2017 Acura NSX Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Acura NSX was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 9.1

The brand-new 2017 Acura NSX has strong acceleration and excellent cornering abilities. Its regenerative brakes are smooth, and the automatic transmission shifts seamlessly. The hybrid components elevate the NSX's performance to levels comparable to its more elite classmates. However, its steering is only fairly responsive and could be more direct.

  • "Handling is sharp, steering is predictable and connected, and acceleration is up there with the best (most magazines are recording something close to 3 seconds for a 0-to-60 time). It's also amazing to see how Acura has used electric power to improve the car rather than just give it some meaningless 'green' designation. Indeed, electric motors that drive the front wheels can be easily felt, which gives the NSX extra juice from a stop and additional capabilities around the corners." -- Autotrader
  • "Comfortable, quick, responsive and flat-out fun, the Acura NSX lives up to its Precision Crafted Performance design brief on every level." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "In street driving, the NSX becomes a pussycat. Performance is there if you need it, but when you don't, you just cruise around town in a car that looks completely out of place – a sleek, low, supercar among the ordinary." -- USA Today

Acceleration and Power

The 2017 Acura NSX is a hybrid with lots of power: 573 horsepower is generated from its twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine and three electric motors. This powertrain is mated to a nine-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The NSX gets 21 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. Even though the NSX is a hybrid, these estimates are only slightly above average for the class.

The NSX has powerful acceleration and rockets from zero to 60 mph in just under 3 seconds. There's no lag, thanks to the extra boost the electric motors provide, and your need for speed will be more than satisfied when you're behind the wheel of this powerhouse. The transmission has seamless and quick shifts.

  • "Rocketing perfectly describes the NSX's uninterrupted acceleration when the gas engine and electric motors are pushing the NSX flat-out. Acceleration lag is non-existent thanks to the electric motors filling in the dull spots before the twin-turbochargers sing their song. Launch control takes advantage of the hybrid system in the best way, initially launching the car with the instantaneous torque of the electric motors before the 500-hp gas engine pushes you the rest of the way, clicking off lightning-quick gear changes. There's little falloff in seat-of-the-pants acceleration as the speed increases." -- Cars.com
  • "The 573-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine, in combination with three electric motors, put on its greatest display in flat-out acceleration. Like some other cars, the NSX has a feature called 'launch control.' In 'track [mode],' you press and hold the brake, push the accelerator to the floor, then let go of the brake for a push-you-back-in-seat experience." -- USA Today
  • "Before we wander off into a dark corner discussing the 15 different attributes adjusted by the four NSX drive modes, let's get front and center with one thing: the NSX is fast. Like, stupid fast. The kind of fast that makes you giggle every time you hit the gas. The kind of fast that makes you think about how the walls at Sonoma Raceway are way, way too close to the track." -- Autoblog

Handling and Braking

Unlike other hybrids' grabby regenerative brakes, the NSX's are smooth. The NSX takes corners securely and has fairly responsive steering designed to make the car more suitable for everyday driving. The NSX comes with Sport Hybrid Super Handling all-wheel drive, which employs the electric motors to enhance cornering, acceleration, and braking. The NSX's torque vectoring system takes its cornering abilities to the next level. Additionally, the NSX comes standard with an Integrated Dynamics System that allows you to customize your drive.

  • "The car has Acura's 'super-handling all-wheel-drive' system that, among other things, adds power in the wheels in a way that makes cornering tighter and faster." -- USA Today
  • "Braking … is instantly good. Pairing the NSX's hybrid regenerative braking with the optional carbon ceramic brakes seems like a horrible idea on paper. On their own, each of these can be grabby, nonlinear and a pain in the butt to drive smoothly. The NSX with track tires and $9,900 carbons delivers unexpected precision at high speeds but with the everyday smoothness of a regular old braking system. Anything but regular, the NSX's electro-servo-assist braking system electronically controls the hydraulic braking action at each wheel, as well as the feedback of the brake pedal. Thanks to this electronic intervention, the pedal feel is as linear and responsive as any well-done traditional braking system." -- Cars.com
  • "No, it's not perfect. The big vents in the rear look cool, but we could see debris getting caught there on a long drive. And while the steering is direct, there's not a lot [of] road feel, though Acura says it did that on purpose to keep the daily drivability high. We'd also ask for a customizable drive mode where we could set the throttle and shifting to track mode with the suspension in its softer setting." -- Autoweek

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