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February 18, 2024

Review: 2024 Nissan Z Premium AT

Let’s stop for a minute and admire what Nissan has done here. In an age where electrification has become the auto industry buzzword, they’ve come up with something leftfield with the all-new Z. Eschewing any motivation via electrons, it’s got a big, honking V6 driving the rear wheels. There’s even standard limited slip diff, performance brake (pads), and a no-cost option for a stick. It’s as old-school as a sportscar’s going to get and just thinking about it gets any enthusiast, myself included, all wet.

Job done then for the Z, right? Pretty much. At this point, I’d recommend that you head over to your nearest Nissan dealership to plop down P 3.888-million. Sadly, there’s a wait list involved and because of that, there’s a sort of lottery involved where winning one nabs you the chance of buying a Z. This begs the question: is it worth all this hassle or does the fad fade?

Based purely on looks, the price is already worth of admission. It’s worth noting that driving the new Z gets you as much attention as driving a Ferrari or Aston Martin. The retina-searing Ikazuchi Yellow may have played a part, but I’d like to think it’s the classically athletic sportscar proportions of having big hips and a long hood/short cabin/snub rear. Better still, it plays as an homage to the greatest Z hits of sorts from the 240Z’s round headlights and logo and the 300ZX’s rectangular taillights. Oh, and it plays on the entire tuner flavor too with standard Rays forged wheels with staggered wheel sizes.

One major thing that harks back from the Z of yesteryears is the platform. The all-new Z rides on the 23-year-old FM or Front Midship Platform—something it shares with the 350Z and 370Z. However, around 80 percent of the parts are new so, thankfully, it doesn’t drive like a tractor. Now, because I drive a Mazda MX-5, there are similarities in the way it incorporates body lean into the whole handling equation. Its progressiveness through corners communicates exactly what it’s doing and this helps drivers push it as hard as they want, as they comfortably can. Mind you, this also is true for its forward and rearward movement. Push down on the accelerator, and the front tips up a bit, telling you you’re about to have your license revoked. Press down on the brakes, and there’s a bit of dive—something that’s quite good for feedback. Nissan has always referred to the Z as a dance partner, and it’s evident right here.

As communicative as the Nissan Z is through its body, the steering it’s attached to isn’t as pin-sharp as I would have wanted. There’s a bit of hesitation whenever you subject it with a change of direction. Through tighter turns, it’s either you have to give it a bit more turn, or you scrub on the speed, and just use the generous helping of power to make up as you exit. On the flipside, it does give it much more straight-line stability making it a great grand tourer.

Opting for a twin-turbo V6 in place of the Nissan 370Z’s normally-aspirated one, the Z produces staggering numbers: 383 horsepower and 475 Nm of torque. Even more impressive is how all this power’s delivered. Not only is it faster off the line (0 to 100 km/h in about 4.5 seconds), but the in-gear acceleration from its well-paired 9-speed automatic is equally explosive. The VR30DDTT engine spins sweetly and pulls hard from around 2,500 rpm all the way to its 6,800 rpm redline. There’s little need to wring the engine since there’s lovely mid-range power, making overtakes quick and fuss-free. Interestingly, it manages its generous displacement and boost well to make the power delivery feel near-linear.

If anything, the only penalty you’ll feel with the Nissan Z is at the pump. In stop-and-go traffic, the fuel economy figure goes down to just 4.9 km/L (average speed 14 km/h). As the traffic clears up a bit, it doesn’t do much better at 5.5 km/L (average speed 18 km/h). It only truly becomes efficient during long highway stints, reaching more than 10 km/L in the process. Plus, it requires 95 octane at the minimum. Thankfully, the fuel tank’s generous enough at 62 liters meaning it can, at least, go the distance or minimize the need to fuel up on a weekly basis.

As great as the Nissan Z is from the outside, the interior is far less special. There’s nothing wrong with it as far as function goes, but it feels a bit cost-conscious in some aspects. The rotary-style automatic climate control knobs, for example, are clearly from the bargain parts bin. The dark gray finish doesn’t even match the cabin’s all-black scheme. Then, there are the door cards which are clearly carried over from the 370Z. But because the new dashboard itself is more squared than curved, Nissan had to get creative in blending it all together. Their solution? Hide the old stitch line and add a new contrasting one. Look carefully, and towards the edge—where door meets dash—you’ll see two pairs of stitches. Once you see it, it’s hard to unsee and it cheapens the entire thing.

Even in the areas where the Nissan Z did get right, it doesn’t feel like it has managed to justify its price. The 8-inch touchscreen is the same one used in other Nissan vehicles with no special menus, color schemes, or even startup animation. There’s also no wireless support for CarPlay nor is wireless device charging available. Thankfully, the available USB plugs are modern in that they support both Type A and Type C connections.

