Review Of The Nissan GT-R Coupe
The hardcore, brutally noisy Nissan GT-R Coupe is a boom-boom-shake-shake-the-room sports car that’s one for the die-hards. If you can’t take the heat of one of the fastest-ever mass-production cars, it’s time to look away now.
Taking no prisoners, causing stopwatches to explode, and doing 0-62 in 2.8 seconds is just a part of what this new bad boy from the track can do. It’s become so deeply ingrained in legend that some drivers have been left wondering whether it even really exists. It does, and now it could be yours.
Seat-belts on, and join OSV as we take a look at what it’s all about with our 2017 Nissan GT-R Coupe review.
On The Road
The GT-R has pretty much been sold in the past based on its reputation for staggering performance. We don’t expect that to change in the present, or in the future. When it first landed on these grey island shores, it came with as much mystery as an alien spacecraft.
“Can it really go that fast?” was the question.
There were rumours that it could clock 0-62 in less than 3.0 seconds.
“Fake news,” said the Internet warriors!
However, despite most of its hype coming from video-game legends who were used to driving the GT-R Coupe on Gran Turismo, the truth this time is stranger than fiction. The Nissan GT-R Coupe confounds all expectations and everything most of us thought we knew about science to complete the 0-62 dash in a tarmac-melting 2.8 seconds.
That speed and all its mesmeric 592bhp come from a 3.8-litre twin turbo V6 petrol engine. But don’t worry; if that sounds like a tad too much power even for you, there is a sensible 562bhp variant available!
The 592bhp is the headline-grabber, of course. It’s the most exciting version of this car that Nissan has ever produced. Now 30kg lighter than last time after the brand introduced carbon-fibre, it’s easy for anyone – average drivers included – to have a ball behind the wheel.
Moreover, Nissan has tossed in a goodie bag crammed with all kinds of sophisticated driving aids to enhance the experience. It’s a pleasure machine – just a different kind of one.
The on-the-road experience is akin to what some people describe as an “out of body” experience. Without OSV getting all zen, the GT-R Coupe takes you as close to a spiritual transformation as a car ever could do. It’s just such a different experience to what you usually get from a “regular” supercar.
However, the purists might argue that the amount of intelligent driving aid tech works against the driver. On occasions, you might feel as though the computers are doing your job for you. You take an action, and there is sometimes a noticeable delay before that action is processed by the computers.
Moreover, there is no option of a manual ‘box. Instead, you get a dual-clutch that comes with either sequential manual or fully automatic operational duties.
Nissan GT-R Coupe Interior, Design & Build
One of the Nissan GT-R Coupe’s weaknesses historically has always been its drab, functional interior. Compared to more desirable rivals, it’s just not been able to compete, with Nissan focusing all their attention on how the car drives.
This time around, Nissan has improved the cabin – but it’s still miles off the quality of some rivals.
The dashboard now benefits from soft leather, while the centre console has been redesigned to include an infotainment system that cuts down on button clutter. However, these changes can’t make up for the sheer lack of imagination shown by Nissan’s design team.
Worse still, comfort is still poor. It’s more civilised and supple than last time, but it’s still too much on the firm side. Tyre noise is also an issue when you just want to chill. As a driver-focused car goes, the Nissan works. But if you want a bit of luxury and a bit of elegance, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
No one buys cars like this for their practicality, but the GT-R Coupe comes with rear seats and a good-sized boot. A new sound-deadening feature helps to suppress some tyre and engine noise, but a decent percentage of it still gets inside.
Legroom is reasonable, but we prefer to think of the cabin as snug rather than spacious. The rear seats are excellent for when your kids want a ride, but they double-up as extra luggage space – rather than extra seats for adults.
The boot, meanwhile, measures an impressive 315-litres, while storage space is provided by a decent glovebox and a few slender door pockets.
Equipment & Safety Of The Nissan GT-R Coupe
Standard kit is good. All models get a DAB digital radio, cruise control, and sat-nav. The Nismo model adds carbon-fibre, supportive bucket seats, as well as lashings of Alcantara on the dash and steering wheel. It also gets classy 20” black lightweight alloys.
An 8” touchscreen looks great, too.
Euro NCAP haven’t and won’t be crash-testing it, so you’ll have to trust the amount of standard safety kit as a measure of how safe it is. It gets an electronic stability control system as standard, as well as four-wheel-drive, airbag’s, seatbelt pre tensioners, and traction control.
Costs Of The Nissan GT-R Coupe
Prices for the new car start out from £82,500 and rise to £151,500. If you prefer to lease, you can pick up a deal from £1,160 + VAT per month. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the Nissan GT-R is expectedly expensive to keep on the road. Nissan reckon you can return up to a 23.9mpg economy, but you’ll rarely manage it. On average, we think you’ll return around 15mpg.
For the first year, you’ll need to pay £2,000 in Vehicle Excise Duty, while a surcharge of £310 goes on top of its yearly road tax bill of £140 for the first five years. It also sits in the highest insurance group there is.
