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When it comes to nostalgic sports cars, no two cars bring up more memories from the 90s era than the Nissan Z and the Toyota Supra. Back then, they were rivals and offered buyers a visceral feeling with turbocharged engines and spritely handling. Both cars are back for 2023 and now offer more high-tech goodies than those cars from the 90s could only dream of.

And while we can easily compare the 2023 Nissan Z and the Toyota Supra in terms of their performance, we thought it would be more interesting to see which one is more fuel-efficient. After all, they may be sports cars, but they are also geared toward daily driving.

The 2023 Toyota Supra is powered by a pair of BMW engines

The Toyota Supra is lighter and cheaper than the BMW Z4.
A new Supra | Toyota

By now, most enthusiasts are aware that the new-generation Toyota Supra is powered by a choice of BMW engines. The first engine, which is also the more-efficient one, is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. According to Toyota, it generates 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and can achieve up to 25 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. This engine is only mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that transmits the power to the rear wheels.

The optional engine found under the hood of the Supra 3.0 is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6. Power is the name of the game with this engine, it puts out 382 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. For 2023, this engine can be mated to either an eight-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission. However, if you want fuel efficiency, the automatic is the way to go with its EPA-estimated 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway ratings.

Opting to shift the gears yourself will lead to a 4-mpg deficit in both of those figures.

The 2023 Nissan Z is powered by a twin-turbo V6

The Nissan Z, like the BMW 230i, is faster than the Ford Mustang EcoBoost.
Nissan Z | Nissan

On the other end of the spectrum, the new 2023 Nissan Z is solely powered by a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V6 engine. It produces 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque and is able to produce up to 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg. However, that’s only if the 9-speed automatic transmission is connected to the engine. Opting for the six-speed manual transmission will lead to an EPA-estimated 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

In terms of cost vs performance, you can get more bang for your buck with the Nissan Z. In its base form, it produces more power than the entry-level Supra and costs a few grand less. However, if you want nicer amenities like a Bose sound system, 19-inch RAYS allow wheels, and limited-slip differential, then the Z Premium is the way to go. However, it costs $10,000 more.

Which legendary sports coupe is right for you?

The 2023 Nissan Z parked in a spot
The 2023 Nissan Z was my favorite car of the day. | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

If you’re basing your choice between one of these coupes solely on fuel efficiency, then the 2023 Toyota Supra 2.0 is the way to go. Sure, it may be down on power, but we were easily able to manage an average of 31 mpg during the time we had it. Even if you chose the more powerful Supra 3.0, you would still be ahead of curve over the Nissan Z when it comes to fuel economy. However, if you want more performance, the Nissan Z is the better choice.


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