2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO
- New 50th Anniversary Edition package
- Revised engine tuning for improved low-end response
- Newly available carbon-fiber roof and carbon-ceramic brakes
- Part of the first GT-R generation introduced for 2009
Pros & Cons
- Twin-turbo V6 delivers explosive acceleration
- Easy to drive for maximum performance
- Ride is surprisingly comfortable
- Lurchy and noisy powertrain, particularly at low speeds
- Dated infotainment system graphics
- Price has risen significantly over the last few years
2020 Nissan GT-R Review
For decades, enthusiasts have been calling the Nissan GT-R by its nickname: Godzilla. Borrowing the name of the king of monsters is high praise. But it's one the GT-R earned by being one of the fastest point-to-point cars on the planet thanks to a fine-tuned chassis, a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, a stout turbocharged six-cylinder engine and a race-proven pedigree. The current R35-generation model has been on sale since 2009 and has undergone some significant changes to both price and performance since its debut.
This year's 2020 GT-R receives more tweaks. The base Pure model has been dropped from the lineup, leaving the GT-R Premium as the least expensive model. There is, however, a new 50th Anniversary Edition package that's available on the Premium in limited numbers. It features special two-tone exterior paint schemes and interior trim and upholstery.
All GT-Rs receive upgraded turbochargers this year. Nissan says they help improve low-end response, even though the engine's power ratings are unchanged. One minor update: The Track Edition trim level now gets the upgraded 600-horsepower engine that was previously only offered on the Nismo. Finally, there are new lightweight wheels, some slight visual tweaks, a carbon-fiber roof for the Nismo, and optional carbon-ceramic brakes for the Track Edition and the Nismo.
The GT-R isn't the relative bargain it once was. And competitors such as the Mercedes AMG GT, the Porsche 911 and even the all-new Chevrolet Corvette benefit from newer redesigns and offer similar levels of comfort with no performance penalty. It's also fair to say they have a fresher curbside presence. But for the ultimate Japanese performance car, there's still nothing else quite like Godzilla.
Our verdict7.4 / 10
How does it drive?8.0
Launch control acceleration is explosive — a 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds makes the GT-R one of the quickest cars we've ever tested. Stopping from 60 mph takes 109 feet, which is decent but a few feet longer than the competition.
How comfortable is it?6.5
The GT-R's powertrain noise might appeal to those who want to be reminded they are driving a machine, but it comes off as unrefined. The climate system is a bit finicky too. Our test car blew cold air at high fan speeds when set at 78 on a 70-degree day. Manual control is best here.
How’s the interior?7.5
The cabin is fairly roomy as sports cars go. It definitely doesn't feel claustrophobic, and two people can fit without bumping shoulders. Anybody 6 feet tall or shorter will fit fine. Taller folks might have to scrunch down to avoid brushing against the headliner. There's not much room in the back for people, but you can at least toss some gear back there.
How’s the tech?6.5
Front and rear parking sensors are standard, as is a rearview camera. That's it. There are no other driving aids or assistance systems to help with the mundanities of day-to-day traffic. Though sight lines out of the rear are pretty good, a blind-spot monitor would be a welcome addition.
How’s the storage?7.0
How economical is it?8.0
Is it a good value?7.0
Which GT-R does Edmunds recommend?
2020 Nissan GT-R models
The four-seat GT-R comes in three trim levels: Premium, Track Edition and the wild Nissan GT-R Nismo. Each one offers more features and more performance than the last, though there are some significant price jumps between the trims too. Each model is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine codenamed VR38DETT. The GT-R also uses Nissan's trick ATTESA all-wheel-drive system and a six-speed dual-clutch transaxle.
The GT-R Premium uses the least powerful version of the twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 (565 horsepower, 467 lb-ft). It might be significantly more expensive than last year's base model, but the Premium is loaded with more standard equipment. Nissan sure didn't skimp on performance either, equipping the Premium with electronically controlled Bilstein shock absorbers, 20-inch forged wheels and Brembo brakes.
