Acura NSX Buyers Guide

The launch of the 2017 Acura NSX represented a significant milestone for Acura, signaling its ambitious return to the high-performance sports car market.

This move was significant, as it followed the legacy of its iconic predecessor, the first-generation NSX, a vehicle that was celebrated for setting new standards in the realm of sports cars with its balanced performance, advanced technology, and accessibility.

The new NSX was tasked with the huge challenge of not only living up to but also surpassing the reputation of original NSX.

Positioned as a technological marvel within Acura's lineup, the 2017 NSX was designed to showcase the brand's engineering capabilities and commitment to innovation. It distinguished itself with its hybrid powertrain, a departure from the conventional sports car formula.

This system combined a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine with three electric motors, delivering a combined output that challenged the performance benchmarks of its competitors.

The NSX's powertrain is linked to a 9-speed dual-clutch transmission and Acura's sophisticated Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, providing an exhilarating driving experience that was both dynamic and impressively efficient.

With its cutting-edge design, embracing both aerodynamics and aesthetics, the 2017 NSX quickly carved out its niche as a supercar that was not only thrilling to drive but also groundbreaking in its approach to blending performance with environmental consciousness.

Featuring a design that seamlessly merges beauty with utility, Acura's careful eye for detail is evident. Smooth aerodynamics are accentuated by crisp lines and gently sculpted contours, offering a look that's stylish yet assertive.

This design not only contributes to the NSX's striking aesthetic but also enhances its performance by optimizing airflow around the vehicle, thereby improving stability and efficiency at high speeds.

Inside, the interior is crafted with premium materials and is designed to wrap the driver and passengers in luxury, while also positioning controls and displays for optimal ergonomics.

This thoughtful design ensures that the NSX is as enjoyable for daily commuting as it is exhilarating on the track or during spirited weekend drives.

Among its rivals, the NSX finds itself in the company of esteemed sports cars such as the Porsche 911 Turbo, Ferrari 488, Lamborghini Huracan, and the Audi R8 V10. Each of these models brings its own strengths to the table, but the NSX distinguishes itself through a unique blend of Japanese innovation and supercar performance.

The NSX is packed with advanced technology, from its hybrid engine to modern safety and connectivity features. This combination of innovation and performance makes the 2017 Acura NSX a standout supercar, blending excitement, efficiency, and practicality.

Model Changes (Breakdown by Year)

2017 Acura NSX

The 2017 model is the first full year of production for the NSX.

Equipped with a 3.5L twin-turbo V6 engine and three electric motors delivering a combined 573hp, showcasing the pinnacle of hybrid performance technology.

The starting price was around $156,000, making it a bargain and attractive price against it’s competitors in this segment. 

2018 Acura NSX

For the year 2018, there was no updates made on the Acura NSX.

The NSX's base price is maintained at $157,800 for 2018, with no changes from the 2017 model year, indicating Acura's confidence in the vehicle's value proposition as a hybrid supercar that can be used daily.

2019 Acura NSX

In 2018, the NSX underwent significant enhancements with a focus on boosting its performance capabilities. These upgrades included the introduction of stiffer stabilizer bars to improve its handling dynamics.

Additionally, the software for the SH-AWD system, powertrain, and active dampers was fine-tuned for better responsiveness. A striking new Thermal Orange Pearl paint color was introduced, adding to its visual appeal.

The vehicle was also equipped with standard carbon ceramic brakes, enhancing its braking performance. 

A new tire option was made available, further optimizing its driving experience. Minor updates were made to the infotainment system, improving user interaction and connectivity.

These comprehensive upgrades were designed to refine the NSX's overall driving experience. The combination of mechanical and software updates ensured a more engaging drive. Overall, the 2018 NSX set a new standard for high-performance sports cars with these thoughtful enhancements.

The price of the 2019 Acura NSX started at $159,300.

2020 Acura NSX

For the year 2020, the NSX remains largely unchanged from its 2019 iteration.

Potential buyers can choose from a palette of vibrant exterior colors, including the new-for-2020 Indy Yellow and Thermal Orange, with each special color commanding a $1,000 premium.

Interior customization is also flexible, with no additional cost for choosing among various color schemes. For those inclined towards track days, the NSX offers carbon-ceramic brake rotors at a steep $9,900 ($10,600 with colored calipers), a worthwhile investment for improved performance.

Starting price for the 2020 Acura NSX was $159,495.

2021 Acura NSX

For the year 2021, the NSX remains largely unchanged from its 2020 iteration.

Acura introduced Long Beach Blue Pearl as a new color option for 2021, commemorating its sponsorship of the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

2022 Acura NSX

For 2022, its final model year of the Acura NSX Type S was released. The NSX Type S is designed for practical daily driving with modes ranging from a quiet, electric-only mode to more aggressive Sport Plus and Track modes for enhanced performance. 

