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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For A genuine supercar that's easy to drive

Against Drab cabin; quality not up to supercar standards

Verdict A real supercar bargain – great fun and well priced

Go for… 3.2i manual

Avoid… 3.0 auto

Honda NSX Coupe
  • 1. The handling is absolutely superb, with terrific grip and excellent control
  • 2. An NSX should be reliable if the 9000-mile service intervals have been adhered to
  • 3. The engine and gearbox are extremely complex, so they're a nightmare to fix if they go wrong
  • 4. The NSX is even surprisingly practical, with enough of a boot to carry a couple of sets of golf clubs
  • 5. Choose the 3.2-litre version - its manual ’box gives you the proper supercar experience the 3.0-litre model misses
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Honda NSX Coupe full review with expert trade views

Supercar buyers can be a snobby lot. If there isn’t a prancing horse or a raging bull on the badge, then some of them just don't want to know. For these people, a small 'H' on the front is never going to cut it.

They're wrong. The fact is that the Honda NSX is a proper supercar, and although it may be looking a bit old, the drive still impresses even now. Outright performance may not be quite up to Ferrari standards, but you'll have just as much fun.

The handling is absolutely superb, with terrific grip and excellent body control. Refinement is excellent, too, and there's even enough of a boot to carry a couple of sets of golf clubs.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Nothing like the image of a Ferrari but reliable. 1996-2000 cars best value

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

There aren't many choices to be made with the NSX. There are two petrol engines, either a 252bhp 3.0-litre V6 or a 3.2-litre V6 that gives 276bhp.

Both are suitably fast. The smaller-engined NSX will cover the 0-60mph sprint in 7.5sec, but the more powerful 3.2-litre manages the same benchmark sprint in a rather more useful 5.7sec.

The 3.2 is definitely our pick and that isn't just because of the outright speed. The 3.0-litre engine comes only with an automatic gearbox, and although it isn't bad, you need the 3.2's standard manual ’box to get the proper supercar experience.

There’s one more choice to be made, and that's whether you have a coupe or an open-top; the cabriolet will cost you a little bit more.

Whichever you choose, your NSX will come with a good amount of kit. You'll get alloys, air-con, leather upholstery, traction control, electric windows and cruise control.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Extremely rare although there are imports, 3.2 Targa finds buyers

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Judge it against a regular sports car, and the NSX will look a bit pricey. But, judge it against the supercar competition that it deserves to be compared with and it starts to look like a bargain.

The NSX cost around £60,000 when new, so it was an affordable supercar even then. It didn't quite have the desirability of other supercars, either, so retained values weren't as strong. You'll pay around half of the original price tag for a three-year old example, and if you go for one of the earlier examples, you'll pay significantly less.

You'll pay the maximum group 20 premium for your insurance and you'll get an average fuel economy figure of around 23mpg. You shouldn't pay supercar prices to get it serviced, either, although don't expect servicing bills to be as cheap as your average Civic or Accord.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Nothing like the image of a Ferrari but reliable. 1996-2000 cars best value

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

As car manufacturers go, there aren’t many more reliable than Honda. The Japanese firm has topped our regular reliability surveys a number of times in the past, and even when it doesn’t win outright, it’s never very far from the top of the table.

Although Honda's reputation for reliability is built on cars like the Civic and Accord, the NSX should prove to be no different if it's treated well and the 9000-mile service intervals are adhered to.

There are a couple of words of warning, however. The engine and gearbox are extremely complex, and if you're unlucky enough to buy a car that does have a problem, it could be a nightmare to fix – a very expensive nightmare.

Check the service history thoroughly for signs of past trouble, and a pre-purchase inspection would be a wise investment.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Extremely rare although there are imports, 3.2 Targa finds buyers

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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