2009 Nissan GT-R

  • 2009 Nissan GT-R Base Coupe

    Base Coupe

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      3.8L V6
    • MSRP
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  • Review

2009 Nissan GT-R Review

Possibly the most fun you'll ever have on the road.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2009 Nissan GT-R marked the model’s debut in the United States in 2009, and remains one of the most ambitious models to be produced in the Nissan Skyline range. The GT-R originally went by the name Skyline in Japan and has been around for decades. Although available only as a grey import in many countries, it has taken its time to arrive in the U.S. Many video games, most notably Gran Turismo, have immortalized it, and it remains one of the most iconic Japanese sports cars ever to be produced.

This distinctive looking car offers one of the best performances on the road at this price, originally aiming to equal the Porsche 911 Turbo. Enthusiasts will argue it does this and much more besides, and it can travel 60 mph faster than any Lamborghini or Ferrari currently in production, at a fraction of the cost. One of the only downsides to this car is the automated manual transmission, as a manual transmission option could give the driver better control, further improving the model.

All in all, this sports car offers truly high-performance and comes fitted with a 3.8-liter twin turbocharged V-6 engine, generating an amazing 473 hp and 434 lb-ft of torque. It offers a thrilling ride, albeit a little harder one due to the sports suspension, and few cars in this class prove to be such a fun drive.

The Range

Body styles: coupe sports car
Engines: 3.8-liter V-6
Transmissions: six-speed automated manual
Models: Nissan GT-R Base, Nissan GT-R Premium

What's New

2009 marks the first year for the Nissan GT-R in the U.S. market.


The GT-R is an elegant looking sports car with unmistakable circular taillights, which have been present on all of the previous models. The base model features standard 20-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, and xenon headlights, while the Premium model has higher performance tires. You'll hear it coming from a mile off, as it has an unmistakable growly engine, and while it's not perhaps the best looking sports car on the road, it's undoubtedly the most fun.


The interior of the GT-R offers extreme comfort, with bucket seats designed to wrap around you, holding you firmly in place during its massive acceleration. Although the back seat doesn’t provide a lot of room, it has more than most exotic sports cars.

The base model comes with Brembo brakes, power front seats, leather upholstery, aluminum-trimmed pedals, a leather steering wheel and shift knob, keyless entry and engine start, automatic climate control, and a navigation system with a 30GB hard drive (9.4GB of which can be used for audio storage). The car has a six-speaker sound system and satellite radio. The premium model comes with heated front seats and an 11-speaker Bose audio system with two subwoofers.

Performance & Handling

The top-notch performance of the GT-R meets expectations, and the car gains recognition for its ability to hug the road, even when going around corners. It feels incredibly poised and has excellent responsive steering. For a high-performance sports car, it's surprisingly well-mannered and can even feel like an ordinary car; you really have to put your foot down hard for it to take off, but when it does, you’ll be forced back into those comfortable bucket seats by the sheer force of its acceleration. The heavy weight of the car requires you to push down hard on the pedals, but the brakes quickly respond. The adjustable suspension adds a bonus for newer models and reduces the impact of bumps in the road.

The GT-R has all-wheel drive, and up to 50 percent of the torque automatically shifts forward whenever necessary. It has Bridgestone run-flat tires and a snow mode for driving in rough weather, but it still sits a little close to the ground, which limits it under such conditions.


Standard safety features on the GT-R include its enormous brakes with anti-lock capability and traction and stability control, which come into play when you take a corner too quickly. The premium model includes front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags, but these are unavailable on the base model.

EPA Fuel Economy

Nissan GT-R Base: 17/21 mpg city/highway
Nissan GT-R Premium: 17/21 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Surefooted grace on the road
  • Incredible acceleration
  • Low price for a world class sports car

You Won't Like

  • Fuel economy
  • Lack of manual transmission

Sum Up

Possibly the most fun you'll ever have on the road.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chevrolet Camaro
  • Porsche 911
  • Chevrolet Corvette

See the New 2017 GT-R.

Front & Driver Side View