5 coupes and 5 sports sedans we’d rather have than the Nissan Z

Almost everyone is excited about the new Nissan Z. The 370Z debuted in 2009 and was on sale until 2020 – without major updates. Although it was still a great car, it showed its age quite clearly.

The new Z is a fresh interpretation of the Nissan sports car and from what we’ve learned, it’s going to be pretty good at that. The Z will borrow the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 and make the same 400 horsepower. The biggest difference is that the Z is only rear-wheel drive and doesn’t have the option to drive all wheels. The Nissan Z transmissions have already been confirmed as 6-speed manual or 9-speed automatic. Although everything in the Nissan Z is brand new, it still shares the same DNA as older Z cars. The overall design is very reminiscent of the 300ZX and the original 240Z, while the proportions remain true to the newer 350Z and 370Z.

While there’s little doubt that the new Nissan Z would be a great sports car, there are alternatives for those who want the same level of performance and commitment — particularly in the $40,000-$50,000 price range that the Nissan Z most likely has will cost. So here are 5 sports cars and 5 sports sedans we’d rather have than the new Nissan Z.

10 Sports coupe – Toyota Supra

The Toyota Supra is one of the most popular sports coupes in the world thanks to its enormous tuning potential and aftermarket parts. The current A90 Toyota Supra debuted in 2020 and has been met with mixed reviews ever since – mostly in terms of ergonomics.

The Supra is available with a choice of a 2.0-liter turbocharged i4 or a 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six. From the later 2022 model year, the 3.0-liter will be available with a 6-speed manual, but an 8-speed automatic is the standard option.

Related: Everything we love about the new manual 2023 Toyota GR Supra

9 Sports coupé – BMW M240i

The BMW M240i is the smallest sports car offering from the German brand. It’s powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six – the same as in the Toyota Supra – and produces 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. BMW recently updated the M240i’s options, and the range now includes a non-xDrive variant.

The only transmission option available is the 8-speed torque-converter automatic, which is a bit of a shame as the M240i is a great sports car and having it with a manual transmission would greatly increase driver involvement. Hopefully the upcoming M2 will have a manual.

8th Sports coupe – Lexus RC 350

The Lexus RC 350 is the mid-range offering in the Lexus RC range and is equipped with a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 engine. The engine drives the rear wheels as standard, but all-wheel drive is also available as an option. The V6 makes 315 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, all mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The Lexus RC was primarily designed for luxury and comfort, but sportiness was also part of the equation, particularly to compete with the BMW 440i coupe and Audi A5 coupe. The Lexus RC has been around since 2014, but it’s still a great option for those looking for a sports coupe.

7 Sports coupe – Ford Mustang GT

The Ford Mustang GT has always been the cheaper option when looking for a muscle car, but thanks to the vastly improved sixth generation, the Mustang has become more of a sports car than a proper muscle car.

That doesn’t mean it’s lost its muscle car ethos, though. The GT is still powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that produces 450 hp and 410 lb-ft in the least powerful trim, going up to 480 hp in the Mach 1 trim. The Mustang GT starts at around $39,000 and goes up to $58,000 for the Mach-1.

Related: Ford wants to save the manuals with its 7th generation Ford Mustang

6 Sports coupe – Chevrolet Camaro SS

Like the Ford Mustang GT, the Chevrolet Camaro has evolved into a sports car rather than a muscle car. It is available with a choice of engines, from a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline four to a 3.6-litre V6 and a 6.2-litre V8. Transmission choices include either a 6-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic.

The performance starts at 250 hp in the 4-cylinder, via the 335 hp V6 and ends with a 455 hp V8. The Camaro starts at around $25,000 and finishes at around $45,000 for the top-of-the-line SS. The Camaro SS is a great sports car and a great alternative to the Japanese and German models.

5 Sports sedan – Kia Stinger GT

Sports coupes aren’t the only choice available if you’re looking for an alternative to the Nissan Z. Sport sedans offer the same performance and driving experience as the sport coupe, but are more practical and spacious in the interior. One of the best entry-level sport sedans is the Kia Stinger GT.

Equipped with a 368 hp and 376 lb-ft 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6, the Stinger GT is a pretty decent and reliable sedan. If required, it can even be equipped with all-wheel drive. Kia recently updated the Stinger with some new wheels and a slight facelift, but at $45,000, the Stinger GT is a bargain.

Also See: Why We Love the 2021 Kia Stinger GT

4 Sports sedan – Lexus IS 350 F-Sport

The Lexus IS 350 F-Sport shares the same engine as the RC 350 – a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 that produces 315 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately, the IS 500 F-Performance is more than $12,000 more expensive than the IS 350 F-Sport, which starts at $45,000.

The IS is now a slightly older model – even if it doesn’t necessarily look like it due to the design. One aspect where it shows its age is in the interior – it still has a CD slot and the satellite navigation hasn’t been updated that much since 2013. Still, the IS 350 F-Sport is a refined and outrageously reliable sports sedan.

3 Sport Sedan – Dodge Charger Scat Pack

The Dodge Charger Scat Pack is a great car because it offers a lot of car for relatively little money – in true American car tradition. Starting at $46,000, the Scat Pack comes with a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 that produces 485 horsepower. The Charger Scat Pack is only available with an 8-speed automatic transmission, but it’s a ZF unit, so there’s no problem with it.

The Charger Scat Pack offers plenty of space both in the interior and in the trunk, making it a sporty sedan and a great family car. Interestingly, the V8 in the Scat Pack was only 1mpg worse than the base spec V6, which puts out around 26mpg.

2 Sports sedan – Genesis G70 3.3T

The Genesis G70 is a premium to luxury sedan built to take on the Germans – like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class – by their own means. The G70 range starts with a 2.0-liter inline-4 turbocharger, but the sportier version is the 3.3T. As previously mentioned, the G70 is powered by a 365hp, 3.3-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 – the same one found in the Kia Stinger GT.

The Genesis G70 3.3T starts at $44,000, with the “Sport Advanced” specification costing $4,000 more. The G70, like most Genesis models, offers luxury and refinement almost as good as its best rivals, but for a lot less money. Even though the G70 3.3T has less power compared to many sports sedans, it is still a good choice.

Related: What we love most about the 2022 Genesis G70

1 Sports sedan – BMW M340i

Finally the best small sports sedan of them all – the BMW M340i. The Bimmer is one of the pricier options to choose from – starting at around $52,000 – but it’s worth every penny. The M340i is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six that produces 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The car also features a 48-volt mild hybrid system that helps with emissions and provides a performance boost.

The BMW 3 Series was the standard for the compact full-size sedan, with the top-of-the-line M3 variant being the benchmark for the smaller sports sedan. Since the 3 Series has just been updated with a fresh look, it’s gotten even better. It’s definitely a worthy alternative to the Nissan Z.

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