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Friday 2nd March 2012

PH buying guide: Honda NSX

Honda's finally committed to a new NSX but we still rather like the old one - here's how to score a good'n



The Honda NSX has slipped from many people's minds, partly because production ceased in 2005 and also because the car was always something of a rarity. With fewer than 19,000 NSXs produced in total during a 15-year life span, it was never a runaway sales champion for Honda.

NSX benefitted from typical Honda thoroughness
NSX benefitted from typical Honda thoroughness
What it did for Honda was provide a road-going link to the company's then very successful Formula 1 activity. This led on to Ayrton Senna often being cited as the man who signed off the suspension set-up of the first generation NSX NA1, though how much involvement Senna really had is a matter of debate.

Definitely not up for debate is the thorough engineering of the NSX. Honda had been developing the car since 1984 and was determined to make it as usable as possible. To this end, its cabin had a large glass area, it was easy to get in and out of, and the 3.0-litre V6 engine was as docile in traffic as it was powerful on the open road. Though with 274hp quoted as the official power output the NSX was not the most potent car in its class, even by 1990 standards.

This aside the only real disappointment with the NSX at launch was the interior. Honda had made it a shade too user-friendly and borrowed switchgear from its contemporary mainstream models. The upside to this is it's very reliable and soundly put together, so even early NSXs can still be used everyday without worry.

2002-on facelifted cars got fixed lights
2002-on facelifted cars got fixed lights
Honda tweaked and improved the NSX throughout its life, adding a passenger airbag in 1993 and a Targa-roofed model in 1995. The biggest round of updates came in 1997 when the 3.2-litre V6 replaced the 3.0-litre motor in manual transmission cars. This upped power to 280hp and the gearbox was switched for a six-speeder in place of the original five-speed manual.

The automatic transmission NSX stuck with the 3.0-litre engine till production ended in 2005.

A facelift in 2002 introduced the NA2 with fixed headlights to replace the pop-up originals, while a Type R version was offered in Japan but not the rest of the world. This NSX-R had 280hp and weighed 1,270kg thanks to carbon fibre for some body panels and the rear wing.

JDM only Type R the peak of NSX evolution
JDM only Type R the peak of NSX evolution
An earlier NSX-R was offered in 1992 and only 483 were sold, all bound for Japan. It featured stiffer suspension, blueprinted engine and close-ratio gearbox, as well as an all-up weight of 1,230kg.

Finding any NSX for sale in the UK takes time and patience, as few are ever on the market at the same time. Owners tend to keep their cars for long periods, which has shored up used values. Even an early, high miles NSX will make £10,000, while a 3.2-litre manual NA2 with low miles and perfect history will pull in £25,000.


Buying guide contents
Introduction
Powertrain
Rolling chassis
Body
Interior
Search for Honda NSXs in the PH classifieds now

alisdairsuttie
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Author Discussion

Strawman

Original Poster:

5,507 posts

92 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
Nice are buying guides a new regular feature for PH?

richard300

975 posts

94 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
About 8 years ago, i really wanted one of these, went to the John Cooper Honda Garage where the very nice Service team showed me over one they had in for a service and MOT. Gave up in the end, trying to find the 3.0 Manual car in Silver that i wanted......

Would apear that finding these cars is still hard. I even made enquiries into importing one from Japan, But they dont like to let them go either, it would seem.

ApexJimi

9,595 posts

128 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
A decent NSX has to be one of THE safest automotive places to park your money, surely?


davidcharles

336 posts

79 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
ApexJimi said:
A decent NSX has to be one of THE safest automotive places to park your money, surely?
..especially an NSX -R....lovely car

DanDC5

8,691 posts

52 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
ApexJimi said:
A decent NSX has to be one of THE safest automotive places to park your money, surely?
Can't be many better options without spending 6 figures.

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melvster

6,610 posts

70 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
"while a 3.2-litre manual NA2 with low miles and perfect history will pull in £25,000"

Yeah and the rest, more like 35k +, some examples can fetch 45-50k and an NSX R, well, there is only one NA2 in the UK.

