Review: 2019 Nissan GT-R
- Incredible all-wheel-drive grip and composure
- Rapid-fire dual-clutch shifts
- Rocket-ship acceleration
- Even with a six-figure price, it's still a performance value
- Lavish leather interior
- A supercar, but the look still says supertuner
- Expensive for its brand
- Big price hikes every year
- No significant changes for 2019
- Part of the first GT-R generation introduced for 2009
- Excellent acceleration, handling, and braking
- Easy to drive for maximum performance
- Lurchy and noisy powertrain, particularly at low speeds
- The stiff suspension and an abundance of road noise
- Vestigial rear seats
- Dated design
Overall rating 7.6 / 10
Back in 2009, the American economy was faltering and fuel prices were rising. It was an inauspicious time for Nissan to launch its new GT-R. Yet with all-wheel drive, a thumping turbocharged V6 and decades of heritage behind it, the GT-R became an immediate sensation. A decade later, the economy is healthy and gas prices are low. The 2019 GT-R, however, is not much different than it was for its debut.
Certainly, the Nissan GT-R continues to squish the backs of passengers into their seats. There are four versions of the GT-R: Pure, Premium, Track Edition and Nismo. Although they all have slightly different features that give them progressively more performance capabilities, all of them share the same basic twin-turbo V6, six-speed dual-clutch transaxle and adjustable all-wheel-drive system.
All of this combines to make the GT-R a monster on a racetrack. But it is uncomfortable on the street. Competitors such as the Porsche 911, which benefit from newer redesigns, offer far more comfortable with little, if any, performance penalty. It's also fair to say they have a fresher curbside presence.
At the end of the day, though, the GT-R still features an analog gauge cluster and metal shift paddles. It's one of the few cars that doesn't have the word "coddle" in any of its design briefs. If this raw and time-tested approach is for you, check out the 2019 Nissan GT-R.
2019 Nissan GT-R configurations
The 2019 Nissan GT-R is a high-performance four-seat sports coupe. It uses a turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine (565 horsepower, 467 lb-ft of torque), a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and a variable all-wheel-drive system for its propulsion. The Pure trim 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 Editionadds even more track focus. Finally, the GT-R Nismo ups all performance qualities to the max, including an engine tuned for more power.
The Pure trim includes 20-inch wheels with summer run-flat tires, LED headlights and running lights, power-folding 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's 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, USB connectivity, and satellite and HD radio.
Going with the Premium adds an active sound enhancement and noise cancellation system, titanium exhaust and an 11-speaker sound system.
Options for the Pure and the 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 updated version of the V6 engine good for 600 hp and 481 lb-ft of torque.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Nissan GT-R Premium (turbo 3.8L V6 | 6-speed dual-clutch automatic | AWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2015, the current GT-R has received some revisions, including a revised interior and exterior design, more power and new trim levels. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's GT-R, however.