Acura RSX Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.73/5 Average
926 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

The Acura RSX is a two-door sport hatchback. Replacing the Integra coupe, the RSX served as Acura's entry-level car from 2002 until 2006, when the brand decided to move itself more upscale and the car no longer fit into the company's scheme. Nevertheless, as a used car, both versions of the RSX should appeal to consumers desiring a reasonably affordable car that offers sporty coupe-like styling and accessible performance. Like most Acura vehicles, the RSX boasts a high level of refinement as well as a reputation for above-average reliability, competitive pricing and strong resale value.

In road tests, our editors found the RSX's main performance strengths to be nimble handling and responsive steering. The Type-S was particularly rewarding to drive. Throughout its production run, the Acura RSX was one of our favorite sport hatchbacks, but toward the end, several new and redesigned competitors of both versions usurped our favor.

Most Recent Acura RSX

Nearly every feature on the Acura RSX was standard, which makes finding a preferably equipped vehicle easy. Throughout its lifespan, there were two trim levels available: base and Type-S. The base model should work well for consumers interested in having a fun-to-drive car that's comfortable for daily commuting. The RSX Type-S has mechanical upgrades that increase the car's performance potential.

The base RSX came standard with the majority of convenience features expected for this class of car. Highlights included automatic climate control, power windows and mirrors, keyless entry, cruise control, a CD player and a moonroof. A smooth-revving four-cylinder was standard, and it came mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic. The base RSX initially produced 160 horsepower, but new SAE horsepower ratings in 2006 changed the number to 155. Leather seating was the only option.

The RSX Type-S added an in-dash six-CD changer, standard leather seating, 17-inch wheels, a more firmly tuned suspension and more powerful brakes. The Type-S also had a four-cylinder engine tuned to produce extra horsepower (200 hp, later increased to 201). A six-speed manual was the only choice for a transmission.

Because of its four-cylinder engine and front-wheel-drive layout, the Acura RSX boasts better fuel economy than many other sport hatchbacks and coupes. Front-seat occupants will be comfortable, but adults sitting in back will find headroom lacking. The rear seat is split 60/40 and can be lowered to increase cargo capacity. So configured, the RSX boasts nearly 18 cubic feet of luggage space.

Consumers interested in a used or pre-owned RSX should not have a problem finding one that matches their desires. Only minor changes were made after the car's debut. The most significant of these occurred on the 2005 RSX model, when Acura revised the suspension and steering for better feel and response, updated the exterior styling and slightly increased the Type-S's horsepower output to 201.

Past Acura RSX Models

The RSX replaced the Acura Integra. Shoppers interested in a used Acura sport hatchback previous to '02 will want to research this model.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 926.00
  • A better idea 12 years ago - 2004 Acura RSX
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    Car is not overly comfortable on long road trips. Rear visibility is poor. Blind spots are bad for lane changing. Backup camera is a must (I added this myself). Rear seats are small and cramped and uncomfortable. Hard to exit the car gracefully. Parts are noticeably expensive (had to replace starter recently).

  • great car and inexpensive - 2002 Acura RSX
    By -

    t is a sports car, not a family car

  • Amazing Car! Never want to drive anything else - 2003 Acura RSX
    By -

    Bought my RSX in 2009 with 50,000 miles and now in 2015 has 135,000 and drives like new. I have only done regular maintenance (oil change, breaks ect) Thought that it may be time to drive something newer so I test drove a TSX (2012)and ILX (2016)but prefer my RSX over them both. The RSX has great reliability, has never let me down. They are fast and hug to the road with impeccable handling. Love the simple design of the interior, comfortable bucket seats. Awesome sound system! The heat and AC work better in my car then most new cars I have been in which is impressive given my RSX is 12 years old. Know someone with the same car as me that has 336,000 miles on their RSX hope to be driving mine for that long as I haven't found anything that compares. Absolutely love this car!!!

