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A world with cars like the Nissan Z is a better place. Though it might not offer the practicality of a sedan or the convenience of an SUV, the Z exists for the joy of driving. It boasts the quick acceleration and excellent handling that make any road a playground for driving enthusiasts. Additionally, the 2023 Nissan Z includes the latest technology and advanced driver assists in a package that still nods to the original Z car’s styling

The new Nissan Z is arguably the best yet. Still, all sports cars have inherent drawbacks. Those tradeoffs are the reasons why these vehicles don’t appeal to everyone. So with that in mind, here are three reasons to choose and three to skip the 2023 Nissan Z. 

3 reasons to choose the 2023 Nissan Z

2023 Nissan Z, 400Z, Nissan Z, Z car
2023 Nissan Z | Nissan Motor Corporation

1. Manual transmission option

Few new cars offer a manual transmission. The truth is, modern automatic gearboxes are so much better than the “slushboxes” of old and, in many cases, provide better performance than a manual transmission. Modern automatics shift faster, accelerate harder, and get better fuel economy. Plus, they’re much better at figuring out the gear in which you want to be. 

But for some people, rowing your own gears is part of the sports car experience. It makes the car more “analog” and provides a feeling of control. And if you enjoy the art of heel-toe downshifting, there’s nothing you’d rather drive.  

2. Powerful V6 engine

The Nissan Z has always been motivated by a six-cylinder engine, and the latest version is the most powerful yet. Its 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 sends 400 hp to the rear wheels. Unlike other sports cars in its class (cough-cough, BMW-powered Supra), the Z packs an engine that’s all Nissan, as is the rest of the car.  

3. Flashy and updated design 

The 2023 Nissan Z looks amazing and nails the balance of modern yet classic style. Its front and side views resemble the original 240Z yet are distinctively contemporary. The rear shows some semblance of the 300ZX from the ’90s. And though the interior has touches that nod to previous Z cars, it’s modern and includes everything you’d expect in a premium vehicle. 

3 reasons to skip the 2023 Nissan Z

1. Road noise 

Part of the sports car experience is the visceral thrill of connecting to the road. But that connection comes at a price, notably noise. The 2023 Nissan Z’s engine and exhaust are louder than before, as are road noise and tire noise. So the interior isn’t as quiet as the average SUV. 

For some drivers, the extra noise is part of the experience. For others, it gets old in a hurry. The dream of canyon carving while winding through the gears dims to the reality of slogging through a daily commute in stop-and-go traffic.  

2. Heavy body 

That Nissan starts the Z at under $40,000 is commendable. But its affordability comes at a price: added weight. To keep costs down, the automaker built the Z on the corporate FM platform, which underpins the Infiniti Q50 sedan. It’s a good chassis setup with the engine placed behind the front wheels for better weight distribution. But it’s heavy. 

The Z’s curb weight is 3,500 pounds, per Nissan. Compare that number to the 2,800-pound Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 or the under-2,500-pound Mazda MX-5 Miata. Weight is the enemy of performance because it slows the car’s reflexes and saps power.   

3. Cramped cabin  

Space is at a premium in sports cars, and the 2023 Nissan Z is no different. Though it shares a platform with the Q50, you wouldn’t know it. Space in the front seat is reasonable, but there’s no back seat. And storage space is almost nonexistent. Popping the rear hatch reveals a scant seven cubic feet. A sizable crossbar for the rear suspension further burdens the shallow trunk and limits luggage room and rear visibility.