Nissan Z Coupe First drive at launch 2022

Nissan Z is it any good

Nissan Z – Nissan has just launched the latest version of their classic sports car the Nissan Z. It’s without doubt the most stylish design since the original simple and elegant 240Z in 1969.

2023 Nissan Z range

The latest Z sports coupe is powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6, with a choice of a close ratio 6 speed manual with rev matching or a nine speed sports automatic.

Driving the rear wheels the engine produces 298kW and 475Nm. Both the transmissions come with launch control for the first time.

TO LISTEN TO THE NISSAN Z RADIO REVIEW CLICK BELOW

Inside its tight, especially for someone like me that is bigger than the average bear, but if your say 185mm or under you will fit well. Luggage space is minimalist but the lift back hatch allows easy access.

2023 Nissan Z auto interior

The Nissan Z is all about the driving though and it’s so much fun to drive. The six speed manual is slick and smooth and many buyers, almost 70% of pre orders, will opt for that. I prefer the auto. Its silky smooth, easy to drive and allows you the choice of simply pottering around or blasting along your favourite windy road without fuss.

One thing that really stood out on my initial drive is just how well the balance between compliance and performance the suspension is achieved. There is none of the harshness or jiggling that you get in some other sports coupes, just a silky smooth ride. Yet handling dynamics aren’t compromised at all.

If you want one you better get in quick as there are already way more orders than cars at this stage,

Priced from $73,300 plus the usual costs it’s a performance bargain

This is a Motoring Minute

Im Rob Fraser

2023 Nissan Z drive 2

What is good?

What is not so good?

  • Responsive to driver inputs
  • Fun Fun Fun
  • Front engine Rear wheel drive
  • Tight interior
  • No wireless Apple Car Play
  • Internal storage

Also look at

2023 Nissan Z boot

Other Z articles

2023 Nissan Z engine

Model   

Nissan Z Coupe

Model PriceFrom $73,300 MLP*
Engine3.0L V6 Twin Turbo Petrol
DrivetrainRWD 6 Sp MT or 9 Sp AT
Power298 kW @ 6,400 rpm
Torque475 Nm @ 1,600 – 5,600 rpm
SafetyTBA
CO2 EmissionsTBC
Economy ADR10.8 L/100km  MT – 9.8L/100km AT / 62L tank
0-100kmh / top speed4.0 secs (est) / 250kmh
ServicingTBC
Warranty5yr/ Unlimited km with 5 Yr. conditional roadside assist

*MLP Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options. RDAP means Recommended Drive Away Price (without options but including all other charges)

2023 Nissan Z profile

Overall Rating    

91/100 

Behind the Wheel9
Comfort9
Equipment9
Performance9
Ride and Handling10
Practicality8
Fit for Purpose9
Style / appeal9
Technology / connectivity9
Value for Money10

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Nissan Z More Details

Nissan Z has been around since 1969, first up with the elegant 240 Z then a host of variations that morphed from nimble and sporty to fat and bloated then back to sporty again.

It’s a proud legacy, which is why Nissan’s seventh-generation model pays homage to its illustrious past, while celebrating its future.

Key Highlights

  • The all-new Z is faster, more powerful and delivers an improved power-to-weight over its predecessor.
  • Its potent 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 produces 298kW and 475Nm.
  • Offered with a choice of close-ratio six-speed manual with rev matching, or nine-speed paddle-shift automatic.
  • All models feature leather-accented interior, a fully customisable 12.3-inch TFT display and an 8.0-inch infotainment screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration
  • Six-speed close-ratio manual variant is paired with a high-performance clutch supplied by Japanese motor-racing specialist EXEDY®, and linked to the rear wheels via a carbon-fibre composite driveshaft. Optional nine-speed automatic gearbox is fly-by-wire for rapid response to inputs from the aluminium paddle-shifters and features two drive modes – Standard and Sport.
  • All models feature a launch-control system, a first for the Z.
  • The Z Coupe is priced at MSRP $73,300*. The Z PROTO is priced at MSRP $80,700*, but is currently sold-out in Australia.

2023 Nissan Z driving

What does the Nissan Z exterior look Like?

In a word, sexy. The designers have really gone full circle with this model. Its not quite as simply elegant as the original 240Z but objectively better looking than every model since.

In the words of the Nissan marketing blurb – Some of the Z’s unique visual elements will be striking at first observation, such as the silver accent that enhances the car’s roofline, similar in shape to the katana, the traditional Japanese sword.

There is homage to the 300ZX as well with the twin capsule rear lights.

However it’s the proportions that seem to be just right. Its unmistakably a front-engine, rear-drive performance vehicle.

