Can You Really Drive a Supercar? 12 Things To Love About the Acura NSX

Acura Nsx

“I love seeing a woman driving a car like that!” is a great one to start with.

That is what a woman in a parking lot said to me as she pulled up next to me in the Acura NSX. When you drive a car like this you get a lot of ??,? and?, especially from ??‍?. And it was ?.

But what’s it really like to drive the Acura NSX? This super car built by Acura is priced at $157,000 and with the upgrades on the model we test drove, comes in at about $194,700 including delivery. Here’s what I learned during my test drive— some good things, some things to consider and some of the obligations of driving a car like this.

Related: How the Acura NSX shares its DNA with the much more affordable ILX

Acura Nsx

The Acura NSX was fun to drive both around town and through Austin’s winding lakeside roads. ?Scotty Reiss

1. Everyone Wants to Celebrate You Driving a Car Like This

You’ll get high fives, thumbs up and looks from everyone. Some will ask questions and others will complement your ride.  And other women? They LOVE seeing you in a car like this. They are inspired. If you can see her you can be her, after all.

Acura Nsx

The original Acura NSX (left) with the 2019 model. ?Scotty Reiss

2. This Luxe Super Car is Hand-Made in the USA

And that’ll make you feel great. Even though Acura is a Japanese company, and the NSX was originally built in Japan starting in 1990, a few years ago production was moved to East Liberty, Ohio. The company even invested billions in a new production facility to ensure the NSX is the best it can be. The parts for each new model move through the assembly plant in specially crafted bins, and technicians and crafts people assemble and test each component before moving the model on to the next station. New owners can even travel to Ohio and be part of the assembly process. I loved knowing this during my test drive. Not all super cars have to be imported.

Related: Is high performance driving for you? You might be surprised at the answer! 

Acura Nsx

A view of the interior of the Acura NSX. ?Scotty Reiss

3. Put Your Handbag on the Floor, on the Seat or in the Trunk

There’s not a lot of space for extra stuff, and that includes your handbag. Maybe it’s an excuse to pare down what you need or just bring a wristlet with your lipstick and credit card. After all, that’s all you really need, right?

Related: You need to hear this, the mastery of the ESL sound system and the Grammy winning producer who engineered it

Acura Nsx

The luggage compartment in the NSX is enough for a couple of Away weekend bags, but that’s about it. ?Scotty Reiss

4. There is Room for (a Bit of) Luggage

But only for a day or two of travel. And there’s definitely not room for golf clubs or a stroller. So, a quick trip to a spa or resort is just the ticket. We fit two Away tote bags into the cargo area and I could still fit my handbag. Keep in mind that the engine shares the compartment with your cargo, so you might be better off not shopping for groceries or treats that will melt if you have to drive more than a few minutes. And, your bags will get toasty warm.

Related: Thinking of a collection of super cars? This is what is in Cardi B’s driveway

Acura Nsx

The Acura NSX is designed to drive on fun, winding roads, so we took it out along the river in Austin, TX. ?Scotty Reiss

5. Take the Long and Winding Road Home

With 573 horsepower, a hybrid drive that delivers more power for instant acceleration and all wheel drive that grips every bit of pavement it can, you (and your passenger) will enjoy every turn and twist in the road.

Acura Nsx

The view from the driver’s seat; notice the blue battery meter on the right side of the driver information screen. It shows the hybrid system at work. ?Scotty Reiss

6. This is a Quiet Car!

Yes, it has a throaty growl when you push the starter button—which is a lot of fun to do. But, it’s a hybrid so it’s quiet when first accelerating, and quiet mode lets you drive in relative silence (note, it’s relative, not complete). However, the meticulous design and tight structure of the body keeps wind and road noise out of the cabin, which is great for conversations with your travel mate.

Acura Nsx

Suede, chrome and leather cover every inch of the interior of the NSX. ?Scotty Reiss

7. You’re Surrounded by Luxe Details

This is a luxury car, after all. So expect to be swathed in Alcantara suede, leather and carbon fiber. There’s no reason a super car with 573 horsepower should not be luxurious, right?

Acura Nsx

The gear selector and drive mode selector in the Acura NSX. ?Scotty Reiss

8. Drive Mode Sets the Stage For Your Experience

You get to choose: Quiet mode, so your neighbors don’t complain, Sport mode is this car’s “normal,” Sport + shuts off traction control and Track mode, which puts all the NSX’s energy at the ready.

Acura Nsx

I loved this car’s ‘shoulders’ and yes, that’s downtown Austin in the mirror. ?Scotty Reiss

9. Enjoy the View

From the NSX’s ‘shoulders’ you can see in the rear view mirror to the the leather steering wheel to the smile on your passenger, there are only good things to see from the driver’s seat of this car.

Acura Nsx

When you approach with the key fob or click the unlock button, the door handles pop out. ?Scotty Reiss

10. This Car is Always Happy to See You

It’s door handles pop out when you approach! And, the door handles are made with ridges for your fingers, so your hands won’t slip off when grasping the handle (hello not ruined manicure). The NSX’s greeting is second only to  my dog’s excitement when I get home at night, but it spares me the wet kisses.

Acura Nsx

The interior upgrades include Alacantara ultrasude details, though the ELS premium sound system is standard. ?Scotty Reiss

11. Turn it Up

The NSX comes with an ELS premium sound system as standard equipment. And that is awesome. Because when you’re stuck in traffic or facing a long, boring stretch of highway, you can relax and listen to your favorite playlist.

Acura Nsx

Me and the Acura. ?Scotty Reiss

12. Two Reasons the Acura NSX is so Fun to Drive:  Hybrid and All Wheel Drive

This car generates 573 horsepower and 476 units of torque power, all of it boosted by a hybrid engine that front loads the power (or, lets you drive away quietly) so tapping the accelerator is more like blasting off than getting up to speed. The all wheel drive system directs power to the wheels that need it; so on acceleration the power goes to the rear and on a curve each wheel grips the road for a tight turn. Yes, it can be more fuel efficient. And yes, you can drive it in the snow. But really, the NSX’s hybrid and AWD systems add up a super responsive and precise drive. And, a lot of fun.

What You Need to Consider

This is a fun car, but there are some things to take into consideration before taking the plunge.

First, the NSX’s high-performance engine requires premium fuel of 91 octane or higher. Burning 87 octane (regular) will reduce the engine’s power and may even escalate maintenance issues.

This car rides low to the ground, so even though it’s all wheel drive, it may not go everywhere.

The NSX is meant for driving and not much else. You’d be hard pressed to do all your errands in it.

And it’s conspicuous. There were places I felt a bit uneasy driving, whether feeling just a bit too flashy or the need to avoid sketchy neighborhoods. At least I could make a quick getaway from both.

But the biggest consideration might be the obligation of this car’s integrity: it needs to be driven. Like a champion stallion that needs regular training and exercise, or a dog that is bred to hustle and run, the NSX needs to run, too. Owners should find a track where they can really learn to drive this car and take this car out and exercise it regularly.

And like all things worth doing, you don’t just “get” those wonderful ??,? and?, especially from ??‍?. You earn it. And that is?.

What We Listened to in the Acura NSX

Yes, you’ll be tempted to listen to the engine. A lot. But the ELS sound system, which is standard in the NSX, will give you that extra bit of musical wind beneath your wings in this car. Here’s what we loved listening to in the Acura NSX.

Disclosure: The Acura NSX was provided for our test drive, but all the fun and opinions are my own.

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Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss