Acura NSX Buyers Guide
This is the future. Simple as that. The new Acura NSX is paving the way for the next generation of super cars and it couldn’t have done a better job if it tried.
While we don’t commonly think of the Japanese for our supercars, the NSX is willing to go head to head with it’s European competitors.
The three letter “N-S-X “ perk up the ears of car lovers both young and old.
Those who are lucky enough to remember the first generation of the NSX “New-Sportscar-eXperimental” remember it being a powerhouse JDM beast in the 1990’s to early 2000’s. First produced in 1990 the NSX became the world’s first mass-produced car to feature an all aluminum body. It housed a 3.0L V6 engine along with Hondas VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) system and was driven as a either 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic. Sadly its production seized in 2005 and Acura waited nearly a decade before introducing us to the new and improved NSX.
Rumors of an NSX revival began swirling back in 2010, but not even a year later Honda announced that any plans to bring back the NSX had to be canceled due to a poor economy. But shortly there after in 2011, more reports came in, stating that the NSX was in fact back in production as a concept. Honda confirmed and introduced the NSX concept at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. The production model didn’t appear until almost 3 years later in 2015, with sales beginning in 2016. This was to be a new NSX “New Sport eXpierence”. And unlike it’s first generation, this NSX was going to be made in America, more specifically Marysville, Ohio instead of Japan.
The all new Acura NSX was designed to be the for-runner for a new race of supercars to fall behind. It took the hybrid technology of the modern age and used it to it’s performance advantage. Having owned one personally, I can tell you that it did what it was created to do.
I was astounded and amazed by just how terrific this car was not only to look at, but to drive as well. I had never experienced anything like it, and apparently I am not the only one. Members of car forums and autoblogs alike claim the NSX is something that no one has scene before but something everyone can enjoy. It couldn’t be more accurate. I don’t let just anyone drive my cars out of fear they may not be able to handle the sheer power that most supercars carry, but I’d let my mother behind the wheel of the NSX any day.
The old NSX and new NSX share little to nothing except the name at the manufacturer.
The new Acura NSX has a completely futuristic “torn-like” feel to it. Aerodynamic and electric are just a few of the words you can use to describe her appearance. At the front, the spade shape hood comes to a point around the Acura logo, branded ever so gracefully right front and center. Below sit a series of air flow vents both in the center and around the sides underneath the signature jewel-eye headlights. Don’t expect a frunk though, the front hatch opens to reveal a series of chassis members and equipment. You can find a nice little nook just big enough to fit a grocery bag or two in the rear. The style of the hood begins low and to the ground, much like most of the car, but then shoots upward sharply and dents on the edges to allow two more air vents to emerge.
To the sides you’ll see the NSX in it’s simplest state. Not much is to be said on the design to the sides of the car, as the only line that carries through for design is towards the foot of the car and up to the side air intakes that line the door panel. The wheels on the NSX are actually not that bad, unlike many stock designs. Staggered Y-Spoke 19”(front) and 20” (back) alloy wheels come stock with the NSX and there is an interwoven pattern wheel that is a $1,500 upgrade. But after having my own, I have to say aftermarket wheels look best at the end of the day.
To the rear you have a welcoming wider sized booty. For a car that seems so small and aerodynamic, the rear is quite shapely in it’s design. The deck lid is exposed in glass, allowing you to see the twin turbo V-6 engine bay in all it’s glory. Splurge for the carbon engine bay, it gives the car a more expensive and sporty feel than just basic shitty plastic. Underneath you’ll find the edgey design of the tail-lights and brake lights graced again by another Acura badge right in the middle. And beneath all that is a row of air intakes taking up a good amount of the body.
All in all the car is a definite Toy Stark stunner. The futuristic design can’t be over looked no matter who you are. The road presence is definitely there, perhaps it’s from the people around you wondering just what in the hell it is you’re driving, an Acura?! What?! But it for sure has to be one of the best looking cars out there for under $200K.