2023 Nissan Z FRONT

From the front the long bonnet gently slopes downwards towards the slotted wide front grill that not only is aesthetically pleasing but also assists dramatically with engine cooling.

The LED headlights and DRLs sit seamlessly.

Profile shows the sexy silhouette with wheel arch bulges around the 19” forged RAYS alloys in dark metallic with red calipers, shod in low profile Potenza high performance tyres.

One noticeable design feature is the almost straight sloping roofline from the “A” pillar to the end of the lift back tail. It’s unusual and gives the Z a distinctive striking style.

Thankfully the designers maintain the lift back style, which allows a large glass area for visibility.

Well done Nissan the proportions are spot on.

2023 Nissan Z interior 1

What about inside the Nissan Z

As mentioned it’s tight, very tight and a taller, larger driver like me really feels it.

I couldn’t actually change gears as there wasn’t enough room from the top of the clutch take up point and the steering wheel. No such issues with the Automatic.

I am unusual though and almost every other driver on the launch didn’t have the same problem.

The ambience is a mix of old school and modern design.

The suede heated seats are particularly comfortable and electronically adjustable. Just not enough slide for me.

2023 Nissan Z Driver instruments compilation

Steering wheel is both height and reach adjustable and fits perfectly in the hands. It frames the multi-mode 12.3-inch TFT driver instrumentation display with three driver modes. Its clear and easy to read and configure.

Between the seats is a central console storage bin, twin cup holders and the transmission. There isn’t a lot of room for the little things though, and the phones take up the cup holders.

The 8.0 inch central screen seems a little small and at odds with the huge instrument panel. Having said that its clear and functional. Just not a feature.

A high-quality eight-speaker BOSE sound system is standard equipment, as is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Two USB connection are also provided for extra charging and connectivity options.

Given the way things are going wireless Apple CarPlay would have been appreciated.

2023 Nissan Z central three dials

I love the triple dials on the top of the central console, a real continuation of the original design.

Boot space is minimalist and a couple of smaller overhead luggage bags fit and soft bags.

There is no spare tyre, just a can of goop.

2023 Nissan Z driving 99 bends

Nissan Z engine and drivetrain

Thankfully Nissan has kept the 3.0L V6 Turbo petrol engine. Its produces a healthy 298kW and 475Nm. That’s similar to the Audi RS3, Kia Stinger GT, Toyota Supra and Porsche 911 Carrera.

This engine drives the rear wheels, with a mechanical limited slip diff, through either a six speed manual or nine speed automatic transmission.

Both are smooth and well matched to the engine. Both transmissions feature launch control for the first time.

2023 Nissan Z drive mode

Two driving modes are available: Standard and Sport, which unlocks performance by changing the steering profile, activating the Active Sound Enhancement system, and engaging sports mode in the Vehicle Dynamic Control. With sound actuation the ‘Z’ provides the right amount of aural delight as well.

Nissan has done an excellent job of having sports suspension that is super smooth on the road while pottering around without compromising the stunning dynamics. There is none of the harshness or jiggling on the road that you experience with some other sports coupes.

2023 Nissan Z driving

Acceleration is estimated at 0-100kmh between 4 and 4.5 seconds. Nissan were extremely reluctant to put a figure on it and I understand why. Its almost impossible for anyone to replicate these manufacturer figures, however note that is the same as the Porsche Carrera.

Feedback through the driver inputs from steering, acceleration and braking are as you would expect. Sharp, responsive and direct without being overly intrusive.

In short the Nissan Z is a HEAP OF FUN to drive

2023 Nissan Z rear

Nissan Z Final thoughts

I’ve always been a fan of the ‘Z sports cars and this latest version is absolutely the best yet.

We should all take the time to appreciate that sports cars such as this continue to exist. There is something special about a powerful, front engine, rear wheel drive sports coupe.

In terms of competitors for the ‘Z’ there are a few, but not many.

Porsche should be worried. They won’t like being compared but here is a coupe that does everything the 911 Carrera does for less than a third of the price.

That alone describes the Nissan Z, its a performance bargain.

Its fair to say I LOVE the Nissan Z, I just wish I was a touch shorter to fully appreciate it.

