2013 Nissan GT-R Reviews and Ratings

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2013 Nissan GT-R
Alex Lloyd

The Nissan GT-R is a supercar with a dedicated following, and no other car on the market can provide such a vast performance envelope for the price. The 2013 GT-R has been treated to even more power and handling upgrades making this the best version yet.

Nissan produced the Skyline GT-R between 1969 and 1974, and again in 1989 to 2002. As Nissan's leading performance vehicle, the car quickly garnered a reputation for speed and affordability. It became a regular on the motorsports scene and even earned the nickname Godzilla. In late 2007 Nissan dropped the Skyline badge and brought out the new all-wheel-drive GT-R to the Japanese market. In 2009 it was brought to American soil and has had subtle tweaks each year since.

For 2013, Nissan GT-R gets a retuned suspension. Inside, a new blue lighting treatment has been added to the tachometer, and a rearview monitor is standard on all 2013 GT-R models.

The 2013 Nissan GT-R boasts an incredible body of power, at 542 horsepower and 466 foot-pounds torque, an increase of 15 hp and 15 lb-ft over 2012. It has a 6-speed, twin-clutch sequential gearbox and a Launch Control system that is easy to use and supplies neck-bending efficiency.

The car is magnificent to drive. It is the perfect machine to take to the racetrack, and on your way home you can stop off at the grocery store to load up a week's worth of shopping with ample room to spare. It's an every day car with a bite large enough to outdo Jaws.

The cabin contains all the creature comforts one could need, such as climate control and a navigation system that responds via voice command. On the LCD there is a surfeit of data and virtual gauges available to inform the driver of every last detail of the car's dynamics.

The two door, 2+2 quasi-coupe is offered with just one powertrain, a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6. Shifting is either automatic or by the steering column-mounted magnesium paddle shifters. The horsepower is increased from 530 to 542 and its impressive torque arrives over a broader range, delivered from 3200 rpm to 5800 rpm. The structure of the car and spring rates are stiffer and the shocks received newly designed bypass valves.

The 2013 Nissan GT-R arrives in two trim levels, Premium and Black Edition. The GT-R Premium doesn't want for much with its Bilstein Damptronic system, Brembo brakes, and 20-inch super-lightweight forged-alloy RAYS wheels. It has integrated LED running lights, voice-controlled navigation with driver configurable display system, rearview monitor, leather interior, and an 11-speaker, dual subwoofer audio system, developed in collaboration with Sony and Bose. The GT-R Black Edition gets special 20-inch black super-lightweight forged-alloy RAYS wheels, dry carbon-fiber rear spoiler and red and black leather Recaro seats. Model Lineup
The 2013 Nissan GT-R Premium ($96,820) comes standard with leather upholstery, automatic dual-zone climate control, eight-way adjustable driver's seat, four-way adjustable front passenger's seat, AM/FM/XM/CD stereo with MP3 and WMA playback and 11 speakers, hard disk, color touch-screen, HDD navigation system, , Bluetooth for hands-free cell phone operation, cruise control, power mirrors, windows and locks, 20-inch forged wheels.

Nissan GT-R Black Edition ($106,320) upgrades with special wheels and interior trim.

Options include Super Silver special metallic paint ($3,000), carpeted GT-R logo floor mats ($280), and a Cold weather package (no charge) with 50/50 coolant mix and Dunlop SP Sport 7010 all-season run-flat tires.

Safety features include dual-stage frontal air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors, driver and front-passenger seat mounted side impact air bags and roof-mounted curtain side-impact air bags. It has a LATCH system with lower anchors and tethers for child seats, zone body construction with front and rear crumple zones and hood buckling creases to absorb impact. The car comes with a 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), which optimizes front/rear brake balance to ensure the most efficient stopping ability in all conditions, and the mandated Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Walkaround
Visually, the Nissan GT-R appears unimaginative. It doesn't carry the elegance of a Ferrari or the ostentatious nature of a Lamborghini. It's functional and purposeful and its aggressive stance portrays a swagger and attitude of a machine that doesn't really care about its inferior looks. It was designed to do one thing and do it really well. And that is go blisteringly fast.

The fish-like front grille not only channels air to the intercooler and radiators but it is designed to increase front downforce and reduce lift. The lower grille opening provides a home for two side-mounted scoops to cool the enormous Brembo brakes. The polished black spoiler wraps around the chin of the car providing additional front downforce to help combat the cars inherent understeer. The hood has two functional scoops on top, in-between the narrow slick-back front headlights.

The front fender swoops back to the extractor vent just behind the front wheel with the GT-R symbol sitting atop a brushed silver badge overhead. The door handles are nicely integrated and a handy black button is directly adjacent, enabling you to open the door without removing the key from your pocket.