  • Baby Acura for the Win! - 2003 Acura RSX
    By -

    I bought this car to replace a gas hog (mustang gt) for college. My job is roughly an hour and a half away and I needed something decently efficient on gas that didn't have the price tag of a Prius, and could still do the work and school trips on one tank. I came across one of these on a local craigslist and haven't had any regrets. It's one of the only Acura's (to my knowledge) that doesn't require premium gas or throw a fit if you don't put it in the tank. It usually does in the mid 20's mpg in the city and high 20's if not low 30's mpg on the highway. As long as you don't stomp on the gas pedal this car will do amazing no matter where you drive it which was one of the selling points for me. The only downsides to this car come when you have to either replace belts, headlight bulbs, headlights or taillights. Because the car is so small, space under the hood is in short supply therefore things like belts typically mean removing the entire front bumper to replace. The headlight bulbs (usually for the passenger headlight) also require removal of the entire bumper, which means you'll need to schedule some time aside for certain "simple" projects. If you need to take an entire headlight or taillight out of the car, the bumpers need to be removed completely as well since the retaining bolts are underneath the headlights and taillights. Besides those downfalls, the car is amazing. If you can find a type-s (200+hp) and don't mind driving a stick, those are the way to go. If a manual transmission isn't your thing the base models still have a good amount of kick to them (150+hp), and parts for these cars are extremely easy to find and aren't a whole lot of money either.

  • Literally the best car out there - 2004 Acura RSX
    By -

    I purchased a 2004 Acura RSX base model with 28,XXX miles on it a couple of months ago (I'd still be driving it if I hadn't rear ended somebody). In the tim i had this amazing car, the only thing thag went wrong was an o2 sensor and it only cost me $40 tp replace. This car is absolutely impeccable! Everything about it is extremely amazing. The only complaints i had were the comfort of the seats at long car rides and the quirky shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. Other than that, I wish i still had this car.

  • No problems at all - 2006 Acura RSX
    By -

    Bought the car new and have only to replace the battery. 85,000 plus miles and no tune-up or plugs needed yet. Normal oil changes every 5,000 miles are my only expense so far other than a set of tires. Best car I have every owned - period!

  • So far it's been amazing - 2005 Acura RSX
    By -

    I bought this car about a month ago with only 84,000 miles on it. For being almost 10 years old, I thought that was pretty good. I have always loved this kind of car and ended up finding one when I wasn't even looking. After the first test drive i fell in love. The 6 speed is amazing and so much fun to drive. It has the perfect amount of power for me and it handles great. I was worried about the mpg because before this car I had a corolla and got excellent gas mileage. I go to college in a big city so I figured that would lower my mpg but I'm getting an average of 29.5 which I thought was good. So far I have had no problems and hope it stays that way so i can keep this car for a long time.

  • Best car ever - 2003 Acura RSX
    By -

    I bought this car a few months ago, and ever since I first test drove it I have been in love with it. If you are looking to buy an rsx, understand that it takes a certain kind of person to live with this car, as it is rough, bouncy, harsh and generally unforgiving. My rsx has many modifications, but I would love a stock one just as much. I have never experienced any problems that have not been caused directly by me. This car handles beautifully despite the fact that it is fwd. I had a huge bias against fwd but this car changed my mind. It can even drift!(sort of, this has just been an experiment by me) I highly recommend this car. Also VTEC!

  • Super reliable - 2004 Acura RSX
    By -

    Owned a base 2004 RSX for 167k and had minimal problems with it. Ownership has been painless and low cost. At 167k the engine is still strong, the transmission (auto) is slowly showing signs of wear but I think it has another 30-40k in it. Just great engineering.

  • Great Car - 2003 Acura RSX
    By -

    Only had this car for a year, but in that time it has had no problems except for replacing the windshield wipers. Great to drive, tight gearbox, and revs really high. When you floor it, you can feel VTEC kick in about 6000rpm and starts to pull even harder. In the Type-S trim, the interior is pretty comfortable and the Bose stereo sounds great. People compliment me on the cars sporty but subtle looks. Most people guess the car is a 2008.

Acura RSX Reviews By Year:
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