1969 Datsun 240Z

Nissan Z model walk

 Nissan Z Coupe

Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price: $73,300 MLP*

 Powertrain:

  • 3.0-litre twin-turbo (VR30DDTT) DOHC V6, fuel-injected, four-valve-per-cylinder alloy engine which produces 298kW (up 22 per cent on 370Z), and 475Nm of torque (up 112Nm on 370Z)
  • Choice of six-speed manual transmission or nine-speed shift-by-wire automatic with manual mode
  • Both manual and automatic transmissions feature launch control
  • Six-speed manual features synchronised rev-matching control, and high-performance clutch by EXEDY®
  • Carbon fibre composite driveshaft (MT only)
  • Rear wheel drive with mechanical limited-slip differential
  • Automatic transmission models feature aluminium paddle shifters and Standard mode and Sport mode, which unlocks sports steering profile, Active Sound Enhancement and sports Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) setting
  • Power-to-weight ratio improved by 12.8 per cent (over 370Z)
  • Fuel consumption is 10.8 litres/100kms for the manual version, and 9.8 litres/100kms for the automatic (combined)

 Suspension:

  • Double-wishbone aluminium-alloy front suspension with aluminium subframe at front
  • Multi-link aluminium-alloy and steel rear suspension with steel subframe

2023 Nissan Z wheels and tyres

Wheels and tyres:

  • 19” forged RAYS alloys in dark metallic with red calipers
  • Front: 255/40R19 front Bridgestone® Potenza® S007 high-performance
  • Rear: 275/35R19 rear Bridgestone® Potenza® S007 high-performance

Brakes:

  • 355mm front and 350mm rear vented brake discs, clamped by 4-piston front brakes and 2-piston rear brakes with red caliper finish with ABS

2023 Nissan Z central screen

Infotainment:

  • All models feature a multi-mode 12.3-inch TFT driver instrumentation display with three driver modes:
    • Normal (with tachometer, speedometer and audio shown);
    • Enhanced (which pushes tachometer and speedometer to the edges and displays technical information at the centre) and:
    • Sport (which puts the tachometer centrally with a shift-up light at 12 o’clock, and potential for G-meter and boost control displays)
  • 8.0-inch central infotainment display with eight-speaker BOSE audio system, incorporating standard integrated Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Three gauge analogue display (boost, turbo fan speed, voltage)

2023 Nissan Z driving

Exterior design features:

  • Auto-levelling LED headlights with welcome signature and LED DTRL
  • Automatic dusk sensor
  • Kick plates with Z branding
  • Front, side sill and rear spoilers
  • Dual tailpipe exhaust
  • High-mounted LED stop light
  • Rear fog light

2023 Nissan Z manual interior

Interior trim and comfort features:

  • Electrically heated, leather-accented seats with suede trim door finisher
  • Active Noise Cancellation & Active Sound Enhancement
  • Drive Mode Selector (A/T model only)
  • Intelligent Key with push-button start and panic alarm
  • 12V power outlet
  • Climate-control air conditioning
  • Power-folding and heated door mirrors with integrated turn signal
  • Four cup holders (doors and centre console)
  • Bluetooth hands free phone system
  • Auto-dipping rear mirror and illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Aluminium pedals
  • Manual tilt & telescopic steering wheel adjustment
  • Four-way power-adjust driver seat with manual lifter, thigh & lumbar support
  • Four-way power-adjust front passenger seat
  • Premium leather-accented steering wheel

2023 Nissan Z safety

Safety:

Full suite of Nissan Intelligent Mobility features including:

  • Intelligent Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection
  • Intelligent Forward Collision Warning
  • Blind Sport Warning
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • High Beam Assist
  • Traffic Sign Recognition

Comprehensive safety offering also includes:

  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Rear camera with predictive path technology
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA)
  • Front, side front and side curtain airbags
  • 3-point seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters
  • Active head restraint system
  • Intelligent Cruise Control
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Vehicle Dynamic Control with cancel switch
  • ISOFIX child seat tether
  • Traction control system

2023 Nissan Z safety

Nissan Z Coupe PROTO (sold out)

Manufacturers Recommended Retail: $80,700 MLP*

In addition to Z Coupe, PROTO variant features:

  • 19” Bronze Forged alloy wheels with yellow calipers
  • Black leather-accented interior with unique yellow accents and stitching
  • Available only in Ikazuchi Yellow pearlescent paint with Super Black roof

*MLP Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options. RDAP means Recommended Drive Away Price (without options but including all other charges)

Leather-accented features and upholstery may contain synthetic

  • 9.1/10
    Overall Rating - 9.1/10
9/10

Summary

Nissan Z – I’ve always been a fan of the ‘Z sports cars and this latest version is absolutely the best yet.

We should all take the time to appreciate that sports cars such as this continue to exist. There is something special about a powerful, front engine, rear wheel drive sports coupe.

Porsche should be worried. They won’t like being compared but here is a coupe that does everything the 911 Carrera does for less than a third of the price.

That alone describes the Nissan Z, its a performance bargain. 

About Rob Fraser 2481 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.