Like I mentioned earlier, the new Acura NSX has brought about a new era of super cars. It is far advanced from the 458, Gallardo, and 650S in the way it handles the power it has been given thanks to the V-6 engine and three electric motors. The three electric motors are placed in various locations, two on the front axle and the third between the twin turbo V-C and 9 speed dual clutch automatic gearbox. For all my car enthusiasts out there, we know that this design and placement has been seen before on the million dollar beast Porsche 918… allowing us to have many of the same power perks without the cost.
One of the things you feel right away when you starting laying into the NSX is the grip it has on the road below you. The AWD steering is intense and it is a security blanket for those drivers who just aren’t too sure how to handle the energy and danger of a rear wheel drive monster.
Along with it’s upgraded engine and drivetrain, the NSX also comes with four different driving modes. Acura wanted their drivers to have full control over their expierence while inside the NSX. You have Quiet, Sport, Sport+, and Track, and the lights/dashboard in the car changes colors according to the mode of choice. Quiet aims for that all electric feel the three electric motors can provide, letting little gas be used, this mode can be used to keep the car silent until 40mph, giving it that futuristic Tesla feel without having to fully give up the muscle of a gas powered engine. Sport is the default mode with a balance of gas and electric usage depending on your driving style. Sport+ gets more aggressive, gas engine in full effect but the electric motors there to fill in any gaps. The suspension and steering all get more direct and sharp, but not nearly as much as Track. The last mode becomes the most raw setting the NSX can offer with the car becoming a full racing beast with tighten handling, steering, suspension, and full engine power being given to you at your desire.
Otherwise, there isn’t much more to the NSX than that. The interior itself is comfy enough for two and tall enough to fit a fully grown man, unlike most sports cars. Be sure to look for NSX’s with the split coloring on the interior, much more hot and do better for resale vs all black, etc. Mine was saddle/black and it was absolutely stunning, not too much of one color and doesn’t overwhelm the cabin with an unappealing tone.
This is a car that could easily be daily driven without a single complaint on any front. With the ability to change your driving style depending on your mood, and a comfy seating set up, there isn’t much wrong with the car…except for it’s lack of cupholders… that sucks. Pero…race car.
Acura NSX Common Problems & Cost of Ownership
The first generation NSX was known for being able to drive beside the European exotics without any of the massive drawbacks from repair bills. It was a perfect daily driver that didn’t have you worrying about maintenance every other week. The new NSX follows in its footsteps quite well, proving durable on the track and on long road trips.
While the new NSX has only been out for a few years, we haven’t gotten to see the full extent of the reoccurring issues it may have, if any any. The only common problem seems to be having is a thermostat issue, in which the inner seal detaches and allows the thermostat to be held open, causing the coolant temperature to incorrectly increase higher than the expected rate. If you’re NSX begins displaying overheating warnings, all that’s needed to do is take the car into the dealership and they will replace the thermostat is it is under warranty.
The warranty for the NSX is the standard warranty Acura gives, the 4yr/50,000 mile basic with the 6yr/70,000 mile powertrain. Now luckily the maintenance and service on the NSX has been fitted to run like most other Acuras, few and far between without a huge repair bill. Not much has the potential to break on the NSX and the only thing you could really do to run this NSX out of it’s well oiled state is tracking it too hard. Maintenance is dictated by a preset software inside the NSX and will alert you as soon as an oil change/service needs to be performed, most oil changes costing you the usual $80-$100 that any upgraded car would (like a Mercedes, BMW, etc). Parts aren’t that expensive either, thanks to it’s roots of production being located right inside the US in Ohio.
It seems that when Acura designed the new NSX it wanted to give the upgraded appearance with the same reliability of the past model… it succeeded and we thank them for it. Allowing the world to own a supercar that is both incredible to drive and easy to maintain.
~Aside from the MASSIVE change the NSX went under after being gone since 2007~
With the NSX only being two years old, there haven’t been many modifications made to the car itself. We can hope to see some possible improvements in the drive train, but nothing has been set in stone yet (but the past repeats itself, so maybe we could be seeing a type r?) Being released in 2016 for half a year, only 269 models were built and projected, but that number soon doubled in 2017 with 581 NSX’s being produced. The numbers aren’t conclusive yet for 2018 but sources report already over 70 have been produced in just 4 short months.
