Best Year for Nissan GT-R

Nissan GT-R is an outstanding sport and a high-performance car that Nissan released in 2007 and it has continuously won the hearts of sport car lovers since then. But what is the best year GT-R model that Nissan produced until now?

Without a doubt, the best year for Nissan GT-R is the 2012 model because of all its innovative features. They are definitely worth the extra money compared to the older models, and they will have all the features of newer models without paying $20k extra.

Nissan GT-R

The Nissan GT-R is a high-performance sports car produced by Nissan since 1969. It is Nissan’s iconic flagship sports car, renowned for its incredible acceleration, handling, and speed. The GT-R has gained a cult following among car enthusiasts worldwide.

The GT-R is a 2-door coupe known for its distinctive angular styling and four round taillights. It features all-wheel drive and a powerful twin-turbocharged V6 engine. The GT-R is often referred to as “Godzilla” due to its beastly performance capabilities.

Some key features and stats of the Nissan GT-R:

  • 0-60 mph in under 3 seconds 
  • Top speed of 196 mph
  • Advanced ATTESA all-wheel drive system
  • High-tech interior with touchscreen display
  • Handbuilt premium interior with leather and carbon fiber
  • Priced between $100k – $150k 

The GT-R combines raw power with cutting-edge technology to create an ultimate driving experience. It incorporates Nissan’s advanced VR38DETT V6 engine, delivering incredible acceleration and torque. The GT-R is built for performance, geared towards enthusiasts who want a thrilling sports car with race-inspired engineering.

The History of The Nissan GT-R

The Nissan GT-R has a rich history spanning over 50 years across multiple generations. Here is an overview of the evolution of this iconic sports car over the decades:

1. First Generation (1969–1972)

  • Debuted in 1969 as a high-performance variant of Nissan’s Skyline range
  • Featured a 2.0 L straight-6 engine producing 160 hp
  • Achieved success in racing, winning the Japanese Grand Prix 4 years in a row
  • Started the GT-R legend with its “Godzilla” racing dominance 

2. Second Generation (1973–1977)

  • Increased engine size to 2.6 L straight-6 with race-spec modifications
  • Second-gen GT-R was lighter and more powerful than first gen
  • Continued racing success, winning 54 consecutive races at one point
  • Further cemented the GT-R’s performance credentials globally

3. Third Generation (1989–1994)

  • Returned after a 16 year production hiatus with the R32 model
  • Adopted a new twin-turbo 2.6 L straight-6 engine with ATTESA AWD
  • Most powerful GT-R ever at the time, with 276 hp
  • High-tech design with superior handling and stability
  • Dominated motorsports, winning 29 straight victories in JTCC

4. Fourth Generation (1995–1998)

  • R33 model with a more curvaceous body shape
  • Upgraded 2.6 L twin-turbo straight-6 producing 280 hp 
  • Improved aerodynamics and redesigned rear suspension
  • Optional ATTESA E-TS AWD system for track racing
  • Continued racing success, winning the gruelling 24 Hours of Nurburgring

5. Fifth Generation (1999–2002)

  • R34 was the last series before a production hiatus from 2003-2007
  • Most refined and technologically advanced R34 GT-R
  • Twin-turbo straight-6 boosted to 320 hp and AWD
  • Super-rigid body structure and improved handling
  • High demand led to extremely limited production numbers

6. Sixth Generation (2007-Present)

  • Returned after a 5 year absence with the debut of R35
  • All-new design and twin-turbo 3.8L V6 engine with 485 hp 
  • Next-gen ATTESA E-TS AWD system and chassis
  • Advanced electronics and telemetry performance data
  • Most expensive and fastest accelerating GT-R ever made
  • Continues Nissan’s sports car legacy to the present day

What Makes a Good Year for a Nissan GT-R?

When evaluating the best model year for a used Nissan GT-R, there are a few key factors to consider:

  • Performance – Horsepower, torque, acceleration, top speed
  • Technology – Advancements in engineering, gadgets, safety
  • Reliability – Free from persistent issues, long-lasting parts
  • Value – Price point and cost of maintenance 
  • Availability – Ease of finding the model year you want

Enthusiasts look for improvements in power, speed, braking, and handling when choosing a GT-R model year. Newer models offer more amenities, comforts, and tech. Reliability ratings look at owner-reported problems over time. Value balances pricing, operating costs, and resale value retention. Availability depends on limited production runs for some model years.

Test driving different GT-R model years gives firsthand experience of changes in performance and refinement. Comparing expert reviews offers additional insight on strengths and weaknesses of a GT-R year. Avoiding known problematic model years saves potential headaches. Choosing the right combination of factors results in the ideal GT-R based on individual driving needs and budget.

Comparing Different Years of The Nissan GT-R

It’s insightful to compare the improvements and changes made between different model years of the Nissan GT-R:

1. 2007 vs 2010

The 2007 debut R35 GT-R was a huge leap forward technologically, while the 2010 received incremental refinements:


  • All-new R35 model rebirth after 5 year absence 
  • 485 hp twin-turbo V6, 0-60 in 3.5 seconds
  • Advanced AWD system and high-tech gadgets
  • Ride comfortcriticized as too stiff and noisy


  • Power bump to 523 hp and 0-60 in 3.2 seconds
  • Suspension and transmission refinements
  • Reduced cabin noise for more comfort
  • Small bump in mpg and Cargo room 

2. 2010 vs 2013

The 2013 GT-R brought more power and technology:


  • 523 hp twin-turbo V6
  • More compliant suspension tune
  • Same AWD system and 6-speed transmission


  • Horsepower increased to 545 hp 
  • New chassis enhances handling
  • Upgraded transmission and stiffer body
  • Improved aerodynamics and downforce
  • Lighter components trim weight

3. 2013 vs 2016

The 2016 GT-R offered styling tweaks and chassis upgrades:


  • 545 hp V6 engine with 3.8L displacement
  • Premium and Black Edition trim options
  • 570S special edition with handling focus


  • Styling refresh with new front and rear fascia
  • Retuned suspension for better ride and handling 
  • Chassis stiffening enhances performance
  • Titanium exhaust improves power and sound
  • 20″ premium wheels on some trims 

4. 2016 vs 2020

The current 2020 GT-R gets a power boost and tech improvements:


  • Minor exterior restyling 
  • 565 hp twin-turbo V6
  • 20″ forged alloy wheels
  • Same 6-speed dual clutch transmission


  • Larger 3.8L twin-turbo V6 making 565 hp 
  • NISMO and Track Edition trims introduced 
  • Revised suspension tuning and chassis rigidity
  • 8″ touchscreen display and next-gen infotainment
  • Carbon ceramic brakes available

Which Year of The Nissan GT-R Is Considered the Best and Why?

If choosing the single best model year of the Nissan GT-R, many experts and enthusiasts point to the 2012 model year as the definitive standout. Here are some of the reasons why the 2012 GT-R is considered the pinnacle:

Significant Performance Upgrades

The 2012 received a comprehensive set of upgrades that took the GT-R to new heights. Horsepower jumped to 545 hp, torque to 463 lb-ft. The increased power catapulted acceleration even faster. Nissan also retuned the suspension for better handling and control. Larger brakes improved stopping power. 

Improved Refinement

Nissan upgraded the cabin materials and added noise insulation to the 2012 model. This improved comfort and made the interior feel more luxurious. The ride quality also became more compliant over bumpy roads compared to prior years.

Competitive Pricing

Although not cheap, the 2012 model was priced competitively compared to more expensive subsequent years. This made its extensive upgrades more accessible to buyers. Strong demand has kept resale values high.

Reliability Reputation

The upgraded engine and transmission in the 2012 model proved to be reliable over the long run. It avoided chronic issues that plagued earlier model years. Owners praise its dependability.

Limited Availability

Nissan produced fewer 2012 models than other years, increasing its exclusivity. Low supply coupled with strong demand results in very high resale values years later.

For its balance of beastly performance, everyday drivability, and relative affordability, the 2012 GT-R stands out as a favorite among both critics and owners. It’s an exceptionally well-rounded sports car.

What Are Some Common Problems with Certain Years of The Nissan GT-R?

While the Nissan GT-R is generally quite reliable, a complex high-performance sports car still has some potential issues to look out for. Here are some of the most common problems reported on specific model years:


  • Fragile transmission with snapped 1st gears
  • Clutch chatter and vibration 
  • Excess interior noise and vibration
  • Potential ignition coil failure 


  • Oil leaks from transmission and engine
  • Continued transmission gear issues 
  • Reduced mpg than claimed figures 
  • Electrical problems like window motors failing


  • Oil cooler leaks due to gasket issues
  • Continuing transmission and bell housing rattles
  • Premature brake wear requiring frequent replacements 
  • Expensive maintenance costs 


  • Very stiff suspension causing back pain over bumps
  • Issues with infotainment screen glitches 
  • Recurring rattles and squeaks from trim
  • Paint chips easily on front bumper and hood


  • Recall for faulty fuel gauge readings
  • AC compressor failures in hot climates
  • Sticking paddle shifters behind the wheel
  • Occasional check engine lights from O2 sensors

Prospective buyers should research recalls and common defects for the GT-R year they’re interested in. Extended warranties can provide protection from expensive repairs down the road.