The generous exterior size and just the two seats inside mean there’s no shortage of shoulder or leg room. Clearing the A-pillar requires practice, but it’s a given that it’ll mess up a hairdo or two. There’s also plenty of storage space inside. There are two cup holders here, one always exposed for the driver, and one that can be revealed by sliding the armrest back. Push the button on the armrest, and there’s a bin where you can put things like a wallet or keys. When it comes to the cargo hold, Nissan says it can swallow 241 liters but because of the sharply raked glass, you won’t be able to fit tall objects. Also, because there’s no partition of any kind, be careful of what you put over there, lest you want it to make an unscheduled appearance during heavy braking.

Thankfully, the Nissan Z manages to get the most important aspect of a sportscar right. The ergonomics are spot on. The 12.3-inch all-digital display has three modes with “Normal” being my personal favorite for legibility. “Sport” is fun, but it’s more suited for the track with its center rev counter and horizontal shift light display. Like the previous 370Z, there’s a pod of gauges on the dash top—boost, turbo speed, and voltmeter. It’s fun to watch and all, but in the greater scheme of things, it’s pretty distracting and useless. Exterior visibility is astounding from all directions, save for the rear, where the hatch’s high lip has the propensity to cover up shorter obstacles like parking pilons, motorcycles, and heck, even other sportscars. Thankfully, parking sensors (fore and aft) and a rear camera are standard issue.

Despite all its shortcomings, the fact that the Z’s around and built from the ground up by Nissan is already an accomplishment. It’s also a statement that Nissan can and will engineer enthusiast-centric cars. Sadly, it’s also probably the last Z before electrification inevitably gets into the equation, so the fact that it’s the best one yet makes it a worthwhile proposition, especially if you’re looking at a new “affordable” sportscar. Overall, the Nissan Z is all about getting the fundamentals right: it produces the right amount of power to make it fast, but not as to overburden the chassis. It has playful handling as opposed to overly-hard track-biased nonsense. This duality, of being both sportscar and GT, makes the wait and hassle of getting one worth it. It’s not going to be always the answer, but pour one out for the Nissan Z—it’s great for the vast majority of people and that’s more than enough.

2024 Nissan Z Premium AT

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Bottom Line
Pros The fact that Nissan's still making one, head-turning looks, engaging driving dynamics, powerful motor.
Cons Piss poor fuel economy, cost-conscious interior.
TL;DR It's not always the answer, but a great answer most of the time.
Year Introduced 2023
Warranty 3 years / 100,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type Sportscar
Seating 2
Engine / Drive F/R
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 3.0
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery Direct Injection
Layout / # of Cylinders V6
Maximum Output (PS @ rpm) 383 @ 6,000
Maximum Torque (Nm @ rpm) 475 @ 1,600-4,400
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / ~95
Transmission 9 AT
Cruise Control Yes, Adaptive
Fuel Economy (km/L) @ Ave. Speed (km/h) 4.94 km/L @ 14 km/h,
5.5 km/L @ 18 km/h
Fuel Tank Size (L) 62
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,380
Width (mm) 1,845
Height (mm) 1,315
Wheelbase (mm) 2,550
Curb Weight (kg) 1,647
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, Double Wishbone
Rear Suspension Independent, Multi-link
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Vented Disc
Parking Brake Hand-Type
Tires Falken Azenis FR520
255/40 R 19 Y (front),
275/55 R 19 Y ( rear)
Recommended Tire Pressure (PSI) 32 front, 29 rear
Wheels Forged
Safety Features
Airbags 6
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front & Rear
Parking Camera Yes, Rear
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR w/ pre-tensioners x 2
Rear Seatbelts None
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Advanced Driver Assist System Intelligent Forward Collision Warning
Intelligent Emergency Braking
Lane Departure Warning
Other Safety Features Blind Spot Warning
Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Hill Start Assist
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Exterior Features
Headlights LED w/ Auto High Beam
Fog Lamps Yes, Rear (LED)
Light Operation Automatic
Wiper Operation Variable Intermittent
Tailgate Manual
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic, Manual
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) Electric, 4-way
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Electric, 4-way
Seating Surface Leather/Suede
2nd Row None
3rd Row None
Sunroof None
Multi-Information Display / Size Yes, 12-inch
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Rear View Mirror Auto-dimming
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Dual
Audio System Stereo
USB Type A
USB Type C
Wireless Charger None
Infotainment Display / Size 8-inch
Smartphone Connectivity Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
# of Speakers 8, Bose
Steering Controls Yes

1 comment:

  1. Very nice new sports car from Nissan
    Some scalpers got the units already and they're selling it at 400,000 up to 500,000 Pesos over the original MSRP


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