The polished black spoiler from the front continues around the side and behind the rear wheels. At the top of the door the car tightens up at the waist, housing the frameless door windows and fixed rear quarter windows as they taper back to a point. The 20-inch, six-spoke polished black wheels on our Black Edition test car covered the orange Brembo calipers on the 15.4-inch front and 15.0-inch rear floating rotors with diamond-pattern internal ventilation.

From the rear view the GT-R sports a mean appearance. It bears a monster quad exhaust system and four circular taillights, two on each side. The Black Edition we tested is topped with a dry carbon-fiber rear spoiler, on the Premium this would be body colored. At the bottom is a carbon-fiber composite diffuser tray finishing off what is, in my opinion, the best angle to view this car, and let's face it, the view most people will see as you blow them into the weeds at every stab of the gas pedal. Interior
The GT-R interior is much like the exterior in which it doesn't live up to the standards set by some of the more prestigious and massively more expensive supercars on the market. That said, it is functional, practical and serves its purpose.

The driver's seat is nicely fitted with good grip coming from the side bolsters. The eight-way power adjustments provide good adjustability and finding a happy driver position was never an issue. The front passenger seat has ample legroom and an individual who is six-feet plus should still fit nicely. Headroom is also surprisingly adequate for a car of this nature and the view out of the rear window is decent, made better by the rear view camera to assist.

The rear seats provide zero legroom for a grown adult. But they fit child seats perfectly, with the LATCH system, and I was comfortable taking my wife, including two of our kids, for a spin. In fact, with children about 6 years and under, or any human with abnormally short legs, this car was actually very practical. This was rather shocking for a supercar, proving the versatility of the Nissan GT-R.

The trunk is large enough to store even my mother-in-law. I managed my mulch shopping from Lowe's in the GT-R too and it handled the everyday journeys as good as any large sports-sedan.

The trim in the cabin is certainly not luxurious but provides a level expected for a supercar at this price point. The carbon-fiber plate on the center console is a nice touch and buttons are easily accessible and intuitive to use. The steering wheel, wrapped in leather, looks dated and could use freshening.

The climate control was a little lacking in terms of its ability to maintain a comfortable temperature, with even the lowest fan setting still blowing quite a breeze and the only other option to turn the system off all together. To get around this I kept it on the lowest setting but would continually adjust the vents to prevent the air from blowing directly on me and then bring it back when I became too warm. It was as annoying as it sounds.

A horizontal bar beneath the control panel contains three settings for suspension, shift points and traction control. Just in front of the two-cup holders is a shiny red button, signifying the ability to bring Godzilla to life with a mere push.

Of the instrument clusters, the speedometer goes right the way up to 220 mph, reminding you, as if you need it, just how powerful the GT-R actually is.

The multi-layered information center on the LCD screen provides as much data as any driver can handle, from boost pressure, lateral and longitudinal G-Forces, throttle and brake position, steering position, lap times, coolant and oil temperature as well as graphs to show fuel economy and basically every other statistic you can dream up. The car even comes with a built in data system that is downloadable and viewable on your computer when you have taken the car to the racetrack and want to analyze your performance. The data are comparable to those used in professional race series across the world and the system is a major selling point for those who will be utilizing their GT-R on track. Driving Impressions
It is here the Nissan GT-R comes into its own and outruns most supercars worth twice as much. The car clearly has cut corners in terms of looks and interior to keep its price tag reasonable but nothing has been spared when it comes to performance.

Nissan claims the GT-R can do the 0-60 sprint in just 2.7 seconds, quicker than just about anything other than the Bugatti Veyron. It has a top speed of 196 mph and no matter how much you drive the car, you never get used to the immense power available. Shifts from the column-mounted paddles are crisp and quick. Personally, I would prefer the paddles to be mounted to the steering wheel, as under hard cornering finding them can be troublesome and clumsy. Turn the transaxle to the Race setting and shifts sharpen and spread further up the engine's broad power curve.

There are three settings to chose from: Normal, Comfort or Race for the suspension, transmission shift points and the Vehicle Dynamic Control system's various algorithms. The suspension settings are noticeable with Race mode being a little too stiff for regular city driving. Turning it to Comfort takes a subtle edge off and provides a mildly more compliant ride, making longer journeys quite tolerable and keeping all your fillings firmly intact.

The car's traction control system is easy to use and almost too inviting every time you cross path with a stop sign. Simply put all three settings in to Race mode, press the brake pedal and mash the gas and the car hovers at roughly 4500 rpm. Release the brake and away you go with a slight squeal of the custom Dunlop, nitrogen filled tires. The distribution of power is balanced and utilizes the magnitude of grip available to its fullest capacity.

