Motor Trend Compares the Lexus LFA & Acura NSX

I wasn’t planning on posting this video from Motor Trend’s Jonny Lieberman comparing the Lexus LFA and Acura NSX, but feel compelled after emails from multiple readers — here’s the eighteen minute video that I don’t recommend watching:

Long story short: Lieberman loves the NSX and hates the LFA, and makes no effort to hide it.

This in itself wouldn’t be so bad, but there’s a calculated desperation to Lieberman’s complaints about the LFA, with constant references to the Lexus supercar being “flawed” with little explanation, comparing the LFA’s transmission to the worst modern car he’s ever driven (the Smart TwoFour, seriously?), and calling the driving experience “squirrelly”, “hard to live with” and “annoying”.

All the editorial hyperbole ends up being very tiring and makes for awkward viewing, especially at the end of the video, as we watch Lieberman cruising up and down the 2nd Street Tunnel in the LFA, a big smile on his face.

(The only other time I’ve seen such a skewed review of the LFA is from…wait for it…Motor Trend last year.)


  1. I think MT was really bored and had no idea what to write. Both the Acura NSX and Lexus LFA are prime examples of Japanese blood sweat and tears. I think the bias was obvious at the beginning. Comparing a 20+ year old mid engine rear drive car to a new high powered front engine rear wheel drive car? He hates and loves the LFA at the same time?  MT used to be one of my favorite magazines to subscribe to when they were owned by Petersen. After that it went downhill and fast. Sad. Talk about flip flop journalism.
  2. That's one Impressive hatchet job.  Randy Probst  wasn't very impressed either when he drove it for them last year.  Every other publication couldn't be more impressed. Matters not, since the car is sold out and is ending production, and has garnered all the good publicity Lexus wanted, and then some..... BD
    • LOVE the NSX, BTW!  As transcendent a sports car in 1990 as the LS400 was a luxury car the previous year.  It change the game. Now that I think about it......The Lexus LS in 1989.  The Acura NSX in 1990.  The SC400 in 1991.  That's one hell of a run for Japan luxury that germany never saw coming!But this is definitely comparing an apple to an orange.....BD
    •  Absolutely.  Those were 3 incredible years for Japanese engineering.  (And I still love the first-gen SC400 body style - the later one just never was quite right IMO).
  3. This is painfully bad. It is just so ridiculous and out there that it is just dumbfounding Can someone please tell Lexus not to give LFA to Motor trend?? This is like tarnishing LFA's reputation. Here is the jist of all the blunders: "LFA's single-clutch is only common with Smart 4-2" [Really?? Are you serious?? What about Aventador?? What about Pagani Zonda R?? What about Aston Martin One-77??? What about F1 racing cars?? What about 24-hours endurance racing cars that never use dual-clutch transmissions??] "As soon as I floor the gas, the traction control starts blinking, the rear tires light up and then the traction control cuts power" "LFA is scary" "It is all over the place and on the race track it was even worse" [It is a 553 HP car without any high-grip or racing compound tires. What do you expect?? You need to respect its power and only floor the car when the conditions are right. If you don't respect it, it will bite you and it is because you don't know how to handle such power atleast without the high-grip tires Case in point, a car does not run 7:14 at Nurburgring if it is not easily to push over the limits even for a professional driver] "NSX makes 270 ft-lbs of torque" [Try 210 ft-lbs] "LFA is full of compromises" [Really?? You don't even have a clue about the development process that they went through.] "A birdy told me, Lexus worked on a dual-clutch for 10 years before they finally said that is it we will use a single-clutch" [Whichever so-called birdy told you, needs to be shot since Lexus always had a single-clutch transmission as apparent in the prototype videos from back in 2004 and the only intentions ever shared by Lexus corporate and chief engineer was that Lexus was putting single-clutch transmission for its advantages in LFA's design philosophy. Lexus never attempted to develop a dual-clutch transmission.]
    • Of everyone in the world, I knew this video would bug you the most. :-)
    • Bugs me too... This guy is retarded.  My 01' GS 430 kept pace and even inched passed the NSX.  He is on crack!   It's like his mind is programmed with only understanding everyday cars and the LFA is simply out of his league...
    • :-)  Yeah, I always have a difficult time when I can clearly see someone is not giving LFA a fair review and using selective argument to give only a one-sided perspective. In this review, the worst thing is how much he speculates, gossips and recites anecdotes that are not based on facts, but either misinformation or simple prejudicial treatment. I believe in giving credit where it must be given.
    • Thanks for saving my time which I plan to say such thing ... another thing is , they never attempted to develop a dual-clutch transmission ? I thought they planned about it , but I'll stick with single-clutch , it's lighter & more manly . Another thing is , he already say the Lexus LFA have developed 10 years before it entered production , but he still say is Akio actually want/planned the car when Akio only become CEO of Toyota back in 2008 ? I think the better way to say , should be , Akio give the green light on the production .He said LFA is scary when you floor the throttle ... I don't think Ferrari 458 Italia does smoothly drive out the corner if you floor the throttle .
    • he also complained that the aventador was scary and that the XKR-S was not a drivers car because it wanted to do corners sideways...something which makes me wonder if this guy has EVER been on a roller-coaster (where you pay to get scared, and it's fun)
  4. Seriously, I wish they would let Krew drive the LF-A. Then the Lexus LF-A would get a serious review :) I'll even fly over for it, just to see it in action ;) But I agree, these are mostly unfounded oneliners, that have hardly any base in facts.
    • I second that. Lexus needs to give Krew LFA for 1 or 2 days so that he can compile all of his footage and comprehensive review of LFA.
    • Most definitely agree. And Krew should come down to Ottawa and drive it around Calabogie too ;) It's really sad to see that video going through social media like the guy's opinion actually mattered.
  5. hehe its because he can't handle the LFA thats why :p 
  6. Yes, Krew for the LFA - Lexus, are you listening?  1-2 days in the LFA won't do much damage.  We want to see the footage and the wordings in Krew's own works.
  7. stop being so bias..MT is just saying what is true. and his honest opinion. i dont find anything wrong with it. Wow i was surprised that you were not going to post just because his opinion was not 100% positive of the LFA and has few flawed. So what if LFA has flawed. Not every car is perfect. But you look at overall pictures and i think LFA is still a good car. 
    • MD

