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2024 Nissan Z Performance M/T Review: Sports Car With Fun and Engaging Experience

I spent a week test-driving the 2024 Nissan Z Performance M/T, a natural anti-theft device because most people don't know how to drive a manual transmission.

Just about a month ago here are Torque News I reviewed the top trim of the 2024 Nissan Z, the NISMO. In that review I said "the 2024 Nissan Z NISMO isn't just a sports car; it's a statement. Its design exudes confidence, blending modern performance with nods to its illustrious past." But I think the 2024 NIssan Z Perofmrance M/T (Manual Transmission) is more fun to drive and is slightly less expensive to buy.

This is the 7th generation of the Nissan Z. What Nissan has done here, it has created a sports vehicle, which is both modern and retro.

The Nissan Z is a legendary nameplate. Since 1969, it's been a go-to for drivers seeking an affordable and exciting sports car. The latest iteration stays true to its roots, offering a thrilling driving experience with a healthy dose of nostalgia.

The 2024 Z features design cues that pay homage to earlier models. Think throwbacks like the 240Z's quarter-panel emblem and the dramatic taillights reminiscent of the 1990s 300ZX in which Nissan pioneered electronic valve timing. But make no mistake, this Z is all about modern muscle.

A twin-turbo V6 engine, pumping out 400 horsepower, lurks under the hood. This powerhouse is shared with the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport and puts a serious punch behind the wheel. Gearheads will be happy to know you can choose between a satisfying 6-speed manual transmission or a smooth-shifting 9-speed automatic. Mine was the manual transmission and I loved it. It's a lot of fun to drive. However, if you crave ultimate performance, the NISMO Z offers 420 horsepower and extra bells and whistles, but it comes solely with an automatic gearbox.

In fact, the 2024 Nissan Z is one of the 5 brand-new cars that make the MK4 Toyota Supra sound unreasonable, as writes Torque News Toyota reporter Dimitar Angelov.

What's New in 2024 Nissan Z

The already thrilling Nissan Z gets a fire-breathing upgrade for 2024 with the introduction of the Z NISMO.

Building on the excitement of the 2023 Z, the NISMO dials everything up a notch for the ultimate performance experience. Here's the hot scoop:

  • More Power: The NISMO boasts a significant jump in muscle, packing 420 horsepower compared to the standard Z's 400. That translates to a more exhilarating driving experience.
  • Sharper Handling: NISMO engineers haven't just focused on power. Stiffer suspension, a limited-slip differential, and bigger brakes mean the Z NISMO can handle corners with even more precision and control.
  • Track-Ready Upgrades: Larger wheels and more aggressive bodywork aren't just for show. They contribute to the Z NISMO's enhanced performance capabilities, making it a true force to be reckoned with on the racetrack.

2024 Nissan Z: Trims and Why the Performance with Manual Transmission Rocks

The 2024 Nissan Z offers something for most budgets, with a starting price of $43,450 and climbing to $66,230 depending on the trim you choose. Here's a quick breakdown:

  • Sport Trim ($43,450): This is your entry point to Z fun. It packs the standard 400-horsepower engine and comes with features like automatic climate control and alloy wheels.
  • Performance Trim ($53,450): This is the sweet spot for many drivers. It steps up the sportiness with a sharper suspension, better brakes, and 19-inch wheels with summer tires for extra grip. Inside, you get heated and power-adjustable seats with a touch of luxury from the faux-suede upholstery.
  • NISMO Trim ($66,230): This is the ultimate Z, built for serious performance enthusiasts. It boasts a more powerful engine (420 horsepower), a track-tuned suspension, and other aggressive upgrades.

Why the Performance with Manual Transmission is Awesome:

So, why should you consider the mid-range Performance trim with the manual transmission? Here are the reasons:

  • Extra Thrill: The manual transmission lets you be in charge, giving you complete control over gear changes for a more engaging driving experience.
  • Sporty Enhancements: You get the benefit of the upgraded suspension, brakes, and wheels compared to the base Sport trim. These translate to sharper handling and a more connected feel on the road.
  • Value for Money: Compared to the top-of-the-line NISMO, the Performance trim offers significant savings without sacrificing too much power. You still get a thrilling ride with plenty of muscle.

If you are a driving enthusiast who values a fun and engaging experience behind the wheel, the 2024 Nissan Z Performance with manual transmission is a compelling choice. It strikes a great balance between performance upgrades and affordability, making it a true driver's car.

Some Specifics of The 2024 Nissan Z's Performance Grade

Let's say you are looking for a balance between performance and features in the 2024 Nissan Z. The Performance trim, which I test-drove for this review, might be your desired match. Let me exaplain why.

2024 Nissan Z Performance MT Review of the 400 hp EngineStandard Features:

  • Sharing the same 400-horsepower engine as the base Sport trim, the Performance Z offers exciting acceleration.
  • You get the choice between a thrilling 6-speed manual transmission for complete control or a smooth-shifting 9-speed automatic.

Performance Upgrades:

  • This trim steps up the game with a mechanical Limited Slip Differential for better handling on twisty roads.
  • Grippier Bridgestone Potenza S007 tires on 19-inch forged-aluminum wheels enhance cornering and control.
  • Upgraded Nissan Sport Brakes provide additional stopping power for spirited driving.

Comfort and Tech:

  • The Performance trim boasts an 8-speaker Bose audio system for a richer listening experience.
  • A larger 9-inch touchscreen with navigation keeps you connected and informed on the go.
  • NissanConnect Services with Wi-Fi hotspot allows you to stay connected and stream music.
  • Heated seats and aluminum sport pedals add a touch of luxury to the interior.

Safety Features:

  • All Z models come equipped with a suite of standard driver-assistance features, including Automatic Emergency Braking and Blind Spot Warning, offering peace of mind behind the wheel.

