The legendary Nissan GT-R is a supercar with gut-punch acceleration, but its shine has started to fade—it’s been around for more than 10 years with relatively few updates—and today more desirable supercars exist at the same price point. It’s powered by a twin-turbo V-6 engine that pumps out 565 or 600 horsepower depending on which model you choose. All-wheel drive is standard, and the GT-R offers tenacious handling to go along with its explosive acceleration. Unfortunately, the six-figure entry price doesn’t buy a cabin that’s lined with high-end materials. In fact, much of the GT-R’s switchgear appears to be lifted from the Altima parts bin. The GT-R’s exterior styling also won’t appeal to everyone—from some angles, it looks comically monstrous—but it continues to turn heads, for better or worse. Still, the GT-R is a performance powerhouse with built-in exclusivity, so if you dare to be different Nissan’s halo sports car may be the right ride for you.
What’s New for 2021?
Nissan has narrowed the GT-R lineup down to just the Premium and NISMO models for 2021, eliminating the 50thAnniversary Edition and Track Edition trims. The only other change for the 2021 model year is that the Bayside Blue paint color is now available on the Premium trim.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2021 GT-R’s standard twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-6 makes a mighty 565 horsepower. It hooks up to a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive that conspire to put all that power to the pavement. At our test track, the GT-R launched itself from zero to 60 mph in a mere 2.9 seconds. The GT-R’s quick steering, rigid structure, and adjustable suspension can make even amateurs feel positively heroic from behind the wheel. Want more? Check out the Track Edition and NISMO models with a tuned-up engine that makes 600 horsepower. The ride is firm but not punishing and, thanks to active sound cancellation, the thrum of the GT-R’s engine doesn’t punish your eardrums when cruising on the highway.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates that every 2021 GT-R will earn 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. However, we don’t know its real-world mpg since we haven’t tested one on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy route.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the GT-R’s front seats are plenty roomy but the rear seats are places only small children could find comfortable. The interior is nicely appointed and offers a host of standard features, but those seeking a high-end interior such as those of the Audi R8 or the Mercedes-AMG GT will be disappointed. Every model features dual-zone climate control, leather-and-suede-covered upholstery, heated front seats, and more. Interior cubby storage is scarce with nothing more than large door pockets and a small center console bin.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2021 GT-R hasn’t been crash-tested by the Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). You won’t find any of Nissan’s driver-assistance features here, but to be fair, those types of electronics aren’t commonplace in most of the GT-R’s rivals, either.