Full 2014 Nissan GT-R Review
What's New for 2014
The 2014 Nissan GT-R gets new fuel injectors intended to improve throttle response at mid to high rpm. Nissan has also added an oil pan baffle meant to stabilize oil delivery during high-performance driving. Rounding out the changes are new interior features for both the Premium and Black Edition trim levels, plus a new Track Edition trim level.
Supercar fundamentals demand that a car be extremely fast, handle extraordinarily well and have an aura of exclusivity about it. By those standards, the 2014 Nissan GT-R certainly qualifies. But the GT-R also has a quality not normally expected of a supercar: It's about half the price.
Thanks to its 545-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 and a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, the GT-R can rocket from zero to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds, a time that's one of the quickest we've ever recorded in testing. The Nissan GT-R is also just at home on the racetrack as it is going in a straight line, providing outlandish handling and grip that's also impressively easy to access by even novice drivers.
Granted, the GT-R, while amazing, isn't perfect, as minor refinement issues remain. Gearchanges from the car's otherwise quick-shifting automated manual transmission can be clunky in stop-and-go city traffic, and the ride is pretty stiff. Many of the GT-R styling cues are taken from its aerodynamic design, which makes its aesthetics a bit brutal. Nor is the V6's uninspiring exhaust note going to make any V8 or V12 supercar owners jealous.
Considering the above, there are certainly people who will be happier with the 2014 Audi R8 V10, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT or Porsche 911 Turbo. But the 2014 Nissan GT-R's astonishing acceleration and precise handling, paired with its "budget" supercar price, make it one of the best value-for-the-money propositions in its class.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Nissan GT-R is a high-performance sport coupe with a 2+2 seating layout. It is offered in Premium, Black Edition and two-seat Track Edition trim levels.
The Premium trim level comes standard with 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in high-performance tires, automatic xenon headlights, LED running lights, Brembo brakes, a rearview camera, an electronically adjustable suspension, leather/faux-suede upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control and an 11-speaker Bose audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, iPod connectivity and Bluetooth phone and streaming audio. Also standard is a multifunction information monitor and a hard-drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic and weather as well as 9.4 gigabytes available for digital audio storage. An optional Premium Interior package adds upgraded leather upholstery.
The Black Edition features lightweight black wheels, a carbon-fiber rear wing, a unique black and red interior and leather Recaro seats. Options are few and include a no-cost Cold Weather package for the Premium trim level (darker wheels, Dunlop all-season run-flat tires and a unique coolant mixture for faster engine warm-up) and an extra-cost "Super Silver" paint job that has been given three layers of clear coat and then polished by hand.
The Track Edition (just 150 are slated for the United States) is equipped the same as the Black Edition, but goes more toward being a competition-ready car with even firmer suspension tuning, front and rear brake cooling ducts and a rear-seat delete for reduced weight.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2014 Nissan GT-R is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine that generates 545 hp and 463 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission routes this power to the ground via an advanced all-wheel-drive system.
By any recorded performance measurement, the GT-R is simply incredible. Rocketing to 60 mph is a scant 3.1-second exercise. EPA fuel economy estimates are pretty impressive for an exotic sport coupe, with ratings of 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined.
Standard safety features on the GT-R include antilock brakes, stability control and traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing of a previous GT-R, we recorded a best 60-0-mph stopping distance of 98 feet, which ranks among the shortest distances we've ever recorded.
Interior Design and Special Features
The interior of the 2014 Nissan GT-R is meant to convey an impression of performance and technology. The front seats have prominent bolsters and faux-suede inserts to hold occupants in place during high-G maneuvers, yet they remain comfortable during long-distance drives. The Track Edition features special blue-trimmed front seats that have special leather and fabric appointments. The interior itself is well constructed, with plenty of soft-touch materials, and most controls have a solid, positive feel.
The navigation screen can be used to display a variety of parameters, such as g-force during cornering, steering input, gear position and lap times. If this all sounds a bit like a video game, there's good reason. This interface has been designed by Polyphony Digital, the developers of the popular Gran Turismo series of driving-simulation video games.
Getting in and out of the GT-R doesn't require any special skills or contorted positions, which is a difference that sets it apart from most high-performance, low-slung exotics. The rear seats (for the Premium and Black Editions) are much smaller and difficult to access, but they are adequate for child-size passengers and make the GT-R more family-friendly than the typical exotic. Trunk space is commendable for this type of car, and the deep well of storage can accommodate up to 8.8 cubic feet of cargo.
The 2014 Nissan GT-R achieves an impressive level of performance by utilizing technology rather than brute force. Instead of a large-displacement V8 that makes a burly rumble, there's a twin-turbo V6 that sounds like a jet engine. All four wheels work in concert to maintain a tenacious grip on the asphalt, and the car accelerates to triple-digit velocities with startling immediacy. Braking is likewise as urgent and powerful.
Nissan's supercar really shines on serpentine roads or racetracks. The suspension is unfazed by speed, so the car tracks through curves with robotic precision. The steering is as communicative and responsive as we've ever experienced in an all-wheel-drive car. However, the GT-R's curb weight of about 3,800 pounds keeps it from feeling as nimble as a Porsche 911 on tight roads. Road noise and ride harshness can be intrusive at times, but that's a small price to pay for the GT-R's otherworldly performance.
The GT-R feels much less polished in the confines of a congested city. There's a decent amount of clatter from the transmission while trundling around at walking speeds and it can still be clunky when it changes gears, especially in stop-and-go traffic. Of course, once the GT-R hits the open road, upshifts are ridiculously quick, while downshifts are accompanied by perfect throttle blips every time, whether in automatic or manual mode. And it's this racing-style performance that you're after in the first place, isn't it?