Want to drive like a hero, but don't have the skills? Then you need a 2017 Nissan GT-R.
This high-tech sport coupe is overflowing with technology that makes it one of the easiest ultra high-performance vehicles to drive. Acceleration, braking and handling are simply stunning, though the abundance of applied science in the GT-R can leave the driver feeling a bit redundant.
Nissan first introduced the GT-R in 2009, making it one of the oldest cars in this quickly changing segment. But the carmaker has been conscientious about making small updates every year (generally just enough alterations to make owners of last year's GT-R want the new one), and 2017 is no exception. The GT-R gets some minor styling changes, an updated interior and a slight power bump. The paddle shifters have also been moved from the steering column to the steering wheel.
The GT-R is ridiculously fast. Its twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 now develops 565 horsepower and 467 pound-feet of torque, with a six-speed twin-clutch automatic delivering all that power to all four wheels. Edmunds timed the GT-R to 60 mph in a blistering 3.2 seconds, making it one of the fastest cars we've ever track-tested. Braking is equally impressive: 60 to zero in just 102 feet. The EPA estimates the GT-R's fuel economy at 18 mpg combined (16 city/22 highway), an admirable showing for such a powerful car.
Out on the open road, the GT-R is an easy car to drive fast. Between all-wheel drive and clever stability and traction control systems, it develops impressive grip and can dart through the corners with incredible precision at physics-defying speeds. But it's not perfect. The GT-R feels a bit nose-heavy and understeers more than we'd expect of a car of this caliber. But of greater concern is the lack of a real mechanical or emotional connection, something purists are bound to miss; the abundance of traction-management technology tends to isolate the driver from the road. We're also a bit put off by the stiff ride and the inelegant clunks and low-speed lurches from the transmission. This is supposed to be a precision piece of machinery, and sometimes it feels like anything but.
On the plus side, the GT-R is a lot easier to live with than most high-end sports cars. Getting in and out is easy, just like a normal passenger car, because it requires none of the odd contortions that define many low-slung sportsters. Nissan has cleaned up the interior for 2017, and many of the switches and buttons have been replaced by a single knob on the center console that controls the infotainment system. We love the data telemetry ? there's nothing like knowing the maximum lateral G you reached on your way to work ? and we appreciate the comfortable front seats, though the backseat and trunk are quite small.
The GT-R comes in a single trim level with a few option packages. How should you equip your car? Let Edmunds help find the perfect 2017 Nissan GT-R for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.