All-New 2023 Nissan Z Combines Classic Cues, Modern Performance

Reborn sports car proves both evolutionary and thrilling to drive

2023 Nissan Z front driving at ATC Photo: John Powers/Consumer Reports

The reincarnated 2023 Nissan Z sports car draws elements and lines from the prior six generations, resulting in a design that is both fresh and immediately recognizable as a Z. It has the classic long, sloped hood and wide rear flanks that evoke the early versions of this storied nameplate, and numerous little details, like the grille and taillight shapes, that Nissan enthusiasts may recognize.

The new Z, which drops the numerical prefix, remains close to the mechanical formula honed over the last two generations. It looks evolutionary and more upscale than the previous 370Z that has been around for a decade.

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The Z is competing for a piece of the shrinking sports car market. Back in 2005, the 350Z sold more than 25,000 cars. Now sales are less than one-tenth of that. And the new car will have to compete against the similar—and highly engaging—Toyota Supra, as well as the revitalized albeit less expensive and less powerful Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86. Driving enthusiasts should applaud Nissan for investing in this significant redesign at a time when sales prospects are dwindling.

Having spent some quality time with the Z in the real world and on our track, we certainly celebrate the commitment and achievement. 

If you’re a Consumer Reports member, our initial expert assessment of the Nissan Z is available to you below. Once we purchase our own model and complete 2,000 break-in miles, we’ll put the Nissan Z through more than 50 tests at the CR Auto Test Center, including empirical measurements of acceleration, braking, handling, child car seat fit, and usability. CR members will have access to the full road-test results as soon as they’re available.

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What we rented: 2023 Nissan Z Performance
Powertrain: 400-hp, 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine; 6-speed manual or 9-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive 
MSRP: $49,990
Options: Floor mats, $400; illuminated kick plates, $500; two-tone paint, $1,295
Destination fee: $1,025
Total cost: $53,210

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