240z Vs 280z – What Is The Real Comparison?

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240z Vs 280z Main Difference: 240z is the original raw, planted sports car. On one hand, 280Z leans more towards being a comfortable GT model with its sleek lines and luxurious features but still maintains some of that edgy appeal found only in vintage cars like itself.

The Japanese car manufacturer Datsun made a brave decision to challenge the Western world in the affordable sports car market for the first time. The 240Z is an automotive legend. It was the answer to Toyota’s 2000GT which ultimately failed, and it would go on to create a whole family of Z cars for Nissan fans everywhere. Which of them is actually better? 240Z vs. 280 Z, let’s dive in and compare.

What Is Datsun 240z?

When the 240z hit US docks in October 1969, it brought with it a 4-cylinder engine that produced 151hp and offered four-wheel independent suspension. This new sports car stole our hearts by achieving 0-60 mph speeds in less than 8 seconds. The Datsun 240z was a huge success in the European and U.S. markets, not only because it challenged these established sports car brands but also on account of its stunning looks which made this vehicle more attractive than any other car available at the time.

What Is Datsun 280z?

After a short, yet slightly disappointing year with the 260z, Datsun returned to their winning ways in 1975. When Datsun launched the 280z in 1975, owners rejoiced and faith was restored. This car would go on to become a classic example of what makes a JDM powerhouse. The 280 featured an even larger engine at 2.8L, which was created by enlarging the bore of its L26 core to comply with ever-changing emissions laws and still provide excellent fuel efficiency.

240z Vs 280z: Major Differences


The exterior of the 240Z and 280Z are nearly identical. There is only one difference, which would be badges or blinkers depending on whether it’s an American-made model versus foreign origin. The most talked-about difference between the 240Z and 280z is their bumpers. Most people absolutely hate how oversized they look, which is understandable given that these parts can easily cover up your license plate when parking or impacting other cars.


You might have already figured it out, but the numbers in Z car names have a meaning. “240” refers to the 2.4L engine that they came with from the factory while 280 is an upgrade and promotion for their second-generation model which featured more powerful engines than its predecessor- 140hp at 5800 RPM versus 148 hp on 6K rpm without promotional accessories installed. The engine of the 240Z was carbureted, whilst its successor 280Z used a Bosch fuel injection system. This made for an almost maintenance-free drive with no emissions restrictions.


Both cars share a similar suspension system, which is an independent MacPherson strut setup. The differences in the two models are minor and only consist of different metal thicknesses or tube widths for their springs but they do share all other components.

Which Is Best Between 240z and 280z?

Restoration- Winner: 240z

In our opinion, the 240z is a better option for restoring an S30 chassis. Although parts from 280Z are undoubtedly going to be easier fits.

Engine Swap- Winner: 280z

This is likely to become rather irrelevant when it comes down to engine swaps. For that reason, the 280z is stronger and stiffer than a Series I with the potential for huge money or angering purists.

The Ultimate Drive- Winner: 240z

We think the 240 might be a little more fun to drive. It has that legendary driving feel which made these cars so popular, but with less weight around you’ll get an even better sense of how much territory this thing can take on.

Modifying- Winner: 280z

The 280z is the perfect car for anyone who wants to go drifting, build up their own frame-laying stance whip, or head out onto the track. It will not only deliver excellent performance but also keep you safe from angering purists.

Weight- Winner: 240z

The 240Z is a lightweight, quick, and agile car that will be an excellent choice for those who want something with no frills.

Rust- Winner: 280z

The 280z is a more durable car than the 240 because it has heavier-duty materials and an engine that can handle winter conditions. If you live in areas where there’s salt on roads during colder months, we recommend storing your vehicle for those periods of time so its exterior doesn’t get damaged by rust or other older chemicals from dirty roadways.


What is the difference between 240Z and 280Z?

The 240Z and 280Z are both equipped with a 2.4L inline six-cylinder engine, but there is one major difference: they share most components such as pistons, etc. The carburetor on an older generation model requires less maintenance than the fuel injection system found in newer models which can cost up to three times more depending upon how often it needs servicing.

Is the Datsun 240Z fast?

With prices starting at just $3,526 for the 240Z and an engine that produces 151 horsepower with four-speed transmission capabilities this sports car has been seen as one of if not the best performance buys on today’s market. The 0-to-60 mph time ranges from 8 -second fastest while reaching 125 Mph top speed which makes it great value even without luxury features like leather seats or air conditioning.

Is a 280Z reliable?

If you take care of your car, then the Z series is for sure a reliable vehicle.

The early 240s through 280ZXs can be tough to handle well and keep running smoothly but with some patience, they will last longer than expected.

Final Words

As much as these cars are identical in many ways, they’re also extremely different. The 240z is known for its raw and unadulterated performance while the 280Z has a more luxurious appearance with sharp lines that lean towards GTs instead of sports models.

The cars are both impressive and they have excellent performance. They’re a true winner in every regard because of their stylish, retro appearance combined with the great driving position offered by their seats for example which makes you feel like a king while at it.

We hope this article has helped you get a better understanding of what it is like to own one of these amazing Datsuns.

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