Pros and Cons Of The Nissan GT-R Coupe
It’s one of the fastest mass-produced cars ever, its 592bhp engine capable of smashing 0-62 out in 2.8 seconds.
You need a car like this to have strong grip if you’re to stay safe. Nissan has delivered.
Got kids? They’ll be dying to come along for a ride.
The cabin looks and feels cheap and tacky in places.
The ride is as harsh and unforgiving as they come.
Nissan GT-R Coupe vs BMW Alpina Coupe vs Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2017 Nissan GT-R Coupe review.
Nissan GT-R Coupe vs BMW Alpina Coupe
The new BMW Alpina Coupe had to be big in order to fit its seismic twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine under its bonnet. Delivering up to 591bhp, it’s a proper rival to the Nissan in terms of size and power output. However, it can’t match it for straight line speed, taking 4.2 seconds to complete the 0-62 dash.
Like the Nissan, the BMW misses out on a manual transmission. Instead, the engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic which you’ll also find in the 6 Series. However, it’s been modified for this model to prevent upshifts when you’re in certain driving modes.
These modes include Comfort, which enhances comfort so much that you’re even more comfortable than you would be in the 6 Series; and the razor-sharp Sport +.
However, to spot the differences in the way the BMW Alpina Coupe drives, you’d have to be a proper BMW enthusiast.
Inside, the cabin will be another thing that’s familiar to 6 Series drivers. It’s pretty much the same at first glance. Look a bit closer, though, and you’ll spot the differences in quality. The exquisite leather here is of a better standard, while the dials and seats are exclusive to this model.
Standard kit, meanwhile, includes 20” alloys, heated front seats, cruise control and lots of personalisation options.
As sumptuous and sophisticated as the BMW Alpina Coupe is, it’s a different animal to the Nissan. Where the Nissan is more of a bad boy racer, the BMW is more of a cruiser.
Nissan – £82,500 – £151,500
BMW – £97,000
Nissan GT-R Coupe vs Aston Martin V8 Vantage
The new Aston Martin V8 Vantage is extravagant, noisy and fast. It’s just the ticket, then.
Straight line speed is outstanding, agility in tight bends is better than Lionel Messi, and performance is thunderous. Backed by a 4.7-litre V8 petrol engine, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage is the car that seemingly has no flaws on the road.
The engine produces a spine-tingling vocal note, as well as a massive 420bhp. It can launch you from rest to 62mph in less than 5.0 seconds, but if that’s not enough you can upgrade to the Vantage S, where 0-62 is dispensed with in just 4.6 seconds.
The Aston Martin’s engine doesn’t have age on its side, and the Nissan boasts a younger power plant. But it can’t rival the V8 Vantage when it comes to a hardcore soundtrack that makes Beethoven seem like an amateur. This car is a speed-freak, a power fiend – and a noise fiend.
You need to work the engine hard to get the best out of it. For enthusiasts, that’s just all part of the fun. However, work it too hard and you might break the speed limit, the space-time continuum – and you might lose your licence.
As always, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage comes with a manual transmission. For purists, that continues to be one of its USPs, and it separates it from the Nissan, which has no manual option and an on-board computer that further reduces your involvement. However, we can’t help but think it’s time that Aston Martin embraced the era of semi-automatics – especially now that they’re as good as they are.
Running costs? You’ll need deep pockets to buy the car in the first place – and they won’t be getting any shallower once it’s all paid for. The good news is that depreciation isn’t really an issue. Aston Martin is too desirable a brand for people not to want this car. But returns of a 20.5mpg economy are the best you can expect.
Meanwhile, you’ll be paying £505 a year in running costs.
Inside, the Vantage has always been notable for its exquisite switch-gear and breathtaking attention to detail. Moreover, its handcrafted cabins give it exclusivity.
However, its once seemingly timeless aesthetics are starting to look out-of-time. Rivals have caught it up when it comes to quality, and the cabin is now looking old. That’s a shame, but there are still touches of luxury here and there, such as the stitched leather on the dashboard and steering wheel.
Is it practical? There are better everyday cars of this type out there, but this is still a fairly usable car. It has two leather sports seats, an adjustable steering column, plenty of room to get comfortable, and it’s easy to park, thanks to its compact size.
The boot, meanwhile, measures a respectable 300-litres. If you need extra space, you can use the area behind your front seats.
Aston Martin – £95,000 – £165,000
Verdict Of Our 2017 Nissan GT-R Coupe
There is no room for pretenders here. This is a seriously quick sports car that will rip your head off if you’re not careful.
However, even for the die-hards there’s a tough decision to be made. 592bhp and a 0-62 time of 2.8 seconds are enough to keep you up all night with excitement like a kid before Christmas. But an on-board computer does take some of the fun away from the driving experience. Moreover, there is no manual option and the ride is harsh.
The Nissan GT-R Coupe might be the dream car for the PlayStation age, but it has its drawbacks.
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