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2009 Nissan GT-R Review

This review was written when the 2009 Nissan GT-R was new.

In terms of performance, the GT-R is one of the greatest sports car values on the market. Add to that its bold styling, nicely finished cabin, and loads of convenience features and many reviewers say choosing the GT-R is a no-brainer.

2009 marks the first year that Nissan will make the GT-R (Gran Turismo-Racer) available for sale in the U.S. Though the acronym has traditionally been associated with the Skyline badge, it will now stand alone -- as Japanese versions of the Infiniti G35 sedan and G37 coupe will bear that name.

Similar to its Japanese predecessor, critics find that the all-new GT-R combines first rate sports-car performance with a bold and functional look, as well as an interior that's easy to live with -- so long as you're not planning on carting backseat passengers. Consumer Guide writes: "Quirkier than most rivals, the all-wheel-drive Nissan GT-R offers impressive acceleration, a comfortable and well-appointed interior, and decent luggage space. Especially for those who prefer an automatic transmission--and can accept one that isn't particularly well behaved--this is an exotic performance car that isn't priced like one."

If you're in the market for a super luxury sports car, be sure to test drive the Porsche 911 Carrera -- Nissan's target competitor for the GT-R. In addition to the exclusivity carried by its nameplate, the 911 features a sleeker, less controversial design, as well as comparable performance abilities. The GT-R, however, features more cargo room - enhancing its practical appeal. 

The Nissan GT-R is available in two trims, base and premium. Both feature a twin-turbocharged V6 engine.

  • "Legendary in Japan, where the GT-R has been affectionately known as Godzilla for five-generations of supercars, the GT-R has finally crossed the Pacific and hit American highways. It probably flew here." -- Detroit News
  • "The GT-R is Nissan's 'look what we can do' car. And they can do a heck of a lot." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "Priced near $80,000, the most expensive vehicle ever to wear a Nissan badge justifies its relatively lofty sticker with the appearance, attitude and, most of all, the ability to handily dispatch many costlier, more exotic foes, from the BMW M6 to the Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo. Only a Corvette ZO6 comes close to matching its price-to-performance index." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Provided that you can live without a stick, have more than $70K to play with and can find one (it's said that only 1,500 are being allotted for the United States market, and those will no doubt command a hefty premium), the GT-R should be at the top of your sports car shopping list. For the time being, it's probably the most thrilling ride for the money that the automotive marketplace has to offer." -- Edmunds
  • "Nissan says the "R" in the name of its new supercar, the GT-R, stands for "racer. After a few hours behind the wheel of the 2009 GT-R, I believe the "R" might actually stand for "righteous. As in: 'This is one righteous car.'" -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Review Last Updated: 7/2/09

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