Nissan GT-R Review

The Nissan GT-R is a car that can trade punches with far more expensive supercars when it comes to performance and handling, but its badge doesn’t have the same cachet

9/10
Wowscore

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • Quicker than most supercars
  • Huge bang for your buck
  • Tech helps you drive quickly

What's not so good

  • Interior feels a little dated
  • High running costs
  • Not as desirable as rivals

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Overall verdict

The Nissan GT-R is a sporty coupe with a well-earned reputation for offering huge performance at a knockdown price. It’s an alternative to cars such as the Porsche 911 Turbo S, Mercedes AMG GT and Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

Given that a Nissan is trying to tempt buyers away from distinctly upmarket models such as those, there’s little surprise that the previous GT-R was criticised for being too bland inside. Fortunately, Nissan seems to have heard those complaints and, when the car was facelifted in 2016, it inherited a new interior that means the GT-R can now match the alternatives both in terms of design and materials.

The stitched leather dashboard adds class while the simplified layout and new infotainment system are welcome improvements. You can even have the cabin finished in a two-tone black/tan colour scheme, should you feel the need to replicate a Ferrari’s inners.

It’s surprisingly comfortable, too. You won’t feel cramped in the front and even the standard seats do a great job of holding you in place. But, if you do want more side bolstering, go for the GT-R Recaro model, which adds sports seats. Admittedly, there’s not so much space in the back seat, thanks to curve of the roofline, but the 315-litre boot is more impressive.
Inevitably, though, the most impressive thing about the GT-R is how it goes – and that’s thanks to the twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 engine. This now produces well in excess of 550hp, meaning the GT-R can match far more expensive supercars such as the 562hp McLaren 570S, with a 0-62mph time of less than three seconds.

Then again, if the normal GT-R still isn’t fast enough, then there are the Track and Nismo versions, which offer increasingly more power and lighter weight. There are no official acceleration figures, but the rumour is the Nismo takes under 2.5 seconds to reach 62mph.
Work has also gone into making the GT-R easier to drive on the limit, but make no mistake – it is still capable of out-cornering cars costing twice the price. Much of that is down to the many electronic driver aids, but don’t go thinking this is an emotionless car to drive. On the contrary, there’s plenty of character here, and the engine sounds fantastic.

Never mind GT-R. OMG are the letters that spring to mind when you drive this car. I can’t believe how much fun it is to drive or how easy all the electronics make it to drive very quickly

Mat Watson
carwow expert

Then again, if the normal GT-R still isn’t fast enough, then there are the Track and Nismo versions, which offer increasingly more power and lighter weight. There are no official acceleration figures, but the rumour is the Nismo takes under 2.5 seconds to reach 62mph.

Work has also gone into making the GT-R easier to drive on the limit, but make no mistake – it is still capable of out-cornering cars costing twice the price. Much of that is down to the many electronic driver aids, but don’t go thinking this is an emotionless car to drive. On the contrary, there’s plenty of character here, and the engine sounds fantastic.

What’s more, not only do all those aids help the car go more quickly, they also help it to be safer. Because the car can make sure the most power and braking force always goes to the correct tyre, the GT-R feels like it is just as surefooted avoiding an accident as it is getting you round a race track or along a tight and twisty B-road.

There’s loads of grip, whether the road is tight or open, and as you drive, you can feel the four-wheel-drive system moving power to the wheels that need it the most. Like many of the car’s systems, the suspension is adjustable, and there’s a comfort mode for when you just want to sit on the motorway and cruise.

You can also adjust the speed of the automatic gearbox’s gearshifts. The fastest ‘R’ mode wallops you in the back as you shift up the gears with your foot flat on the accelerator. Yet, around town, the gearbox happily shuffles along smoothly, making the GT-R feel no more challenging to drive than a Qashqai.

All of this ability doesn’t come cheap, of course, but the extensive standard equipment is comparable to what you’ll find on a Porsche 911 Turbo S. Given that the German car costs twice as much, that makes the Nissan something of a bargain in the supercar world – although its running costs are higher than in the alternatives.

That’s much the same as it’s ever been, of course, but this latest version of the GT-R is also more usable on an everyday basis than any of the previous generations. That means it deserves a place on the shortlist of anyone who’s fortunate enough to be considering a high-performance model or even a supercar.

Nissan GT-R
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