2012 Nissan GT-R Review
Critics agree that the 2012 Nissan GT-R offers exotic sports car performance at a substantial discount.
If you’re looking for a sports car that combines prodigious power, all-wheel drive grip and athletic handling, the 2012 Nissan GT-R is one of the best tools to scratch that itch. Although it was a competent performer when it debuted, Nissan hasn’t rested on its laurels. Instead, the automaker gave the GT-R a power boost for 2012, and reviewers say that the combination is more explosive than ever.
In fact, the GT-R’s performance attributes often draw comparisons to more expensive exotic sports cars, but test drivers note that it’s a unique entry in the segment. “Quirkier than most rivals, the all-wheel-drive Nissan GT-R offers impressive acceleration, a well-appointed interior, and surprising luggage space,” writes Consumer Guide. “Though not quite the bargain it once was, this car still offers exotic performance at a much lower price than an Audi R8, Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, or Porsche 911 Turbo.”
Breathtaking performance doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement. While the GT-R is nimble, some reviewers comment that its firm suspension results in harsh ride quality over imperfect roads. Additionally, its transmission isn’t well-suited to city driving. This fault is compounded by the fact that the Nissan GT-R doesn't come equipped with a traditional manual transmission.
Taken as a whole, these are minor issues. Consider the GT-R’s long list of standard features and stellar performance, and it’s clear that you’d have to spend a lot more to match its capabilities and interior appointments. So in that respect, the 2012 Nissan GT-R remains a steal in comparison with cars like the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 Turbo.
Other Sports Cars to Consider
In many ways, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will match the GT-R’s performance. However, reviewers agree that the GT-R is easier to drive and comes better equipped. The GT-R also offers standard features like all-wheel drive, which isn’t available on the Corvette. Test drivers also knock the Corvette Z06 for its shoddy interior materials, which lack the quality of similarly-priced competitors.
If you prefer a different take on an iconic sports car, consider the Porsche 911 Carrera. In addition to its exclusive nameplate, the 911 features a sleeker, less controversial design, as well as comparable performance abilities. However, the higher 911 trims will cost substantially more than the GT-R. Additionally, the 2012 Nissan GT-R’s extra cargo space and standard features make it the more practical choice.
2012 Nissan GT-R: The Details
The Nissan GT-R receives minor exterior and interior updates, as well as more power for 2012. Two trims are available: Premium and Black Edition. Regardless of which model you choose, the GT-R comes standard with a twin-turbo V6, all-wheel drive and an automated manual transmission. See the full 2012 Nissan GT-R specs.
- "In the end, the triple threat of performance, technology and price means there's pretty much nothing like the 2012 GT-R." -- Edmunds
- "For those who do have the money, the GT-R offers a unique combination of old-world supercar performance attributes with Japanese-style high tech." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "There isn't anything I desired south of $200,000, except maybe an Audi R8 GT, and that car is nearly $50,000 more than the GT-R. Plus, while more exotic, it doesn't have the Nissan's velocity." -- Cars.com
- "Not only are you in a lot of camera-phone pictures when you drive the GT-R, but another part of the deal is that you end up taking a lot of people for thrill rides." -- Automobile Magazine
- "The GT-R is Nissan's 'look what we can do' car. And they can do a heck of a lot." -- Orlando Sentinel