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which car should I buy?


Registered Member
2 September 2000
Southern California
94' with less than 6K miles for low $50K from original owner.

0r 96' NSX-T with 35K miles for almost $60K from a Porsche dealer.

This is my first sports car and I probably will drive it for 3 years and trade in for a new NSX or something else (e.g. a Porsche).

There are many different opinions on this question. But most owners that I have spoken with would opt for the coupe if they could do it again. With the removal of the top there is apparently a significant loss of rigidity and a gain in weight. But how much this will affect you depends on your driving style.
Do you plan on tracking the car often? Are you a "spirited" driver? You mentioned that this will be your first sports car, perhaps the top-off experience would be more valuable to you than chassis rigidity. And would you even notice a little flex in the body? Especially while you hone your driving skills behind the wheel of a car where your limits will most likely be reached before the car's limits are probed.
Whichever you decide on you are sure to fall in love with it. You'll see why we're all so nuts on the NSX experience.
Thanks so much for your comment, ChopsJazz. I will drive it very often but am definitely not a spirited driver and will probably track the car couple times just for experience. Who knows, I may change if I have the car :) The top-off would be nice, as you alluded, especially in so Cal where I live. But the coupe looks beautiful,too. Since I am going to drive it daily, maintenance cost would be a factor. The 96 NSX-T, although two years newer, has 30K more miles and probably was raced a lot by the previous owner (R&M Racing gauges, exhaust, some worn signs on the chrome wheels and weather strips broken in couple places). I surely will get an extended warranty from Acura for it. BTW, the Porsche dealer put Toyo tires on the NSX-T. Never heard of those Toyos. Should I replace them if I do want the car?

Thank you.
I say buy neither one. I have aT-top, and it's really great in S. Cal. The 96 is the same as the 95, so look for a low mileage 95. I just searched on Autotrader and there are numerous low mileage 95's around. One has 5,500 miles and is in Henderson Kentucky!!! Can you imagine how hard it is going to be to sell that car in Hendrerson KY?? I'll bet you can get a great deal there, it's worth the RT airfare before spending such money, and you can have it shipped (inside) to S. Cal for about $1,000. A car with this mileage is not even broken in yet. This car and several others with low miles are available on Autotrader, which is how I bought mine in Durham, NC. For your $60K you should be able to find a 97 with 37K miles!!!

Best luck, and let us know what you did.

95 NSX-T, 5 sp, Red/Tan, Stock, except Dunlaptya SP9000s
Isn't $50k expensive for a 94 with even that low mileage? You might be able to get a 95-T with low mileage at that price. I guess you'd first have to decide if you want a coupe or a T. Then if it's a T, you'd have to decide whether to go for a 270hp-5sp or 290hp-6sp (you might have to stretch the budget a little). Lastly, if you have a color preference that's not available every year (brookland green, white, blue, etc.) that would limit your choice in year.

I have a coupe, but I would've like to get a T, but the color I wanted, sebring silver was available only as a coupe. BTW, I have Toyo T1 Proxes tires on mine, they're pretty good tires.
My opinion, don't rush. I had a beautiful 93 that i bought used with 8,000 miles on it. car was perrrfect. It was stolen! the only bright side i bought a perfect 95-t. if i had to do it over i would have gotten the t the first time. no offense to you coupe owners out there Take your time the right car will come along.
I may be selling my 95-T w/ 26k on it because I found a deal on a 95 993 I can't pass up!

Not something I would want to do.

A while ago, I drove a Porsche 993. I had lunch with a friend, and we switched cars for the drive from the office to lunch. In the past, I had ridden in Porsches numerous times on the track, but always as a passenger.

What a HUGE difference in driving feel! It just felt so very different. I had figured that the driving experience wouldn't be all that different from one high-performance car to another, but I was mistaken.


Who the heck designed these pedals? Were they nuts? Yes, I had heard about the hinges on the bottom of the P-car pedals, but that's not what was so weird. First of all, the amount of travel of the clutch pedal from the bottom to the top was enormous, even though the effective range was just as narrow as the NSX. Who needs all that pedal travel? It just makes it difficult to find the effective range, that's all. Secondly, the gas pedal seems like it's about 20 inches further away from you than the clutch and brake pedals. But then that clutch pedal has so much travel, it seems as though it travels that same 20 inches. Totally incomprehensible.

The dash. Not bad. The NSX dash has a depth of maybe 8-9 inches from the steering wheel to the gauges. In the 911, they're almost in the same plane. It was actually rather appealing that way, because your eyes don't have to find the right focal length from the wheel. Nice.

The gearshift. Also pretty good. The throws are somewhat longer than the NSX (bad) but worked very smoothly (good) and was actually easier than the NSX to put into the proper gear. What I mean is that, there are times in the NSX when I'm not paying attention and sometimes try to go to third and instead go to fifth or vice versa. That would be more difficult with the 911 because there's a much more positive feel in the left-to-right positioning of the shift lever. I might have given Porsche the advantage in this area, but they lost it when they designed reverse gear. Having reverse in the upper left position was strange to begin with, and it was extremely difficult to engage reverse, requiring a lot of pressure and was quite notchy.

The HVAC controls. Ancient hieroglyphics. They must have hired Mel Brooks playing the 2000 year old man to tell them how to label them with those cave man markings. Let's see, there's a big snowflake, that must be the A/C. But why are there TWO different buttons with snowflakes? Why two slider controls? And this knob must be the fan, but when I turn it, nothing happens. (I found out later that there's a brief time lag before adjusting it has any effect.) It seems to me that HVAC controls should be very, very simple. There really are only a few things you can adjust - temperature, where the air comes from, where the air goes to, whether it's chilled, and how fast the fan blows. Not rocket science. ANY car today ought to have simple, easy-to-understand HVAC controls - and most of them do, even your everyday family sedan. But not the 911.

The stereo is an Alpine. I don't know if it came with the car or was aftermarket, but one look at the tiny size of the buttons convinced me not to even try.

Glove box - small but worked okay. The arm rest in the door flipped up (I forget why) and just struck me as junky.

Okay, okay - we get cars like this to DRIVE. So how was driving it? Unfortunately, the route we took had almost no turns, so I can't comment on sheer cornering ability. But the steering is nowhere near as responsive as on the NSX. Like the A/C, there seemed to be a lag. Turn the wheel, wait a half second, and yes, then the car turns nicely. Whereas the NSX seems to turn like magic, as soon as the thought crosses your mind, before you even turn the wheel.

The brakes were very nice - not the killer brakes I had heard about, but smooth and effective. Although lately my NSX brakes have also felt quite good, and don't seem to me to be the weak point some other folks feel they are. But that could be because I've been using aftermarket pads, rotors, and fluid on my NSX. So that may be an unfair comparison.

The power just didn't overwhelm me, but the horsepower curve seemed much flatter than in the NSX. With the NSX, if you keep the revs in the 2000-3000 range around town, there seems to be very little power. But (as we all know) get the revs up over 5000, and it turns into a screamer. Whereas the 911 seemed to have more power than the NSX at the pussycat end of the rev band, but I never really felt it take off the way the NSX does, even when I had it floored at different points in the rev band.

So those are my impressions. To sum up - the 911 is supposed to be a car that competes with the NSX. Before I drove one, my assumption had been that overall I would find it to be an equivalent vehicle - better in some areas, worse in others. But as it turns out, I was quite disappointed. In my personal opinion, I felt that it was just not a very impressive car, with capabilities that don't even come close to the NSX, and features that are are not only user-UNfriendly, but bizarre and senseless.

I've also driven an F355, and found that that car was much more similar to the NSX than the 993 in its performance and general driving feel.