Ferrari ability, Honda reliability, 3 series prices
Air conditioning needed recharging (warranty)
Blown brake light bulb.
After owning a BMW 328i which I really enjoyed, I wanted something a bit different. Wandering round various car dealers, I saw the NSX and fell in love. One test drive was enough to finish the sale.
It's older than the BMW and has done more miles, but boy is it more entertaining. It cost £3,000 less than the BMW cost as a 3 month old ex-demo car three years ago. Yet it looks, goes, handles and stops like a true supercar, but is as docile and easy to live with as the BMW was.
The engine is a masterpiece. The growl as the revs build, and the race car like howl as you scream towards 9,000 RPM makes my neck hair stand up. Performance is blistering. I don't know the exact figures, but 60 must come up in the mid 5's and it charges past 140 (on private roads) like the BMW charged past 80.
Handling is mindblowing, although a recent track day at Brands Hatch proved it needs to be treated with some respect. My only criticism is that the transition between undramatic, on-rails cornering and suddenly exiting the track backwards is very fine indeed - as I found out to my cost, thankfully without hitting anything. On the road however, it is just phenomenal. The cornering limits are defined by balls and reaction times rather than the car itself.
It's early days, but reliability and build quality are typical Honda. It starts first time, everything works and it can be ambled around town under 3,000 RPM as easily as any Civic or Accord. The clutch and steering are light, the gearbox is rifle bolt precise, and when it needs servicing, the dealers are absolutely first class. The car comes back looking and feeling like new.
The other beauty about the NSX is its rarity. I've seen one other on the road since I bought mine (accompanied by a cheery flash of lights and a wave from the driver). If I could afford a new supercar, I'd do what everyone else does and pick a Porsche or a Ferrari, but at current secondhand prices, the Honda really does offer supercar motoring for German saloon money.
Running costs are a little steep, mostly thanks to insurance which is truly horrendous (group 20). Fuel economy is actually not bad - I average about 26 mpg with a mixture of motorway and fast A-road use. On a relatively steady trip to Leeds recently, I got 34 mpg, and using all the revs regularly, a worrying 17 mpg. 26 isn't hard to achieve though.
My only problem is what do I replace it with? Now I've experienced something like this, I can't go back to a "normal" car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th July, 2003