The 2019 Acura NSX returns to the streets with an even meaner demeanor, putting expensive exotics like the Lamborghini Huracan and the Ferrari 488 on notice. Beyond its stunning good looks and somewhat reasonable price tag, the hand-built, made-in-the-U.S. Acura NSX offers one of the most sophisticated hybrid powertrain setups ever assembled. Assisting its twin-turbocharged V6 engine are three electric motors, one placed between the engine and transmission and the other two powering the front wheels. In combination, the hybrid drivetrain produces a remarkable 573 horsepower and 476 lb-ft of torque. Capable of sprinting to 60 mph in just three seconds and reaching a top speed of 191 mph, the all-wheel-drive (AWD) NSX easily plays in the same league as the Audi R8 V10 and the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, as well as the McLaren 570S and the Porsche 911 Turbo. See the 2019 Acura NSX models for sale near you
What’s New for 2019?
For 2019, the Acura NSX gets visually louder, with new gloss black trim panels, a new Thermal Orange paint option and new cabin colors including Indigo Blue with black Alcantara or a full red leather interior. New standard equipment includes ELS Studio Audio, navigation and proximity sensors, as well as 4-way power-adjustable sport seats (can be replaced with weight-saving manual seats at no charge). The 2019 NSX also gains thicker stabilizer bars, Continental SportContact 6 tires and revised tuning for the electronically controlled AWD, electronic power steering (EPS) and dampers.
What We Like
- Exotic looks
- Intelligently designed cabin
- Impressive acceleration and handling abilities
What We Don’t
- Snug cockpit
- No advanced driver assist systems
- Can we please get a volume knob on the radio?
The Acura NSX features a full hybrid system composed of a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine and three electric motors. All told, the net output for the gas engine and electric assist motors is 573 horsepower and 476 lb-ft of torque. A 9-speed dual-clutch automatic handles the power, aided by a Direct Motor Drive electric motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission that helps the NSX deliver lightning quick acceleration. Fuel economy for the NSX is rated at 21 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. Not bad considering the performance behind this wild ride.
Standard Features & Options
The 2019 Acura NSX comes in only one trim with a number of optional performance and styling enhancements.
The Acura NSX ($159,300) includes an adaptive damper suspension, Brembo brakes, forged aluminum Y-spoke wheels (19-in up front, 20-in in the rear), corner and backup sensors, flush-mounted power pop-out door handles, remote keyless entry, variable wipers, LED taillights, Jewel Eye LED headlights, body-colored heated power side mirrors with reverse auto tilt-down, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, cruise control, 4-way power adjustable leather and Alcantara heated sport seats with 4-way lumbar control, a 9-speaker ELS Studio audio system, a 7-in display audio touchscreen with navigation, Siri Eyes Free, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a TFT digital instrument cluster and Active Sound Control.
Options for the NSX include a number of exterior paint choices, full leather seating and carbon fiber add-ons for the interior, roof and rear spoiler. Buyers can opt to reduce weight by ordering manual seats, and there are a number of wheel options as well. For an additional $10,000, buyers can order a carbon ceramic brake upgrade. SiriusXM satellite radio is part of a $500 audio upgrade package.
Although the NSX lacks modern driver assists like adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and semi-autonomous driving, it still features a full roster of safety features including electronic traction and stability control, front- and side-impact airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, a rearview monitor and a tire pressure monitor.
Neither the government nor the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has crash tested the NSX.
Behind the Wheel
As would one expect of any supercar, the NSX is as thrilling in motion as it is standing still. Climbing into the low-slung cockpit is not as easy as gliding into an SUV, but once you’re in, it’s all systems go. The seats are snug but not too restrictive, and the controls are logically arranged and easy to operate. Taller drivers may find legroom a bit on the snug side, and headroom is far from generous.
A quick push of a button is all it takes to bring the NSX’s twin-turbocharged V6 to life. Using the push button gear selector sets everything in motion, with varying degrees of urgency depending upon the position of the Integrated Dynamic System. Using a large rotary knob just above the gear selector, the driver can choose from Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track. Each setting is fairly self-explanatory, but our favorite is the Sport+ that delivers just the right balance of performance and comfort required for spirited drives off an enclosed track. The Active Torque Vectoring system combined with the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) and grippy Continental tires make the NSX feel like it’s riding on rails. A quick punch of the accelerator pedal launches the car to 60 mph in a mere three seconds, and continues on without lagging right up to its 191 mph limit. That kind of power can only come from the instantaneous torque provided by the electric motors, and it’s intoxicating.
Remembering that it is a hybrid car, we expected the normal hybrid system such as the regenerative braking to sap some of the joy out of the NSX, but our worries were unfounded. In fact, we found the NSX to be one of the more enjoyable high-performance cars, not because of the brilliant way it attacks curves and makes even the most nefarious test track seem like child’s play, but because it’s so darn civilized when driving around town. You could have the NSX as your only car and be quite happy with your daily commute. You can even fit a single set of golf clubs in the rear cargo bay, just behind the engine.
Is the NSX the world’s best supercar? No, but it does rank up there with the most elite, including the McLaren 570, the Lamborghini Huracan, the Audi R8 V10 and the Porsche 911 Turbo, all of which fall in the same price range. The 755-hp Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is the exception, shaving about $25,000 off the NSX’s base price.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 — The Corvette ZR1 is a monster of a car, easily crushing the NSX in the areas of horsepower and performance. But the ZR1 is a beast to drive and has a rather flashy exterior. However, it does cost a lot less.
2020 Audi R8 V10 — The Audi R8 V10 shares much of its components with the Lamborghini Huracan. It is a refined machine with more horsepower than the NSX, but similar performance times. The R8’s cockpit feels more refined and high-tech, but its fuel economy lags far behind the NSX.
2019 Porsche 911 Turbo — The 911 Turbo holds more clout than the NSX, and it also makes a very livable daily driver. Its performance is a bit more visceral than in the NSX, with a faster 0-to-60 mph time, a more polished interior and more personalization options.
Used Lamborghini Huracan — While it might not be easy to find, a used Lamborghini Huracan will offer you brilliant performance in an exotic supercar guaranteed to turn heads wherever it goes.
We like the NSX’s $160,000 entry price and wouldn’t push it up too much by adding on carbon fiber bits and upgraded interiors that don’t enhance performance. Toss in the carbon ceramic brake package and manual seat adjusters and call it a day.