2004 Acura NSX-T

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2004 Acura NSX-T
Available in 2 styles:  2004 Acura NSX-T 2dr Coupe shown
Asking Price Range
$68,950
Estimated MPG

17 city / 24 hwy

Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 2 of 2

By 

The Detroit News

Acura NSX turns heads

But 2004 Honda coupe has $90,000 price tag

Our evaluation of the 2004 Acura NSX two-passenger coupe boiled down to this simple philosophical question: Would you rather have one NSX or a pair of His & Hers Corvettes for about the same price?

In our estimation, the mid-engine NSX is a riot to take out on a Friday night, even though it's getting a little long in the tooth. The two-seater has been around since the early 1990s, and was Japan's first serious attempt to build an exotic car.

We tested a red NSX with six-speed manual transmission and no options, priced at $89,765.

He: I remember driving the NSX when it was first introduced in 1991, and feeling a sense of wonder that a Japanese company like Honda could build such a finely tuned machine. Fast-forward 13 years, and the NSX no longer looks or feels quite so special -- not when you can buy a 400-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette for well under $50,000 or, for that matter, a Dodge Neon SRT-4 for not much more than $20,000. That little Neon, by the way, makes considerably more torque than the NSX. Embarrassingly for Acura, so does a Chevrolet Impala sedan with the 3.8-liter V-6. Which begs the question, so what do you get for your 90 grand?

She: I know what I got. The coveted front-of-the-restaurant valet spot at Giovanni's on a Friday night. And a girlfriend who thought enough of our ride to put on a pair of heels and her best David Yurman necklace. And a constant parade of people coming up to our table and wanting to talk about the car. So it still is special and you have to give it credit for turning heads and prompting lots of chatter.

He: Maybe in Detroit. I'll give Honda credit for this -- they made a high-performance car that's extremely civilized and extremely easy to drive, unlike the mid-engine Italian exotics that inspired the NSX. Even after 13 years, the chassis still feels beautifully balanced, and the car is really a pleasure to drive on twisty, two-lane roads out in the country. I felt much less comfortable driving the NSX on I-94, surrounded by Ford Expeditions, Chevy Suburbans and Peterbilt tractor-trailers.

She: You say it's civilized, but when I jumped into the car with my friend Livvie last Friday, she immediately zeroed in on two of its flaws -- no lighted vanity mirrors and a new trunk-mounted CD changer. That was a disappointment to us because we were dolled up, it was starting to rain and we didn't feel like standing outside in a downpour to load our CDs. The rain became an even bigger issue on the freeway, as the rear end of the NSX started to slide around, without a stability control system to keep it on track.

He: That seems like a surprising oversight, given Honda's outstanding technical reputation. So does the lack of side air bags. More importantly, the rest of the automotive world seems to have passed the NSX by, in terms of engine output and torque. The manual-transmission version of the car is fitted with a 3.2-liter V-6 engine that makes 290 horsepower and a modest 224 pounds-feet of torque. If you want the old-fashioned four-speed automatic, you're stuck with a smaller, slower 3.0-liter V-6 that delivers only 252 horsepower and 210 pounds-feet of torque. Needless to say, while the mid-mounted engine makes a pleasant enough noise as it revs up to redline, not much is happening in terms of actual velocity. In other words, I don't believe an SRT-4 would have much trouble blowing the NSX into the weeds.

She: The NSX does have some great features, like a removable targa-style roof. It's light enough so that I had no trouble lifting it off. But even though the trunk is surprisingly roomy, there's not enough space to stow the top there. On the plus side, the NSX gets reasonably good gas mileage -- 17 miles per gallon in city driving and 24 on the highway. But it's costly to insure.

He: I still think there are man more liabilities than assets, not the least of which is that breathtaking price tag. For that kind of dough, the NSX just isn't special enough. If you really feel compelled to shell out that kind of silly money, it would be better spent on a Dodge Viper or a Porsche 911. Or, better still, those mom-and-pop Corvettes.


    Expert Reviews 2 of 2

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