“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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.