Other features include a leather interior with heated front seats and LED lighting all around. Apple CarPlay is standard, but the GT-R doesn't support Android Auto. This year, the GT-R Premium is available with a limited-edition 50th Anniversary Edition package, with three historical paint colors to choose from.
The GT-R Track Edition comes with all the equipment from the Premium. But it borrows some performance parts from the top-of-the-line GT-R Nismo, including a more powerful 3.8-liter V6 (600 hp, 481 lb-ft) from the GT-R Nismo, Nismo-tuned suspension, wider front fenders, 20-inch Rays wheels and a carbon-fiber roof. The Track Edition also comes with a red and black interior with Recaro seats as well as additional bonding on the body to increase the car's rigidity.
The Nissan GT-R Nismo takes its name from the automaker's in-house tuning division, and as such it's the fastest and most powerful factory-built GT-R out there. It comes with all the equipment from the GT-R Track Edition, including Recaro seats and a 600-hp engine. Carbon fiber is used in most of the bodywork. The carbon-ceramic brakes reduce weight and improve braking performance, as do the Dunlop tires. The fenders feature vents, another part derived from the GT3 car. The Nismo also gets black leather with red accents and dark gray faux suede on the steering wheel, instrument panel and headliner.
Sponsored cars related to the GT-R
2020 Nissan GT-R videoBest Muscle Cars — Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, But What Else?
Best Muscle Cars — Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, But What Else?
ELANA SCHERR: Everybody on my Instagram is posting push-up challenges right now. Don't worry. You are not going to get any exercise posts from me. But that doesn't mean I'm not interested in building muscle. I just prefer burnouts to pull-ups. Then there's going to be giant burnout. This is going to be great. [TIRES SCREECHING] The term muscle car came about in the late '60s and early '70s, but you don't have to have a classic car to flex your muscle. This is my top 10 list of modern muscle cars. [MUSIC PLAYING] Oh, we need rules. If we're doing this, we need rules, right? OK. Horsepower divided by torque with cylinders-- how many, eight? American, four doors, two doors? Could be all-wheel drive. How long a burnout versus how fast? This is hard. In the old days, a muscle car was an American car company's most powerful engine in its sportiest mid-sized car. Think GTO, Hemi Charger, Big Block Chevelle. Then there were the pony cars, which is where you'd get your Challengers, Camaros, Mustangs, AMC, AMXs. Following those rules now would mean that this entire list would be nothing but Camaro, Challenger, and Mustang in various trim levels from base V8 to top of the line-- all great cars, but kind of a boring video. So I opened up the definition to all makes and models. These are my only criteria. Number one, it's available now or it was within the last couple of years. Number two, it's one of the most powerful cars made by the company, and driving it will make you laugh. I expect this list is going to make you very angry. Heck, it made me angry, and I wrote it. Let's get to it. [MUSIC PLAYING] Number 10, Tesla Model S Performance. Are you mad yet? OK, well, half of you get to commenting about how it's totally unacceptable for Tesla to be on a muscle car list, and the other half of you get to commenting about how it's totally unacceptable for it not to be number one on the muscle car list. Let me just tell you why I picked it and put it where it is-- so freaking fast. Sure, no V8 engine, no engine at all, but the Tesla's performance is out of this world. And it has a lot of kind of trick options for showing off, which is very muscle car era. It has a 0 to 60 time of 2.4 seconds. That's half, half of what it took a classic muscle car. Modern times, modern muscle. So why isn't the Tesla higher on the list? Well, first of all, price. It's $100,000 for the fastest one. And I don't think a muscle car has to be cheap necessarily, but it should be cheaper than that. Mostly, though, it's about sound. Sound is a really important part of the muscle car experience, and the Tesla just doesn't do it for me. Sorry. [MUSIC PLAYING] Number nine, BMW M8. Did I just say that price was a factor and then pick a car that cost $133,000? Yes, yes, I did. But blame Mark Takahashi. My BMW pick was the M5, which is also a 600-horsepower bruiser, but cost about $30,000 less. Then Mark came in, and he was like, no, M8 because it's a two door. It's more muscly. And you know, I just didn't have the energy to fight with him. I think he could take me, really. Think he could kick my ass. Point is, BMW makes some monster muscle. And the all-wheel drive