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Thread: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

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    NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    First of all I do not own an NSX, mostly because I cannot afford one. I am currently in College, but hopefully soon I will be shopping for an NSX. The NSX is a beautiful car. I simply love its styling. I figured I would ask these questions here.

    I currently own a 1991 MR2 Turbo with mild modifications: Intake, Down pipe, Full Exhaust, Greedy EBC and a Ceramic ct20b (turbo from the 1998 MR2 Turbo).

    My dyno sheet isn't too bad. 225 RWHP and 225 lbs of RWTorque @ 15 PSI. I have some timing issues and a more restrictive muffler than most MR2 Turbo owners. With the issues resolved and a more free flowing muffler, I could push 235-240 easily, as most MR2 Turbo owners with these modifications put down about 240 RWHP and 240 flbs.

    I have spent 6300 purchasing the car + 230 for DP + 400 for exhaust + 500 for turbo + 200 for EBC + 110 for Intake.

    My question is, what advantages does the NSX have over my MR2 Turbo? I mean both are mid-engined and both have similar power output. A mildly modified MR2 may have more. It seems like the $$ vs. power gained on the NSX is low, but for the MR2 as with many other turbo cars is high. The MR2 may be a bit weaker in handling, but nothing a set of TEIN HA coilovers won't even out. As far as braking, a 1993 MR2 Turbo as amazing breaks. (I believe it out breaks the NSX by quite a bit, correct me if I am wrong) Upgrading from 1991 breaks to 1993 breaks is fairly easy and cheap. As far as reliability goes, Toyota makes very reliable engines. I have seen MR2 Turbos with 200k miles dyno stock off the lot numbers and show perfect compression and leak down. I see this often with NSXs as well.

    I have driven and NSX; I love how the torque is constant and how it revs freely to 8000 rpm. It seems to handle a tad sharper and you get a lot less road noise compared to MR2T. The interior is much nicer in the NSX although my MR2T does offer leather. The NSX feels extremely refined, but is this worth the extra 25k?

    Aside from the aesthetics and the amazing amount of looks I will get. What other benefits will I gain?

    Please no insulting the MR2 posts, I love the MR2 Turbo and have been a dedicated owner for years. I know its capabilities and its weaknesses. I just want a fair comparison. I have also heard “they are not comparable…..”,I can see that is true with price, but as far as performance?

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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    Never owned an MR2 before, but I've owned an FD (rx-7 twint turbo) who outperforms the NSX in just about everycategory for a fraction of the price. But there is def. something the NSX has that no other japanese car does (also owned an S2000 before the NSX).

    I don't know, something about the NSX is just plain "cool".
    no mo NSX :(

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    Registered User Forums Nazi's Avatar
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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    If you do a search (using the search function in the red bar that says "User CP" on the left), you will find that there are 26 topics on these forums which contain "MR2" in the title. Read through them and I think you will find answers to your question in several of them.

    Incidentally, that total of 26 topics includes this one, as well as the duplicate one that you posted in the General Discussion forum, where it doesn't belong. Please don't start duplicate topics, you only need to post in one place.
    New to NSXprime? Click here for posting guidelines.

    And remember your friend, the search!

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    Charter Platinum Wheelman's Avatar
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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    Having owned a 1991 NA MR2 and a 1991 MR2 turbo mildly modded pushing 22psi, I can chime in on this one. I currently own a 1997 NSX-T lightly modded with intake and exhaust.

    both are awesome vehicles but the NSX is what the MR2 aspires to be and can never be. The NSX is a special vehicle that stirs one's passion to drive and tuned for the soul. It yearns for you to just jump in and DRIVE. You won't get that race car sound or feeling when you floor the MR2. It turns the NSX into something special like night and day. The NSX is the MVP that is good at everything.
    Good? Bad? I'm the one with the gun.

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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    What mods are you running pushing 22 psi on an MR2 turbo? 22 PSI would not be mildy modded. I know of noone who tunes at 22 psi on street gas. Are you on the MR2 Forums?

    ~Vu

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    Charter Silver wagyshag's Avatar
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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelman
    both are awesome vehicles but the NSX is what the MR2 aspires to be and can never be. The NSX is a special vehicle that stirs one's passion to drive and tuned for the soul. It yearns for you to just jump in and DRIVE. You won't get that race car sound or feeling when you floor the MR2. It turns the NSX into something special like night and day. The NSX is the MVP that is good at everything.
    I completely agree with the above comments!
    Having been a previous owner of a few different MR2T's I can honestly say -
    very fun car to drive / own. Very reliable, small, nimble ect.
    HOWEVER, when Wheelman stated: "stirs ones passion" ooooooooh man.......soooo sooo true.........the NSX (for me) is the perfect sportscar. Everything about it is why I am so obsessed with it

    ** if you are wondering - yes, I have indeed compared it to many, many other cars (vette, 911, ferrari, ect).
    "An intake note that tunnels down its driver's ear canal, shoots through his brain stem and penetrates his soul."

