2009 Nissan GT-R


$21,609 - $22,242

2009 Nissan GT-R Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Nissan GT-R was new.


Performance: 9.2

State of the art engineering makes the GT-R capable of blasting to mind-numbing speeds while handling twists and turns with ease. The biggest complaint levied against this speed machine is that it might just be too easy to drive.

  • "The Nissan GT-R boasts performance of far more expensive cars." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "The car's abilities are extreme. It will know you're making a mistake through a turn long before you do. In many cases, it will fix your mistake without you ever noticing it." -- Detroit News
  • "The GT-R is all about downshifting and upshifting and roaring along at the fastest speed you can bring yourself to drive. You might as well. The speedometer is tucked partway under the steering wheel's left spoke, which obscures any speed under 60 mph anyway. Whoo hoo." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Intensely focused, the 2009 Nissan GT-R responds near-instantaneously to any control input. Press its console-mounted red start-and-stop button and the engine rumbles purposefully to life. Push the accelerator pedal, and prepare for an instant energy rush as the turbos spool-up and speed climbs rapidly." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

The GT-R blows test drivers away with its rocket-like speed. Featuring a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, the GT-R generates 480-horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 430 pound-feet of torque at 3,200 - 5,200 rpm. The GT-R's engine is mated to a six-speed dual clutch transmission with three driver-selectable modes: Normal, R-mode, and Snow. Also standard is fully automatic shifting or full sequential manual control via steering column-mounted paddle shifters. According to Nissan, the GT-R has a top speed of 193 mph.

According to the EPA, the GT-R nets a city/highway fuel economy of 16/21 mpg.

  • "Nissan enthusiasts were dismayed when the company revealed that the new GT-R would employ a V6 in place of the iconic inline-6 from previous Skyline GT-Rs. They needn't have worried. This engine makes big power everywhere, and displays none of the coarseness that afflicts other Nissan V6s at higher rpm." -- Edmunds
  • "This is a wicked fast car, traveling from 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, which is faster than -- well, almost anything. A Porsche 911 Turbo and a Dodge Viper each take 3.7 seconds." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "Ungodly fast tranny in automatic, all WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM without hesitation. Why argue with such genius? I just left it there and flew along, finding frightening acceleration available from any starting speed. Going 80, stomp, and now going 120. In an eyeblink. Like that. Please don't let there be police this once." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "GT-R is decently strong from a standstill, but quickly explodes into warp drive once the turbos kick in. Full-throttle downshifts take a moment to execute, but once they do, passing power is likewise stunning. The dual-clutch transmission can be a bit quirky in normal driving, but in general it upshifts quickly with light-throttle use, and can be in 6th gear by 30 mph." -- Consumer Guide
  • "I was given the chance to drive the GT-R for about two hours. It felt like I covered the first 100 miles in 30 minutes. The acceleration is so powerful, your body becomes a cartoon character, flattening against the seat and making you thinner but wider." -- Detroit News

Handling and Braking

Most test drivers are impressed by the GT-R's purposeful handling dynamics. The Los Angeles Times, however, finds it so well engineered that it lacks driver involvement. Depending on what you're looking for in a sports car, this can be a good or bad thing.

  • "Matching quick, well-weighted steering, driver-selectable suspension and variable-torque-split all-wheel drive with sticky, low-profile tires and big Brembo anti-lock brakes, the GT-R goes, stops and corners with the balanced confidence of a purpose-built race car - albeit one that tips the scales at a substantial 3,836-3,858 pounds." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The GT-R is unapologetically a performance car, but it really is pretty docile around town, with a firm but tolerable ride. It's certainly one of the most complex vehicles available, but it is not complicated from the driver's seat." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "The massive brakes never showed a hint of fade after miles of hard running, hauling the GT-R down time and again from high speeds to tight, first gear corners." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "So, what's the problem? It's not really a problem, just a matter of character. This car has been engineered to produce astonishing performance numbers, specifically around the Nurburgring, when driven by the finest drivers in the world. Driven by something less than the finest drivers in the world -- and that would include me -- the margins of safety and control are so broad that it actually makes the car uninvolving.  ... The GT-R is the ultimate self-correcting mechanism. No matter how wrong you get your line or how bad you fumble your braking, simply turn the wheel where you want to go and mat the throttle. In an instant, the computers and AWD riddle out a solution and off you go." -- Los Angeles Times

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