2018 Acura NSX Expert Review

Editor's Overview

Designed and built in America, the 2018 Acura NSX is the luxury brand’s fastest, quickest and most powerful machine. Ever. And with a base price of over $155,000, the mid-engine hybrid-powered supercar is also the most expensive Acura. Ever. With 573 horsepower and all-wheel drive, the sophisticated NSX can squirt to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and its top speed is over 190 mph.

You'll Like The 2018 Acura NSX If...

If you desire a sophisticated and technically advanced 2-seat supercar with exotic design, everyday civility and world-class speed and performance, you’ll like the 2018 Acura NSX.

You May Not Like The 2018 Acura NSX If...

On paper, the Acura NSX’s 573 horsepower sounds impressive, and on the road those ponies provide plenty of thrust. But they don’t come with bragging rights. The Audi R8 V10 Plus, Ferrari 488 and Lamborghini Huracan all pack over 600 horsepower. Even the Chevy Corvette Z06 and a long list of sedans and SUVs out-power the Acura.

What's New

All-new just last year, the Acura NSX has received no changes or updates for 2018.

Interior Features

Acura’s designers have managed to create a warm and welcoming cabin with a modern, high-tech vibe. There’s nothing retro about it; still, the shapes and overall design offer a connection to the interior of the original Acura NSX, which was introduced in 1991. Visibility is excellent for a mid-engine sports car and the interior is well-finished. Deeply bolstered bucket seats trimmed in perforated Milano leather and Alcantara provide an excellent combination of comfort and support without feeling confining and are complemented by extra padding on the door panels and center console. The flat-bottom steering wheel is a cool touch. The 7.0-inch infotainment touch screen is well placed but seems a bit pedestrian at this price point.

Exterior Features

Low and hard-edged with a wide stance and a cornucopia of scoops and flares, when it comes to design the new 2018 Acura NSX checks all the supercar boxes. Although it doesn’t exactly break new ground, there’s plenty of sex appeal and purpose to the shape. And plenty of science. Based around a total airflow-management theme, the sleek, aluminum-and-steel bodywork optimizes the NSX’s overall aero profile and high-speed stability while ensuring full functionality of the plethora of radiators and cooling devices required to keep its Sport Hybrid powertrain elements and fluids at proper operating temps under all driving conditions.

Driving Impressions

It isn’t the speed of the 2018 Acura NSX that impresses. Oh, sure, it’s quick. Let it eat and the SH-AWD system does its thing, all four massive Michelins claw at the asphalt and you’re past 60 mph in about three seconds, your head pinned to the seat as the supercar’s 9-speed dual-clutch automatic snatches another gear and then another. Hold your foot down and it’ll crest 190 mph. And man can it corner, thanks to Active Torque Vectoring that independently applies power or braking forces to each front wheel to further enhance grip. And the Acura’s excellent mechanical/regenerative braking system feels great and is extremely positive. But the best part, the part that blows our minds is the civility and the comfort. The NSX is a pussycat in traffic and in the tight confines of the city. You can control these multiple personalities with four driver-selectable settings, Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track. Each tunes the steering, brakes, throttle response, Vehicle Stability Assist, magnetorheological dampers and Sport Hybrid SH-AWD while tweaking the level of exhaust roar both inside the car and out.

Pricing Notes

The 2018 Acura NSX has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $158,000, comfortably below the $192,000 Porsche 911 Turbo S and the $166,000 Audi R8 V10, as well as the Lamborghini Huracan and Ferrari 488 GTB, both of which are on the far side of $200,000. The BMW i8 starts around $144,000. It is possible to push the sticker on a fully loaded NSX to nearly $207,000, principally by adding things like the full assortment of exterior/interior carbon-fiber bits ($24,500), carbon-ceramic brakes ($9,900), trick paint ($6,000) and the Audio/Technology upgrade ($3,300). Kelley Blue Book has not yet established a Fair Purchase Price or Residual Value for the 2018 Acura NSX. However, last year the division was honored by KBB.com for having the lowest 5-Year Cost of Ownership for any luxury brand, and we anticipate the NSX’s stats will likely fall in line with those of its less-exotic family members.

