Best Aftermarket Exhaust For Nissan Z | Honest Review

At one point in time, we had 2% of the total Nissan Z’s produced in the United States in our shop. During that time, we confirmed our suspicion that Nissan Z’s have the worst stock exhaust we’ve ever (not) heard.

So we’ve helped people find an aftermarket exhausts that make it sound well…like a sports car, and today’s subject was the Borla 23-24 Nissan Z 2.5in S-Type Cat Back Exhaust.

So what’s it like? Well in today’s “Honest Review” that’s exactly what we’re talking about in today’s blog.

What to Consider Before Buying an Aftermarket Exhaust For Nissan Z

Before you get started with deciding if you want a cat-back exhaust system or a header-back system, the thing to keep in mind here is that the Nissan Z needs some form of help.

The exhaust tips don’t fill up the rear bumper outlets. The sporty sound is nowhere to be seen or heard. For some reason the twin turbo v6 engine just does NOT come out no matter what mode you’re in. So with that said, we found the greatest version of an aftermarket exhaust on the Nissan Z to have the following:

  • 2.5″ exhaust piping seems to be just about perfect for the platform.
  • Dual exhaust is better than single exit.
  • Some form of cross-sectional area helps with drone.
  • Exhaust tips should be 3.5″-4″ to fill bumper space.
  • Exhaust design DOES matter; including if you want something that has a touring exhaust note at low speeds, and a sport exhaust note at high speed.

Borla S-Type Cat-Back Exhaust | Nissan Z

Enter the contender; The Borla S-Type Cat-Back Exhaust system. This system uses a 304 stainless steel dual in/dual out system with a split rear exit. Available for both automatic and manual transmission Z’s, this exhaust was Borla’s response to Fi’s valved exhaust Z system (which starts priced at $3,200).

A few things make this exhaust special.

1) Borla offers it with two distinct sound level offerings, the S-Type and ATAK, the S-Type strikes a balance by providing a sporty yet deep tone that is bound to turn heads without overwhelming the senses.

2) At its core, the S-Type features dual 2.5-inch pipe diameters and something called a “polyphonic harmonizer”. What that is confused even me at first, but it is a piece within the system that helps harmonize the exhaust note through a 1-4-1 piece to aid in the acoustic output of the system. Simply put, it reduces drone and amplifies the depth of how the car sounds.

Polyphonic Harmonizer Included in Borla S-Type Exhaust

What to Expect Unboxing

When unboxing Borla’s S-Type Cat-Back Exhaust system, we found that everything was packages super well. For $2,000 you would hope so, but most exhaust companies seem to just toss everything in a single box, slap it on the a..er, rear end, and send it to customers. This box is clearly inspected before coming to you.

Each item was packaged independently and wrapped in the appropriate material to prevent dings and scratches.

As a reminder, you will not need to assemble your exhaust tips with this kit; as they come pre-assembled to the muffler. This is nice as it removes the chances of having an exhaust that’s not symmetrical when you install it.

The outside welds were nice and appropriate, with the inside welds being “fine.” We know noone looks inside an exhaust, but we noticed a bit of boogering on the inside which wasn’t out favorite thing to see; but marginal in the grand scheme of things.

The exhaust is also notably lighter than stock, which was nice. With most exhaust systems using mediocre material, Borla uses a 304 stainless which can be felt with every piece we unboxed.

Ease of Installation & Instructions

The installation of the Borla S-Type Cat-Back Exhaust system is a straightforward affair. Designed as a direct replacement to the OEM exhaust, this system embraces simplicity with its bolt-on installation approach. It took us about 1.5 hours to install and 1 hour to remove the OEM exhaust with a portable lift.

Included instructions made the installation process simple, requiring nothing more than the basic impact tools and metric wrenches.

Sound & Power Gains

The sound is notably better; along with a bump in power. Keep in mind that true power gains in the Nissan Z are achieved by the means of downpipes and a tune, but the exhaust likely opened up 15-20hp by removing some of the restriction in the tiny OEM exhaust pipes.

The polyphonic harmonizer does something, that’s for sure. When we installed our Fi Exhaust in our previous Z, we noticed that with the valves open it was still pretty quiet. We did NOT have that issue with this exhaust. Upon start-up, there’s a notable difference in idle sound, rev sound, and through the shifts. The exhaust design helped with hearing the faintest of turbo noises as well, which was nice.


At a $2,000 price point, The Borla S-Type exhaust for the Nissan Z is a proper contender for your next car mod. While still expensive for metal, the quality in its design, ease of installation, and exhaust note is hard to beat. The combined muffler/exhaust tip is a nice nod to the installer for making it easy, and we even noticed during the installation how convenient it was to get this on the Nissan Z.

Oh, and you get a sick hat.

If you want to check out the exhaust, check it out here. Questions? Shoot us a message here!

Borla S-Type Exhaust System Highlights:

  • Engine Compatibility: Designed for the Nissan Z’s 3.0L twin-turbo V6
  • Sound Technology: Borla’s Polyphonic Harmonizer for quality tone
  • Exhaust Tips: 4.5-inch options in chrome or carbon fiber
  • Material: Durable T-304 stainless steel
  • Warranty: Borla Million-Mile Warranty

Alex Martinez

My name is Alex, or Alex Martini (Alex.Martini__) and I love building unreliable cars. From track, road, drag and drift, there really isn't a motorsport I love. PS if you're reading this, just know that we've got some WILD builds coming for MartiniWorks that we're really excited to share with you :)