Nissan GT-R (2009 – 2022) Review

Nissan GT-R (2009 – 2022) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Yes, the Nissan GT-R is showing its age. Yes, a new Porsche will feel superior on the inside. But the fact that the GT-R is as formidable today as it was in 2009 speaks volumes about the brilliance of this car. There’s nothing quite like it.

+The everyday supercar, incredible performance and ability, bespoke feel.

-Cabin is showing its age, ruinously expensive to run, lacks the prestige of many rivals.

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.

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.

Ask Honest John

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

Can I reject my Nissan GT-R over faulty gearbox?

"My four month old Nissan GT-R has a gearbox fault and has been in twice for repairs with the dealer. Can I reject it and ask for a new car? "
Big ask. In theory you could, but if the dealer resisted it could cost you a fortune in legal and county court costs. The dealer might contend that you damaged it.
Answered by Honest John

Does the Nissan GT-R have an NCAP rating?

"Does the Nissan GT-R have an NCAP rating or an equivalent from Japan? I'm thinking of getting one, but Internet searches have yielded a blank."
No, not on the NCAP list. I guess not enough imported for it to be worth Nissan's while to go to the huge expense of this.
Answered by Honest John

Buying a sports car as an investment

"I have always wanted an Aston Martin and the V8 Vantage is affordable. I want the car to be an investment and to depreciate as little as possible. I have been offered an 18,000 mile 05 model for £43,000. The car will be garaged, kept for many years and will only do 5 - 8k miles per year. Do you think this is a good buy? Also, if you were able to spend £45k on a prestiege or classic car that has seen the worst of its depreciation, is reliable and can be used at weekends and on dry days, what car you would recommend? I have considered a Maserati Gran Turismo, Nissan Skyline GTR and Porsche 911 Targa (993, 996 or 997)."
It's an attractive buy. In a stable economy, cars like this depreciate for 5 years or so, then bottom out, level off and start appreciating again. Ferraris tend to be the best bet and in that price category I'd be looking at a 550 or 575. Go for a 911 aircooled 993 or watercooled 997, not a 996. The trouble is, our economy is anything but stable, we have been living on credit for too long, and we could all have to start living on 50% less.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Nissan GT-R (2009 – 2022) cost?