Take the car to the racetrack and challenge the car's dynamics and you sense the understeer, notorious with the GT-R. We did this at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The 2013 GT-R is noticeably better than the 2012 model, but in slow corners the car is still set up cautiously. This is likely a smart idea by the Nissan engineers given the abundant drivers with less than spectacular driving skills.

With the power down, the rear can slide out from under you in a mere instance but is always controllable. In general, the stiffer springs and more rigid body construction of the 2013 GT-R yields a livelier handling machine. It feels more on its toes and precise like an agile NFL running back. Cornering grip is outstanding and the massive brakes are firm and fadeless as they bring the car's velocity down at a mesmerizing rate.

The GT-R works equally well as a cruiser on the highway, as we learned driving around Indianapolis. Switch to the comfort settings, slide the gearbox into sixth gear and listen to the twin-turbo whistle and you find yourself in what feels like a docile animal. The sound from the quad-exhausts is actually rather quiet. One expects an obnoxious, boy racer type growl from the enormous 3.8-liter V6 but instead you experience an almost too subtle rumble. It doesn't have the refined scream of a 458 Italia, or even the deep gurgle of the big V8 Shelby GT500. It exists somewhere in the middle, in a gray area that begs to be heard just a little more prominently.

The rattle of the gear changes is quite noticeable from the clutch in the transaxle and a decent amount of wind noise is present, but none of which are too distracting or intrusive.

Unsurprisingly, the fuel efficiency of the GT-R is not spectacular coming in with EPA estimates of 16/23 mpg City/Highway. Summary
Since the Nissan GT-R's arrival on U.S. soil it has been known as one of the best supercars available for the price. Each year the car receives a slight makeover, constantly refining and improving the already impressive platform. Despite this, the car remains mostly without pedigree and prestige, and that's a shame because the Nissan GT-R is one of the most breathtaking cars you will ever drive. Whatever the reasons behind the lack of notoriety, the single fact remains. For roughly $100,000 you simply cannot buy a better supercar. Its deficiencies in looks and interior quality are more than made up for when you hammer your right foot down and lurch into an unimaginable world of glorious, unsurpassable speed. In a ratio of price versus performance, nothing else comes close.

Alex Lloyd filed this NewCarTestDrive.com report after his test drive of the Nissan GT-R in Indianapolis and at Laguna Seca. Lloyd is a professional race driver and finished fourth in the 2010 Indianapolis 500 with sponsorship from the Boy Scouts of America.

Model as tested
Nissan GT-R Black Edition ($106,320)
Basic Warranty
36 months/36,000 miles
Assembled in
Tochigi, Japan
Destination charge
Gas guzzler tax
Base Price
Price as tested
Options as tested
carpeted GT-R logo floor mats

Model Line Overview
Model lineup
Nissan GT-R Premium ($96,820) Black Edition ($106,320)
Safety equipment (standard)
dual-stage frontal airbags; front seat-mounted side-impact airbags; roof-mounted side-curtain airbags; Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) electronic stability and traction control; ABS; EBD; brake assist; tire-pressure monitoring system; child safety seat anchors (LATCH); all-wheel drive
Safety equipment (optional)
3.8-liter DOHC twin turbo V6
6-speed dual-clutch paddle shift independent rear transaxle

Specifications as Tested
dual-zone climate control with micro filter; power outside mirrors, windows and central locking; cruise control; tilt-and-telescope steering wheel; HDD-based sound and navigation system with multi-function LCD touch-screen display including computerized vehicle operational and dynamic data; Bluetooth capability; three-month, pre-paid XM satellite radio service; keyless ignition with push-button start and stop; remote keyless entry; power front seats; leather-trimmed seats, steering wheel, shift knob, dashboard, console and doors; programmable garage/gate/lighting system

Engine & Transmission
3.8-liter DOHC twin turbo V6
Drivetrain type
all-wheel drive
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
545 @ 6400
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm)

Brakes, front/rear
vented disc/vented disc with ABS, EBD, Brake Assist
Suspension, front
double-wishbone with aluminum arms
255/40ZRF20 front, 285/35ZRF20 rear
Suspension, rear
multi-link with aluminum arms

Seating capacity
Head/hip/leg room, middle
Head/hip/leg room, front
Head/hip/leg room, rear

Fuel capacity
Trunk volume
Turning circle
Towing capacity
Track, front/rear
Ground clearance
Curb weight

2013 Nissan GT-R
NADAguides Test Drive Review


Born from the enthusiasm of the Skyline GT-R that exists as a legend in the realm of the sport compact crowd, the Nissan GT-R is an all-wheel drive high-performance machine meant to strike fear in the Chevrolet Corvette and Porsche 911. Since its 2009 release in the United States, the Nissan GT-R supercar’s horsepower numbers have ballooned and the marketplace has greeted a series of unique edition models. The Black Edition was introduced to the Nissan GT-R line-up in 2011 with unique racing-inspired qualities such as carbon fiber trim and RAYS 20-inch wheels. For the 2014 model year, the 545-horsepower Nissan GT-R Track Edition is another thrilling example of a very fast machine.

