1996 Honda NSX 3.0 3.0 V6 VTEC from UK and Ireland


Ferrari ability, Honda reliability, 3 series prices


Air conditioning needed recharging (warranty)

Blown brake light bulb.

General Comments:

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

21st Aug 2005, 14:53

Try looking on Ebay.. 3 NSXs last week for less than 20k.

14th Sep 2005, 09:11

To the commenter of 6th July 2005, what planet do you live on? The old 330i was around the 30k mark new, and for a late, low mileage one, I was looking at 25k+. I'm not going to say what I spent on the NSX, but let's just say I got it down to just a fiver more than the local BMW dealer were asking for a year old, 8,000 mile 330Ci Sport.

The M3 is a great car, and yes it is quicker than the NSX in a straight line, but the NSX would take the BMW apart on any half decent road. Proper supercar levels of grip, better brakes, better steering and I would argue even better sounding (and that's saying something). It's also rare, truly exclusive, and doesn't scream "tosser or drug dealer" like the 3 series tends does. You also cannot argue with Honda's engineering prowess, build quality or reliability.

A handbuilt, beautifully crafted supercar for ten-a-penny German saloon money, as I said before. You do the sums.

23rd Sep 2005, 03:39

BMW's are getting as common as Ford Focus these days and all credit is due to the guy who had the balls to buy a Honda NSX. The M3 is faster I agree, but come on fellas on clogged up roads where can you use the cars true performance? Its all about looks now and the NSX wins hands down.

12th Jan 2006, 10:00

I like the space age chasis,never rust and super durable.

28th Nov 2006, 13:55

Regarding the reviewer's question on what you would replace an NSX with (I assume when his current NSX wears out and needs/wants a newer car)... some suggestions:

Honda S2000

Saturn Sky with the 2.0L 260HP Direct Injection Turbo engine (or the Opel equivalent available in Europe)

Mitsubishi Lancer EVO

Subaru Impreza WRX STI

Ford/Shelby Mustang GT500.

2nd Jan 2008, 09:40

Horsepower is not everything guys, you should look at the biger picture... Its the whole package of power delivery, chassis setup, braking, power to weight ratio, aerodynamics that make a performance car. The NSX excels in all these fields and more...

7th Oct 2008, 09:28

In reply to how to replace the NSX a 2002 NSX-R white with white wheels...Yeah.

2003 Honda NSX 3.2 DOHC VTEC from UK and Ireland


280bhp VTEC NSX... need I say more


Absolutely nothing.

General Comments:


When I went to pick it up at the showroom, I could not wait to see my brand new yellow NSX. I pulled into the showroom car park and saw it, with 4 people around it, sparkling in the sun. The sleek, low to ground super car appearance certainly attracts attention. I had 17" 6 spoke black Honda alloys put on it as a specification, and it looks so mean, especially with the revised front headlights.


My NSX has the 280bhp 3.2 manual powerplant, and my word it flies. Slap the thing in second gear at about 30mph, and the engine produces an exquisite exhaust note as it powers its way through the VTEC power band, and all the way to 8,000 RPM. 0-60 is booked at 5.5 seconds, and it's about there or thereabouts. Torque is immense, and there ain't nothing that will beat this on the motorway or off the lights.


Reasonable amounts of space for a super car, with gorgeous soft black leather and leather door trim. The small gearstick is perfectly positioned, and has a short but swift, smooth change. Options include AC and electric windows and mirrors. 2 seater only I am afraid, but who cares about that.


Had it now for 6 months, and every time I open the garage, my stomach turns with excitement. Build quality is second to none, and I give credit to the Honda dealership as the service has been to a very high standard. For £70k this is so much cheaper than your Ferraris and Lambos, and can just about manage them when it comes to performance. If you have never driven a Honda, try it, and make that damn VTEC work its magic on you. It has on me, and I don't think I will ever change to a different manufacturer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th June, 2003

7th Aug 2003, 08:44

So, at 5.5 seconds 0-60, nothing beats it off the lights. Ever raced a bike?

17th Aug 2003, 09:55

I have raced a bike yes, but the rider stalled because he was in such awe of my car.

23rd Jan 2004, 08:59

Regards racing a bike: aside from the fact that it's a flawed and school-boyish argument (the fastest car will always be quicker than the fastest bike, the bike's true advantage is its between-cars size), the NSX would be significantly swifter round corners. It also tops out at 175mph in virtual serenity.

You'd have a tough time keeping up down a twisty lane that wasn't bone dry and free of potholes. I think it's fair to say that most bikes couldn't match it over a distance without the rider tiring, falling off or simply reaching the bottom of the fuel tank.

I have a couple of doubts regarding the honesty of this review. Options include AC and electric windows and mirrors? They're standard. Additionally, the car is noticeably more expensive than the equivalent Porsche 996, so it's hardly the bargain motor he claims...