2008 Nissan GT-R 3.8 twin turbo V6 from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

I just can't love it

Faults:

A little bit of tiny scratch on the bumper, but it's not a big deal.

General Comments:

The GT-R has amazing reputation in outperforming some other supercars at a higher price, which is why I decided to trade my BMW M3 that I had owned for 8 months with this car.

For a car at this price, you get a lot of speed, and compared to my BMW M3, it is really fast! It's surprisingly easy to drive too for a car this fast. I have never driven any supercar before, but this car is so easy to control.

I never had any serious problem with the car; it's reliable despite the hot climate in Aussie. As for comfort? I don't think it's as comfortable as my M3 in, let's say, the comfort settings. It shakes and bumps on rough roads, though thankfully I live in Sydney where the roads are pretty good compared to most other parts of the country. The quality? I'm not an expert on this, but I feel the M3 is so much more toughly made, especially when closing the door. It's quieter too at higher speeds (except for the engine noise, which is louder than the Nissan).

The car is fast, and for a first time supercar owner like me, it feels like a fighter jet! Slight hit on the gas and it just goes. It makes me wonder how the Bugatti feels. I also quite like the paddleshift where I can switch gears like a racing car. The brakes are powerful too. So powerful that it feels like my eyes are about to pop. The seats are comfortable and supportive, especially for a super fast car like this. Great for storing items in the back. The steering wheel is grippy and nice to hold (though not as nice as my BMW). Overall, satisfied, that is, in the early weeks.

After months of owning it, I decided to trade it with a Porsche Cayman S. I learned that the GT-R is not quite as exciting as my BMW. I personally think it's a bit boring, especially at lower ends where it doesn't hit the turbo. In my BMW, I got excited even when I was driving it at lower RPMs. Even though I'm not expert on cars, I began to understand why certain people prefer European cars. The GT-R handles so well that you have to push it hard to have fun with it, where on the public road where there's traffic and speed limits, you won't get much chance to enjoy it. In my BMW, even when I was just cruising in the sporty mode, it felt a lot more enjoyable. The biggest difference is probably the engine sound. My European cars, the BMW M3, and the Cayman, had a fantastic sound. Whereas the Nissan sounds kind of dull. But again, I'm not an expert on cars, so I don't know if it's weird to not like this car.

Anyway, I traded this car with a 2008 Porsche Cayman S after 6 months of owning the Nissan. Yes, the Cayman is a lot slower than my GT-R, and sometimes I miss going fast with the Nissan. But I am a lot more satisfied with my Porsche. I think the reason is because it's more challenging to drive. In the GT-R, everything is too easy, and of course, the engine sound is too boring.

Even until now, thinking back my ownership and driving the GT-R, I still think it's dull and boring! That's what I have in mind every time I think of that car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 7th August, 2013

8th Aug 2013, 20:52

Maybe if you kept a car for more than a few months you'd grow to like it; it takes time to appreciate good cars.

2009 Nissan GT-R Spec V 3.8L V6 VR38DETT Twin-turbo from UK and Ireland

Faults:

Absolutely nothing, in the time I've owned, it has been plain sailing so to speak.

This is what I expected from a top of the range Japanese supercar.

General Comments:

Well I have always loved the GT-R from the concept until the time I test drove one back in 2008. I then heard of a more extreme version known as the Spec v with less weight, carbon ceramic brakes and upgraded suspension being developed in Japan, so although I couldn't readily get this car over here, I paid over the odds and purchased one directly from Japan and imported it, (the costs involved in doing this, just to have a special model are ridiculous).

But about the car, basically, like a standard GT-R they are quite striking to look at in the flesh, some would say they look bulbous and almost ugly to a certain extent at first glance, however, look closer and you see a prettier very purposeful looking car, with specially designed exhausts on this particular model, and a carbon fibre rear spoiler, special wheels and special black paintwork.

Sitting inside the car, there's a large sea of plastic sadly (this is however much, much cheaper than an equivalent performance Ferrari or Aston) that covers much of the dash area, but although the interior isn't exactly stylish, it is very ergonomically friendly to the driver, with all major controls and switches well placed in the car, it is also very well put together, and looks like it will stand the test of time very well.

What really gets your attention inside the car is the really fancy display that takes centre stage on the dash. Turn the car on and the screen will start up, showing many things such as your turbo boost pressure, oil pressure, etc etc. (very similar setup to my old Skyline R34). This is a really clever setup and is quite useful for track days, so you can keep an eye on things (not really needed, as the car is designed as such and is brand new).

Starting up the engine and there is a distinct burble from the exhausts, almost a rumble as it happily idles away. Set off and the whole mood of the car changes and becomes distinctly animalistic in its reactions to driver inputs and responses, (read any performance magazine to get an idea of just how quick even the standard GT-R is; the Spec V is around twice as fast on a twisty track).

This being a Japanese import sadly meant that it was restricted outside of race circuits to the speed limits via GPS, (a strange idea, and one that takes getting used too). There are several firms coming out soon with remap to remove this restriction, which I am currently looking into. The car has plenty of power, although like the Skyline it has replaced, I'm sure it will be fettled and tweaked by various tuners until it spits flames, (my old Skyline had more power - 650bhp to be exact, but was not as fast really, just shows progress)

The ride comfort is fantastic to say how well it actually handles. I was pleasantly surprised, this Spec V model rides slightly harder than a standard car, but you do get much better suspension into the deal, so is worth it as a trade off.

The brakes, well they speak for themselves on this model, carbon ceramics and multi piston calipers, these brakes could stop a plane! (well almost, but you get the idea) They are nice and progressive, and you can really feel what the car is doing under braking at all times. They never ever overheat on the road, and will stop you to within centimetres of your intended target.

Performance wise, like I say it is very quick, anything slower than a Porsche 911 turbo or Ferrari 430 Scuderia will be left in the dust by this thing, it is that good. Also, the Nurburgring times speak for themselves.

Fuel economy as you would expect is not amazing, but then it's not terrible either for something that can break 60 mph from rest in 3.5 seconds.

One last note I'd like to add; the launch control that these cars have is designed apparently as per Nissan's terms and conditions to 'help get you out of snow and icy conditions, any other use will void the warranty if the transmission fails'. Not the exact wording, but you get the gist. Now I'm sorry, but surely if there putting something such as 'launch control' (I know that's not Nissans official name for it) on a car, it is for performance purposes?

Overall, this is a great car, and I feel even a standard GT-R at around £53k provides excellent value for money, very fast, fantastic almost unbelievable handling, almost limitless grip. And although the car feels a bit 'unconnected' from the road at times due to all the electronics, it is a real laugh a minute ultra high performance supercar, very highly recommended.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th March, 2010