An aggressively styled supercar, the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition receives many of the redeeming qualities that make the base model so attractive. At 183.8 inches in total length, the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition adheres to a slick 0.26 drag coefficient Almost identical to the Nissan GT-R Black Edition package, the Track Edition is outfitted with black forged wheels and a carbon fiber rear spoiler for a serious racing-inspired appearance. One of the unique touches to the Track Edition version of the Nissan GT-R is a carbon fiber front spoiler. Also found especially on the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition is modified carbon fiber air inlets for brake cooling. A choice of six exterior colors can be used to define a GT-R Track Edition. As stunning as the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition is to look at, the aerodynamic supercar design does present a downside. Rear vision out of the GT-R Track Edition is a challenge due to large roof pillars and a small rear window.

Underneath the sporty bodywork of the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition is an advanced performance-tuned suspension. A product of special calibration at the Nurburgring, the Bilstein DampTronic suspension system on the Track Edition of the GT-R translates to an incredible driving experience. With three positions of drive adjustment (Comfort, Normal and R-Mode setting), the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition keeps the nitrogen-filled Dunlop run-flat tires planted on the pavement even when negotiating tight turns. With almost no evidence of swap, the Track Edition of the 2014 Nissan GT-R presents safety and secure handling when the vehicle is under heavy acceleration or traveling at high speeds. While firm-footed, the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition’s suspension can prove bumpy on average roads based on its race-tuned setup. Stopping power of Brembo brakes featuring six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers is extremely capable of stopping the supercar with super fast responsiveness. Thanks to some exclusive improvements in brake cooling, the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition will provide better endurance doing a daylong adventure at the track.  

While handling is an important part of driving a sports car, engine power is the main ingredient. An upgraded version of the 2014 Nissan GT-R’s twin-turbocharged 3.8 liter engine propels the Track Edition. Boosted to produce 545 horsepower and a massive 463 pounds-feet of torque for the 2014 GT-R line-up, the 3.8 liter powerplant generates more than enough performance for the street or track. A six-speed dual-clutch features lightning fast shifting in automatic mode. Via paddle shifters, the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition’s transmission can also be shifted manually. Through the ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system, power is intelligently applied to the ground. Primarily pushed through the rear wheels, engine momentum is transmitted to the front wheels of the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition when needed. Altogether, the powertrain of the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition is an extremely potent supercar. Acceleration from 0 to 60 miles per hour is recorded in 2.7 seconds.

When thinking about the prospect of riding inside a supercar, the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition delivers even on high expectations. Compared to the other 2014 Nissan GT-R models, the Track Edition leans deepest towards the motorsport-inspired look. Carbon fiber trimmed dashboard and suede covered surfaces have been used to decorate the cabin. Featuring a blue-trim, special high grip front seating involve a suede and perforated leather. The suede used for the GT-R Track Edition’s seats unfortunately appear a little cheaper than expected on a vehicle priced over $115,000. Despite the look of the suede, the bucket seats on the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition could be the most comfortable in the supercar marketplace. The 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition is slightly a two-seater. Removal of the rear seating found on the base model of the GT-R accomplishes significant weight savings. Instead, the area behind the front seats is occupied by a lightweight quilted mat. Overall, the interior of the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition feels roomier than average for a two-seat high-performance car. Trunk capacity of 8.8 cubic feet is also more than expected.

Centrally-located on the dashboard of the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition is a 7-inch touchscreen that can operate the vehicle’s climate controls, audio system and navigation software. A rich array of entertainment technology found on the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition consists of 11 speakers, DVD playback and SiriusXM satellite radio. A RearView Monitor is also integrated into the center display providing some much needed assistance when reversing. Perfectly capturing the persona of the Track Edition supercar, the screen can be programmed to relay a multitude of performance-related information such as lap times and g-force. Presenting a great deal of information to the drive and passenger of the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition, the transitioning between infotainment options is somewhat cumbersome. Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry and a dual-zone automatic climate control are additional standard features found on the 2014 GT-R Track Edition.

A limited-run vehicle, only 150 of the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition will make it to the United States. When practicality takes a back seat, the high-performance car 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition unapologetically explores the upper limits of street-legal driving.

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