Overview & Reviews
Drivers seeking a sporty sedan that's a bit more upscale than the typical family four-door will find a lot to like in the Acura TSX. It's a solid choice for daily use given its competent driving characteristics, high-quality interior and generous level of standard features. And like most Acura products, the TSX boasts a high level of refinement, a reputation for above-average reliability and decent value for the dollar.
The first-generation Acura TSX impressed us with its sporty and nimble feel, but the small backseat and firm ride weren't for everyone. The second (current) generation offers a roomier cabin and a smoother, more isolated ride, although the athletic feel was somewhat muted for these gains. The V6 model with its sportier suspension atones for that sin somewhat. Overall, the TSX is a smart choice, though not the most prestigious, for a new or used entry-level luxury sedan.
Current Acura TSX
For power, the front-wheel-drive TSX offers a choice of a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (201 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque) or a 3.5-liter V6 (280 hp and 254 lb-ft). A five-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models, while an excellent six-speed manual is optional only with the four-cylinder.
Base and Special Edition trims are offered, with the Special Edition being available only with the four-cylinder engine. Base models come with an impressive array of standard features that are often optional on competitors, like xenon headlights, a sunroof, heated power front seats with driver memory, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and a seven-speaker CD audio system with satellite radio and iPod integration. The TSX Special Edition adds more aggressive-looking exterior elements and sporty cabin upgrades such as red interior stitching and aluminum pedals. Base models with the four-cylinder engine may be upgraded with a Technology package that adds amenities like a navigation system and a rearview camera.
In reviews, we've found that while the 2.4-liter four is commendably smooth in the Honda tradition, it simply doesn't measure up to the six-cylinder and turbocharged four-cylinder engines found in other entry-level luxury sport sedans. The V6, however, provides a notable increase in thrust, delivered in a linear and smooth fashion.
In reviews, the TSX impressed us with its technology offerings, including one of the better optional audio systems around. But it disappoints with the way it drives, with numb steering feel that's uncharacteristic of a Honda product and braking performance that verges on unacceptable. The refined but lackluster inline-4 is also unlikely to impress shoppers in the TSX's upscale segment, although the sport-tuned V6 model brings improvements in both acceleration and handling. Ultimately, the TSX, particularly the four-cylinder version, often seems like more of a lavishly appointed family car than a luxury sedan.
Used Acura TSX Models
The current generation of the Acura TSX debuted for 2009 and brought a larger, roomier and somewhat controversially styled TSX to market. This first-year version was only offered with four-cylinder power -- there was no sportier V6 trim level.
The first-generation Acura TSX debuted in 2004. Sportier than the second-generation model, the original TSX was widely praised for its sharp handling and entertaining (though peaky) 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that generated 200 hp and 166 lb-ft of torque. Among the standard features were items like 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, a sunroof, heated power front seats with driver memory, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and an eight-speaker audio system.
Antilock brakes, stability control, front side impact airbags and side curtain airbags for all outboard passengers were also standard. An impressive DVD-based navigation system with touchscreen and voice-activated software was the only available option for the well-equipped first-generation TSX.
In road tests, we found that while the original TSX's torque-deficient VTEC engine needed to be revved hard to get sufficient acceleration, it was nonetheless quite fun to wring out, especially when equipped with the slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission (a five-speed automatic was also available). Sharp handling and good steering feel made the TSX a sleeper sport sedan. The first-generation TSX also featured a high-quality and aesthetically pleasing interior design.
There were a handful of changes made to the original Acura TSX during its production run. Satellite radio, heated exterior mirrors and a power passenger seat were added in 2005. The 2006 TSX featured engine, feature and styling updates -- the four-cylinder engine was modified to produce 205 hp and 164 lb-ft of torque, and the navigation system gained faster processing and additional points of interest. Bluetooth, driver seat memory and the MP3 auxiliary jack were also new. Exterior enhancements included redesigned front and rear fascias, new side sills, foglamps and new alloy wheels. The following year saw a tire-pressure monitor fitted as standard, while 2008, the last year of this generation, saw no changes of note.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 1,074.00
Want a great car , buy one. - 2006 Acura TSX
By Frank Dombek - January 21 - 7:51 pm
Never owned a car that never needed repair my Acura is the first. All I had done was just maintance for the 5 and 1/2 years I owned the car. The Acura never let me down.
Love the Acura! - 2012 Acura TSX
By T. Judge - January 7 - 1:16 pm
So Good Makes You Wanna Slap Your Momma - 2004 Acura TSX
By Ari - November 23 - 9:36 am
Bought my 04 TSX 6spd man in June '15 with 60,000 miles and it still feels like new. All of the cars controls have a responsive, precise feel to them. Lateral cornering grip is fantastic and the car goes exactly where you point it with minimal understeer. The steering is precise and the manual transmission feels like it came out of a sports car, with very short throws and a buttery snick snick feel to it. It's not a very fast or sexy sounding powertrain, but the power is sufficient. The interior is beautiful with quality expensive looking materials. Styling is very handsome inside and out and has aged extremely gracefully over the last 10 years. Tinting the windows and installing a lip spoiler completed the exterior, and ipod aux cable is a quick install. This cars practicality, reliability and fun to drive characteristics are unmatched in this price range.
