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What to do? Buy NSX >= 1997?

13 March 2001
North Potomac, MD
I am in the market for a pre-owned NSX. It appears that there was some major enhancements in 1997.

A low mileage 1997 NSX seems to go for about $60K. A low mileage 1994 for about $40K. Is it worth the extra $20K or more for a '97 or '98 NSX.

Thanks in advance...Rick
I am wondering the same thing myself...it is a 20hp difference and a 6 spd tranny..also in 94 you could not get the car in yellow nor in a T-top model...
Is it worth the extra $20K or more for a '97 or '98 NSX.

There's no set answer to that question that applies to everyone. Someone who uses the NSX on the track would probably be better off with the earlier coupe for its extra rigidity, while someone who likes the ability to take the -T top off on a nice day would be better off with the later car. The extra horsepower and six-speed tranny are nice - how much are they worth to you? Only you can say.

Also keep in mind that the resale value on a '97+ will always be thousands higher than on a '94 (although the current $20K difference will decline over time). So even though you're paying an extra $20K now, you'll eventually get part of it back.
95 or 97 ? I would rather get the 95 since I am not a track guy.

I want to know what the six speed does for driving fun at lower speeds around town ( 0 - 85 mph ) since that's where I spend 80% of my time.

I currently drive a 93 MR2 non turbo because the 3.2 larger engine was faster at city speeds then the 3.0 turbo version which seemed to do best at faster 60-120mph driving.

Is the six speed geared more for high speed?
Or to make low speed gearing more fun?
I had a mint 91 until I sold it in November for a 98. In my opinion (and that is all it is), the 98 is much nicer. The engine with the 6 Speed is a much nicer feel. The gearing is much better. I am very happy that I did it. Also, if you get a 98 there is a good chance that there will be some warranty left which is also nice. A 97 with a warranty may be hard to find.
I'm going to stick with my typical line: "if you want the targa, go with the '97 or later".

If you want the best deal / performance, you can't go wrong with a '94 coupe.

The targas are heavier and less rigid than the coupes. The '95-'96 targas did not do much to offset the targa modification, but the '97 and later NSXs add additional horses courtesy of a larger engine, better acceleration due to tighter 6 speed gearing. They also sport lighter but stronger aluminum panels to somewhat offset the larger weight of the 3.2L engine and feature additional structural reinforcments.

--akira3D ('00 NSX-T red/black #113)
"Reality is better than the dream..."


[This message has been edited by akira3d (edited 13 March 2001).]
Is the six speed geared more for high speed?
Or to make low speed gearing more fun?

The six speed has evenly-spaced, closely-spaced gears so that you can stay in the powerband (upper revs) for most of your acceleration. It's not really designed specifically to favor low speeds or high speeds. However, if you're only interested in low speeds, you still have the option of installing an aftermarket ring and pinion gear.
Thanks everyone for your input. I found a '99 Red/Black (my favorite color combo) with 2,800 miles.

It is at a dealer (lease turn-in). They want just under $75K. I have seen '99s at around $70K. This one is absolutely perfect. Do you think the price is fair? It is certified and has a 100,000 mile drive train warranty and whats left of a 5 year/62,000 bumber-to-bumber warranty.

Thanks again...Rick
I've owned a '94 and now have a '00 NSX-T. The '00 feels a lot quicker than the '94, but that could actually be due to the close ratio 6-spd than the actual 20 hp difference between the two. Overall, the '00 rides more smoothly and is quieter, and the power steering makes all the difference in the world at slow turning speeds. The only drawback is the decreased visibility to the rear due to the targa top storage cover. I guess you won't notice it if you haven't driven a coupe first.
As far as $75K for a '99, that's pretty close to the cost of a new one, especially if you wait for a factory incentive. But the car has such low miles you'll probably have to pay more than what an average '99 goes for. BTW, you sure that is what's left on the original warranty? As far as I know, it should be 48mo/50,000 mile warranty. Hope this helps.

'00 NSX-T, silverstone/blk, #252