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2020 Acura NSX interior review: This is a supercar?

2020 Acura NSX interior review: This is a supercar?

Remember how long it took for the Acura NSX to come to life? We endured years of concepts and spyshots, only for Acura to delay again and again in its quest to create a worthy successor to the iconic original. Fortunately, that wait paid off. The new NSX’s hybrid power and brilliant handling deliver a thrill. Unfortunately, its interior was apparently finalized early in the development process—it seems outdated and uninspired compared to the rest of the car.

Research the Acura NSX on MSN Autos | Find an Acura NSX near you

Walk up to the NSX and you’re stricken by the aggressive, angular design. It’s hard to believe any Acura could look like this. Step inside, however, and it’s the opposite impression. It’s hard to believe any supercar could look like this. That’s not to say it’s badly designed; it’d look perfectly appropriate in a $35,000 TLX. But this is a $160,000 flagship, and its interior doesn’t have the pizzazz to complement its exterior or performance.

a close up of a car© Motor Trend Staff

“If only the interior felt like a six-figure vehicle,” wished associate online editor Stefan Ogbac. The cabin’s stitched leather and carbon-fiber details contrast with far too much plastic for this price point. Executive editor Mark Rechtin noted, “Some of the form factors feel a bit last-decade.”

Ogbac also noticed “bits and pieces that reek of Honda parts bin,” like the push-button shifter. It looks to be the same unit found in the RDX crossover—and strikingly similar to the one in the Honda Insight. Against competitors whose shifters are wrapped in beautiful leather or hewn from glimmering crystal, this NSX touchpoint doesn’t feel special. That said, once in gear, the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters feel great and work just as well.

© Motor Trend Staff

The infotainment system seems borrowed, too. Features editor Christian Seabaugh called it “old-school” given its low resolution and slow responses, likening it to what one might find in a 2014 MDX. The same goes for the digital instrument display. It’s driver-focused, devoid of extraneous details and with a large central tachometer. But again, the screen is low resolution and seems outdated. While other manufacturers boast crisp, clear, full-width digital instrument clusters that can be reconfigured to the drivers’ preferences, the NSX’s is basic. Its setup might have been modish three years before it hit the streets.

Hydrate well before you drive the NSX: Its cupholders are rudimentary. To stow beverages you must install the clip-in cupholder, which only has space for two cups and somewhat infringes on passenger legroom. Your keys, phone, and wallet have to share space in the tiny cubby behind the shifter, or inside the glove box.

a row of parked motorcycles sitting on top of a car: 2020 Acura NSX interior© Motor Trend Staff 2020 Acura NSX interior

A point of contention in the NSX and other Acura vehicles is the drive mode selector. It’s a large silver knob, prominently placed ahead of the shifter buttons. Instinct might suggest it controls audio volume, but the only volume it amplifies is that coming from the exhaust. Rather, to turn up your tunes, use the toggle beside the infotainment, or the dial on the steering wheel. Those methods work fine, but it takes time to learn to not reach for the mode selector. We’re all for drive modes that tangibly alter a car’s character, and the NSX’s do. But how they’re chosen seems overwrought. A smaller dial or buttons elsewhere would be more sensible.

Adjusting the seats in the NSX is simple, given their limited four-way adjustment. The result is a seating position that’s hard to optimize, especially for taller drivers, given the “insufficient thigh support and crude lumbar support” felt by six-foot-tall Rechtin. Those aside, the seats’ bolstering and grippy faux-suede trim support well when exploring the limits of SH-AWD. Seabaugh called out how “the seating position, low and slicked back, alone sets the expectations that this car doesn’t really care about your comfort—it just wants to go fast.”

a close up of a motorcycle seat© Motor Trend Staff

Perhaps that’s the magic of the NSX’s interior. Its foibles fade as you glide on electric power away from a stop. Mat the accelerator and the interior vanishes as the twin-turbo V-6 whooshes and howls, building speed at an alarming rate. Guide it through corners and feel futuristic performance that’s entirely at odds with the materials around you.

Research the Acura NSX on MSN Autos | Find an Acura NSX near you

No one should buy an NSX for its interior, nor should they let the interior deter them from buying an NSX. Its abilities as a supercar far overcome any shortcomings its interior might have. The NSX’s dynamics give us hope for our electrified future, even if its cabin comes from a bygone era.


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