    This is my addiction

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    Registered User Bill_C's Avatar
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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    I have also owned a few MR2's - 88 Supercharged, 91 Turbo and a 93 Turbo. Currently have a 91 NSX.

    I loved my MR2's - best thing next to a go kart and a great "bang for the buck." They also held their value extremely well. Both cars stock are comparable in performance. However, the feeling you get when you drive a NSX is balance of luxury AND performance. The MR2 never felt "exotic" to me.

    Also, My ONLY issue with the NSX is the unwanted attention I get.

    -Bill

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    Registered User NSXER119's Avatar
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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    IMHO, only the look of the NSX worth the extra 25k.

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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    Having owned a 91 MR2 Turbo, 94 FD RX-7 and currently now a 91 NSX I can easily state that without a doubt I have had more satisfaction with the NSX. MR2 blew a headgasket..... That was fun..... RX-7 blew apex seals then the twin turbo set up went..... That was worse.... The NSX has provided much more satisfaction than either. It may just be me but the RX-7 and NSX both seemed more to me like "True Sportscars". I have just never had good experiences with turbo cars and don't think that I will ever go the way of the turbo again. Also most NSX owners don't buy them to be the fastest car on the road but more like one of the few beautiful exotics that stand out from the rest of the herd.

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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    Quote Originally Posted by vtp
    Aside from the aesthetics and the amazing amount of looks I will get. What other benefits will I gain?
    1.The elite companies at NSXPRIME!
    2.Better resale value.
    3.Better reliability
    4.Better build quality(material, workmanship)
    5.Sound of engine when you hit VTEC!
    6.A mature and knowledgeble group of owners.
    7.Get to try new rear tires every 6-10 thousand miles.
    8.Buy trick parts from SoS,Dali,SWR.
    9.Make your gf/partner jealous when you are obsessed with the NSX.
    10. You gotta own one to understand!
    91 CTSC NSX

    Visit Eiffel's Place for Quality Auto Service and Auto Repair in the North Atlanta / Marietta area.

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    Registered User bruce91nsx's Avatar
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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    Quote Originally Posted by EIFFEL
    1.The elite companies at NSXPRIME!
    2.Better resale value.
    3.Better reliability
    4.Better build quality(material, workmanship)
    5.Sound of engine when you hit VTEC!
    6.A mature and knowledgeble group of owners.
    7.Get to try new rear tires every 6-10 thousand miles.
    8.Buy trick parts from SoS,Dali,SWR.
    9.Make your gf/partner jealous when you are obsessed with the NSX.
    10. You gotta own one to understand!

    I owned and modified a 93 MR2 that dynoed at 218 rwhp... I swore I would never sell it, and believed that it was the best-kept secret in terms of fun per $$.
    But there is a big difference between pulling horsepower up in an MR2, and the driving satisfaction of the 6-cylinder NSX with vtec. The linear nature of acceleration of the NSX, plus the 6 cylinders, is just an incredibly different experience... a different class of car, surely. There are some major differences when you just get in and sit in an NSX... everything fits, everything feels like you are in some kind of office where this means business.. the controls are *right there* at your fingertips; the views through the cabin are incredible; the feel of the road in front of your eyes is so much more pronounced in the NSX. And the exterior style... while I have always loved the style of the MKII -- especially that rounded-glass rear window -- the NSX is a true exotic, and has true exotic styling, if not also exotic performance.
    And while I do not wish to start a discussion about modifications, and problems with modifications, I can talk a lot about how long it took to tune my MR2 with the AFC, and the frustrations involved with it being in a shop, and a mechanic who left, but I want to say that there exists some very well documented stories from people here who have added the Comptech modifications largely as bolt-on, big-gain RWHP improvements... gains that would not necessarily be expensive in an MR2, but gains in an MR2 that would necessarily require extensive tuning. Of course, if you want to go the extensive tuning route for an NSX, that option is surely available as well...

    An addition to the list above, I would like to note that the presence of the forum nazi is also a plus!!!