M8 has a rear wheel drive mode so you can kick out the back end and do those very important burnouts. [MUSIC PLAYING] Number eight, Nissan GT-R. Why is the GT-R on this list? Well, it is brutally, stupidly fast. It has a 0 to 60 time that competes with the Tesla, and it can do it all day long. Plus, it's kind of unexpected in Nissan's lineup. It's funny to look back at the early days of Pontiac and Chrysler and realize how stodgy those brands were, and then bam, GTO. The GT-R is kind of Nissan's version of that. Why is it back at number eight? Well, the price, over $100,000. And it's a V6. Yes, it's a nearly 600-horsepower V6, but still it is missing some cylinders. Got to be a V8, new rule that I just made up right now. [MUSIC PLAYING] Number seven, Mercedes AMG E63 and the Audi S8. Yep, it's a tie. It's a tie of two cars that at first glance shouldn't even be on this list, but hear me out. It's a tie because both the Mercedes and the Audi are nearly 600 horsepower. The AMG is a little bit over, and the S8's a little bit under. Both are surprisingly fast, faster than anything that big has a right to be. Why are big luxury cars on my muscle car list? Again, if we go back to the muscle car era, the big engines came out of big cars. And the Chrysler 300 and huge cube Cadillacs were surprisingly powerful. Also, a lot of the popular cars like, say, Plymouth Roadrunner were available in wagon form like the Mercedes is. So you could get a big engine in an unexpected body, and that makes it a sleeper, which everyone knows is the coolest relative of the muscle car. This is an '81 Trans Am, so it made about 200 horsepower. It's not really impressive compared to the classic muscle cars. Made about 400. But in '81, there wasn't much that was making more. So I'm going to say '81 Turbo Trans Am, still a muscle car-- just little muscle. Number six, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. [DOG BARKS] Yeah, you heard me. [MUSIC PLAYING] The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is powered by the same engine that Dodge put in the Charger and Challenger-- 700 horsepower, 6.2-liter Hemi. So yeah, it is an SUV, but I mean, with all that horsepower and kind of a low stance, it's not really an off-roader. So if it isn't a muscle car, what is it? I'm making a new rule. Anything with a Hellcat engine is a muscle car. But nothing with four doors can be in the top three. Is that OK? Is that OK with you? Yeah? Going to be all right? He says it's OK. Number five is the Lexus RC F. It's the least horsepower on this list, with a 5 liter making 472 horses. What a world we live in when nearly 500 horsepower isn't bragworthy. The Lexus is on our list because it looks so muscly, with a long hood, and a short deck, and rear wheel drive, two doors. Plus, if you pay more, you can get a wing. And nothing is more muscly than a wing. Just ask anyone with a Plymouth Superbird. [MUSIC PLAYING] Number four Dodge Hellcat Charger. Dang those pesky rear doors. The Charger has the distinction of being the only car on our list to have been an actual muscle car by the strictest standards. Dodge introduced the Charger in 1966 and redesigned it in 1968 to the more famous Coke bottle design. In my opinion, that second-generation Charger is one of the prettiest American cars ever made. And it's also a very famous design. Seen it in movies like Bullet and Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry. It's also in a TV show. What was it called? Um-- Dukes of Hazzard? I don't know. I never heard of it. Today's Charger has too many doors to crack the top three-- see the rule that I made during number six-- but it's one of the best all-around cars on our list, impressive even in 392 trim and downright remarkable as a Hellcat. [MUSIC PLAYING] Onto the pony cars. I wish I could declare a three-way tie for the top three because each one is good in a different muscular way. At number three is the Chevy Camaro, obviously ZL1 because it's top dog with 650 horsepower. But a Camaro SS still lifts plenty of weight. The reason the Camaro isn't higher on the list is because the back seat is small, and visibility is bad. And those are sports car attributes. A proper muscle car shouldn't feel cramped. Number two is the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye. With two doors and a couple of variants of the incredible Hellcat engine, what else could it be but the Dodge Challenger? I mean, Redeye gets the pick because 797 horses. But the 717 horse regular Hellcat is no slouch, nor for that matter is the 392, the 485 horses. The Challenger is the closest to a traditional muscle car on our list despite being based on a pony car design. It's roomy, comfortable, and happiest in a straight line rather than a corkscrew. That said, all the cars on this list are astonishing performers on a road course, as well as a drag strip. There's just no room for one-trick ponies anymore. [MUSIC PLAYING] And here we are, number one, the car that put the pony in pony cars, the Ford Mustang. For maximum muscle, we're going to go with the GT500 with its 760 horsepower and 11-second quarter mile times. But like the others in the top three, the base GT is good too, everything a muscle car needs-- horsepower, style, legacy, the ability to make you look powerful even if you've never seen the inside of a gym. That's why it's our number one. If you want more details on exactly why the top three ended up in the order that they did, watch our previous muscle car comparison from back in the days when we were all allowed to hang out together and go to race tracks. Oh my god, that was hard. I hate top 10 lists. I'm going to go online and start arguing with myself. You should too. Tell me what you'd put on your top 10 list. [REVVING]
Edmunds' Elana Scherr lists the best muscle cars of 2020, including American muscle cars and other, more unusual choices. She also explains what makes a classic muscle car and gives her Top 10 picks for the best modern muscle cars on sale.
Our experts’ favorite GT-R safety features:
- Seat Belt Pre-tensioner
- Prevents excessive passenger movement upon collision by locking and taking up slack on the seat belt.
- Connects the driver's smartphone to the car for roadside assistance, crash notification and emergency calls.
- Rearview Monitor
- Helps the driver see behind the car when backing up through the use of a camera mounted to the rear.
Nissan GT-R vs. the competition
Nissan GT-R vs. Audi R8
Both cars come standard with all-wheel drive and dual-clutch transmissions, but the similarities end about there. The R8 is powered by a screaming 562-hp non-turbocharged V10 that's mounted behind the driver. It's also available as both a coupe and drop-top. The R8 isn't as hardcore as some GT-R variants, but it's a more comfortable and well-appointed sports car.
Nissan GT-R vs. Porsche 911
The Porsche 911 comes in a seemingly endless number of variants with enough options to customize the car to your heart's delight. The 911 Carrera, Carrera 4, Carrera S and Carrera 4S are new for 2020 with updated designs, a new interior and revised turbocharged flat-six engines. None of those cars can match the GT-R's raw performance, but more powerful variants such as the 911 Turbo are coming soon.
Nissan GT-R vs. Chevrolet Corvette
There's arguably no better bang for your buck than the Chevrolet Corvette. The all-new C8 generation shifted the Corvette to a mid-engine platform, but it's still the quintessential V8-powered American sports car. The base Stingray is significantly down on power compared to the GT-R but is also less expensive. Expect future variants like the Corvette Z06 to move closer to the GT-R in both performance and price.
Is the Nissan GT-R a good car?
What's new in the 2020 Nissan GT-R?
According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Nissan GT-R:
- New 50th Anniversary Edition package
- Revised engine tuning for improved low-end response
- Newly available carbon-fiber roof and carbon-ceramic brakes
- Part of the first GT-R generation introduced for 2009
Is the Nissan GT-R reliable?
Is the 2020 Nissan GT-R a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2020 Nissan GT-R?
The least-expensive 2020 Nissan GT-R is the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO 2dr Coupe AWD (3.8L 6cyl Turbo 6AM). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $210,740.
Other versions include:
- NISMO 2dr Coupe AWD (3.8L 6cyl Turbo 6AM) which starts at $210,740
What are the different models of Nissan GT-R?
More about the 2020 Nissan GT-R
2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO Overview
The 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO is offered in the following styles: NISMO 2dr Coupe AWD (3.8L 6cyl Turbo 6AM).
What do people think of the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO and all its trim types. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2020 GT-R NISMO.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2020 GT-R NISMO featuring deep dives into trim levels including NISMO, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.Read our full review of the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO here.
Our 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.
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Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO and all available trim types: NISMO. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.
Should I lease or buy a 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out Nissan lease specials