2012 Nissan GT-R

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2012 Nissan GT-R — Flash Drive

By Staff of MSN Autos

View Pictures:  2012 Nissan GT-R

The latest Nissan GT-R is a pussycat compared to the previous iteration. It's still a fire-breathing performance machine that can out-accelerate anything in its price range, but where the previous GT-R was scary to know and not much fun to drive, the new one is playful and entertaining and fun. Perhaps I've been jaded by the speed of today's performance cars, but the Nissan doesn't feel as outrageously fast as before. Or perhaps the power is just easier to control. The driving position is perfect, and the steering wheel is probably the best I've ever held. The GT-R still feels very mechanical, though. For instance, the transmission is still noisy and reminiscent of a real race car, but it can now handle a steady 25 mph, which is a big improvement over its predecessor and vitally important if you want to use the GT-R every day. And I could use the new GT-R every day. And until I lost my license from the easy speed, it would always be a thrill. – Paul Hagger

Nissan's mighty GT-R boasts supercar performance at the relatively bargain price of $90,000. With 530 horsepower delivered through a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, the GT-R is very fast and can easily run with cars at more than twice its price. The GT-R is a visceral car; it doesn't feel totally polished or refined, but delivers astonishing performance and is really fun to drive. From standing starts or at slow speeds the automatic clutch/mechanical transmission can feel a little bulky, but step down hard on the right pedal and it just hooks up and goes. It may not be perfect at slow speeds but it is very fast and direct under power. For everyday driving the suspension includes a "comfort" mode that takes the edge off, but this car is all business and would make a tough everyday driver -- but you're going to get in trouble because it's so fast. Mike Meredith

Ultimately, the Nissan GT-R is a sleeper supercar. One of the best things about it is that it doesn't look the part. For those that know what to look for, the big exhaust pipes, wide tires and beefy fenders show off that it is something special. Acceleration is scary for passengers not expecting to be pinned to their seats, but more impressive is the handling. The GT-R corners like it's on rails, even in the rain. But to achieve that handling, the GT-R has a very stiff ride, and even when the suspension is set to "comfort," it's not very comfortable. There's also a lot of road noise at high speed, and in stop and go traffic the transmission's mechanical noises make it sound a bit like a truck. Inside, the front seats are very comfortable and supportive, but the rear seat is pretty much unusable. But the ride and comfort are trivial issues if performance is what you want. And while $90,000 may seem like a lot of money, the GT-R is a great value when you consider that it will blow the doors off of just about anything else on the road, including some supercars costing two to three times as much. – Perry Stern

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BB03 - 9/14/2014 7:24:24 PM