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- Highs Gut-punching acceleration, vertigo-inducing cornering, eye-catching styling.
- Lows Cut-rate interior finishings, heart-stopping price, storage shortage.
- Verdict In a world of one-trick ponies, the NSX is a multitasking supercar.
The Acura NSX intends to fill a niche that barely exists, but for those who seek a daily-driver supercar—with some hybrid cred, no less—this is your ride. The original NSX, which was phased out of production in 2005, provided easy, day-to-day livability minus the eco-friendliness: exotic looks, otherworldly performance, a compliant ride, and comfortable space for two adults and a reasonable amount of cargo. Aside from the original's generous cargo space, the reborn NSX checks all the same boxes and sweetens the deal with above-average fuel economy thanks to its hybrid powertrain and electric-only driving capabilities. It certainly looks the part of a supercar, but it doesn't quite hit the exotic mark on the inside, where evidence of parts sharing with lesser Acuras casts a decidedly down-market shadow.
What's New for 2019?
A series of exterior styling changes distinguish the 2019 NSX from the 2018 model, most noticeably the body-color front-grille garnish and gloss-black exterior trim. Underneath the NSX's sporty façade, Acura engineers have made several changes to the chassis including stiffer anti-roll bars and revised logic for the adaptive suspension.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We'd show restraint when adding options to the NSX's spec sheet, as few of them improve its performance. Carbon-ceramic brakes are a worthy performance upgrade for a car that is capable of, according to Acura, a 191-mph top speed.
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Likes: Trick hybrid powertrain, all-electric quiet mode, it's a daily-drivable supercar.
Dislikes: It's not as quick as key rivals, it's not as engaging to drive either.
While it will certainly satiate your need for speed, the NSX can't outpace some key rivals such as the Audi R8 or the McLaren 570S. In our testing, it still snapped off lightning-quick acceleration times and managed a 3.1-second run from zero to 60 mph. Its electric-only Quiet mode, however, gives it something its rivals don't have: discretion. The NSX's hybrid-electric powertrain combines a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 with three electric motors for a combined total of 573 horsepower. The V-6, the nine-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and one of the electric motors work as a team to power the rear wheels. The other two electric motors operate independently to drive the front wheels, effectively giving the NSX all-wheel drive.
In Quiet and Sport modes, the steering is direct and accurate but light to the touch, which we think is an attempt to make the NSX feel maneuverable on a day-to-day basis. Such a setup, however, feels out of place on such a performance-oriented vehicle. In Sport Plus and Track modes, the electric-power-steering system dials in more weight. Regardless of the setting, the steering is crisp, and the car responds smartly to the slightest of driver inputs.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Hybrid vehicles are more efficient in stop-and-go city traffic than their gasoline-only rivals, and the NSX is no different. An EPA rating of 21 mpg city beats the Audi R8 V-10 by a whopping 7 mpg. The Porsche 911 Carrera 4S matches the NSX's 21-mpg rating in the city and beats the NSX on the highway with a 28-mpg rating; the NSX is rated for 22 mpg highway. In our real-world highway fuel-economy test, the NSX delivered a decent 23 mpg, beating its EPA rating slightly but falling behind its nonhybrid rivals.
Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo
Likes: Comfortable seats, plenty of space for two adults, excellent outward visibility.
Dislikes: Down-market materials, disappointingly outdated infotainment, limited cargo space.
Touted as the everyday supercar, the NSX is certainly comfortable and intuitive enough for just about anyone to use as a daily driver. But its cabin doesn't have the premium feel and luxurious amenities one expects from an Acura, let alone one that is meant to compete with the best from England and Germany. Our test car featured the optional leather-and-faux-suede seats, faux-suede headliner, and carbon-fiber-trimmed steering wheel. The bright red leather appealed to the younger among our staff, but some found it garish and juvenile. While the seats are comfortable, we'd prefer more thigh support, and enthusiastic drivers will likely desire more side bolstering as well.
A 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with integrated navigation comes standard and is hooked up to an ELS Studio nine-speaker stereo. As with some other interior parts, the touchscreen system is taken from lesser Acuras and Hondas, and the same complaints we have about them apply here, too. The system's interface already looks outdated, and we found the menu setup to be unintuitive. To make matters worse, its lack of redundant buttons and the unwieldy touch-sensitive volume slider, which makes precise adjustments difficult, add an extra layer of complexity.
For something marketed as the everyday supercar, the NSX's interior storage cubbies aren't especially commodious. Its trunk is located right behind the engine, which might be problematic for hauling home your Häagen-Dazs. Plus, we managed to fit just one of our carry-on suitcases inside the tiny trunk.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Its lack of driver-assistance features and absence of crash-test data might pose a concern for safety-minded consumers; neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have completed crash testing for the NSX. A comprehensive standard airbag system provides an acceptable level of protection. Key safety features include:
- Standard front- and rear-parking sensors
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Acura provides some of the most comprehensive coverage in the segment. While a four-year or 50,000-mile limited warranty is offered by Audi, BMW, and Porsche, none provide as much powertrain coverage as Acura. The NSX's sophisticated hybrid-electric components are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 6 years or 70,000 miles
- Hybrid components are covered for 8 years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance