Review: Nissan GT-R (2009)

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One of the quickest cars money can buy. Twin-turbo V6 develops 550PS. Good value compared to any other supercar.

Automatic only. Interior quality and finish are poor given the price.

Nissan GT-R (2009): At A Glance

Capable of covering 0-62mph in just 2.7 seconds, the Nissan GT-R is one of the fastest and most technologically advanced sports cars money can buy. In terms of power per pound, the supersonic GT-R is unbeatable value, while its large and practical nature makes it surprisingly easy for everyday use. 

Powered by a 3.8-litre V6 twin-turbo, early GT-R models (launched in 2008) featured 480PS and a 588Nm of torque. However, over the years Nissan has evolved its supercar formula with styling tweaks and power upgrades. As a result the 2014 model pack 550PS, while maximum torque has been extended to an incredible 632Nm.

Significant improvements have been made to the ride quality and in 2010 Nissan introduced a two-wheel drive mode, which temporarily shifts the car to two-wheel drive for low speed manoeuvres, such as parking and city driving. However, it's on the open road that the GT-R truly excels, with outstanding performance and handling. 

Power is delivered to the four-wheels via a six-speed sequential dual-clutch gearbox that snaps through the ratios in just 0.15 seconds, but the key to the GT-R's outstanding ability lies in its active suspension system, which uses sensors to monitor and continually adjust the shock absorbers in tune with the torque delivery. 

As a result, the GT-R is extremely easy to drive at high speeds, with plenty of grip and mountains of torque. The brakes are excellent too, while the steering and pedals provide intricate feedback, which only inspires you to push hard and faster than you really should.

On the downside, the GT-R's quad exhaust doesn't sound as rewarding as some of its illustrious supercar rivals and the quality of the cabin isn't reflective of the considerable list price. But the boot is a decent size and neither the driver or passenger will complain about interior comfort, thanks to a pair of sculpted sports seats and an abundance of head and leg room. 

However, it's the outright performance that wins the day here and we cannot think of many supercars that can match the Nissan for ability or practicality. Indeed, spend a day in one and you’ll never want to give it back.

Nissan GT-R 2016 Road Test

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What does a Nissan GT-R (2009) cost?

List Price from £84,035
Buy new from £75,504

Nissan GT-R (2009): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4650–4710 mm
Width 1895 mm
Height 1370 mm
Wheelbase 2780 mm

Full specifications

The cabin of the Nissan GT-R is comfortable and spacious, with plenty of head and leg room for both the driver and front passenger. On the downside, the rear seats are cramped, but will accommodate two children with ease. The boot is surprisingly useful though, with 350 litres, which is enough for a couple of reasonable suitcases or a set or two of golf clubs. 

The GT-R's dashboard glows with digital readouts and displays, which can bewilder those not accustomed to Japanese supercar layouts, but all of the dials are clear and easy to read. Unlike some of its European rivals, Nissan has employed the scatter gun approach to the button layout, which means some controls are difficult to see behind the large steering wheel and gearshift paddles.

However, the front three rocker switches are a nice touch and we enjoyed the 'gaming interface', which displays live graphs for G-force, torque distribution and water temperature. Admittedly, it is a novelty item, but it is one that will become a talking point with your passengers. 

The steering wheel gets plenty of on-board controls, for the infotainment system, trip computer and media, but none of the buttons feel premium or nice to the touch. In fact, the centre console and switchgear lacks any sort of premium feel and there's also an abundance of cheap plastics, which you wouldn't really find with the GT-R's German rivals. 

The Nissan is very comfortable though, with four crafted leather seats that provide lots of upper leg and lower back support, which is ideal for long trips. It's also easy for the driver to find a decent driving position and view of the road, with plenty of electronically adjustments in the seat.

Unlike some of its supercar rivals, the GT-R has excellent levels of heat and noise insulation, which means the cabin doesn't cook up in heavy traffic or deafen you and your passengers on the motorway. The Nissan also boasts an excellent sound system too, which means in-car entertainment is never an issue.

