O4Xd7CEF 2023 Nissan Z Coupe Revisit 2
2023 Nissan Z Coupe Revisit 2

Nissan Z: Built for driving

2023 Nissan Z Coupe Revisit 1

What is it?

Talking about the new Nissan Z brings to mind the phrase ‘an inconvenient truth’.

The sports car’s low stance, two wide doors and swoopy back bring rise to problems of getting in and out, and carting anything in an otherwise expansive boot deeper than a briefcase, or small piece of flat-pack furniture.

Convenience takes a back seat, or it would if there was one.

The truth of the matter is the strict two-seater (not even a 2+2) doesn’t pretend to be anything more than a high-performance teeth rattler on rutted Aussie roads; a smooth sprinter on race circuits that are more its leger.

Zero to 100 in low single figures is the go.

The sports coupe is true to its long sporting heritage dating back to 1969 – with the Datsun/Nissan 240Z, 260Z, 280Z, 350Z, 370Z – to today’s Nissan Z.

A blend of old and new, says the maker, gone are the numerals relating to engine size, just a stand-alone Z.

2023 Nissan Z Coupe Revisit 9

What’s it cost?

Designers thumbed through traditional rear-wheel drive sports car designs for a long hood, lower rear stance and a silhouette that pays homage to the first-generation Z.

This was streamlined with modern technology such as LED headlamps, incorporating LED lighting to cut out unnecessary elements.

The headlights have two half-circles that take their inspiration from the Japan market-only 240ZG of the 1970s, which, they say, fit naturally with the new Z’s identity.

The link to the original Z comes to the fore on the MY23 Z in profile.

The roofline flows from the nose to the squared-off rear to create a distinctive first-generation Z profile, whose rear edge was slightly lower than the front fender height giving the Z its unique stance. 

The signature transition from the rear quarter glass to the low-slung position of the rear tail adds to the effect.

Door handles are a flush mounted and the rear hatch is ultra-thin, yet with increased rigidity over the previous 370Z.

In the rear, the blister fenders smoothly direct flow air past the horizontal rear panel.

The rear combination lights incorporate modern technology reminiscent of the Z32 (1990-1996) 300ZX, including new 3-D signature LED tail lights.

The MY23 Z comes to Australia in two versions, the Coupe and Proto limited edition, both in manual and automatic forms for the same price.

The Coupe sets back buyers $73,300, plus on-road costs. The Proto $80,700, without ORCs.

What do you get for the money? The Coupe includes 19-inch dark metallic forged alloy wheels by RAYS, 8-inch display audio touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 12.3-inch digital TFT meter display with multiple modes, heated seats with a leather-accented trim, active noise cancellation and active sound enhancement, plus rear camera and front/rear parking sensors.

The Proto adds 19-inch bronze forged alloy wheels by RAYS, unique yellow brake calipers and black interior with unique yellow accents and stitching.

However, if you’re after the latter, forget it. Like pandemic toilet paper, it quickly sold out its initial allocation.

Like all Nissans, the new Z comes with the industry standard 5-year, unlimited kilometre warranty with roadside assistance over the same period.

Capped price servicing comes up at 12 months/10,000 km.

The 12.3-inch TFT meter display is all-new three display modes.

Normal offers a sporty feel with the centre area for navigation, audio and vehicle information.

Enhanced mode pushes the tachometer and speedometer to the edges of the display, giving more space in the centre for a larger navigation map and information.

‘Sport’ prioritises the tachometer in the centre with shift-up light at the top in the driver’s field of view.

The Sport mode also allows for a boost gauge or G meter to be displayed.

While the 2023 Nissan Z misses out on Euro NCAP and ANCAP safety ratings, it does carry an array of the latest active and passive safety systems such as autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and tyre pressure monitoring.

There are front, side and curtain airbags.

2023 Nissan Z Coupe Revisit 7

What’s it go like?

The centre stack takes inspiration from previous generations, with three analogue gauges perched on the instrument panel.

The 8.0-inch touchscreen audio display is positioned in the centre and climate control switches near the gearshift.

The interior design team also sought advice from professional motorsports legends, such as Nissan Super GT500 driver Tsugio Matsuda, to give the Z an ideal sports car cabin for all driving situations.

This can be seen in the 12.3-inch customisable digital meter, with all vital information, such as the redline shift point in the 12 o’clock position, found in the 12.3-inch customisable digital meter display.

Getting in and out of the Z, wide doors, low seating position and high bolsters are made worse by height power knobs on the seat side and forward/backward switches ‘hidden’ between seat bucket and centre console.

Steering wheel reach and height adjustment save the day.

Size and positioning of the two exterior rear-view mirrors expose wide blind spots, while reflection on the in-dash 8.0-inch touchscreen audio display in bright sunlight wipes out the info.

However, the 12.3-inch TFT meter display is as clear as day.

An advanced nine-speed automatic transmission has a direct feeling, with sharp responses and quick acceleration, thanks to wide ratios and standard launch control.

All models utilise a mechanical clutch-type limited-slip differential.

Z power is satisfyingly synchronised with the driver.

However, leave the aluminium paddle shifters alone – too many gears make connection between driver and car a less-than-exhilarating experience, even in Sport mode.

Nissan puts the Z Coupe automatic fuel consumption at 9.8L/100km on the combined urban / highway cycle.

On test the Z used 12.1L in the city and 5.7L on a motorway run.

These results are with the recommended 98 RON premium unleaded.

Engine notes served up from behind the dash are more of a chamber orchestral intensity than on the full symphony orchestra scale.

The engineering instrumentalists’ augmented the chassis, cooling, suspension and steering to ensure the driver always feels connected with the car’s theme, especially on high-speed cornering.

Responsive braking is provided by ventilated disc brakes all round.

Larger sport brakes with red-painted calipers are standard on 19-inch RAYS super lightweight forged alloy wrapped with Bridgestone Potenza S007 high performance tyres.

2023 Nissan Z Coupe Revisit 8

What we like?

  • Ideal sports car cabin for all situations
  • Transmission has a direct feeling
  • Driver always feels connected
  • Responsive braking

2023 Nissan Z Coupe Revisit 5

What we don’t like?

  • No safety rating
  • Wide blind spots
  • Forward/backward switches ‘hidden’ between seat and console
  • Sunlight makes touchscreen difficult to see

2023 Nissan Z Coupe Revisit 6

The bottom line?

Looking down the sports car menu, many of the Zed’s inconveniences (cost effective, no doubt) could be forgiven by sheer spice of the dish.

So, the number’s not quite up for the Nissan Z — just yet.

2023 Nissan Z Coupe Revisit 3


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Nissan Z Coupe, priced from $73,300
  • Looks - 8/10
  • Performance - 8/10
  • Safety - 8/10
  • Thirst - 6/10
  • Practicality - 4/10
  • Comfort - 5/10
  • Tech - 7/10
  • Value - 6/10

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