Chicane-UK

3,453 posts

70 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
Glorious looking car. I've only ever seen a handful on the roads but they always make me stop and stare when I spot one!

Raja

4,996 posts

120 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
Every few years i want one. Every few years i fail in finding one. Instead of a buying guide i think we should have a 'how to find one' guide smile

DanDC5

8,691 posts

52 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
Chicane-UK said:
Glorious looking car. I've only ever seen a handful on the roads but they always make me stop and stare when I spot one!
I've seen 3 in total, one that I used to see a lot locally and a couple in various places. Including a red one near London that's featured in Total Honda mag this month, and is supercharged!

lowndes

307 posts

99 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
Raja said:
Every few years i want one. Every few years i fail in finding one. Instead of a buying guide i think we should have a 'how to find one' guide smile
Try nsxcb

Guvernator

3,412 posts

50 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
Raja said:
Every few years i want one. Every few years i fail in finding one. Instead of a buying guide i think we should have a 'how to find one' guide smile
^^^^ This exactly. I have had a hankering for a facelift manual targa NSX for probably the best part of 8 years but in all that time I haven't seen a single one come up for sale. Really pisses me off that they seem to be ten a penny in the US but basically impossible to source in this country. frown

Johnboy Mac

2,666 posts

63 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
I want, I want, I want. If an NSX is the last car I was to ever own I reckon I'd die smiling.

Butter Face

8,448 posts

45 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
Johnboy Mac said:
I want, I want, I want. If an NSX is the last car I was to ever own I reckon I'd die smiling.
Agreed. Has always been a dream car for me.

A black one with some nice wheels. Thats all I need.


BlackPrince

840 posts

54 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
I rmr when I was 6 yrs old I wanted my dad to buy this car I'd briefly seen on the telly insted of a Honda Accord because it looked like a friggin spaceship!

Saw this review last week and have been trawling autotrader since then http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlaWp4bCl1A
The vid is gorgeously shot (its not TG or FG or autocar - its in Hungarian w/ English subtitles)

Skater12

464 posts

43 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
It's been a car that has always been out of my reach, for a couple of reasons.
The first being I've only just turned 30, so only been driving 13 years and therefore missed the opportunity to be able to buy and insure a brand new car.
Also, now these cars are modern classics, i fear that the chances of buying one without paying an unreasonable price is quite slim.

As the article said, the owners tend to keep them for long period of time, and that is certainly the case of a family friend who has owned 2 NSX's.
Both of these cars were bought brand new, the first in '95 and the 2nd in 2003.
The first car was part exchanged for the 2nd which he still owns and drives every day.

I've been lucky enough to drive both his cars, and 2 owned by other people too, and have come to the conclusion that NSX's take on thier own unique characters after while. Some being ropey wannabe supercars, feeling let down that they never could match up in the power stakes. Others gently waft around town like elegant ninja's, knowing that although delicate and classy they'll bite your f***ing head off given the chance.

My advice if going to buy one is to take it on a drive around as many different environments as possible, and get to know it's "personality".

Skater12

464 posts

43 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all


come to daddy!!

ikonic

136 posts

83 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
This one in the classifieds does seem very competitively priced....

http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/3687828.htm

If only I had no need for four seats......


StuttgartJem

51 posts

65 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
ikonic said:
This one in the classifieds does seem very competitively priced....

http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/3687828.htm

If only I had no need for four seats......
V Car register, thats why
Still have always wanted one since mates dad had a red one new in 1992, even if that was an auto

scampbird

176 posts

167 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
Pub fact: when Honda brought in the 6 speed box there wasn't enough room for the linkage, so 5th->6th is servo operated. You'd have never known (and I only learnt this after selling my 3.2).

NSX remains best car I've ever owned and only one I've ever missed.

Johnboy Mac

2,666 posts

63 months

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Friday 2nd March 2012 quote quote all
scampbird said:
Pub fact: when Honda brought in the 6 speed box there wasn't enough room for the linkage, so 5th->6th is servo operated. You'd have never known (and I only learnt this after selling my 3.2).

NSX remains best car I've ever owned and only one I've ever missed.
Interesting, you learn something new everyday.

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