Does the 2020 Acura NSX carry forward the legacy left by the legendary 1991 NSX?

When a manufacturer decides to breathe life into a moniker that has been iconic in the past, it starts to dabble with a two-edged sword that would scar it up pretty bad the moment they lose focus for even a second. When we look at one of the most iconic performance models from the renowned Japanese manufacturers we realize that each of them has had a Halo car that the enthusiasts crave till today. Nissan had the iconic GT-R, Mitsubishi had the Lan Evo, Subaru had the WRX, Toyota had the Supra and Honda/ Acura had… Well, they had the NSX.

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Newer Acura NSX

The moment Honda/Acura announced that they would be bringing to market a newer NSX, the crowd couldn’t contain their excitement. The hype around the vehicle grew ten folds every day up until the vehicle was brought in front of the public eyes, and as fate would have, much like all the reincarnated monikers in the industry- The NSX was not well received. People just couldn’t accept the newer NSX because apparently it had violated all the principles the original NSX had stood for without realizing that the newer NSX was right in line with the ethos os the original NSX.

The ideology of manufacturing a vehicle capable of obliterating supercars with its performance but being useable enough that it could be a comfortable daily is something that I personally believe was achieved by the modern NSX and the level of criticism that it receives is uncalled for.

A great car to look at

When looked at from the outside, the NSX is striking to look at. The sharp head and taillight setup, the purposeful stance, the flying buttresses, and the optional multi-stage paintwork look exquisite to look at and certainly reflect the price tag that the NSX commands. Under all the exotic looks, the NSX houses a twin-turbocharged 3.5 liter V6 along with three electric motors that push out a grand total of 573 hp which is certainly no joke.

Yes, the NSX’s rivals in the form of the Audi R8 and the McLaren 570S might have a few more horsepowers to boast but the performance on the NSX is nothing to scoff at as it snaps on speed in about 3.1 seconds. Due to the hybrid nature of the NSX, it can run solely on electric power which can be used by switching over to the quiet driving mode. The fact that the front two wheels are driven by individual electric motors while the engine and another electric motor do the duty in the rear help the NSX achieve sublime handling characteristics thanks to the All-Wheel Drive system.

Steering and suspension

The variable driving modes help set up the NSX for whatever you want to throw at it by altering the steering and suspension. The steering on the NSX is surprisingly light for the segment which is presumably the result of making the NSX more daily driver-friendly. At higher speeds, the steering weighs up quite nicely and appears to be extremely direct and responsive.

Moving along to the inside of the NSX, one realizes that Acura has certainly retained the ethos of the original NSX by making the modern iteration just as driver-friendly as before. The seats are comfortable for both the driver and the passenger and one doesn’t need to resort to contortion to get in and out of the cabin elegantly. But the fact that the cabin appears a little low rent for a vehicle of the NSX’s caliber is quite underwhelming.

More a GT than a thoroughbred racing car

For anyone that has been around the general fleet of Acura vehicles, it wouldn’t be tough to spot parts that have been shared by the NSX. While some might appreciate the bright red leather interior coupled with the faux suede headliner and seats, others might think of it as a bit too juvenile and crass. The carbon fiber steering wheel does exude the sportiness of the vehicle but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the NSX is more of a GT vehicle than a thoroughbred racecar as is evident with the lack of extreme side bolstering on its seats.

For something that is supposed to compete with other exotics and goes toe to toe with their pricing, the interior fit and finish is a long shot from what we would have expected from Acura at this price. Also, for a vehicle that prides itself on the fact that it is daily driver friendly, the NSX is quite short on practical storage spaces inside the cabin and even the cargo space on offer is nothing more than minuscule as it barely accommodates a carry on the trolley if the need arises.

New Acura NSX interior

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The 7-inch touch screen infotainment that the NSX comes equipped with comes straight out of some of the cheaper Acuras and stands out like a sore thumb. The user interface on the system appears to be extremely outdated while setting it up can take ages, all thanks to it’s complicated menu systems. To add insult to injury, Acura has done away with any sort of buttons for the touch screen which makes simple tasks such as adjusting the volume appears as a big chore.

The ELS 9 Speaker audio is just about adequate for the NSX and isn’t going to blow your socks off. The fact that both the exhaust note and audio system are weak aspects of the NSX, result in an overall underwhelming auditory experience which is somewhat paramount in a supercar.

The modern-day NSX has suffered through major criticism from both journalists and consumers alike for not being able to invoke the same emotions that are reminiscent of the older NSX, I personally believe that the 2020 NSX is not as bad as it is made it out to.

Reliable and good value for money

Yes, the NSX is not the fastest, the most luxurious or the most visceral experience that money can buy right now, but it is definitely a fast enough, comfortable and striking looking vehicle that costs peanuts to maintain all thanks to the bulletproof Honda reliability.

If something like the Aventador is what comes to your mind when you think of a supercar, then the NSX might not be for you but if having a supercar that is stress-free to live with and actually does everything well that a normal car should do is something that is high in your priority list- Then the 2020 NSX is going to be right up your alley.


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