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    Registered User S2NSX's Avatar
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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    Sure you would get alot more performance for your $$$ on the MR2 than the NSX. The same can be said for modifying any other 'hot-hatch'. The two cannot be compared. Its like comparing apples and oranges. One is an exotic the other is what I would called a 'hot-hatch'. Its an insult to Honda comparing the two.
    98' 3.2L NSX-T Magnum Grey Pearl.
    98' 2L DC2 ITR Turbo

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    Registered User slashmatt's Avatar
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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    Apples to Oranges

    You're in Miata land, not NSX territory. There is NOT a single car that costs less than $100k that I would choose over an NSX. No M3, no 911 (except the GT2 which I love and costs nearly $200k), and no Corvette (even the new Z06) will offer the feel of an NSX. The closest thing out there would be a Ferrari 360 and with my NSX-R suspension, it would have to be a Challenge Stradale to keep up in the corners.
    Sold (Nero Tenebre): 1995 NSX-T NSX-R Shocks/Springs, Taitec Exhaust
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    2002 Porsche 996 Cab, 4000 miles - will trade for the right NSX

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    Registered Vendor whiteNSXs's Avatar
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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    Just the same thing why some people choose to buy $10 coffee Vs $100 coffee. To me they are just coffee. To some, NSX is just a car. You mentioned from your first introduction that you also want to have a NSX. Your reason is probably as good as mine. When I was in school, I told myself that I would buy a NSX when I got out just like you. I never told myself that I would want a MR2. Not everything is tangible. BTW, I pretty much get all my clothes in Marshall's and Costco.
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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    Quote Originally Posted by vtp
    As far as braking, a 1993 MR2 Turbo as amazing breaks. (I believe it out breaks the NSX by quite a bit, correct me if I am wrong) Upgrading from 1991 breaks to 1993 breaks is fairly easy and cheap.
    As to why an MR2 out breaks an NSX...I guess the Toyota Production System isn't all it's cracked up to be...but maybe the same could be said for college educations.

    Don't take it personally as it is an honest mistake. But since no one else pointed it out, I felt I had to.

    Also, I don't need better brakes on my NSX. I almost get rear ended by damned SUVs every time I drive as they are!!!

    And here's another one to add to the list

    11. Owning a car that was hand built by little Japanese men!

    And by little Japanese men, I mean the best technicians in Japan (yes...of course they work for Honda). In the NSX, you own a work of art similar to a fine painting. While with a mass produced production vehicle, you own the equivalent of a poster. They're okay if you need something to fill space, but nothing compared to the real thing!

    PS. I do like the early 90's MR2's. I think Japan built it's best looking cars in the late 80's/early 90's. Now most of their cars are boring, uninspiring, or just plain ugly looking. I believe it is a conspiracy and Detroit's big three have been paying off their Japanese counterparts to build ugly cars! I mean, did any of you see that new Honda truck? I love Honda but...BARF!!!

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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    I've owned a '91 MR2 turbo and '91 MR2 non-turbo.

    The NSX is a lot more fun to drive in a straight line and the driving experience more intense. It's definately a keeper, whereas the MR2's I owned were throw-away cars (even my former mint SMG turbo). Don't get me wrong, MR2's are fun.

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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    I also own an 91 MR2 and just a few months ago sold our 93 NSX to fund my wife's college degree. I agree with most of the others here. There is just something about the way you feel when you are in the NSX. It's not all about performance (which is substantial), it's the whole package of performance, comfort, styling, even the smell, but mostly, it's the way it makes you feel; it's hard to describe. I miss it so much and can't wait to get my next one. My only condition to selling ours was that my wife finish her degree and then after she gets a new job, we get to buy another NSX. Only two years left!

    Anyway, the MR2 is also a great car. Lots of fun to drive. Extremely "tossable". Tons of potential. However, I know that I am not going to miss it when it's gone. It just doesn't give me "that feeling". Like EIFFEL said, you really have to have owned one to understand.

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    Charter Gold TigerNSX's Avatar
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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    As a lot of enthusiasts explained, it is often difficult to make "rational" justification of why one car costs so much more than the other when they both perform similarly. In purchasing any cars, there are "emotional" factors involved.

    A lot of old Ferraris in the mid-engine configuration are much more expensive than MR2 or NSX, even though they may not outperform aforementioned cars. Your logic simply does not justify why people would love to own one car over the other.

    This was something that was difficult for me to get over before I bought my first NSX. It was difficult for me to justify spending $40k on a car that was over 10 years old. Now, I cannot imagine how other cars could have made me this happy.

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    Registered User demigod's Avatar
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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    I own both cars. They're not even in the same ballpark.

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    Re: NSX vs MR2 Turbo?

    Damn it! Did we just waste all the saliva and breaths on a troll AGAIN!!!????
    Steve
    NSX Prime Vendor Listing: whiteNSXs HID Kits

    NSX specific HID kit

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