Perhaps one of the most interesting changes you can see in the NSX is the price point. After 2017 models began sitting on the showroom floor longer than expect, Acura reached out to it’s dealers and offer rebates for all new models, almost $30K off sticker… bringing down all models to less than $200k brand new. An incredible deal for someone who hasn’t owned an NSX yet and is looking to buy one, and bad news for anyone who bought their NSX prior to the rebate being issued, you can thank NSX for cutting your possible profit margins to 0.
While we have to understand that the NSX is an Acura after all, that fact only comes out when it comes to limit of options and quality of the plastic on the inside and outside. That is why you’ll defiantly be selective when it comes to the options on your NSX…because like Ferrari, options make all the difference when it comes to resale pricing.
For starters, the exterior paint has base colors, but the highest valued cars are the one’s with the $6k paint colors like the: Nouvelle Blue Pearl and Valencia Red Pearl opt for those if you have to choose. Other options to spring for include the Carbon Fiber deck lid, roof, and full exterior package which will run the sticker price up anywhere between $3,000-$18,000 dependent on which you choose. The interwoven wheel design is also a $1,500 option that could be sprung for, but if you plan to change out the wheels anyway it’s not necessary. On the interior you really only need to be picky on one option, the $2,900 carbon fiber interior sport package. It will help eliminate all the tacky plastic on the inside of the car.
If you’re into your NSX for comfort, then you’ll want to look into the packages they offer on the interiors. Upgraded sports seats with a leather/alcantara blend are a $1,500 option and full leather sport seats are a $2,500 options. Other packages are the technology package with the parking sensors and upgraded stereo system for $2,800 and then the upgraded technology package that features all that and SiriusXM Satellite Radio for $3,300.
The more mandatory options are in the way of brakes, the carbon ceramics are an absolute must for a car like this. Offering terrific stopping power to the NSX, letting it retain it’s nimbleness and agility even when coming to a halt on a dime. The carbon ceramics with red calipers are the way to go both in design and functionality, and that option is the priciest there is at $10,600 but worth every penny.
So the highest spec’d NSX in the country for a while was mine, but I am sure someone has built a higher spec by now. Mine sat with a $210K sticker with the upgraded paint, wheels, calipers, technology package, alcantara/leather seats, and full carbon on both the interior and exterior. But now my same car can be bought for just a little over $160K. Thanks again Acura…
Best Year To Buy An Acura NSX
Seeing as the NSX has only been out since 2016 and production on these cars is slim, you’re best year to buy options are pretty much set to the 2017 models. The 2016’s are few and fair between as only a little over 200 models were produced, but the 2017’s are incredible hacks at the moment. With 2018’s taking over showroom floors, the 17’s were moved out hard due to the rebate demand and now any remaining are there for the taking at fractions of the cost. Like I said, my $210K sticker NSX can now be bought for just over $160K… that is almost a $50K depreciation hit on a HIGH spec, LOW mile car.
And as NSX recently released, this NSX will be a limited production car, with final production year being 2019. So even though prices may be falling on the NSX’s right now, soon the demand will take over and supply will be low and prices will shoot back up, much like the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. It’s a waiting game, but if you buy these cars now at there market values of around $130k-$140k (depending on options and miles) then you should be in a safe place to own the NSX for little to no money while enjoying it for 6-12 months.
History repeats itself, and in the case of the NSX I am happy that it has. Only history learned from it’s past mistakes and created a new bread of supercar that all will soon follow. It is a tremendous track car that will outdrive cars triple its price tag and a reliable daily driver that won’t give you the constant headache. The excitement of driving this car, coupled with the design, and futuristic appeal have made this one of my absolute favorite cars to own. I enjoyed my time with the NSX a lot and I am glad I was able to get out of mine at the right time, before the rebates killed my profit margin. But that is what this buyers guide is here to do, help you learn from my past ownerships so you can make smart and educated decisions on what to buy, how to buy it, and when to buy it so you don’t take a loss.