$99,990 - $175,490

2018 Nissan GT-R Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 9.0

In our ranking of the best luxury sports cars, the 2018 Nissan GT-R is one of the top performers. Its twin-turbo V6 engine is brawny (with one of the of highest horsepower ratings among base engines in this class), but it's also quite thirsty. Driving dynamics are responsive and athletic, and while the firm suspension improves handling, it comes across as too harsh for some.

  • "At the heart of every GT-R is an extremely potent twin-turbo V6, plus a fast-shifting automated manual gearbox, a sport-tuned suspension, powerful Brembo brakes and a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system. All these elements come together to make the 2018 Nissan GT-R an extremely capable sports car." -- Autotrader
  • "Like most sports cars, the GT-R requires some sacrifices with regard to comfort and convenience. Then again, shoppers in this arena are generally willing to give up some refinement in the name of performance. And the Nissan GT-R definitely performs, even though it's no spring chicken at this point. It put the mighty 911 Turbo on notice when it first hit the market, and it's still one of the fastest track-day cars you can buy." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "On the highway, the GT-R grabs every rut and grooved surface, pulling the car any way but straight. One particularly scary moment happened when the road surface changed in a construction zone and the car darted toward the concrete barrier (no shoulder) giving me uncomfortably little time to pull the steering wheel back to center. Driving this car on the highway is a high-strung experience. And here's the thing: You don't have to live with that kind of noisy, erratic behavior in other sports cars. A Porsche 911 Carrera S can drive nearly as docilely as a family sedan, and while the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT has a firm ride, it's pleasant at highway speeds." -- Cars.com (2017)

Acceleration and Power

A twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission powers every GT-R. The standard model is rated at 565 horsepower, while the GT-R Nismo is rated at 600.

Power is never in short supply with the GT-R. Mash the throttle, and the beastly V6 engine responds quickly and intensely, accompanied by a growly exhaust system. This commanding performance takes a toll at the gas pump, though, with fuel economy ratings toward the bottom of the luxury sports car class. The EPA rates the GT-R at 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.

  • "Engaging the built-in Launch Control ensures a sub-3-second sprint, all while controlling gear changes through the newly repositioned steering-wheel paddle shifters. Improvements to the 6-speed automatic this year make for less jerky 1-2 gear changes, and as one of our more seasoned testers noted, gear changes at low speed no longer sound like thunder claps." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "From a speed and acceleration standpoint, the GT-R is as good as it gets, with blindingly fast straight-line performance and tire-melting torque." -- Autotrader
  • "In a straight line, the GT-R is a rocket ship, there's [no] other way to describe it. And as fast as it is from a standstill, the GT-R might even be faster at higher-speed maneuvers, like overtaking slower traffic on the highway. Just stab the gas and away you go in a blur of speed and sound." -- Left Lane News (2017)

Handling and Braking

The GT-R is an all-wheel-drive, front-engine sports car. It's tuned for racing, with a limited-slip differential and a Brembo brake system among its standard components. The GT-R's brawny nature is spectacular for handling curves and high speeds, but it can feel a bit too firm and aggressive for normal driving circumstances.

  • "All this power feels a little less daunting because it's accompanied by a very precise steering system, sophisticated all-wheel drive and big, strong brakes that are designed to reel the car in with precision and control." -- Autotrader
  • At high speeds, the GT-R's myriad electronic and mechanical chassis systems help keep the car stable and steady. The same setup delivers incomprehensible cornering abilities that would have lesser rear-drive cars spinning like tops. The adjustable suspension and Brembo brakes are as welcome in everyday driving as they are at the track, but when it comes to daily driver comfort, the GT-R just can't compete with cars like the Porsche 911, Chevy Corvette or Audi R8." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The steering system is exceptionally precise and responsive, but it doesn't really care for rough or uneven pavement—pronounced road imperfections can sometimes tug at the wheel enough to require a bit of correction by the driver. And even with the suspension set to 'comfort' mode, the ride is rather stiff and clunky on anything but smooth pavement." -- Consumer Guide (2017)

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