Clever is a word that comes up repeatedly in talk about the NSX. Its electric motors can be used to creep through city traffic like an EV, or, when combined with the midmounted twin-turbo V6, can urge you to blitz a favorite back road with exceptional speed. But not everything in the NSX is so clever. Interior storage is paltry, even by supercar standards, and the downmarket infotainment system is nearly inexcusable.
How does the NSX drive?
The breadth of performance capability in the NSX is nothing short of astounding. Acceleration is impressive, with the NSX reaching 60 mph in only 3.1 seconds. And braking from that speed requires only 100 feet, and that's with standard tires and not the optional sticky track specials. Handling is also praiseworthy and has improved since the car's introduction in 2017 — it feels more natural and trustworthy than ever.
Acura shot for the moon with the flexibility of the NSX and it shows. Stop-and-go traffic can be handled largely under electric power, cities can be traversed smoothly and quickly, and back roads and racetracks can be tamed with unbelievable efficiency. This might be the NSX's strongest feature, and it's a differentiator in the class.
How comfortable is the NSX?
The NSX strikes a rare balance between performance and long-distance comfort. The seatbacks are grippy, comfortable and supportive, but the seat cushions are a bit short on length and adjustability. The two suspension settings handle both road irregularities and cornering forces with aplomb.
The climate controls, oddly, are split between physical and touchscreen buttons. The air vents are too small, lack articulation and look like they're from older Acuras. Even though cabin cooling and heating are adequate, the system is largely disappointing in a car at this price. The quiet cabin is somewhat spoiled by the piped-in intake noise, which can be too loud at times and lacks the crucial authenticity of an exotic car.
How’s the interior?
The many off-the-shelf Honda/Acura controls give the NSX a downmarket look. That's especially true of the touchscreen, which can be found in a Honda Civic. The NSX also inherits most of the step-heavy processes found in other Acuras. Menus abound behind touchscreen buttons, and the transmission selector buttons seem unduly fussy and take up too much precious interior space.
There's adequate headroom and shoulder room for most drivers, though taller drivers might run out of legroom before anything else. The center tunnel serves as a nice brace for spirited driving, and the airy cabin doesn't feel claustrophobic. Forward visibility is excellent, but the rearview mirror is mounted a bit low and can block upward visibility.
How’s the tech?
Acura has made steps to improve the NSX's lackluster infotainment, but what amounts to a head unit from a $25,000 compact car is unacceptable in a supercar. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration takes the sting out of that fact somewhat, but even the excellent, and now standard, ELS audio system cannot rescue the Honda parts-bin interface.
The cabin noise in the more aggressive driving modes made it difficult for the voice controls to work effectively. In quieter modes, they took multiple steps to complete a simple process. The NSX includes multimodal stability assistance and traction control, and the ability to fully disable them, as well as a standard array of driver assist features. Radar-guided cruise control, though, is not one of them.
How’s the storage?
It might seem unfair to expect a supercar to have much, if any, real cargo capacity, but most of Acura's competitors offer enough cargo room and small-item storage for a weekend trip for two people. The NSX lacks any real interior storage, and the tiny 4.4-cubic-foot trunk is heavily compromised by its short height. Grocery bags will need to be filled only halfway to have any hope of fitting.
Only the most minimal of storage is available in the cabin. There's room for a phone, sunglasses, and maybe some breath mints, but not much more. You can't even put a jacket behind the seats. The cupholders are detachable but will either intrude on the passenger's space or take up most of the glove compartment.
How economical is the NSX?
Even if it is a supercar, the NSX is still a hybrid, and the EPA rates it at a better-than-class-average 21 mpg combined (21 city/22 highway). We saw a credible 20.5 mpg over the course of our 115-mile evaluation route. We also duplicated that number across another full tank of fuel, proving that fairly good mileage is not out of reach with the NSX.
Is the NSX a good value?
The NSX's starting price undercuts competitors such as the McLaren 570S and Porsche 911 Turbo S. That brings a fair bit of performance and deeply interesting technology, but with all the option boxes checked, as most owners are apt to do, the NSX's price jumps considerably. And with the exception of the carbon-ceramic brakes, the options are strictly cosmetic, making that price even more eye-watering.
The NSX does offer strong four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranties as well as a four-year/50,000-mile roadside assistance program. That the NSX lacks the near endless customization options offered by its competitors, though, could be a deal-breaker.
The technological wizardry imbues the driver with confidence in any situation. The NSX is an everyday supercar, from behaving quietly and efficiently in traffic to storming over a mountain road. For drivers fascinated by truly cutting-edge technology, the NSX will reward the curious and the brave.
It's safe to say that any car at this level can deliver a thrilling high-speed driving experience, but the NSX does so with great aplomb. That said, the NSX can also be perceived as less playful since it feels tuned overwhelmingly for safety except under very specific circumstances.