If changes to the exterior threaten to underwhelm, one needs only to step inside to see where Nissan’s time and money have been invested.

The driving position may be familiar – the steering column must still be manhandled into the ideal position via two separate levers for reach and rake, and the gear selector’s action remains somewhat antiquated-feeling – but practically everything else you can see or touch is new.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
I understand that sports cars need bulkheads, but it’s disappointing that there’s no way to fold rear seatbacks to load longer items

The reasoning behind the revamp is that neither of the GT-R’s pre-facelift incarnations quite made you feel as though you were sitting in £80k’s worth of fixtures and fittings.

So Nissan has thrown leather upholstery at the problem, along with some conspicuous stitching and a much more contemporary-looking bank of climate controls.

The vents have been shifted around, too, mostly to make room for a revised infotainment display that was badly needed.

The enlarged, 8.0in unit is still a touchscreen, but Nissan has supplied a rotary knob for it as well. The dial is mounted on a modified centre console that is now clad in carbonfibre.

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The updated Nissan Connect infotainment wouldn’t strike you as something that could possibly be described as new in anything other than a nine-year-old car.

Some of its now standard features (DAB radio, reversing camera) just about seem like generous inclusions on an £80,000 sports car, but mostly because such cars are almost always more meanly equipped as standard than you expect them to be.

There’s still no smartphone mirroring system included here and no readily apparent internet-connected features.

The screen is a good size, at 8.0in, and is easier to navigate now that there’s a rotary knob for the job. But you can tell that the navigation is SD-card-based, because its mapping lacks the detail and refresh rate of a proper hard-drive-based system.

The system’s responsiveness when switching between menus is also poor and its overall graphics appeal is low.

The screen is at its most useful when relaying the multitude of extra digital instrumentation with which you can customise it. But otherwise, it could and should be much better.

The net effect of the tidy-up (27 buttons have been reduced to 11) is an increase in functionality as much as it is an enhancement of perceived luxuriousness.

The overhaul hasn’t drastically altered the character of the GT-R’s cabin, though.

It still feels like a slightly graceless and echoey setting – better at mode buttons and digital readouts than cosseting and comforting its occupants, even though it’s a 2+2 with a good-sized boot and therefore more usable than plenty of sports cars in the class.

A gently progressive improvement is welcome nonetheless, even for buyers prioritising the GT-R’s other talents, but ‘idiosyncratic’ is still probably the nicest way of describing Nissan’s costliest model.  

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