2002 Acura NSX Review

Pros & Cons

  • The 2002 Acura NSC is one of the best-handling cars sold in America, user-friendly and comfortable cabin, still turns heads 11 years after its debut.
  • High price, minimal mechanical changes since its debut, sophisticated VTEC powerplant underwhelms American muscle-car mentalities.
List Price Estimate
$12,739 - $26,483

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Edmunds' Expert Review

An 11-year-old exotic that still turns heads. Overpriced for what you get, though. Buy a used one and get virtually the same car without the depreciation.

Vehicle overview

Believe it or not, it's been 11 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 of other sports cars.

Equipped with a 3.2-liter 24-valve V6 engine, the NSX manages 290 horsepower (252 if equipped with the four-speed automatic), which is enough to move the car from 0 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 if driven aggressively, the NSX rewards the driver with capable and entertaining handling.

Acura has updated the NSX's exterior this year, giving it fixed headlights, restyled bumpers and 17-inch wheels both front and rear. The restyling is said to improve the car's aerodynamic performance enough to boost the car's top speed from 168 mph to 175 mph.

The interior design, though featuring new color schemes this year, looks dated. The NSX is still quite comfortable as exotics go, however. In many ways, it's as 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 manual transmission thrills us, and the clutch and brake pedals are well placed and provide excellent feedback, as does the razor-sharp steering.

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 less expensive alternative. An all-new NSX is rumored, but its appearance won't likely happen before 2004.

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.

2002 Highlights

For the first time since the car's introduction in 1991, the 2002 Acura NSX receives a variety of styling enhancements. These include new fixed HID headlights, freshened front and rear bumpers and updated exhaust tips. Inside, six new color schemes are available. These schemes can be matched to the car's exterior color for a customized look. The center panel has also been updated with new chrome plating. Mechanically, the NSX remains unchanged, though the suspension has been retuned and larger wheels have been fitted.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Acura NSX.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

My 2nd NSX
The thrill and performance of a Ferrari and the reliability of a Honda. This car can be a daily driver and it won't break the bank. This is my 2nd. NSX. My previous one was a green 1996. I sold it with 62,000 miles and the car was tight with no problems. I bought my 2002 with 11,000 miles. I wanted a red one and wanted the 3.2 and 6 speed. My buddy has a Porsche and he said it costs him more than his ex- wife. I drove Vipers, Corvettes and Porsches. I feel the NSX out did them all. In overall driveability, quality and fun factor. My wife loves to drive it. And you don't see one on every corner. IT'S A TRUE EXOTIC.
Couldnt be happier
The more I researched this car, the more I thought I'd like it, but I hadn't even begun to understand how much I'd have liked it. Driving this car is as fun as driving it for the first time every time I get in it. Truly spectacular. Worth the extra 30 thousand dollars over the Corvette -- this thing has *soul*.
A fine instrument
I'll take hand-crafted aluminum over American plastic any day. As far as performance, too many muscle-heads are fixated on size. If you want cubes, get yourself a Caddy with an 8-liter V8. The NSX is a scalpel and the Corvette is an axe. To join the legions of macho men that have the world looking at your tail lights, buy the Vette. If you want every twist and turn in the road to be brought to life under your steering wheel and don't have the money for a Ferrarri, the NSX is for you.
2 year follow up
It's been 2 years and 17,000 miles since my last review of my 2002 NSX. This car has 28,000 miles on it and is amazing. I have not spent a cent on the car except for normal maintenance and an upgrade to a Comptec exhaust system. I didn't notice a change in performance, just a better exhaust sound. I just had an oil change and the tech said I still had 60% left on the brakes. There are no squeaks or rattles and everything works perfectly. I will need to replace the tires soon. The short throw shifter and 6 speed are a pleasure to drive. A tip of the hat to Acura and this car. It's no wonder that used NSXes hold their value.

Features & Specs

15 city / 22 hwy
Seats 2
6-speed manual
290 hp @ 7100 rpm
15 city / 22 hwy
Seats 2
4-speed shiftable automatic
252 hp @ 6600 rpm
See all Used 2002 Acura NSX features & specs
More about the 2002 Acura NSX

Used 2002 Acura NSX Overview

The Used 2002 Acura NSX is offered in the following submodels: NSX Coupe. Available styles include 2dr Coupe (3.2L 6cyl 6M), and 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2002 Acura NSX?

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Find a used Acura NSX for sale - 8 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $15,158.

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Should I lease or buy a 2002 Acura NSX?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Acura NSX lease specials