As a final model year, the NSX received styling updates, such as tweaked front-end styling and the addition of Type S badging.

These updates were part of the enhancements made for its final model year, aimed at distinguishing the Type S variant with a more aggressive and updated aesthetic compared to previous versions of the NSX. 

The Type S also introduced special badging and elevated its power to 600 hp, yet its exclusivity is underscored by the limited availability of just 300 units in the U.S.

Additionally, it offered a variety of exterior color options and interior color schemes, though opting for certain upgrades, such as carbon-ceramic brake rotors, would incur additional charges.

2022 will be the NSX's last model year before it's discontinued and the starting price was $171,495.

Acura NSX Common Problems

The Acura NSX proves that this luxury brand can compete in a performance-driven world without sacrificing the reliability it's known for.

However, it is essential to keep in mind that all cars, even supercars, can have issues and it is crucial to perform a Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI) from an authorized dealer or experienced independent mechanic to reveal all issues.

Battery Drain: A notable number of 2017 Acura NSX owners have reported experiencing premature battery failures. This problem leads to a loss of electrical power assistance, rendering the vehicle devoid of crucial electrical functionalities and significantly increasing the risk of incidents while driving.

Brake Rotor Damage: There have been multiple instances where the carbon-fiber brake rotors on the NSX have shown signs of cracking. Such damage results in producing harsh grinding noises and a marked reduction in braking performance, compromising vehicle safety.

Suspension Noises: Several drivers have pointed out that the NSX's suspension tends to emit rattling sounds during acceleration or when traversing over uneven road surfaces. This issue not only affects ride quality but also raises concerns about the durability of the suspension components.

Inconsistent Panel Alignment: Some individuals have raised concerns over irregular panel gaps, particularly around the doors. This flaw can lead to water ingress into the cabin, potentially damaging the interior and affecting the vehicle's overall integrity.

Door Rattles: Reports have surfaced of the doors rattling at highway speeds, with the noise primarily emanating from the areas around the locks and hinges. This not only serves as a distraction to the driver but also raises questions about the long-term reliability of these components.

Recalls

2017-2020 Acura NSX Vehicles

Fuel system, gasoline: Delivery: Fuel pump (Recall no. 23V858000)

The fuel pump inside the fuel tank may fail. Fuel pump failure can cause an engine stall while driving, increasing the risk of a crash.

2018-2019 Acura NSX Vehicles

Fuel system, gasoline: Delivery: Fuel pump (Recall no. 20V314000)

The low-pressure fuel pump inside the fuel tank may fail. If the fuel pump fails, the engine can stall while driving, increasing the risk of a crash. This recall affected 2018-2019 Acura NSX vehicles.

2017 Acura NSX vehicles

Exterior lighting: Brake lights (Recall no. 18V599000)

Road vibrations may cause the metal screws that secure the printed circuit board for the high mounted center brake light to loosen and contact the circuitry, possibly resulting in the brake light fuse blowing and the brake lights not functioning. This recall affected 2017 Acura NSX vehicles.

2017-2018 Acura NSX vehicles

Fuel system, gasoline: Storage: Tank assembly (Recall no. 18V600000)

The crossover pipe couplers between the left and right fuel tanks may leak. A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source can increase the risk of a fire.

Maintenance and Ownership Costs

Relative to other high-performance supercars, the Acura NSX is known to have lower maintenance needs, in line with Honda's reputation for reliability.

However, it is important to remember that regular maintenance and repairs will still be necessary, and the costs can vary depending on whether you take your car to a dealer or an independent mechanic.

Here is the suggested service schedule and intervals per Acura:

BASIC SERVICE Every 5,000 Miles

  • Check installation of driver's floor mat

  • Check State Inspection expiration date

  • Check for open campaigns/recalls

  • Replace engine oil and filter

  • Rotate tires and check condition (tread depth)

  • Set tire pressures to correct PSI

  • Check that all exterior light bulbs are functioning

  • Inspect front and rear brake components

  • Inspect and top off fluid levels

  • Perform multi-point inspection with print-out

  • Road test of vehicle

INTERMEDIATE SERVICE Every 15,000 Miles

Includes Basic Service, Plus:

  • Inspect condition of drive axle boots

  • Check condition of brake fluid

  • Check transfer case and differential fluids

  • Check operation of cooling system and/or indication of coolant leak

  • Complete inspection of steering and suspension components

  • Complete inspection of exhaust system

  • Inspect air filter

  • Inspect wiper inserts/blades

  • Inspect cabin air filter (if applicable)

  • Lubricate propeller shaft (where applicable)

  • Inspect fuel lines and charcoal canister

  • Reset maintenance/tire pressure warning lights

MAJOR SERVICE Every 30,000 Miles

  • Replace air filter

  • Replace cabin air filter (if applicable)

  • Inspect ignition wires and distributor cap

Here is a rough estimate of typical service costs for the Acura NSX:

  • Oil Change - Around $350 at independent shops and up to $500 at dealerships.

