Nissan GT-R review - nine years old, but still a supercoupe benchmark

Dan Prosser
6 Jul 2016

Nine years after its launch the GT-R remains a sensationally fast, rewarding and exciting sports coupe.

Evo Rating: 
Enormous performance, engaging dynamics
Cramped rear cabin, little else

evo Verdict 

When it was launched in 2008 the Nissan GT-R set new standards for performance at its price point. That price point has steadily risen to a shade under £80,000 over the years, but the GT-R still offers an unrivalled blend of pace, driver involvement and everyday usability. 

Somehow, the GT-R earned a reputation for being synthesised and uninvolving, mostly among those who had never driven one. The truth is that the GT-R rewards and excites its driver like nothing else, combining massive straight-line performance, huge cornering grip and endlessly adjustable dynamics to deliver a unique driving experience. 

The car’s styling and, in particular, its cabin have dated since 2008. Buyers stepping across from a Porsche 911 will think the interior design to be clumsy and the materials low rent, but that shouldn’t detract from what is still a very usable everyday car.

evo Tip

The sold-out 2013 Nismo version was the GT-R at its most extreme. It had more power and an even more aggressive chassis tune, which lifted performance to untold heights on track or smooth tarmac, but the firm suspension was too much for the bumpiest of back roads. The Nismo cost £125,000 new and values have risen slightly since then. 

evo Comment

‘The Nissan GT-R divides enthusiasts like no other car has ever done. It seems to provoke a tribal response; some adoring it for its giant-killing abilities while others dislike it for its blue-collar badge and the unjustified perception that it’s a remote and uninvolving car. Whatever your position on the GT-R, it will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the all-time greats.’ – Dan Prosser, road test editor.

> Performance and 0-60mph time - No official stats for the 2017 MY car yet, but with a slight power boost the GT-R should be quicker than ever - and it was already blisteringly fast.

> Engine and gearbox - A 20bhp increase for the 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V6 for 2017. Shifts from the dual-clutch auto are as rapid as ever.

> Ride and handling - Slightly more mellow than before, but still capable of seeing off virtually any other car on the road. Notable improvements to the ride, and R mode is no longer unusable when the going gets bumpy.

> MPG and running costs - Be in no doubt: The GT-R will be expensive to run. Not just on fuel but also insurance, and it'll need more maintenance than the average Nissan too.

> Prices, specs and rivals - Prices have crept up slightly for 2017 but the potential range of rivals is as wide as ever. A 911 Turbo S is still the GT-R's natural enemy.

> Interior and tech - Improvements made at the last update have bestowed a certain quality on the GT-R's cabin that was absent before. It's a welcome change.

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