5 Things Consumer Reports Loves About the 2023 Nissan Z

The Nissan Z has been around since the ’60s. This iconic sports car has seen several redesigns, from the 240Z to the 370Z. And the 2023 Nissan Z, which drops the numerical prefix, boasts design elements from the past. Its long, sloped hood and the shape of its grille and taillights make this redesigned sports car instantly recognizable.

Consumer Reports testers recently rented the 2023 Nissan Z Performance trim. Here are five things they liked about the new model.

1. It sports a recognizable body design

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

Nissan didn’t stray far from from the Z’s winning body style. The long hood and wide rear make it instantly recognizable. However, Consumer Reports testers weren’t crazy about the rectangular grille despite its nod to earlier body styles.

But they loved the chrome strip on the roofline of the new Z. Compared side-by-side with the 1990 to 1996 300ZX, the 2023 Z’s rear is a clear nod to the classic.

2. The 2023 Nissan Z’s engine impresses Consumer Reports

The new Z’s 400-hp, 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine is an improvement over the previous 370Z’s 332 hp. Additionally, the automaker increased the torque from 270 lb-ft at 5,200 rpm to 350 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm and up to 5,200 rpm. The new 24-valve engine more than makes up for the additional 100-plus pounds of weight the new model has gained.

According to Nissan, the launch control, a first for the Z, maintains the engine at a preset rpm and modulates power as you accelerate to give you the fastest, most consistent acceleration every time, preventing wheel spin and wheel hop.

In addition, the 2023 Nissan Z features updated first- and second-gear synchros to better control the twin-turbo engine. CR isn’t crazy about the nine-speed automatic transmission and the controller with an unusual palm-shaped design. But you can use the available steering-wheel paddle shifters, adapted from the Nissan GT-R, for a more exhilarating drive.

3. Consumer Reports testers like the steering and handling

The 2023 Nissan Z retains a sizable portion of the underlying body structure from the 370Z, but Nissan claims strategic changes make it about 25% stiffer. That can help make the car feel more solid and optimize the suspension because it doesn’t need to account for as much body flex, Consumer Reports explains.

Furthermore, despite the switch from hydraulic to electric power steering (a first for the Z series), which can occasionally have an artificial feel, CR’s testers praise the steering’s impressive weighting and quick reflexes.

4. The 2023 Nissan Z boasts a quiet cabin

Consumer Reports reviewers praise the fact that the 2023 Nissan Z’s cabin noise is much more tolerable than previous models. But they say you’ll still hear enough turbo to know you’re are in a high-performance machine. However, they miss the “burble and crack” of the Supra’s exhaust, though they suspect aftermarket kits from Nismo could address that issue.

5. The 2023 Nissan Z price is attractive


Nissan Is Downsizing Its Lineup for 2022 by Cutting Two Models

Starting at $39,990 for the Sport trim and $49,990 for the Performance trim, the 2023 Nissan Z is an affordably priced sports car offering a choice between an automatic or manual transmission. Both models pack the same 3.0-liter 400-hp V6. The standard Z starts at $3,500 less than the base four-cylinder Toyota Supra and nearly $12,000 less than the six-cylinder Supra. 

As automakers drive toward electrification, this Z might be the last gas-powered revision we’ll see from Nissan. For now, the 2023 Nissan Z pays homage to its predecessors while still providing modern styling and technology.