  • Minor Service - This service usually includes an oil change, replacement of cabin and engine air filters, and can cost approximately $800 at a dealership.

  • Major Service - Including everything in a minor service plus spark plug replacement, brake fluid flush, and transmission fluid change, you might expect to pay about $1,800 at a dealer.

  • Tires - A set of high-performance tires suitable for the NSX, such as the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, could be around $1,500.

  • Brakes - The NSX uses high-quality brake components; a full set of aftermarket brake pads comparable to the original equipment might cost around $700.

  • Clutch - Given the NSX's advanced dual-clutch transmission, typical maintenance does not usually involve clutch service, anticipating minimal to no cost in this area assuming normal usage and conditions.

Options List

In terms of factory option packages, the 2017 Acura NSX provides a range of choices for potential buyers. The Carbon Fiber Interior Sport Package includes components such as a carbon fiber-covered meter visor, steering wheel garnish, aluminum sport pedals, and footrest.

On the other hand, the Carbon Fiber Exterior Sport Package offers additions like a carbon fiber front spoiler, side sills, rear diffuser, and a dark chrome exhaust finisher. 

Additionally, the Technology Package incorporates advanced features such as the ELS Studio Audio System, Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System, AcuraLink connectivity, and front/rear parking sensors.

Apart from these factory packages, the vehicle also allows for stand-alone factory-installed features. These include options like a carbon fiber roof, engine cover, rear decklid spoiler, carbon-ceramic brake rotors, exclusive interwoven wheels, Alcantara headliner, and semi-aniline leather seats, among others.

In terms of exterior customization, buyers can choose from a variety of color options. These include standard, pearl, metallic, and Andaro choices, with many of them drawing inspiration from famous racetracks.

Additionally, it's worth noting that in the year 2020, the Acura NSX introduced new color options, including Indy Yellow and Thermal Orange, expanding the range of choices for buyers. In the same year, carbon ceramic brakes were also made available as an option.

Furthermore, in 2021, Long Beach Blue Pearl was introduced as another color option, further enhancing the array of choices for customization.

Here are some examples of option changes:

2017 Acura NSX Options List

2019 Acura NSX Color and Interior Options

2020 Acura NSX Options List

Some of the more desirable options to look for include:

  • Optional colours like the Indy Yellow, Thermal Orange and Long Beach Blue Pearl are desirable

  • Carbon ceramic brakes

  • Carbon fibre package (roof, engine cover, rear spoiler)

  • Optional interwoven wheels

The Best Acura NSX to Buy

When it comes to buying a NSX, there are a few key factors to consider that can affect the car's long-term value.

The 2022 NSX Type S, which is the ultimate performance variant, is expected to be among the NSX models that are likely to appreciate in value.

 Notably, this car stands out not only as the most powerful but also due to its exclusivity, with only 300 units available for the U.S. market. It will be a future collector car. 

In the case of the 2017 NSX, it experienced a higher frequency of complaints and found itself subjected to a couple of recalls. These specific issues are the primary factors we would advise potential buyers to consider when evaluating their options, as they may want to explore alternatives to the 2017 NSX.

It's essential to make an informed decision, taking into account both the model's strengths and its track record to ensure a satisfying ownership experience.

In terms of market stability, your best bet would be a 2018-2022 NSX, as the issues that were present in the 2017 model have been addressed, and you are getting the best version of the car with a good opportunity to enjoy both improved performance and overall reliability.

However, as a whole, all NSX’s will remain a strong purchase simply because of their reputation for being extremely well-built and reliable vehicles. These cars have a proven track record for being mechanically sound with few major issues.

It is important to remember, the condition and mileage of the car are also important factors to consider when buying a NSX. There are many that have been driven hard and have been highly modified.

But the ones that are more likely to retain their value in the long run and will fetch the most money will be a well-maintained car with low mileage.

Therefore, it's important to do your research, compare prices, and look for well-maintained cars if you are considering purchasing an NSX with the goal of not losing any money.

Conclusion

In conclusion, when considering supercars in the price range of around $130,000 or more, the Acura NSX emerges as a compelling option for a first-time supercar owner due to its reliability and performance.

While there are other sports cars such as the Porsche 911 Turbo, Ferrari 488, Lamborghini Huracan, and the Audi R8 V10, the NSX distinguishes itself with its cutting-edge technology, unmatched comfort, user-friendly design, and consistent performance. 

To sum it up, if you're in the market for a supercar, the NSX stands as a top-tier choice that promises a satisfying and unforgettable driving experience.

Car Hacking Shortcuts

  • NSX Type S will be a future collector car. 

  • Aim for 2018 and above NSX.

  • Carbon Fiber Exterior Sport Package is desirable.

  • Carbon ceramic brake was an expensive option. 

  • Look for well-maintained, low miles Huracan.


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