2021 Acura NSX

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The Car Connection
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
December 27, 2020

Buying tip

Most of the NSX’s options can be skipped, but we’d pay extra for power seats and for some of the available paint shades.

features & specs

21 city / 22 hwy

The 2021 Acura NSX still has us smitten with its riveting looks, performance, and quality.

What kind of car is the 2021 Acura NSX? What does it compare to?

The 2021 Acura NSX is a supercar, but it’s no ordinary bluster bus. It’s obscure, rare, doesn’t have the usual supercar Italian pedigree—and we adore it. It compares with the Chevy Corvette, Audi R8, and Porsche 911 Turbo, also cars that we adore. 

Is the 2021 Acura NSX a good car?

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It’s a wonderful street car and a blistering performance machine, one hampered by a lack of safety and luxury features. We give it a TCC Rating of 7.0 out of 10 (read more about how we rate cars). 

What’s new for the 2021 Acura NSX?

A new shade of blue. That’s all—and it’s all that needs to be done. The NSX has an open invitation to our garage, any day of the year. It’s blessed with the kind of supercar style that looks like it’ll never go out of fashion, and a cockpit that’s as comfortable for two people as it is attractive, in a muted way.

The NSX is all about performance. Its 573-horsepower hybrid drivetrain cranks up to speed through a 9-speed automatic—no manual, just like the Corvette—and catapults the hefty NSX to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 191 mph. The NSX uses its motors and engine to shuffle power to all its wheels with uncanny predictive ability; it’s calibrated for street calm and track confidence, with exceptionally capable carbon-ceramic brakes on its options list and sensational grip, 24/7.

It’s perfectly suited for two people, but the NSX’s meager little trunk barely has enough room for a two-piece set of luggage. Acura never penned in automatic emergency braking, and crash-test safety’s a mystery because no agency will spend the cash to throw one into a wall. 

How much does the 2021 Acura NSX cost?

About $160,000 in base trim, which means standard leather upholstery, a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and power seats. Softer leather, carbon-ceramic brakes, and carbon-fiber trim are options. It’s nearly as pricey as more exotically sourced supercars, but even more scarce.

Where is the 2021 Acura NSX made?

In Ohio, of all places.


2021 Acura NSX


The NSX has exotic looks to match its performance.

Is the Acura NSX a good-looking car?

The NSX doesn’t put a line out of place. It hits all the supercar cues without trampling over them with supercar caricature. It’s a 10 for styling.

Every curve and straight edge on the NSX’s body implies speed. The roof sits low; the front end’s even lower, with its blacked-out grille framed by a strip of LEDs wide enough to attract stray 737s. Swole fenders barely cover massive tires, while massive scoops tucked behind the doors feed air into the engine. The rear end ties it all together with simple, streamlined LED lighting. It’s distinctive but familiar, exciting, and cohesive.

The interior keeps things livable and subdued. A strip of buttons control the shifter—the usual lever’s been banished as kitsch. The surfaces are nearly all wrapped in leather. The vibe? It’s tame but low-key ritzy—and more importantly, if works without looking overwrought.

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2021 Acura NSX


The NSX has exceptional power and poise.

The NSX isn’t just one of the top performers in the TCC Ratings; it’s one of the quickest and fastest hybrids ever made. Coupled with its exceptional grip and all-wheel-drive poise, it’s a perfect 10 for performance.

Is the Acura NSX 4WD?

Acura pairs an electric motor with its mid-engined 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 to create the NSX’s standout all-wheel-drive powertrain. The system connects to a 9-speed dual-clutch automatic and ships power to the rear wheels—and to the front wheels, where the batteries and twin electric motors supply power to the front wheels.

How fast is the Acura NSX?

The symphony of horsepower pulses through the 3,878-pound NSX—a net 573 hp and 476 lb-ft of torque overpowers its weight to storm to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds. It’ll pull to 191 mph, too.

The NSX drops that into a mid-engine architecture with an independent suspension, adaptive dampers, and hugely grippy tires to turn in superhero track performance. The NSX could come off as too electronic, overly digital, relentlessly artificial—but instead it feels communicative, in high fidelity. Toggle it into Track mode, where the 9-speed predicts and snicks off shifts faster than any driver could, where the all-wheel-drive system shuttles power to the front wheels to reduce understeer—the NSX constantly adapts to the demands of the driver and the road. Put it into Quiet mode and it relaxes its grip and quiets its rorty V-6 so it can be trundled into a garage in near-silence. It’s fast but forgiving, capable at cornering and coddling.

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2021 Acura NSX

Comfort & Quality

Two fit fine in the NSX, if they leave their baggage on the curb.

The NSX puts two comfortable leather-clad chairs in its supercar shell for supreme passenger comfort, and swaddles them in a well-appointed cabin. But it shorts them on trunk space. We give it a 5 for comfort and utility.

Supercars always forget the practical part of the transportation equation, so we don’t hold the teensy 4.4 cubic-foot trunk against the NSX. That’s enough room for a gym bag and a couple of changes of clothes. Why else were laundromats invented?

The NSX makes up for it with excellent interior quality and comfort for two. The interior’s stitched together beautifully, with some handsome leather trim on the console and doors. Acura affords both passengers excellent support in manual or power-adjustable seats, and surrounds them with plenty of leg and head room. The NSX cabin is hushed when you want it to be, raucous when it’s dialed into the right mood, and refined in every sense.

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2021 Acura NSX


The NHTSA and IIHS remain silent.

How safe is the Acura NSX?

We don’t think those safety agencies will ever crash-test an NSX, so we don’t score it here. The NSX might fare well—but it doesn’t offer much in the way of modern safety conveniences. Automatic emergency braking isn’t available—and neither are adaptive cruise control or blind-spot monitors.


2021 Acura NSX


The NSX falls behind on some standard features.

For all its supercar bona fides, the NSX isn’t a rock star in terms of features. With an extra point for its touchscreen interface, it gets a 6—and leaves points on the table.

Which Acura NSX should I buy?

Well, there’s exactly one offered, so...that one? The $159,495 NSX does get one new paint color this year, Long Beach Blue. It also gets leather upholstery, ELS audio, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. 

It doesn’t come with automatic emergency braking as we’ve noted, and options are limited mostly to paint colors, brake and leather upgrades, and carbon-fiber trim.

How much is a fully loaded Acura NSX?

Tick all the boxes for those add-on features and the NSX’s sticker price swells to more than $200,000.

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2021 Acura NSX

Fuel Economy

The hybrid NSX is a supercar, not a hypermiler.

Even with its hybrid powertrain, the 2021 NSX isn’t a fuel-economy stunner. The EPA scores it at 21 mpg city, 22 highway, 21 combined. That’s good for a supercar, but it’s a 4 on our scale.

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Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 10
Performance 10
Comfort & Quality 5
Safety N/A
Features 6
Fuel Economy 4
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