But if you want to go with the entry level Sport grade, it will get you the essentials for a comfortable and connected ride. The driver enjoys a fully digital instrument cluster, while an 8-inch touchscreen handles infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Standard features include two USB ports, front and rear parking sensors for tight spots, and cruise control for highway comfort. Nissan Intelligent Key with push-button start adds convenience, and the leather-wrapped steering wheel feels good in your hands. You also get sporty 18-inch wheels with high-performance tires for a fun driving experience.

Exterior Design

I said above that the Nissan has mixed the modernity with the retro approach in the design of the 2024 Nissan Z's exterior. It's blending classic design cues with a contemporary twist. Here's what makes it stand out:

2024 Nissan Z Performance MT Review of Exterior Design

Sharp-eyed enthusiasts will spot throwbacks to earlier Z models, like the iconic quarter-panel emblem from the 240Z and the dramatic LED taillights reminiscent of the 300ZX.

It has modern muscle. Despite the nods to the past, the Z looks aggressive and modern. The long hood, flowing lines, and muscular stance all hint at the power lurking beneath the hood.

The gray color is done right. While the Z comes in a variety of colors, a particular standout is the gray that you see in the accompanying images. This sophisticated shade complements the Z's sharp design lines and gives it a sleek, almost stealthy appearance.

It's important to note that while the gray color is a strong choice, the Z offers a variety of other options to suit different tastes. Whether you prefer a head-turning red or a sporty blue, there's a Z out there to match your personality.


Slipping into the 2024 Nissan Z is a bit of a contortion act, especially for taller drivers. Remember, it's a purebred 2-seater sports car, prioritizing low ride height for agility over ease of entry. Mind that low roofline too, or you might find yourself brushing the headliner.

2024 Nissan Z Performance MT Review and Interior

Once settled in, the Z's interior delivers a mixed bag. The overall build quality feels good, but some buttons might feel familiar to those found in other Nissan models. While a two-tone leather scheme adds a touch of personality, some might find it a bit too flashy for their taste.

On the positive side, the driver's seat is well-bolstered and hugs you in place during spirited driving. The enclosed cabin further amplifies the feeling of being in a true performance machine.

The digital instrument cluster offers clear and attractive displays, which change based on your chosen settings. Three gauges on the dashboard keep you informed about turbocharger pressure, their speed, and oil pressure.

The 2024 Nissan Z steps into the modern era with its infotainment system. Standard features include an 8-inch touchscreen (a larger 9-inch navigation-equipped unit is optional) and a crisp 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. Stay connected with SiriusXM satellite radio and smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

While a base 6-speaker stereo is included, audiophiles can upgrade to a Bose premium sound system for a richer listening experience. An optional Wi-Fi hotspot keeps you connected on the go, allowing you to stream music or browse the web.

Another point to consider is outward visibility. Just like the previous Z, the large C-pillars and a small rear window create significant blind spots. Relying on the blind spot monitoring system is highly recommended.

2024 Nissan Z Performance MT Review Cargo Space

I was very pleased with the cargo space of the Nissan Z. This is not a vehicle you can take to Sam's Club for a big family shopping, but you can easily fit a few carry-on suitcases in the trunk. Agree, that's plenty of space for most sports car buyers.

The Drive and Handling

The 2024 Nissan Z with a manual transmission is all about driver engagement.

Precise Handling: This Z isn't shy about communicating road feel. The combination of a rigid chassis and precise steering allows you to feel exactly what the car is doing, fostering a sense of connection and control.

Confidence-Inspiring Performance: Thanks to the wonders of the limited-slip differential, you can confidently push the Z through corners without fear of losing control. This tech marvel helps distribute power effectively, keeping the car balanced and predictable.

Everyday Comfort: Despite its focus on performance, the Z doesn't compromise on everyday usability. The shock absorbers do a commendable job of smoothing out even rough roads, making the ride surprisingly comfortable.

Simplicity at its Finest: Forget fiddling with complex drive modes. The 2024 Z with manual transmission is ready to unleash its potential right from the start. No need for unnecessary adjustments, just pure driving pleasure.

Fuel Economy: While not a champion in fuel efficiency, the Z with manual transmission manages a respectable average of around 12.2 liters per 100 kilometers (approximately 19 miles per gallon). This falls slightly short of the manufacturer's estimated 11.9 liters per 100 kilometers (approximately 20 miles per gallon), but it's a fair trade-off for the added level of driver control.

2024 Nissan Z Performance MT Review of The Rear Exterior

The 2024 Nissan Z caters to a specific audience: driving enthusiasts who want to have good connection with the road. It excels in areas like sharp handling, surprising comfort for a sports car, and head-turning looks that are sure to leave a lasting impression.

However, potential buyers of the new Nissan Z should be aware of some compromises. While the Z delivers decent fuel economy for a performance car (20 MPG, and 18/24 city/highway respectively), it's not the most frugal choice. Some reviewers found the engine to be a bit characterless, lacking the aural excitement typically associated with high-performance vehicles. Additionally, while the manual transmission will undoubtedly appeal to purists, there have been mentions of a slightly less refined feel compared to what competitors offer. However, I had a great experience with it. Lastly, the Z's design somewhat sacrifices outward visibility due to the large C-pillars and small rear window, making blind spot monitoring a crucial safety feature. But the blind-spot monitoring I think cover this issue. It did at least for me.

So to conclude, the 2024 Nissan Z is a compelling option for drivers who are looking for an engaging experience behind the wheel. It offers a well-balanced package of modern performance wrapped in a nostalgic design. The rest, I recommend you drive yourself and make your own decision.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News TwitterFacebookLinkedin, and Youtube. He has more than a decade of expertise in the automotive industry with a special interest in Tesla and electric vehicles.