4.5 out of 5 4.5
Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

High-tech Honda supercar with huge hybrid performance

Honda NSX (16 on) - rated 4.5 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £148,135 - £148,135
Fuel economy
Not tested to latest standards
View pre-2017 economy specs
Road tax cost £455 - £545

PROS

  • Huge, accessible power
  • Ease of use
  • Ride quality
  • Eye-catching looks

CONS

  • Clicky gearshift paddles
  • Interior lacks finesse
  • Boot gets very hot
  • Only one UK dealership

Honda NSX rivals

Written by Adam Binnie on

When Honda announced it was building a new NSX we approached the news with cautious optimism. If you’re a fan of those three letters you’ll have had you high-hopes dashed on two occasions by cancelled coupes from Japan. Thankfully, in 2016, the legend returned – cleaner, greener and faster than before.

More than three years on from its launch, and now in facelifted form, the NSX is still a spectacular car. It looks as if it’s been beamed down from space and it's powered by an equally sci-fi powertrain – and now it takes on fierce and talented rivals like the Audi R8, McLaren 570S and Porsche 911 Turbo S with the old car’s mantra of doing things differently.

How far apart? Well, while each of those established competitors gets by with a conventional petrol engine alone, the NSX is powered by a twin-turbo V6 combined with no less than three electric motors, a nine-speed automatic gearbox and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. From an engineering point of view, it is really quite astonishing.

The supercar that’s easy to use

The original NSX was considered by many to be the first user-friendly supercar – one that was so easy to drive that you could use it every day. That's despite every contact point - whether it’s the wheel, pedals or seatbase - brimming with information that have since been filtered out over the years in the name of refinement.

This car picks up the baton by pushing today’s technology to new heights - a twin-turbo V6 supplemented by three electric motors, a nine-speed automatic transmission and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. From a mechanical point of view, it is really quite astonishing.

Most impressive though is its ability to resurrect the heart and soul of the original NSX – a car that was sold on its Civic-like every day ease of use at low speeds and flattering nature on the move. So while the technologies of these two cars may be polar-opposite, they share that same mutual spirit.

2019 Honda NSX interior

The new NSX promises the same multi-personality disorder as the old one. The steering is light and quick at low speeds but slower on the motorway, so it doesn’t feel fidgety. The brake pedal and calipers are disconnect by a special servo that can dole out the appropriate power, so they bite hard when you need them too and offer great modulation when you don’t. You also get clever magnetic dampers that offer serene comfort or tied-down body control, in a greater range than ever before.

Most impressive though is the drivetrain. While the first NSX used VTEC variable cam technology to deliver relaxed progress around town and blistering acceleration above 5,000rpm, this second generation utilises electric motors to silently whisk you around. In fact there’s 25dB-worth of difference between Quiet and the raciest Track mode.

NSX facelifted for 2019

The newly-updated cars haven't really changed much. You can tell a facelifted car by their gloss black exterior trim and body colour grille highlights, plus new paint colours like the eye-catching Thermal Orange Pearl.

Inside there is a choice of blue and red leather options, plus a tech upgrade in the form of powered seats and sat-nav as standard. Chassis enhancements including new tyres, hardware tweaks and upgrades to the dampers and traction control make for a more entertaining drive too.

Read on to find out if the NSX is as exciting as it was at launch

Honda NSX rivals