Standard equipment:

GT-R comes with leather seats, seat heater, eight-way power driver seat and four-way passenger seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift, aluminium mood door grip finisher, 20-inch alloy wheels, front and rear LED lights and DRL, automatic headlights, UV-reducing solar glass, HDD Music Box system, including 30GB hard drive with 9.4GB for audio storage, digital Bose audio system with AM/FM/CD, Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls, vehicle Immobiliser system and a Thatcham Approved anti-theft system.

Child seats that fit a Nissan GT-R (2009)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

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What's the Nissan GT-R (2009) like to drive?

The Nissan GT-R is a phenomenally fast car and its 3.8-litre V6 twin-turbo will return between 480PS – 550PS, depending on the model. In its ultimate form, with 550PS, the GT-R will blast to 62mph from a standstill in just 2.7 seconds, while its 632Nm of torque will pin you to the back of your seat for as long as you dare to keep your foot to the floor.

The GT-R’s supersonic pace is delivered to the road via a racing tuned four-wheel drive system, with a six-speed sequential dual-clutch gearbox dealing with the gear changes automatically. The auto ‘box is also linked to paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel, but we doubt many drivers will use these away from the race track, such is the effectiveness of the auto ‘box.

The traction of the four-wheel drive superb is further improved by Nissan’s active suspension system, which uses sensors to monitor and continually adjust the shock absorbers in tune with the torque delivery. As a result, the GT-R is blistering quick in the corners as the computerised traction, suspension and gearbox providing a vice-like grip of the road. The steering wheel and pedals also supply excellent feedback, which only encourage you to push harder and faster than you really should.  

As you might imagine, the GT-R is extremely easy (and forgiving) to drive fast. Indeed, point the nose at the corner, hit the throttle and the Nissan will slingshot around bends with minimal of bodyroll or wheel spin. During our test we pushed the car as hard as we could, yet the car's set up proved near faultless. Even potholed roads and poor surfaces do little to dissuade the GT-R’s firm grip of the tarmac.

Obviously, the GT-R has its limits and the three driver-selectable driving modes will take you there, by loosening the suspension, traction control and braking.  But only seasoned pros or track drivers will want to dabble with the in-car set up. 

At lower speeds, the Nissan calms down into a sedate cruiser, with minimal motorway noise and impressive all round refinement. Although the diff has a tendency to make some troubling noises when cold, we found the GT-R to be fine for everyday driving, thanks to its comfortable cabin and impressive visibility.

Since 2010, Nissan has fitted a two-wheel drive mode, which temporarily shifts the car to two-wheel drive for low speed manoeuvres, which makes it notably easier to park and potter around town. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
3.8 V6 23–24 mpg 2.7–3.5 s 275–316 g/km
3.8 V6 Nimso 24 mpg 2.9 s 275 g/km
3.8 V6 Nismo 24 mpg 2.9 s 275 g/km
3.8 V6 Track Edition 24 mpg - 275 g/km

Real MPG average for a Nissan GT-R (2009)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

16–24 mpg

MPGs submitted


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What have we been asked about the Nissan GT-R (2009)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

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What cars would you recommend as possible future classics?

What cars would you recommend as possible future classics? They must be automatic and reasonable to maintain.
You could have a look at a Mercedes-Benz SL (R107) although these are expensive now. Maybe a P38 Range Rover or a Bentley Arnage Red Label. If you'd like to go a bit more modern, then perhaps one of the first Audi TTs with the DSG box like the 2003 3.2 is an option (although the boxes are fragile) or something like a Smart Roadster. Also worth a look might be an American muscle car like a Mustang, or you could go for a high-performance model like a BMW M3 or Mercedes-Benz AMG. Feeling flush? Then how about a Nissan GT-R.
Answered by Keith Moody
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What Cars Are Similar To The Nissan GT-R (2009)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Keen handling, High performance, Petrol engine, Performance car and Coupe.

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