The Grand Tour

Jeremy Clarkson Vs. James May: The Honda NSX

During episode nine of The Grand Tour, James May drove the long awaited update for the Honda NSX, which came out originally in the early 90’s and was out of production by 2005. During his review segment, cruising around the Eboladrome, May spoke at length about the its cleverness and how you could really stick it into the corners. By the end of it, despite being slower off the line than a fair few of its competitors, he said he loved it and found himself “wanting one quite badly.”

His colleague, Jeremy Clarkson, however does not share his feelings on it. Earlier last month in his column for The Sunday Times he penned a less than enthusiastic review of it. Overall he awarded the NSX 3/5 stars, saying that “interesting isn’t enough.”

Honda NSX

Jeremy starts off by explaining how excited he was to begin with, and how he called Honda every now and again to check on the car. Each time, Honda seemed to have another excuse, even once apparently telling him, “I seem to recall at one point it said it’d had to change the interior because modern man was a different shape from his Neanderthal predecessor.”

Honda NSX on the Eboladrome

When the NSX was finally unveiled earlier last year, he thought it looked pretty good and clever, and it was around five times less expensive than the Porsche’s hybrid alternative. However, “On paper, then, this car looks like a genuinely realistic alternative to Ferrari’s 488 GTB, Lamborghini’s Huracan and whatever car McLaren has just launched. However, it isn’t.”

Jeremy Clarkson

So what are the major problems with it, according to Jeremy? Well, it’s not very quick off the line, something that James pointed out as well. Apparently, the steering is “numb” and while he says the handling is probably very good, it doesn’t inspire enough confidence to really go for it. Clarkson then goes on to explain the woes of the interior, citing the satellite navigation, radio and the fuel gauge needle, which evidently, isn’t center.

He is right, though. This car is interesting. And it is pretty. But that, I’m afraid, is the full extent of its repertoire. – Jeremy

James May and Honda NSX

He wraps up by saying that on a recent “television program”  his colleague James May called the NSX interesting, and though he agreed, as well as thinking it’s pretty, Clarkson thought it just wasn’t enough. Except, that’s not all May said about it. He said he loved it and that it was “a worthy successor” for the first generation NSX.

I love this. I love the way it looks. I love the sounds it makes. I like the sophistication of the hybrid drive. I like the performance. I like the steering. I like the interior. I really, really like it. -James

Who is right? Really, it must boil down to the kind of driver you are and what you are really looking for in a car. When you think about it that way, it just makes sense that James loved what Jeremy hated. They’re fundamentally different drivers and thus what’s important to them in a car would be different.


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