Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2009 Nissan GT-R VS 2009 Dodge Viper Near Phoenix, AZ

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2009 Nissan GT-R

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VS

2009 Dodge Viper

Safety Comparison

The GT-R offers optional front seat side-impact airbags and available head airbags, which act as a forgiving barrier between the passengers and the door. Combined with high-strength steel door beams this system increases protection from broadside collisions. The Viper doesn't offer side-impact airbags.

The GT-R has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Viper doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

To prevent wheelspin and loss of control under poor traction conditions, full range traction control is standard on the Nissan GT-R. The Dodge Viper doesn’t offer traction control.

The GT-R has standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC-R), which uses the antilock brake hardware along with powerful software and additional sensors to detect the beginning of a skid. VDC-R then intervenes by automatically applying the brake at one appropriate wheel, preventing a skid. The Viper doesn’t offer skid prevention. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study showed that skid control systems reduced single-vehicle car crashes by 30%.

Both the GT-R and the Viper have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners and four-wheel antilock brakes.

Warranty Comparison

The GT-R’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Viper runs out after 100,000 miles.

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the GT-R has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engine in the Viper.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2008 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 19th in initial quality. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 27th.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan GT-R is faster than the Dodge Viper (manual transmissions tested):

GT-R

Viper

Zero to 60 MPH

3.2 sec

3.7 sec

Quarter Mile

11.6 sec

11.7 sec

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the GT-R’s engine produces its peak torque at lower RPM’s than the Viper (3200 vs. 5000).

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The GT-R has 3.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Viper (19.5 vs. 16 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the GT-R’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Viper:

GT-R

Viper

Front Rotors

15 inches

14 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

14 inches

The GT-R’s brakes have 19% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the Viper (719 vs. 603 square inches), so the GT-R has more braking power available.

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The GT-R has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Viper doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The GT-R stops shorter than the Viper:

GT-R

Viper

80 to 0 MPH

191 feet

198 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

145 feet

150 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GT-R has standard 20-inch wheels. Only 18 inch front and 19 inch rear wheels are available on the Viper.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the GT-R can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Viper doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The GT-R has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Viper doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GT-R’s wheelbase is 10.7 inches longer than on the Viper (109.5 inches vs. 98.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GT-R is 1 inch wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Viper.

The GT-R goes through Road & Track’s slalom 3.7 MPH faster than the Viper Coupe (73.4 vs. 69.7 MPH).

For better maneuverability, the GT-R’s turning circle is 3.1 feet tighter than the Viper’s (37.4 feet vs. 40.5 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Nissan GT-R amounts to more than styling. The GT-R has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Viper (.38). A more efficient exterior helps the GT-R go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the GT-R get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Road & Track, the interior of the GT-R is quieter than the Viper Coupe:

GT-R

Viper

At idle

54 dB

62 dB

Full-Throttle

82 dB

84 dB

50 MPH Cruising

73 dB

77 dB

70 MPH Cruising

78 dB

79 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The GT-R has standard seating for 4 passengers; the Viper can only carry 2.

The GT-R has 31.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Viper (79.4 vs. 48).

The GT-R has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 2.2 inches more front legroom and .4 inches more front shoulder room than the Viper.

Ergonomics Comparison

The GT-R’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Viper’s power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

The GT-R’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Viper’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

The GT-R has a standard locking fuel door. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Viper doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The GT-R’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Viper doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

The GT-R’s outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Viper doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

The GT-R’s standard rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Viper doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

The GT-R’s optional heated front seats keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. The Viper doesn’t offer heated seats.

The GT-R’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Viper doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The GT-R’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Viper doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the GT-R’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Viper doesn’t offer a filtration system.

To help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, the GT-R has standard steering wheel controls for the radio. The Viper doesn’t offer steering wheel audio controls.

The GT-R’s standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The Viper’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

With standard voice command, the GT-R offers the driver hands free control of cell phone and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Viper doesn’t offer a voice control system.

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