      You obviously know nothing about this car at all and also how many factually inaccurate statements he made. Are you telling me NSX does not have any flaws?? He only pointed out the weak and ordinary engine. That is it. What about the infamous heavy understeer that everyone has always talked about?? Biased?? Why don't you try taking the litmus test?? Try asking the actual owners who forked all of the money for their LFAs and see what they say. I can tell you they are more pissed and more upset with how unfair he was to the LFA. They are the people who actually spent the money and they are regular drivers like everyone else. Fact of the matter is, the driver is completely incompetent. He does not know how to handle a car with so much horsepower and a mid-ship layout and without racing tires or slick tires. It needs to be respected. He is only good for driving 200 HP cars.
    • J B

      This is the only review among several from renowned experts and journalists that trashes the LFA. Who's the biased one here?
    • As a average driver who is doesnt race will not find anything wrong with the car in any way or form. Its only a prof racing driver or a "expert" who has been behind the wheels of many sport cars ( like some auto journalists) can really tell the dynamics or gear shifting, etc. I would love to hear from true racing driver ( behind camera) to tell for example the gear shifting or response like MT driver has made. But for a regular consumer this car is absolute fun
    • So what are you saying?? This guy is an expert?? LOL This guy is a nobody trying to stirr controversy. Have you even read a review of LFA by a professional racer?? You clearly have not. Yet, again LFA has received rave reviews from ALL of the expert drivers. You are simply 2 years behind on what happened. Some even going as far as calling LFA "THE best and most confidence inspiring car" they have ever driven. LFA has won several awards in "best cars" competition beating even Ferrari 599 GTB, Ferrari 599 GTO, SLS AMG, Aventador etc. in comparisons. Also, LFA's transmission has been praised by tons of European and American reviewers despite being a bit difficult in daily driving. I can post everyone one of those quotes here. That is what he means when he says 99% of the other journalists. The only criticism level is on the 0 - 60 mph due to weak tires. That is it. The list is here: Chris Harris (Professional race car driver, Evo UK) Scott Pruett (Rolex racing champion) Tiff Needel (Ex-F1 racing car driver, Fifth Gear) Shareef Abdelbassett (Forged Performance Nissan GTR pro racer) The Stig (Ex-F1 racing car driver, Top Gear) Tanner Foust (Rally racing champion) Sandor Van Ees (AutoWeek Holland, Pro racing driver) Justin Bell (Professional Le Mans Champion) Townsend Bell (Professional Racer) The case in point is, the guy is contradicting everything that nearly every othe review agrees on. That includes professional racing champions. Why?? Because his skills are so limited that he cannot handle an exotic supercar with horsepower than is more than twice than that of the NSX.  
    • Thank you for telling the truth about the LFA, finally we at least have  somewhere where the public can combat these lies by some segments of the biased media.... You took all the words right out of my mouth, well done... If you guys cant tell by the way he was fumbling his lines pathetically all over the place, in this FLAWED review, he was reading heavily off a script the whole way. This wasn't a real "review". He didnt really test them out for real, he just drove them down the road complaining about the one the whole way and gushing about the other. He downplayed, and damn near ignored all of the strenghts of one and tried to gush over some of the weaker points of the other, not even mentioning how great the engine in the LFA is, interior etc.... This fools idea of "testing" the cars was driving back and forth in a straight tunnel for like the last 5-10 minutes of the video. What a complete waste of time, if he was really trying to do a real and thorough review. What real roads did he drive on to fully give his script, er um opinion? I saw another video he did comparing the Nissan GTR and the Porsche 911 Turbo S and he could have performed the same tests on the LFA and NSX, but he didnt. I wonder if this car was made by Ferrari, Lamborghini, BMW, or Mercedes, how would have this and other reviews have went? It was obvious this guys