from Nissan latest rendition of its two-seat sports car no longer has an alphanumeric name. It’s simply the Nissan Z. Perhaps the latest gasoline-powered version; The 2023 Nissan Z was one of the hottest cars debuting this year. It is faster, more powerful and even stands out from the crowd more … than its predecessor, the 370Z. The brand new, absolutely stunning retro inspiration is sure to entice plenty of gears to part with their hard-earned cash. It comes in two flavors, Sport and Performance. A limited-edition 2023 Nissan Z variant was also available, but Nissan has already sold all 240 of them.
As the Japanese automaker focuses more on refinement and everyday driving, the Nissan Z is one of today’s most comfortable and economical sports cars. Inside, it features an updated cabin with lots of soft-touch surfaces and lots of new tech features. Under the hood hides a ferocious 400 horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 (VR30DDTT) borrowed from the Infiniti Q50/60 Red Sport. Thanks to the 350 lb-ft of torque it produces at just 1,600 rpm, it’s an off-the-line rocket. The RWD setup and availability of a six-speed manual transmission alongside a nine-speed automatic will also appeal to many purists.
Offering so much and starting at just $41,015 is why many Nissan Z enthusiasts hailed it as one of the best models for 2023. It was even tipped to be a future classic. But some gearheads aren’t convinced the 2023 Nissan Z deserves the praise it’s received. Below, we take a look at 10 reasons why the Nissan Z is overrated.
11/11 Not built on a modern platform
The Nissan Z has been in development since 2018. Nissan’s senior management received the project proposal in 2017, when the company was experiencing financial difficulties. This was only on the condition that the sports car use an existing platform and components authorized by Nissan’s senior management.
This explains why the 2023 Nissan Z has FM underpinnings and uses the aging Z34 chassis. Although Nissan has heavily modified and overhauled the 2023 Nissan Z platform and chassis, this does not change the fact that the fundamental architecture is two decades old and the Z34 chassis is over 13 years old. These are just some of the things that made it heavy and less sophisticated.
10/11 Re-uses parts from the 370Z and other Nissans
Nothing about the Nissan Z is original. This was a disappointment for 370Z owners who wanted to upgrade as they will be buying a similar car in terms of parts. In addition to the all-new retro-futuristic exterior design take cues from the Nissan 240Z and the 300ZX, it borrows heavily from its predecessor.
The half-modified interior bears a striking resemblance to that of the 370Z. Interior parts, including climate control dials, circular door handles, low seat frames and entire door cards, are clearly from the 370Z. Additionally, the Nissan Z borrows its touchscreen infotainment system and heated seat controls from other Nissan models.
September 11th Weight increased across the board
The weight of a sports car is important because it affects its speed and handling. Unfortunately for Nissan Z aficionados, weight has increased across the board. The basic Nissan Z manual tips the scales at 3,486 pounds. The automatic version is slightly heavier at 3602 pounds.
Its predecessors, the basic 370Z manual (3382 lb), Nissan 370Z automatic (3362 lb) and its main competitor, the 2023 Toyota GR Supra (3400 lb), are lighter.
8/11 Its transmission(s) as fast as competitors
The speed and efficiency of a transmission must match the horsepower of the engine to get the most out of an engine. On paper, the Nissan Z transmissions sound impressive. There’s a six-speed manual with an Exedy high-performance clutch, and in the Performance trim you even get rev-matching technology. Automatic Nissan Zs come standard with a nine-speed automatic transmission and GT-R-inspired aluminum paddle shifters.
What’s disappointing about most gearheads is that the Zs automatic transmission is only exceptional for street driving, not ultimate performance. Downshifts aren’t very responsive. By comparison, the Toyota Supra’s ZF 8-speed is faster both uphill and downhill. Also, the Z’s 6-speed manual, compared to the manual ZF 2023 Supra from the M240i, isn’t at the same level of responsiveness either.
6/11 The 2023 Nissan Z exhaust is disappointing
Many gearheads opt for sports cars for the visceral delights of their roaring engines and glorious exhausts. For a car powered by a fantastic 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine (VR30DDTT) producing 400hp, you’d expect the Nissan Z to have an ear-pleasing exhaust note. Unfortunately, its exhaust system is one of its most disappointing aspects, especially for the manual variant.
Many reviewers have commented that even with its accelerator pedal smashed to the floor, the exhaust note and volume remain uninspiring. Complaints have reached Nissan as the first official Nismo upgrade is a louder sport muffler. It retails for $2,200 and delivers the commanding sound you expect from a true sports car.. Many believe that the Nissan Z should have had a better exhaust from the start.
5/11 Nissan 2023 Z grille design is polarizing
An important part of a car’s overall appearance is the grille. The Nissan Z has a gaping rectangular grille which fans received differently. Its simplicity appealed to some but most; it is highly undesirable. Some avid fans took to Photoshop to show how much better they imagined Nissan could have designed the Z’s front fascia, adding fuel to the fire of public discontent.
Fans mentioned it the unique “Custom Proto” presented at the unveiling of the Fairlady Z by Nissan in Japan even has a better grille. An obvious nod to the classic Fairlady Z432R, the grille is cut in half, with softened edges.
4/11 Main competitor – Toyota GR Supra – eclipses the Nissan Z in terms of performance
When it comes to performance, the Nissan Z is exceptional. The manual variant reaches 60 in 4.5 seconds, while the automatic launch control with no-lift shifting does so in 4.3 seconds. But, its impressiveness depends on whether you consider its rivals or not. In a straight line, the automatic GR Supra beats both. It is capable of going from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds. As tested by Caranddriver, the Supra also performs better under braking, stopping from 70 mph in just 147 feet, while the Z requires 166 feet.
In weight distribution, the GR Supra has 51.7% of its weight resting on the front tires, making it better balanced. The Nissan Z has 56.4% of its weight resting in the front. As a result, the Toyota 2-seater sports car has more sophisticated handling and has proved to be quicker on twisty courses when setting up hot turns.
3/11 More of a touring sports car than a track car
The Z has never been synonymous with comfort and luxury. Yet next-generation modifications have made it more of a sports-touring car than a track toy. The base car comes with touring tires. Additionally, Nissan has tuned the suspension to the softer side, tuning it for good comfort on daily commutes and body roll management, rather than track performance.
Unable to offer sharper reflexes like their rivals, enthusiasts planning to follow the Nissan Z or drive it to the limit might be disappointed. It’s not as willful and responsive as a real sports car should be.
2/11 It has a small and shallow chest
Everyone goes to the grocery store occasionally. While few owners of the Nissan Z expect to use it as a grocery store or to haul a weekend’s worth of luggage for two, having ample trunk space is still a fantastic thing. The Nissan Z’s small trunk capacity of 6.9 cubic feet is a bit inadequate, even for a sports car.
Plus, it’s made worse by its shallow depth because its audio system’s submarine sits below. For context, storage space is smaller than direct rivals like the Toyota Supra (10.2 cubic feet) and Ford Mustang (13.5 cubic feet).
1/11 Nissan Z lacks advanced adaptive dampers
Reviewers described the Nissan Z’s suspension as soft-sprung but firmly damped. And that’s because it lacks advanced adaptive dampers. Adaptive dampers are a cutting-edge automotive innovation that improves the comfort and handling of your car. They enhance the driving experience by allowing you to quickly change the characteristics of a car’s suspension with just the press of a button.
Sports cars with advanced adaptive dampers have many switchable driving modes like normal or comfort as well as sport and track, which stiffen things up for ultimate performance. With fewer adjustable monotube dampers, the Nissan Z has just two drive modes – sport and comfort
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