Japanese sports car. From what I have seen this is the better driving car with predictable handling. I wish you can get the base with the LSD and brakes.
Nfolse33
Pit Crew

I just asked that question to see if it was at least available as an option. LSD and rev matching are #1 and #2 for me then brakes.
CitationMan
Gearhead

I think this car is going to be around a long time, so there’s going to be further iterations and special editions to keep demand up. If you want to see an impressive deep dive on this vehicle that explains much, watch the new Savage Geese video. It’s excellent and you get a great appreciation for what Nissan has accomplished. Hopefully this car creates competition among the few sports cars left for manufacturers to up their game.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

I should have mentioned his video as I watched it this morning.  It is an excellent video and will likely get you excited about the new car. 

 

Savagegeese...

 

https://youtu.be/ekEM3VyaDow

We do a complete docu-review on the new 2023 Nissan Z which includes interviews with the creators, and engineers. We also detail the technical changes, and i...
CitationMan
Gearhead

Savage Geese review videos are the best online along with the Jason Cammisa videos. No one else even comes close. I’m getting tired of all the cliched YouTube clowns screaming “Woohoo!” in their reviews, but not explaining what the car actually is. Too many reviewers follow the herd and have no original thoughts.

CitationMan
Gearhead

The Z Cammisa Drag Race Replay video on Hagerty is also excellent. The production values are over the top.

He made a great point that instead of screwing up the gearing of the manual gearbox of the Z to meet noise regulations, as Porsche has done on its manuals, Nissan just used a quieter muffler, knowing owners would just replace the muffler anyway.
Good job Nissan!

PC6
Pit Crew

Love the Z and soo happy Nissan made the move. Had 280Z for more than 20 yrs and loved it.

My only issue based on what I have read is I hate exclusively black wheels and what is the deal with the front grill? Finish it down to the valance!!!! Thanks
Air_and_Water
Instructor

There was much criticism of the grille because of how tall it was. It looked like a gaping maw, and they did it this way (with the silver/gray) to imply width without making a major change at the last second. Personally I'd like a bit of body color to split it and accentuate the horizontality a bit more, but I don't mind it the way it is.
hyperv6
Racer

Well while mechanically fine the design just has so little soul to it. 

The best sports cars from Japan have had styling stolen from others like the original Z has a good bit of XKE in it. The Miata has a lot of Lotus. 

While they tried to inject some of the original car here in the roof the nose really missed the mark. But it is better than most efforts. 

 

As for life of this car you had better buy one while you can. It matters little but outside the Corvette and Miata most two seat cars no matter how good are dead in ten years or less. these are limited markets and most see limited lives. 

Add to this the economy as if it gets tougher it could lead to shorter lives od limited production models. They are often the first to die. 

Add to this the migration to electric could be the end of a number of small sports car. 

erne75
Advanced Driver

Kudos to Nissan for the new Z. Specially for keeping the manual. That alone will make it a better seller than the BMW, Toyota tried to pass as the new Supra. I owned a 96 TwinTurbo and an 08 350Z but after Nissan went downhill in the quality department I have never looked at them the same way. This car looks like tons of fun but I cant justify it over my paid off 15 Mustang GT.
MustangJim
Technician

Thanks for another great new car review! I've been waiting for reviews of this since the initial teaser photos. To me, the styling is a home run, retro but modern. I think this is just what Nissan needed to rekindle its performance image. Having a V6 rather then a turbo 4 ( yes, twin turbo V6 is all good) is a plus and having a manual trans withougt having to buy the premium model. Hopefully there will be a n.a. version at a lower price point in the future but that I doubt..with the low production numbers that these cars will have they need to max. profits and everything is over 40 grand anyway... If I was shopping I would definately want to drive this car...and the regulars here know it takes a lot to get me out of a Ford 🙂
espo70
Advanced Driver

Sorry, at 40 grand an LSD, 19" wheels and bigger brakes should be standard. This is supposed to be a hi-po sports car. 10 grand more is way too much of a price stretch to get these items, even if it includes leather and a 1 inch bigger touchscreen. They should have priced a performance package for around 3 grand on the base car. As it stands, a budget Z is going to make a new owner feel like he made the budget decision, and that's no fun.
xisme
New Driver

Too bad the front end is just Butt Ugly, seems to be a trend in Nissan and Toyota last few years. Rest of the car looks pretty good, but ugh that big open chunk under the grill, looks like a part fell off.
brb
Instructor

Good write up. I look forward to seeing a Z in person.
Lowpass
Pit Crew

I prefer the Z styling to the Supra. The Supra has random bulges and creases for no apparent reason and the nose makes a catfish look handsome. Also prefer the non-BMW powerplant of the Z. Looked up the weight on the Z and it seems to a bit pudgy at around 3600#. Seems to be the trend with modern sports cars. My all aluminum Jaguar F-type V8 is advertised at 3647 which is understated by 150# or so. The days of the sub 2500# sports cars are long gone. Would consider a Z if they made a convertible model. Of course that would be heavier yet!
ladycarlover
Intermediate Driver

I just love how the Z looks f-a-s-s-s-s-s-t just sitting still!
Smilodon
Advanced Driver

I'm sure it's a sweet ride, Nissan built the original, and generations of the GT-R, so it has the DNA. I wonder why the tester needed lights to tell when to shift; I'm an always stick guy, the car itself tells me- maybe I haven't spent enough time hypnotized by my phone? My built '04 Holden/Pontiac GTO has a Tremec with a B&M Ripshifter (short shifter, very notchy and somewhat agricultural, can't be broken), the tach, feel, and sound tell me when to shift- and I've owned it long enough I seldom look at the tach. I guess I'm a modern Luddite, I prefer a direct connection between my hands and the control surfaces, and don't appreciate my machines telling me what to do, or interfering when they "know better". Yeah, stuff it, I know modern automatics are faster, quarter mile and curvy stuff. But- a: if you're good on a stick, against someone who doesn't run as a lifestyle, you'll smoke 'em anyway, been there done that; and: b) jamming your own gears is more engaging and fun, win or lose. Save the Manuals!