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  • Writer's pictureMarc Gonzalez

2023 Nissan Z

Our website's name is Driving Fun and Family Car Reviews; whether you're a first-time visitor or a loyal follower, we're glad to have you here. This next vehicle puts the fun part at center stage; the seventh-generation Nissan Z is a rejuvenated icon. Thanks to its design, performance and driving experience, the nearly 55-year-old legend is making a comeback in probably one of the last generations as a gas-only vehicle as we head toward the electric future. Let's jump into it: Our test model had an MSRP of $63,784 and was built at the Tochigi, JPN plant.

Nissan Z in montreal
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

The design of the new Nissan Z is simply stunning. From every angle, it looks incredible. Naoyuki Ohkoshi, the designer for the exterior, has created a masterpiece that will transcend time; it is that good. Everybody looked at the vehicle in awe whenever we drove down the road. Of course, the colour helped; the Ikazuchi Yellow Tricoat brings out the different shapes of the car: the front end, the side profile and the rear end all look perfectly shaped. There are several nods to the original 1969 240z car, including the hood, fender-mounted Z logo, headlights, and front grille, while the 1990 300zx inspires the rear taillights. This new generation of Nissan Z cars remains true to its rich history. The 19-inch wheels are simple and look great; they perfectly complement the car's overall design, and you can easily see the red brake callipers. It's remarkable how it has a sleek coupe design while still being a hatchback.

Inside the new Z, the interior has been revamped. It's a modern interior with a new gauge cluster, steering, and infotainment screen. The gauge cluster isn't exclusive to the Nissan Z; it has trickled down to many other models in the family and displays much more information than the older one. Fortunately, the Japanese automaker kept the classic three gauges on top of the center screen for the turbo boost gauge, turbo turbine speed and voltmeter so that you can monitor them at all times. The steering wheel has been redesigned with a sleeker profile that better suits a car with a price tag of $60,000. The seats are snug and keep you in place in corners; they are surprisingly comfortable when you feel relaxed but offer enough support for track days. In terms of space, it's a two-seater, so there's no theoretical back seat, which almost no one uses anyway. As for the cargo room, the Nissan Z cleverly hides the fact that it's technically a hatchback, meaning you get a decent 241 litres (6.9 cu. ft.); you can easily pick up the groceries or weekend getaway luggage.

Nissan Z cargo area
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

Technology-wise, the Nissan Z Performance is current, with an 8-inch infotainment display, including Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and a Bose audio system. The backup camera is now also on the screen, which is better, but the automaker kept the round climate controls, which is fine since it's efficient.

Nissan Z infotainment screen
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

Getting now to the entertaining part, performance-wise, the new Nissan Z brings back the excellent powertrain from the two previous Z cars: the 350z and 370z. The twin-turbo 3.0L V6 engine is stronger than ever with a 400hp output and 350 lb-ft of torque; the engine can be coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission or a 9-speed automatic transmission, which we drove. The performance is excellent; the Z achieves 0-100 kph in 4.1 sec and the quarter mile in 12.3 sec at 116 mph (187 kph). The new Z's suspension has double-wishbone aluminum with an improved caster angle on the front, which helps to enhance straight-line tracking and high-speed stability. A front strut tower brace stiffens the front structure, and a rear multi-link suspension is available. Other improvements are present, such as 14-inch front rotor 4-piston brakes, aluminum body panels and a mechanical limited-slip differential to improve the vehicle's rigidity and enhance the experience behind the wheel wherever you drive this car.

Behind the wheel, when you start the Z, you instantly hear the sweet rumble of the V6, and the sports exhaust does an outstanding job of relaying the notes of the engine to the ears. At the beginning of your drive, the transmission shifts at the right time in Standard mode to get the most seamless experience. On the other hand, in Sport mode, it will hold the gear longer to extract all the power from its powertrain. The steering is quick and precise, but you must be careful since the power is only delivered to the rear wheels; the Z can understeer quickly. The ride is firm and stable, and the effort to make this a true sports car is impressive. The rev-matching feature works flawlessly; you can quickly downshift thanks to the GT-R shared paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel, allowing you to pass someone or have fun with the exhaust note. On a side note, fuel economy is rated at 11.9L/100km for the manual transmission and 10.6L/100km for the automatic in combined driving, but that's the least important information in this text for the amount of fun you get behind the wheel!

Nissan Z interior
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

The new Nissan Z Performance is attractive, powerful, and an excellent all-around sports car. This vehicle proves that you don't need to pay six figures to have fun in a car; it is an enthusiast car. The automatic isn't dull or slow; it is the most popular and the best transmission for the vehicle from a pure numbers perspective. We cannot wait to see what the NISMO version will have in store, but for now, the Nissan Z is a must-see for anyone looking for fun at a reasonable price.

Nissan Z in montreal
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

NISSAN has lent us this vehicle for one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with NISSAN Canada. The above reflects our personal opinion of the car referred to above.

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