Flash Drive: 2009 Nissan GT-R
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2009 to 2014.
By Staff of MSN Autos
Part video game and part low-flying jet, the GT-R suspends disbelief one moment, and then an instant later catapults you back to reality. Not unlike the latest Xbox or Playstation driving game, it makes going absurdly fast a matter of stomping on the gas, steering, and banging off shifts as fast as you can grab the paddles. At the same time, it never hesitates to remind you that underneath its game-inspired cockpit, exterior and dashboard display, is one of the most impressive mechanical creations on earth. Large and heavy around town, the GT-R gets progressively smaller and lighter on its feet as speeds increase, all while remaining supremely planted to the road and telepathically connected to your brain. And though it may not ooze the “personality” of sexier European competitors, this matters little with the GT-R, which impresses instead with a seemingly unlimited supply of attitude, grip and pure, unapologetic thrust. – Kim Wolfkill
By now you’ve probably read that the Nissan GT-R is awesomely fast, that it has true supercar power at a price within reach, and that it corners with grip so high it feels like a video game. And it really (really!) does. The engine is smooth as well as bewilderingly powerful. The suspension provides massive grip as well as a great ride. The performance is so ever-ready and accessible that it is truly scary for passenger and driver alike. Most sports cars this capable come with flaws that provide interesting challenges for the driver, even at normal speeds, but the Nissan GT-R is never, ever fazed by a fast public road. Only a slow public road (say, at 20 mph between stop signs in a small neighborhood), reveals a transmission that shuffles uncertainly from 1st to 5th and back. You really must have a closed track to enjoy this car properly. I don’t have my own track, so for everyone’s safety, I was glad to give back the keys and remove temptation. – Paul Hagger
Yes the GT-R is obscenely fast when given the cane, and yes it does provide ludicrous amounts of traction and grip to catapult you down your favorite stretch of tarmac. But as supercars go, it’s also a perfectly suitable daily driver, with none of the cabin’s important touch points revealing a cost-cutting parts bin. The front seats are excellent and offer a wide range of adjustment. The rear seats are a penalty box, but create a useful cabin for everyday errands. The transmission is happy to putt around town in automatic mode, even if it upshifts like crazy in search of better mileage and less noise (lollygag, and you’ll be in 6th before you hit 30 mph). Put the adjustable suspension in its softest mode, and the GT-R is a kitten over rough pavement, soothing your commute. The A/C is effective, the nav system is functional, and even the stereo sounds decent. Nissan has crafted one of the world’s most livable supercars, making its sticker-price and otherworldly performance that much more appealing. – Paul Seredynski