was reading what he was told and PAID to say by Motor Trend, especially in this case where all we are hearing about is how bad the LFA is, just like their other reviews, and contrary to all of the evidence mentioned above by Rolla. Motor Trend is one of the biased, probably paid off magazines just like Road and Track and Car and Driver, they are just less overt about it. Even Car and Driver said that the LFA was better than the 599 HGTE. I though we were safe from this biased media on the internet but we are not it seems, other blogs like Autoblog, funded by Time Warner AOL, just like most of our other media, are heavily biased against Toyota/Lexus as well, and write their article titles and content with biased, derogatory content. Sorry to digress but just google and read all about 'critical thinking' and 'propaganda' to see through the lies of these billionaire companies posing as enthusiasts in the favor of objectivity and truth. And be thanful we have the internet and independent and ojective sites like this one who show both the strengths and weaknesses of the brand, even if we like them. Nothing is wrong with criticism or having a negative opinon, but when I see his off the script real reaction to the car when he was screaming like a little girl in that tunnel from the V10 monster, I knew that it would contradict the other bull he was spewing and be obvious to us all, the"dumb public" how great the car really is, in spite af all they tried to make us believe.
    • Here is one from Sandor Van Ees of LFA at Nurburgring. He is a professional racer in European circuit and turn on your subtitles. Read everything he says. This is coming from someone who raced for his living. Regarding the transmission, read his comments: "The transmission is absolutely brilliant. It shifts very quickly. With the Nurburgring edition, Lexus claims the shift times drop even further".
    • MD

      Well, in the hands of professional, it is not even a comparison. Both from subjective and objective stand point. It is apples to oranges through and through. The driving experience in the hands of a professional racer would always heavily favor Lexus LFA for all the reasons in the world. When it comes to numbers, again ofcourse we know well it is not even a comparison. From what I have seen, LFA pulls consistently 75.2 mph slalom speeds and on the skidpad can easily do 1.10 g in lateral grip and in the corners can pull peak g of 1.50 - 1.60 g and all of these units are purely handling units and have nothing to do with power. The NSX never did anything higher than 67 mph in the slaloms and never did anything better than 0.89 g in lateral grip. It is just in a different league. LFA is head and shoulders above the NSX in every measurable way as it should be since it is 28 years newer car.
  8. "Getting the car into reverse is harder than Chinese arithmetic" Is this guy a friggen moron??  All you do is put the car in reverse and pull the "Reverse" switch. I guess its time to head on over to MIT to learn how to do that.
  9. He is trying to be Jeremy Clarkson. LFA is a very technical and very complex exotic supercar, which is exactly why it is so rewarding since it has so many layers that you peel to discover something new. His credibility goes down the drain when he contradicts what nearly everyone else agrees on. Who should one believe?? The 99 people saying one thing or the 1 person who contradicts the 99 people?? He is really trying to stirr the pot to get more hits, subscription etc. If you know, the LFA vs GTR view is the highest viewed video they have ever put on their channel. More than many videos combined. They know exactly how to get the most views and subscriptions for more sponsorships.
  10. This dude should go back to driving his POS ford focus. Everywhere we see from race car drivers to proven car reviewers  that the LFA is an engineering masterpiece and great praise for its handling. This guy obviously needs to learn how to properly drive a supercar
  11. This goober needs to loose some weight and gain some balls. I haven't seen a puss tank so afraid of a gas peddle since Ricky Bobby after the crash... Luckily that was just Hollywood so that puts this pre-pubescence fool in a class all his own.    
  12. This guy is a loser,horrible reviewer. He can have the NSX, I'll take the LFA and do everything 10x better. But really, I respect all opinions but I HATE it when people dont give credit when its due.