2001 Acura NSX Review
Pros & Cons
- Sheer performance, user-friendly and comfortable cabin, still turns heads 10 years after its debut.
- It's been 10 years since its debut, sophisticated VTEC powerplant underwhelms American muscle-car mentalities, high price.
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2001 Acura NSX is an exotic that still turns heads. Overpriced for what you get, though. Buy a used one and get virtually the same car.
Believe it or not, it's been 10 years since Acura introduced this all-aluminum bodied sports car. Back then it received well-deserved accolades for its futuristic construction and true sporting design. It still gets our kudos for being well-balanced, highly poised, easy to drive and graceful, even though you can get more horsepower and a relatively similar ride for half the price from other sports cars.
We're not sure why the NSX has to be so expensive.
Equipped with a 3.2-liter, 24-valve V6 engine, the NSX manages 290 horsepower (252 if equipped with an automatic), which is enough to move the car from zero to 60 mph in about 5 seconds. The mid-engine design provides excellent weight distribution, keeping the wheels securely planted around turns. Braking is confident and secure with only 122 feet required to get from 60 to zero.
The radical exterior (yes, after a decade it's still exotic) of the NSX belies its logical and comfy interior. It's really as comfortable and easy to drive as its distant relative, the Honda Accord. All controls are logically placed, the seating position is ideal and the targa top is easily stored. While never a strong point of mid-engined exotic sports cars, rear visibility is better than you might expect. The shift action of the six-speed transmission (revised last year) thrills us. The clutch and brake pedals are well placed and provide excellent feedback, as does the razor-sharp steering. On a test track it makes us feel like Schumacher.
But, we're still not sure why it has to be so expensive.
Since its 1991 introduction, other sports cars, such as the Dodge Viper and Chevrolet Corvette, have caught up to the radical NSX, and the 'Vette offers more horsepower at half the price. Even the Porsche 911 is a viable alternative.It seems that Acura may have seen the future once again with the regard to the NSX. The Japanese-based automaker is reportedly developing a more powerful and less expensive version for release soon.
Don't write off the current model, though. It still has plenty to offer. Drivers looking for a supercar that likes being driven at the top end of its tachometer while keeping a leech-like grip on the blacktop couldn't ask for more. And don't forget that the NSX is part of the Acura (Honda) family, which means it won't spend most of its time on a hoist with a man making $90/hour whanging away underneath it, like other exotics. Combine that with its livable interior and excellent ergonomics and you've got a keeper that could be used for daily commutes or joyful driving. Just bring your wallet.