Notable Equipment

While focused on delivering high-energy exhilaration, the 2018 Acura NSX boasts features that make it equally attractive as a daily driver. Despite 4-way-manual seats fitted in the interest of saving weight, comfort/convenience touches include dual-zone climate control, navigation, a 290-watt/8-speaker Premium Audio system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay apps, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth phone/streaming audio, keyless smart-entry/smart-start, Active Sound Control and more, including a modestly scaled but fully insulated and surprisingly usable 4.4-cubic-foot trunk that can hold a golf bag. The NSX wears staggered-size forged alloy wheels wrapped in 245/35ZR19 performance rubber up front and 305/30ZR20 boots in the rear.

Notable Options

Built to each individual customer’s order, the new 2018 Acura NSX offers a sizable selection of extras that can impart unique character to this ultimate Acura as well as enhance its overall performance. Optional seat packages add heated power buckets -- with or without semi-aniline leather -- while an ELS Studio Audio and Technology Package upgrades the sound, navigation and telematics capabilities. While a head-up display remains on the wish list, owners can opt for a selection of mass-reducing interior/exterior carbon-fiber bits, carbon-ceramic brakes that chop 52 pounds of unsprung weight, custom wheels, Ultra-Premium Andoro exterior paint finishes and a carbon-fiber roof.

Favorite Features

CARBON-CERAMIC BRAKES

You know the old saying, “Stopping is just a matter of money. How quickly do you want to stop?” Acura offers a Carbon-Ceramic Brake package on the 2018 NSX and it ain’t cheap. With black calipers the lightweight, heat-resistant track-ready brakes cost an additional $9,900. But the price climbs to $10,600 if you want red or silver calipers.


ELS STUDIO AUDIO

For the additional $2,800 we recommend this audio upgrade. The ELS system packs the NSX with nine speakers and 580 watts of power. That’s twice the power of the standard system, and the 5.1 DTS Neural Sound surround sound turns the supercar’s cabin into a concert hall. I’ve never heard “East Bound and Down” with such punch and midrange pulse.


Under the Hood

Sole powertrain in the 2018 NSX is Acura’s technologically advanced Sport Hybrid system: a racing-inspired 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 supplemented by three electric motors that are fully integrated to optimize total performance and collectively develop 573 horsepower and 476 lb-ft of torque. The V6 features direct-plus-port fuel injection and dry-sump lubrication that allows it to be mounted low in the chassis to further optimize overall balance. A Direct Drive Motor sits between the engine and the NSX’s 9-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, while the Twin Motor Unit at the front axle independently energizes each wheel to provide additional motive force as well as steering/braking assist via torque vectoring. With their instant-on torque at launch, the motor array virtually eliminates turbo lag and always ensures superb throttle response.


3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 plus 3 electric motors

573 horsepower (combined)

476 lb-ft of torque (combined)

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/22 mpg

Editors' Notes

Designed and built in America, the 2018 Acura NSX is the luxury brand’s fastest, quickest and most powerful machine. Ever. And with a base price of over $155,000, the mid-engine hybrid-powered supercar is also the most expensive Acura. Ever. With 573 horsepower and all-wheel drive, the sophisticated NSX can squirt to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and its top speed is over 190 mph. So it has the power and the speed to rival the Ferrari 488 and the Lamborghini Huracan, but it costs much less than those Italian exotics. The Audi R8 and the hybrid-powered BMW i8,  cost about the same, but the BMW can’t keep up with the Acura, which is powered by a 500-horsepower twin-turbo, all-aluminum 3.5-liter V6 in combination with three electric motors, a 1.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 9-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with manual mode and paddle shifters.

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Owner Reviews

5

4 Reviews

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Owner reviews are verified by our team and cannot be altered or removed.

It's a really good car for just driving around the kids because of the spacious trunk where a bike can fit.

I like how it has a big trunk. I also like how much seating is available. However I do not like the gas mileage.

- Ganon R