4 Complaints Consumer Reports Has About the 2023 Nissan Z

It’s newly available and turning heads. The 2023 Nissan Z sports a redesign with a nod to its iconic style. And it feels like Nissan is getting back in touch with its performance side too. This two-door machine harnesses impressive horsepower and has plenty to offer. Though the general buzz about the 2023 Nissan Z is positive, Consumer Reports has a few complaints.

CR testers recently weighed in with insights on this redesigned gem after renting a 2023 Nissan Z Performance model. Here are four aspects of this sports car they don’t like.

1. The automatic transmission doesn’t complement the engine

Starting at just under $40,000 for the Sport trim and $50,000 for the Performance trim, the 2023 Nissan Z packs significant power. The 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 in both models harnesses 400 hp. But Consumer Reports isn’t impressed with the nine-speed automatic transmission. You could opt for the six-speed manual transmission and wouldn’t be disappointed. However, the automatic is “a real weak point” that detracts from the driving experience, CR says.

With an engine this powerful, it’s a shame the automatic transmission doesn’t complement it. Consumer Reports says it shifts too slowly, with somewhat of a delayed response. That’s even when you’re engaging the paddle shifters. There’s an overall lack of “immediacy” that an engine this fiery deserves.

2. The 2023 Nissan Z’s seat controls are in a weird spot

2023 Nissan Z Consumer Reports
2023 Nissan Z cockpit | Nissan Motor Corporation

Typically, the controls for the driver’s seat are on the left. And this is where Consumer Reports’ second gripe comes in about the 2023 Nissan Z.

The power controls for forward, backward, and reclining functions are on the right side of the seat. They’re difficult to locate, and the controls’ angle makes them “awkward to operate.”

If there’s only one driver where you could “set and forget” the seat settings, it probably wouldn’t be a concern. But for multiple drivers, adjusting the seat is a pain.

3. The 2023 Nissan Z has awkward cargo space

If you’re looking to buy a 2023 Nissan Z, you probably aren’t concerned about hauling people and things. After all, it’s sports car. But this model has dismal cargo space, worse than you might expect.

Consumer Reports says it’s worth noting this car’s cabin space is “shallow, top to bottom.” The shock towers interrupt otherwise usable space, as does the cross brace.

You’ll find somewhat handy storage bins behind the seats and pocket-sized compartments. But they won’t be helpful because they’re hard to reach, requiring you to move the seats to get to them.

4. Consumer Reports testers knock the ‘crude’ grille

The 2023 Nissan Z boasts sleek styling on its redesigned exterior. Consumer Reports calls it a “beautiful” head-turner. The chrome on the roofline is “tasteful,” and the “attractively crafted rear” is stunning. But you might not like the Z’s smile.

Instead of using a single grille surface, the Z has two panels, one recessed. CR says it looks like a piece is missing. At best, the front-end smile looks like it needs braces.

Consumer Reports refers to it as a “crude” grille. It’s rectangular and feels awkward compared with all the sloping lines this car features so well. Past Nissan Z generations had this grille. So maybe the automaker revived it to pay homage to previous designs. Nissan USA even uses the phrase “past meets future” to describe the new Z. Regardless, the folks at CR aren’t fans, saying that nostalgia aside, the grille doesn’t align with the rest of the car’s sleekness. 

Despite those drawbacks, the 2023 Nissan Z is worth a look if you want a fun and sporty two-door.

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