In today’s cutthroat sports car arena, Nissan’s introduction of the 2024 Z Nismo seems like a belated bid to reclaim the spotlight. Although the vehicle is packed with impressive features, Nissan may have been a tad late to the party.
The Nismo Z, fundamentally, is a sports car that deserves applause. Its lineage traces back to a series of iconic sports cars that have been the pride of Nissan for decades. Yet, its conspicuous lack of a manual transmission is a glaring omission, especially for the purists who have always associated the Z series with manual driving pleasure. The real sting, however, is its starting price of $66,085. This, coupled with notorious dealer markups and concealed charges, makes the Nismo Z’s value proposition even more debatable.
The Nismo Z boasts a unique aesthetic design that sets it apart from the standard version. Inspired by the classic 240ZG, the car features a “G-Nose” front and a red lip encircling the bottom. The interior is adorned with red highlights and sporty Alcantara-covered Recaro seats, all paying homage to Nissan’s rich racing legacy. However, despite its appealing looks, the price of the Nismo Z might not be justified. While some may overlook the subpar plastic materials used in the cabin, they won’t be able to ignore the dealer markups that make it even more expensive.
Mechanically, the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 churns out 420 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. While these figures are commendable, the absence of a manual transmission is a major disappointment for Z enthusiasts. The nine-speed automatic has seen improvements but still doesn’t offer the directness many purists seek. Many argue that a sports car, especially one with the legacy of the Z series, should offer a manual option to truly connect the driver to the road.
On the performance front, the Nismo Z is nimble and spirited. It boasts precise steering and noticeable chassis enhancements. Yet, when stacked against rivals, its value seems to wane. The Ford Mustang Dark Horse, with a more attractive price tag, delivers greater power and a manual gearbox. The BMW M2 and Chevy Corvette, priced similarly, also pose significant threats. These competitors not only offer performance but also a comprehensive package that resonates with the modern buyer.
However, the crux of the issue is the dealer markups. As Jalopnik points out, dealers are now resorting to tactics to camouflage their markups. Instead of openly listing prices above the MSRP, they’re sneaking these markups into various line items, often masquerading as overpriced add-ons. This isn’t a novel strategy, but its prevalence has surged. Some dealers, for instance, are demanding outrageous sums for add-ons like mudguards, window tints, and “paint protection.” These concealed charges inflate the car’s overall cost, further deterring potential buyers.
In the case of the 2024 Nissan Z Nismo, its already high base price, combined with these covert dealer markups, makes it a tough proposition. The sports car domain is intensely competitive, and for a vehicle to thrive, it must present undeniable value. Regrettably, given its steep cost, missed chances, and the sector’s questionable sales strategies, the 2024 Nissan Z Nismo seems like a missed shot.
The automotive world must confront the dealer markup issue and transition to more transparent pricing. Otherwise, vehicles like the Nismo Z will grapple to carve a niche for themselves. As consumers become more informed, the demand for transparency and value will only increase, and automakers need to adapt accordingly.