A German car born in Japan - 2008 Acura TSX
By Andy - November 10 - 10:25 pm
What a Car! One of Honda's best!! I purchased a used 08 TSX with over 100k as a daily. Drives better much much then my brand new 2015 Honda accord. This TSX is made in Japan and the new Accord in Ohio, just goes to show the difference in quality. Excellent handling and performance. Its a real drivers car, quality interior not cheap plastics like the new accord. You feel you have the power of a V6 with that Vtec 4 cylinder. I have owned a BMW 3 series, A4, A6 and a C300. But this car is on par with all the other german rivals if not much better definitely then the 3 series e90 I had before the TSX. It handles like a dream and corners just great, even though it is not RWD. It is very very tight on corners! I have driven this up the mountains and on bends and handles perfectly. The reliability is just great as it is a Honda. This engine is bullet proof, one of Hondas best engines. I have seen 250K on these cars and they still drive great. Great Sound system, HID lights and Very comfortable seats! This car is a hidden gem. You hardly see any on the roads, most people dont know about this brand and model that Honda has produced for its europe market but rebranded as Acura for the USA. If you can get a low mileage (100k) with service history BUY IT!! you wont be disappointed as they will go past 250k flawlessly . They Look great and modern and I got a lot of compliments too even though it was a 2008.
2012 TSX w/ Technology 4 cyl. - 2012 Acura TSX
By Jack - November 1 - 8:46 pm
Traded in my Honda Accord at 199,000 miles. Liked the reliability and fuel efficiency of the 4 cyl. Accord and found a TSX for about the same price. I am not sure if it is a sporty, economical car or a economical, sporty car. It is a bit smaller than the Accord, comparable to the BMW 3 series in size and appointments. The engine performance is not near the BMW, maybe the 6 cyl. would be better. The "Technology" package is great, a lot of stuff I don't use, but it has a Rockin' Stereo! Look forward to taking it up to 199,000 miles too.
Comfortable/Reliable/Stylish - 2012 Acura TSX
By Randy - October 29 - 6:37 pm
This is my second TSX. I love this car. Very comfortable on long distance drives. Best gas mileage in its class. Disappointed Acura decided to morph the TSX & TL into the TLX.
Don't think twice just buy it! - 2009 Acura TSX
By Mark Wilmes - October 22 - 7:31 pm
I bought my TSX used in early 2014. My company moved from the suburbs to downtown so my commute changed from an easy 10 minutes on a turnpike to 20-30 minutes of Indy 500 with crack-ups and rescue vehicles included, and I'm so glad I bought the TSX instead of some larger sedans or SUV's I was looking at. My wife has a 2011 Pilot EXL so the need for another SUV really wasn't there anyway. We've had or still have six Honda's and two Acura's plus Mazdas and Nissans and some Fords. I'm getting over 25 MPG even with all the stops and starts and racing that I'm doing. I use the paddle shifters ALL THE TIME and it's so cool to pass or get around someone and then to accelerate and just get away from them (even within the speed limit, the acceleration is awesome). I did read the reviews about geting the 6 cylinder if you can find one, and I did test drive a 4 cylinder and then a 6 cylinder, back to back and the 6 is spectacular. I wasn't quite ready to pull the trigger, and the color of the 6 cylinder was white and I prefer black. The paddle shifters make the 4 cylinder a blast. This car is very fun to drive. It's easy to find a 4 cylinder in the color combination you want, and when you do, just buy it! I got mine with 64,000 miles on it and I'm at 104,000 after 20 months. I'll probably take it to 135,000 miles and then sell it and get a 2013 or 2014. This car is great for getting around in the parking garage, and my 17-year old son and his buddies think it's pretty slick!
Still Love it.... - 2004 Acura TSX
By Scott - October 3 - 2:45 pm
Just in case you are shopping for an early model year TSX, I wanted to confirm that these cars, even after 10+ years, are still fantastic. There's a reason you still see so many on the road, they are bulletproof reliable and drive great, even after all these years. Mine is an April 2004 build, and I'll admit it's been babied with just now 79K on it, but I still feel good getting in it and heading off to work. If you find one with a good maintenance history, you ought to have several more years of use with it. I've done nothing but the normal stuff, like fluid flushes, brakes, battery, etc... It really is amazing how well built of a car this was from Honda. All in all, for the price they are now used, I can't think of a better choice.
Still going strong at over 100K mi - 2007 Acura TSX
By cmi - September 21 - 1:15 pm
I bought my 07 TSX new 8 years ago, 110K, and still really enjoy driving it. It has also held up well in the looks dept. After a few rough winters was thinking of trading it for something with AWD, but there is much to be said for no car payments. Aside from basic maintenance, the car has been trouble-free. Mechanic said I am nuts to get rid of it as it will easily hit 200K+. If you want reliability and value, let the Germans keep the snoot factor while they sit at the dealership service dept all day.
New owner of acura - 2012 Acura TSX
By Ann - August 29 - 12:26 am
this is my first Acura. Always drove Honda Accord. Bought the Tsx Special Edition. Like the kool wheels. This car is nice. Except it needs a keyless entry and ignition. Acura really dropped the ball here. Most luxury cars in year 2012 have this feature. Also, arm rest for driver could reach forward a bit further. Leather feels so thin, it appears to be vinyl. Ive been assured it is indeed genuine leather, but gee, not like the leather they used to put on cars! Glad i got the 6 sp standard transmission, fun to drive. Trunk space seems small, compared to Honda accord. Also, no pass thru from trunk, into rear seats. Other features are ok. But for the price, Acura dropped the ball on a few key items. Also, im NOT USING PREMIUM GAS, despite the recommendation by Acura to do so. After 3 years and 30,000 mi., it seems to be doing fine on regular gas. ANY OPINIONS ON THIS? Let me hear your thoughts. Thank you , Ann