Review – Nissan Fuga 450GT
Recently I have been driving around in a 450GT Fuga. Being highly of the belief that sports cars are the only way to go, I was initially like “so it’s something I can probably ship and sell. Let’s get it over with.” But since I picked it up in Tokyo last week, I have really come to love it. The more I drive it, look at it and listen to it, the more I am loving this machine. With that, I have decided to do my own unbiased, but impressed review on the Nissan Fuga 450GT.
The GY50 Fuga, in production between 2005-2009 – Comfort, power, quality – at an affordable price.
First of all, I wanted to start with the general looks of the vehicle. It’s what you notice first on a car. This is one of the first things that has surprised me about the Nissan Fuga. A feature I really liked was the clear, factory tail lamps, which give a very clear, crisp light and individuality from the rest of the luxury sedans. Though these aren’t standard on all Fugas.
A criticism I do have of some of the models, especially in black, is the Fuga looks somewhat jacked up and looks higher than it should be. This may be what initially put me off the styling of the 450GT. However, like the car it’s self, I have come to appreciate the styling more over the period I drove it.
If it were my car, I would opt for a simple body kit like what is available from the factory on some of the Fuga’s. The body kit seems to fill in some areas around the lower skirting which perhaps fails to make an impact otherwise. What is more, it makes the Fuga look lower, more like it really is.
Engine and efficiency
The 450GT has a VK45DD engine – the (slightly) little brother to what is used in the Nissan GT-R and it produces 333 hp (248 kW) and 340 lbf·ft (460 N·m). This boosts the almost 1800kg Fuga to 100km in about 5.5 seconds. When you put the foot down, it kicks down a gear, before dropping another.. as if to say, ‘you really wanna do this huh?’ And it definitely feels fast, closing the gap between 130 – 190kp/h in a matter of seconds. All round, I have been impressed with the responsive power from the VK45DD.
As for the efficiency with just over half a tank starting in Tokyo, it managed the 250 km to Nagano on about a third of a tank. In addition, it managed another 100 + ks on the remaining quarter. So it looks like 600+ km on an 80-liter tank, with a mix of city and highway driving isn’t unrealistic.
So how does it drive? Very well, it seems. The ride is very comfortable and smooth and even the largest holes in the Japanese infrastructure won’t really phase you, plonked in your large leather recliners. The suspension seems to iron out the bumps in the road nicely, but this is no way means that it is poor in the corners. When things get windy, the Fuga stays flat and smooth around the corners too, meaning that the whole driving experience in the Fuga is a great time.
And because of all the comfort features, long drives are an easy, pleasant experience which leave you as refreshed as you were when you set of on your journey.
The only issue with the drive I have found is that it is a pretty large car and as such, it’s turning circle is quite large. This may not be a problem for you, if you live in a country with wide, spacious roads, but here in Japan, it can be pretty hairy experience on some of the narrow roads and when parking.
Interior and Sounds
This is where paying a little more than you would for a 250 or 350GT Fuga really makes a statement. The Full leather interior is always a nice start and even used models to maintain the nice leather smell.
Comes with all the bells and whistles you need out of a luxury sedan like navigation, backing monitors and cruise control, as well as extra’s that you don’t, but are nice to have anyway such as the passenger side curb camera and all the little control buttons on the steering wheels.
I feature I really liked was the automatic seat setting when you get in and get out. When you turn the car on, it slides you into position and presents you with the control and when you arrive at your destination, it slides you back and gets the steering wheel out of the way, giving you a lot of space to disembark.
My favourite feature is still the front passenger’s recliner style footrest. Not only is it awesomely comfortable, but it is a testament to the space available in the cabin of the Fuga. Even reclined with the footrest up, the backseats have a tonne of room. The tallest of my friends had no complaints about sitting behind the lounging front seat passenger.
The Nissan Fuga makes the right engine sounds, while not being arrogant and in your face about it. It is quiet and calm on the cruise, but when you put your foot down, the right V8 tones emanate subtlety from the engine.
The sound system is great too. Bose sound systems are installed from the factory, so you are guaranteed a great sound from any track.
Inside the Nissan Fuga 450GT really is a pleasant place to be, it is considerably more comfortable than my living room (though that doesn’t mean much).
Well you can probably pick one up very reasonably, compared to the Fuga’s competitors in the luxury sedan range. With prices starting around a million Japanese yen (Approximaetly 10,000 USD) for a sub 80,000 k’s unit, it means that the 450GT Fuga, comes in a few thousand dollars cheaper than most of the Lexus models.
Nissan Fuga 450GT – Drive or Ditch?
A deal like this on a v8 luxury sedan is hard to come by and the Fuga is arguably the cheapest on the market and for this reason, I would drive this car. This is overwhemingly backed up by the fact that you just get full leather, great seats, a V8 engine and a nice all round style. You just get so much for your money.
– Disclaimer –
I am not a paid vehicle reviewer, this piece, therefore, represents my own opinions and reflection of the vehicles and as such should not be considered professional advice.