2018 Nissan GT-R

2018 Nissan GT-R Review

Feel like a track-day hero, thanks to performance-enhancing technology that helps you go fast.
7.6 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Calvin Kim
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

This is the time to be alive if you're shopping for a high-performance sports car. Not only are there more choices than ever, sports car manufacturers have a seemingly unending supply of updates to apply to their technological powerhouses. But for the 2018 GT-R, Nissan is doing things a little differently. While most manufacturers are selling cars with more features and corresponding price hikes, Nissan is bringing out a less expensive GT-R trim, called Pure, to the lineup. The benefit to consumers? The Pure's starting MSRP is below the six-figure mark.

Whichever trim you get, the GT-R brings plenty of performance to the road with little sacrifice in regard to comfort and convenience. To its credit, Nissan has continuously updated and refined the the GT-R's powertrain, and it's much more refined than when it was introduced back in 2009. But compared to other performance cars with dual-clutch transmissions on the market, the GT-R is still lurchy and noisy. For better and for worse, the 2018 GT-R is fundamentally the same well-appointed but rough-and-tumble car as the one from nine years ago.



What's new for 2018

New for 2018 is the Pure trim level. It's a little less expensive than the Premium trim but does not come with the Premium's titanium exhaust, active sound enhancement and noise cancellation, and 11-speaker Bose audio system. Apple CarPlay is included on all GT-Rs, and a black interior package, called Kuro Night, is available on Premium models.

We recommend

For our money, it's the new Pure model. You get the same mechanical and performance content as the Premium without the fluff of electronic sound control and a heavy audio system. Though you lose the titanium exhaust, the cost savings can help pay for track days and tires.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Nissan GT-R is a high-performance sport coupe. It uses a turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine (565 hp, 467 pound-feet of torque), a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission and a variable all-wheel-drive system for its propulsion. Pure, the new trim level, is the least expensive way to get a GT-R, but it still has all the essential features. Premium trim cars add luxury options, while the Track Edition adds even more track focus. Finally, the GT-R Nismo ups all performance qualities to the max, including an engine tuned for more power.

The new Pure trim includes 20-inch wheels with summer run-flat tires, LED headlights and running lights, power-folding and heated mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, an adaptive suspension, configurable drive modes, and keyless entry and ignition.

Inside, you get leather upholstery with faux suede inserts, dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated eight-way power driver seat (four-way for the front passenger), a manual tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a rearview camera, an 8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system, voice controls, NissanConnect mobile-app integration, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker Bose audio system with active noise cancellation and enhancement, USB connectivity, and satellite and HD radio.

Going with the Premium adds an active sound enhancement and noise cancellation system, titanium exhaust, and a 11-speaker sound system.

Options for the Pure and Premium are limited to the Cold Weather package, with all-season tires and a unique coolant mixture. Premium models can be equipped with a Premium Interior package, which adds hand-stitched premium leather upholstery; special floor mats; and a few premium paint and interior color schemes.

The GT-R Track Edition is similar but receives the Nismo's suspension, chassis and interior upgrades (see below).

Finally, the limited-production GT-R Nismo comes with a stiffer body structure, a front fascia with more cooling area and downforce, side skirts and rear wing, Recaro seats, lightweight forged alloy wheels, a more aggressive suspension calibration, and an uprated version of the V6 engine good for 600 hp and 481 lb-ft of torque.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Nissan GT-R Premium (turbo 3.8L V6 | 6-speed dual-clutch automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current GT-R has received some revisions, including a bit more power and an updated interior. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's GT-R.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.6 / 10

Driving

9.0 / 10

Acceleration9.0 / 10
Braking9.0 / 10
Steering9.0 / 10
Handling9.0 / 10
Drivability6.0 / 10

Comfort

7.0 / 10

Seat comfort9.0 / 10
Ride comfort7.0 / 10
Noise & vibration6.0 / 10

Interior

7.5 / 10

Ease of use7.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out8.5 / 10
Roominess7.5 / 10
Visibility6.0 / 10
Quality6.5 / 10

Driving9.0

Thanks to its potent turbocharged V6 and all-wheel drive, the Nissan GT-R accelerates with uncommon ferocity. An adaptive suspension system and performance-oriented stability control add to its otherworldly handling characteristics.

Acceleration9.0

The GT-R sprints to 60 mph in an amazing 3.2 seconds, but what's more impressive is the ease with which it does this. With launch control activated, the computer handles everything. Just floor the gas pedal.

Braking9.0

The GT-R stops from 60 mph in a retina-separating 99 feet. There's minimal nosedive and zero wiggle during full-panic stops. These brakes inspire confidence.

Steering9.0

Steering is racecar-quick and incredibly precise, exactly what you'd expect from a supercar. The GT-R's effort is reasonably light at low speeds, but it weights up considerably to give better feel at higher speeds.

Handling9.0

Few cars can change direction as quickly and capably as the GT-R. The many computer-controlled systems make it possible for novice drivers to drive with confidence, but seasoned pilots can still get plenty of enjoyment out of it.

Drivability6.0

The GT-R has improved over the years, but daily drivability compared to almost any other sports car is merely average.

Comfort7.0

The GT-R lacks a level of quietness and refinement found in most of the sports cars it competes against.

Seat comfort9.0

The seats are definitely focused on performance: They feature aggressive bolstering to keep you firmly in place. There is excellent support in all areas. Even after several hours, they remain comfortable.

Ride comfort7.0

The GT-R is on the harsh side compared to its rivals. It's a stiff-riding car.

Noise & vibration6.0

Road noise is intrusive pretty much all the time, though wind noise is not detectable. Clunks and whines from the driveline are indicative of the GT-R's racy intent, but for a road car they can be annoying.

Interior7.5

The GT-R's cockpit includes some high-tech features along with many controls that are found in other Nissan vehicles. Fortunately, there's enough distinction to set it apart from, say, a typical Altima. But perhaps there's not enough separation for a $100,000 car.

Ease of use7.0

Basic controls are within reach and are as easy to operate as in any other Nissan vehicle. The performance menus, on the other hand, are more complicated, but they should be easy enough for the technophiles who find them useful.

Getting in/getting out8.5

Sports cars generally require some contortions to get in and out of, but the GT-R is as easy to navigate as a typical coupe. The door openings are wide and tall, yet the higher seat height doesn't force taller drivers into a stoop.

Roominess7.5

Compared to cabins of other high-performance two-doors, the GT-R's has spacious front-seat headroom, legroom and width. The rear seats, though, are considerably more confining and better suited to small passengers.

Visibility6.0

Forward visibility is excellent, but wide rear roof pillars, a tall trunk, small rear window, and a large wing on the back force heavy reliance on the standard rearview camera. Still, it's not much worse than other sports cars.

Quality6.5

There's an abundance of standard features, but as a whole the interior isn't all that impressive. But it also doesn't require any sports-car sacrifices. The quality of the materials is quite a bit below rivals in this price range.

Utility6.5

The 8.8-cubic-foot trunk is enough for everyday cargo needs, but the narrow opening and tall liftover height make it ill-suited for bulkier items. Interior storage is also limited, with medium-size cupholders, small bins and door pockets.

Technology

For 2018, all GT-Rs get an upgraded infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay. The 8-inch display also shows performance data on screens designed by Polyphony, the creators of the "Gran Turismo" racing simulation.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.