2005 Honda NSX And 2018 Civic Type R Are Very Evenly Matched

When production of the original Honda NSX ceased in the mid-2000s, it marked the end of the brand’s most desirable performance vehicle.

Despite recently being replaced by a hybrid supercar bearing the same name, it is the original NSX that gets the hearts of Honda enthusiasts beating at a million miles an hour. But, thirteen years on, can the two-door keep pace with Honda’s latest high-strung model, the 2018 Civic Type R?

CarWow recently pitted the duo together to find out and, surprisingly, discovered that they are very evenly matched.

The performance comparisons start with an old-fashioned drag race. Off the line, the lighter NSX has the edge over the Type R and is initially able to pull out a few car lengths with its naturally-aspirated six-cylinder engine. However, at higher speeds, the additional grunt of the turbo-four in the Type R allows the hot hatch to close the gap and make for an incredibly tight result.

Next up was a rolling drag race. Unsurprisingly, the turbocharged torque of the Type R allows it to comfortably outpace the NSX. Last but not least, a braking test shows the two models stopping in almost exactly the same distance.

A pristine 2005 Honda NSX can cost up to $130,000 in the United States. By comparison, the Civic Type R can be purchased for as little as $33,900. No point in asking which one you’d buy if money was no object. That been said, the Type R does look like a bargain, doesn’t it?

  • fabri99

    This just goes to show how performance has become more and more accessible and affordable – and just how well the NSX kept its value.

  • Six_Tymes

    I wonder how they would fare against each other around a race course that has lots of turns. that said, i would never buy an ugly civic

    • SteersUright

      I’d wager the new type-r would likely well outpace the NSX. FWD suspensions, power delivery, overall grip, and chassis dynamics have come tremendously far since the NSX’s time.

      • Infinite1

        I agree. The NSX, for its time, was a great car but it pretty much stayed the same for over a decade. The new Type R has the latest tech and engineering behind it. It’s made to be an absolute FWD beast given that it’s engine, chassis, suspension and aerodynamics car (to name a free), are all tuned with racing in mind that was made into a road car. I’m pretty sure it’ll be a hard contender for the first gen NSX to beat.

  • Salih Ahzem

    Original NSX is virtually the same car from 1990 apart from some visual and technical, chassis tweaks, I would say this is the difference between a car engineered to mid – late 80’s vs early 2010s. Pretty big gap of you ask me.

  • Autoexperte
    • LWOAP

      Looks better than the Current Accord.

    • Honda NSX-R

      Looks less like a Chevy Malibu, good.

      • Infinite1

        So much better with that newer front end and the change from the ugly trunk lights. Hopefully it makes it here as the midlife facelift

        • Honda NSX-R

          It probably will

  • Bash

    That Civic is ugly. enough said..

  • NSX is clearly a modern classic now, and it will hold it’s value more than Type-R obviously.

  • LWOAP

    Man, that Civic is huge compared to the NSX and it’s ugly af to boot. The sooner that thing gets out of my sight, the better.

    • Craig

      lol

  • GobbleUp

    Saw a 2005 nsx this week…meh looks and sound. Has been soundly eclipsed.

  • Vassilis

    We would all get the NSX wouldn’t we?

  • Infinite1

    Honda did claim that their racing DNA gets passsed onto performance cars like the Type R.

  • Sjaak

    Most of us know (or have experienced) that many supercars have a hard time winning stoplight sprints from a good driver in a small low powered lightweight car. But still the supercars and let’s say the workingclassheroecars exist. We live in a beautiful wold.