Nissan GT-R coupe

Price  £78,030 - £125,000

Nissan GT-R coupe

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • Incredibly fast in a straight line
  • Superb handling
  • Stunning looks
  • Harsh ride at low speeds
  • A Porsche is more prestigious
  • Not as affordable as it once was

At a glance

The greenest
Recaro 3.8 V6 Twin Turbo 550PS 2dr £78,030
The cheapest
Recaro 3.8 V6 Twin Turbo 550PS 2dr £78,030
The fastest
Recaro 3.8 V6 Twin Turbo 550PS 2dr £78,030
Top of the range
Nismo 3.8 V6 Twin Turbo 600PS 2dr £125,000

"The Nissan GT-R is fast and thrilling enough to rival much more expensive supercars."

The Nissan GT-R is an unbelievably fast car. It can sprint from 0-62mph in just 2.8 seconds – a phenomenal achievement and easily enough to put many more prestigious supercars from the likes of Ferrari or Porsche to shame.

There's more to the GT-R than straight-line speed, though. The handling is amazing and it grips through corners like virtually no other performance car. The downside is that the Nissan has become more expensive over time and the latest version's starting price of over £78,000 makes it very pricey.

There's some context required here, though: a Porsche 911 Turbo starts at over £120,000 and a Ferrari 488 GTB will set you back around £183,000. Neither can quite match the GT-R's 0-62mph time, so in performance terms the Nissan looks like rather a good deal at over £40,000 less than the Porsche and less than half the price of the Ferrari.

The GT-R has been on sale since 2008 in its current form, but has been updated over time. It gained more power in 2011, along with LED running lights, new alloy wheels and a red engine cover, while additional performance updates were introduced in 2013 along with some comfort-orientated additions.

The Nissan's power comes from a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine, which has a monstrous 543bhp and means the four-wheel-drive GT-R is good for 196mph flat out. That kind of performance necessitates some pretty serious hardware elsewhere on the car and the firm sports suspension makes the ride very hard, so it's quite uncomfortable.

A stiffer body has been added to the latest version of the GT-R, which makes it a little more stable and slightly more comfortable at the front. Minor tweaks such as this have made a real difference over time, but they also mean you need to let the Nissan loose on a track to really get the most out of it and notice the little differences.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3 / 5

Clever automatic gearbox allows the GT-R to return an average of 24mpg

The Nissan GT-R can return impressive fuel economy for a car capable of nearly 200mph, but heavy use of the accelerator will result in the maker's claims tumbling fast. Producing 275g/km of CO2, the GT-R costs £505 a year to tax. Nissan is currently offering three years of free servicing to anybody who buys a GT-R on its finance plan.

Engines, drive & performance

4.5 / 5

Seamingly endless reserves of power make the revised version one of the fastest cars on the road

The GT-R makes 543bhp, so pressing the accelerator to the floor results in a near-immediate surge for the horizon in almost any gear at any speed. Corners are dispatched equally as fast, the body remaining composed and flat while occupants are subjected to some road and transmission noise on the move.

The steering is very direct, but the wide front tyres do follow tramlines and imperfections in the road, causing the steering wheel to be pulled around in your hands as a result. Adjustable dampers, electronic stability control and a paddle-shift gearbox all help the GT-R to be highly effective on road and track.

A special Track Pack model is the most focused GT-R yet, with various suspension and brakes upgrades designed to improve agility.

Interior & comfort

2 / 5

Firm suspension results in a bumpy, harsh ride at slow speeds

It's low slung, but the GT-R provides the perfect driving position. Buyers have a choice of leather or Alcantara-trimmed bucket seats, which are very comfortable when driving enthusiastically as well as over long distances. Highly supportive Recaro racing seats are also available as an option.

All the controls, including the gearshift paddles, are light and easy to use. All GT-Rs use a special suspension system that gives an incredibly firm ride. It has three modes – Comfort, Normal and R – but it’s only vaguely acceptable in Comfort and everything else is too firm for the road on longer drives.

While the stiff suspension is perfect when using the car's performance to the full, it can become tiring at lower speeds, especially on city streets. Engine noise is very intrusive and the gearbox can be a bit noisy as well.

Practicality & boot space

3.5 / 5

Practical for a supercar, the GT-R even has rear seats and large boot

Unlike many supercars, the Nissan GT-R has two small rear seats and a boot that's large enough to carry small suitcases or a set of golf clubs. The suspension is firm, but generous visibility and an airy cabin means the GT-R is a realistic proposition for everyday use. The large turning circle can cause problems when parking in tight spaces, though.

Reliability & safety

4.5 / 5

Nissan builds some of the most reliable cars on sale and the GT-R is no different

Interior materials are of a fair quality and the cabin feels well screwed together, but the GT-R doesn't have the luxurious feel of a Porsche 911 or Aston Martin Vantage. The advanced technology used in the engine, gearbox and four-wheel-drive system should prove reliable, although you can expect big maintenance bills if you plan to exploit the car's maximum performance regularly.

Price, value for money & options

3 / 5

Nothing offers this level of performance and capability for the price

For the performance on offer, the Nissan GT-R is a relative bargain. It's not as cheap as it once was, but it's still around half the price of rivals with similar performance. The car's bland design, clunky switches, limited headroom and cheap-looking sat nav are out of place, though – with a price tag this high, you expect better. Only one spec level is available, but it comes generously equipped with climate control, an 11-speaker stereo and 20-inch alloy wheels.

What the others say

4.6 / 5
based on 3 reviews
5 / 5
"At the GT-R's launch in 2007, chief engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno claimed 'the real car will arrive in three years'. So we’re guessing the heavily modified 2011 version is what Nissan always intended the GT-R to be."
4.5 / 5
"It's brilliantly and unashamedly Japanese in its design – a German or French manufacturer just wouldn’t make a car looking like this. With its bold lines and riot of creases, it fits into the Tokyo atmosphere perfectly, yet it's also aerodynamically tidy."
17 / 20
"A technical tour de force for the GT5 generation. Call it son of Skyline, but all it shares with that great beast is sensational performance and dynamic perfection. Oh boy."
Last updated 
28 Oct 2015
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