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Nissan GT-R Review

heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

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"'Godzilla' is a supercar sensation"
  • Launched: 2009
  • Performance
  • Petrol

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Quick overview

Pros

  • Incendiary performance
  • Relative affordability
  • Highly bespoke nature

Cons

  • It’s a Nissan, not a Ferrari
  • Very expensive running costs
  • Feels like an 11-year-old car in places

Nissan Gt R cars for sale on heycar

3
Number of cars available
£67K - £85K
Price bracket of these cars
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2 doors
Door options available

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Nissan GT-R 10 frontleft exterior

Overall verdict

Nissan GT-R  steering wheel

On the inside

Nissan GT-R  frontright exterior

Driving

Nissan GT-R rear exterior

Cost to run

Nissan GT-R 10 rightside exterior

Prices and Specs

Overall Verdict

"The GT-R is one of Nissan’s most legendary cars of all time. It even has a nickname – ‘Godzilla’ – and has been around in one form or another for more than 50 years. Throughout that time, it has stood for boundary-pushing performance and, in recent years, epic levels of handling ability and grip."

Nissan GT-R 10 frontleft exterior

This version was launched in 2008, replacing the previous Skyline GT-R. Now simply called GT-R, it followed a similar formula, with a twin-turbo V6 engine and high-tech all-wheel-drive running gear. Even at launch, it put out 480PS. Today, the figure stands at 570PS basic, or 600PS peak.


In terms of sheer point-to-point speed, little can touch the Nissan GT-R – not even some supercars from Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche. It has an almost other-worldly ability to find grip and traction, and deliver the driver enough confidence to utilise it, while the engine is truly explosive. It’s no wonder this car has such a cult following.


It’s a surprisingly good daily-driver too – provided, that is, you can afford the fuel bills. The interior is roomy, the boot is big and such a clever all-wheel-drive system also aids high-speed stability. And, of course, there’s power in reserve at the merest tickle of the accelerator pedal.


Nissan’s range-topper is suitably loaded with equipment, and the infotainment system is particularly comprehensive. Buyers get the sort of access to on-board information normally reserved for Formula One engineers. You can enjoy a Bose 11-speaker sound system, although you may prefer the titanium exhaust instead.


Be in no doubt, this is a truly exotic high-end supercar. For a Nissan, it’s very expensive, with a brand-new list price of over £80,000. However, you won’t easily find a used one for less than £50,000, showing how sought-after it is. Consider it a half-price Ferrari, with the ability to embarrass many of Maranello’s finest cars.


Although its core is the same, Nissan has continually updated the GT-R over the past decade. A team of engineers is dedicated to continual refinements, honing an already polished vehicle to ever-higher levels of ability. The latest changes include gearchanges that are 0.15 seconds faster, along with five per cent more efficient turbochargers and enhanced exhaust manifolds. That’s the sort of minute detail engineering that goes into the GT-R.


Nissan offers an even more exotic and specialised range-topper called the GT-R Nismo. This has an extensive Nismo-themed styling package, a tuned engine with that full 600PS, plus a special onboard infotainment system with Nismo-specific features. You’d expect no less, mind, from a vehicle that costs £175,000.


The Nissan GT-R isn’t for everyone. Some will err towards the broader appeal of a Porsche or Ferrari. Nissan doesn’t mind: it’s seeking a different customer base, one that relishes the heritage of this long-running, storied brand. It costs a fortune to run, but “So what?”, they’ll say. There’s nothing quite like it, so it’s a price worth paying.


Is the Nissan GT-R right for you?

If you want one of the most incendiary point-to-point new cars on sale, the Nissan GT-R should be high up your shopping list. It’s an unashamed driver’s car, one with huge focus and intensity, which delivers thrills you almost certainly will never have experienced before.


The thing is, it does all this for a price well below the supercar norm. This is a core part of the GT-R’s brilliance – it’s the blue-collar supercar, of sorts, delivering highs that really shouldn’t be possible for this kind of money.


Then there’s the practicality. It has loads of onboard creature comforts. It’s roomy, with a big boot. There’s even passable space in the comfortable, individually-bolstered rear seats. It’s an uncommonly well-rounded supercar you could use every day.


What's the best Nissan GT-R model/engine to choose?

With the new GT-R, we really like the appeal of the entry-level Pure model. For less than £85,000, it offers all the performance you could ever want, and an exotic spec including 20-inch alloys and a titanium exhaust. Do you really need to spend £3,000 more on the Recaro version just to get an upgraded interior? Or £4,000 more on the Prestige to get posh leather?


But then your eyes will clock the Track Edition. Yes, it’s £100,000, but it has ultra-lightweight wheels, Bilstein suspension and a special reinforced body for better on-track performance. Bargain, no? Certainly more so than the Nismo version. This has 600PS and Nismo body styling, but is it really worth £175,000? No, we think the sweet-spot is either base Pure or honed Track Edition.


As for used GT-R, you can now buy 2016 models from £50k. That’s still a lot of money, but wait until you experience the 550PS performance first-hand…

What other cars are similar to the Nissan GT-R?

Few cars are quite like the Nissan GT-R. The Porsche 911 is a famously capable everyday rival, and with prices from £82,000, it’s a fiercely appealing GT-R alternative. But 385PS pales compared to the Nissan’s 570PS, and if you want all-wheel drive, you’ll need to spend over £88,000.


Super saloons and estates are other alternatives. Think of cars such as the BMW M5 and Audi RS6. Even these make the Nissan look like a bargain, mind – and that’s before you consider exotica such as the Ferrari F8 Tributo and Lamborghini Huracan Evo. Maybe the Honda NSX might also take your fancy?


Really, though, there’s nothing similar to the Nissan GT-R, which is why it has such unique appeal. Long may it continue so.


Learn more

Nissan GT-R  steering wheel

On the inside

Nissan GT-R  frontright exterior

Driving

Nissan GT-R rear exterior

Cost to run

Nissan GT-R 10 rightside exterior

Prices and Specs

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