2023 Nissan Z First Drive. The Nissan Z doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not. It is an emotional two-door sports car that doesn’t break the bank and is still, to this day, 100% Nissan. The Z receives a long-awaited redesign for 2023 that removes the numbers from its name. Sure, they could have called it 400Z to denote its impressive new horsepower figure from the twin-turbo V6 (sourced from the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400). Historically, however, the numerals have represented the displacement of its engine. The outgoing V6 was a 3.7L mill, now we are rocking a 3.0L unit. The number may be smaller, but the new performance you experience in the Z means business.
Starting at a tick below $40,000, the base Z is an excellent value. As long as you can get past the fact that some interior bits are shared with the 370Z, there is a lot to like about the new design inside and out. Designers did a great job sharpening the body lines and throwing back to Zs of the past. The taillights are our favorite example of this, as they are modern LED interpretations of those from the 300ZX. Inside the dashboard is driver-focused and features tech like a full-LCD instrument cluster. If you want better seats or a mechanical limited-slip differential, you’ll have to spend a whopping $10k for the Performance trim. It also brings larger brakes and rims, but begs the question: is it worth the upgrade? If so, does it properly compete with Toyota Supra?