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The 2023 Nissan Z comes with a twin-turbocharged V6 that makes 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. This tester comes with a six-speed manual transmission and a price tag in the mid $50,000 range. It’s a blast to drive, and seems like it was worth the wait. But can you sleep in it?
The obvious answer is no. There is no reason that you would choose to take this vehicle camping or on a long road trip with the purpose of sleeping in it. But what if you are on what you thought would be a short 5-hour drive back home from vacation when suddenly your eyes get heavy and the need to take a nap just hits you? Is it possible to catch some z's comfortably? Let’s find out.
No one has looked at a two-seat sports car and immediately thought, wow, that’s a lot of cargo space. At least not immediately. That doesn’t mean that it can’t happen. The C7 Corvette is one such car. I drove that car to my wedding, which was 5 hours away, and filled it with golf clubs, a rental tux and luggage for a week’s worth of vacationing. On the way home, my wife and I brought both sets of luggage, a wedding dress and various wedding gifts without feeling too cramped.
The C7, though surprisingly spacious, may be the exception that proves the rule. With only 6.9 cubic feet of cargo space, the 2023 Nissan Z has less than half the space of the Corvette. That said, when I picked this car up from the airport, my wife and I were easily able to both fit our luggage in the back. Two personal items and two carry-ons should be no problem, but a large, hardside checked luggage bag will leave you wondering how you’re going to get home.
As far as space for occupants, the Z is similarly challenged. At 5’7” and 145 pounds on a good day, even I felt large in the driver's seat. The seat leans back a good amount, though nowhere near flat, and if I put my feet behind the clutch and brake pedal, I could muster up what some might refer to as comfort. The heavy bolstering on the seats, something that I thought might make sitting uncomfortable, actually helped me here. They were just the right size to kind of relaxingly squeeze me in my seat, similar to the feel of a weighted blanket, though if you’re bigger than I am you may feel differently. Could I nap here? I think so. Then again I once fell asleep on the ground under a bench at the Little Rock airport. Doesn’t mean I was comfortable or would like to repeat that performance.
As far as interior storage is concerned, the Z once again ranks below average. Sensing a theme here? There are two cupholders in the center of the car, one of which requires the armrest to be moved back in order to access it. There are another two in the doors, one on each, which will hold a 12 oz can and maybe a smaller water bottle. Want to fit a Nalgene or a 30 oz Yeti? Not here my friend. The center console is big enough for one 12 oz can or two phones and some cables, though depending on the model they may or may not fit. Those two phones can both charge though, thanks to two USB ports, one a regular USB and the other a USB-C. The only other storage up front is a tiny glove box. Like I said before, not road trip friendly.
Tiny windows and a dark interior somehow make the Z feel more cramped than it already is. I will say this though: For a two-seat sports car, I love the view out the rear. If all you are doing is looking through the rear window, the Z feels airy.
It’s great looking, sounds good, and is a lot of fun to drive, especially with the manual transmission, but the Nissan Z is a horrible car to sleep in. I don’t think any of this comes as a surprise to anyone. The Nissan Z gets fewer z's from me than it has in its name. 0.4 out of 5. Need to go on a road trip and all you have is this car? Borrow someone else’s SUV or check out Turo. Your back will thank me later.
The gear I use:
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