Nissan GT-R (2009) Review
Nissan GT-R (2009) At A Glance
Insurance Group 50
On average it achieves 85% of the official MPG figure
A decade on from its launch, the Nissan GT-R remains one of the most driver-focused cars on the planet. Although it shares a website and showroom space with the likes of the Micra, Juke and Qashqai, the GT-R is a bespoke and specialised vehicle with the talent to upset the supercar establishment. It’s hard to pinpoint direct rivals, because the GT-R is as practical as a performance coupe, yet fast enough to compete with a Ferrari. It’s a Porsche 911 for tech geeks. It also has the supercar running costs to match.
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The Nissan GT-R is a modern classic. Launched in 2009, and steadily improved over the years, the GT-R remains the default choice for drivers who fancy engaging in some supercar giant-killing action. ‘Godzilla’ might be getting on a bit, but it can still handle a good fight.
At its heart is a bespoke 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine. At launch, it put out a healthy 480PS. Today, it offers 570PS in ‘standard’ guise, or 600PS if you opt for the Nismo. You’ll need deep pockets to buy the latter, as it comes with a £180,000 price tag.
But fear not, because the entry-level Pure model retains most of the GT-R’s ferocious performance, for a slightly more affordable price. That’s if you can call £86,000 ‘affordable’. It’s all relative, because even a supercar with a million-dollar price tag would struggle to keep up with a GT-R on a track or British B-road. It’s unbelievably good.
Some of this is down to the GT-R’s computers and sophisticated four-wheel-drive system, but the driver isn’t left out in the cold. Yes, you’re aware that the computers are working to get the best out of any given situation, but the balance, steering and feedback are things you’ll only experience if you get behind the wheel. Purists might prefer a Porsche, Ferrari or McLaren, but the GT-R puts you at the heart of the action.
In the same way that the Honda NSX was the everyday supercar of the 1990s, the Nissan GT-R is the supercar daily-driver for a new generation. There’s a decent amount of luggage space, a pair of rear seats suitable for children, plenty of storage options and good visibility for the driver and front-seat passenger.
The fly in the ointment will be the running costs. You should expect to see around 20mpg, but this will drop considerably when you’re exploring the limits of the GT-R. Not that you’ll get anywhere close to those limits on a public road. You also need to consider the cost of insurance, tax and servicing. The GT-R requires a service every 6000 miles.
Used examples cost as little as £35,000, so you might be tempted to take the plunge. Go ahead, but don’t expect the running costs to be any lower. Still, at least the GT-R is likely to be more reliable than an exotic supercar, if no less expensive to fix when something does go wrong.
A word about the cabin, which is certainly showing its age. Finding switchgear from lesser Nissan models is a negative aspect of GT-R ownership, especially if you’re spending £86,000 for the privilege. There’s also a general lack of modern driver assistance systems, although we’d argue that the software provides a pretty decent safety net.