How to Choose the Right Year of The Nissan GT-R For You?

Selecting the ideal GT-R comes down to matching its capabilities and strengths to your wants as a driver. Here are some tips for choosing the best year:

Consider your budget – GT-R pricing varies considerably by year. Set a comfortable budget for purchase and ongoing maintenance.

Prioritize what matters – Focus on performance, luxury, tuning potential, or collectability based on personal preferences.

Compare years head-to-head – Test drive and research details like power, handling, comfort, and features. 

Assess condition – Get a pre-purchase inspection. Well maintained is better than year.

Determine intended use – Track days, drag racing, car shows, daily driving? Match the model year to needs.

Check known issues – Avoid years with widespread recalls or defects.

Consider limited editions – Special models like Track Edition offer unique advantages. 

Think long-term ownership – Will reliability, repair costs, and resale value suit your plans?

Taking the time to weigh all these factors will lead you to your perfect GT-R year to fulfill your sports car dreams!

Where Can You Buy a Used Nissan GT-R?

There are several reputable places to buy a used Nissan GT-R to find the perfect model year:

Nissan Dealerships – Certified pre-owned GT-Rs offer peace of mind. Inspect service records.

CarMax – Large GT-R inventory with competitive pricing and financing options.

Carvana – Online shopping with home delivery. 7-day money back guarantee. – Search dealer and private seller listings nationwide.

Autotrader – Useful search filters to compare GT-R model years and sellers.

eBay Motors – Bid on GT-Rs auction-style. Inspect carefully before purchase. 

Enthusiast Forums – Find well-cared for GT-Rs from dedicated owners.

Luxury Car Dealers – High-end dealers stock exotic imports including GT-Rs.

Wherever you buy, have the GT-R inspected by a mechanic and test drive it thoroughly. Consider having a pre-purchase inspection done to assess the car’s true condition. Shopping smart will help score the ideal GT-R!

How Much Is a Used Nissan GT-R?

Here are all the average prices listed for a used Nissan GT-R. 

YearAverage Price


  • The Nissan GT-R is an iconic high-performance sports car renowned for its power and handling capabilities.
  • GT-R generations dating back to 1969 have a storied racing pedigree and “Godzilla” reputation.
  • Model year improvements in power, technology, and design are key considerations.
  • The 2012 model year is widely considered the best overall GT-R package.
  • Compare model years carefully test driving and researching reviews.
  • Be aware of potential issues for each model year to avoid buying problems.
  • Assess your budget, needs and ownership plans when selecting the ideal GT-R.
  • Well-maintained GT-Rs from private sellers or enthusiast forums are smart buys.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the rarest Nissan GT-R model year?

A: The rarest and most coveted is the 1973 “Kenmeri” GT-R, with only 197 ever built. Other rare models include the 400R and M-Spec Nur editions.

Q: Which GT-Rs make the most horsepower?

A: The current 2020 GT-R NISMO edition makes 600 hp, while the Track Edition produces 565 hp. The 2021 model will have even more power.

Q: Do all GT-Rs use the same engine?

A: No, earlier generations had inline 6-cylinder engines. The current R35 gen uses a handbuilt twin-turbo 3.8L V6.

Q: How much maintenance does a GT-R require?

A: More frequent than a typical car, with fluid changes and intensive service intervals around every 3,000-5,000 miles.

Q: Is the GT-R all-wheel drive?

A: Yes, the GT-R uses an advanced ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system to optimize power delivery.

Q: Can a GT-R really be a daily driver?

A: While not as comfortable as a luxury sedan, the GT-R can be daily driven thanks to its automated transmission and compliant ride.

Q: Do all GT-Rs have launch control?

A: Launch control was introduced on 2009+ models to help achieve rocket-like acceleration from a standstill.

Q: How much does it cost to insure a GT-R?

A: Due to its high value and performance capabilities, expect to pay $2,000 – $4,000 annually.

Q: Is the GT-R faster than a Porsche or Lamborghini?

A: In straight line acceleration and quarter mile, the GT-R can beat far more expensive supercars from Europe.