The TSX is an entry-level luxury sedan that splits the difference in opulence and performance between mainstream models and premium four-doors. Also available in wagon form, the TSX sedan has lively handling and a level of refinement that belies its pricetag.
Now in its second generation, the TSX continues to be heavily based on the European-market Honda Accord. It rides on a front-wheel-drive platform that's clothed in conservative sheetmetal (aside from Acura's controversial corporate "beak" grille). A recent mid-cycle refresh updated the front and rear fascias but did little to change the overall look.
Motivation comes from either a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder or an optional 3.5-liter V6. While it's one of the less-powerful engines in the segment with 201 horsepower and 172 lb-ft, the four revs willingly and smoothly up to its 7100-rpm redline. Its light weight also helps accentuate the TSX's well-balanced handling.
The four-cylinder model comes standard with slick-shifting six-speed manual, while a five-speed automatic is a no-cost option and also the only gearbox available with the V6.
With 280 horsepower and 254 lb-ft. of torque, the V6 brings much more power to the table, but its extra weight dulls the TSX's ability to tackle curvy roads with aplomb.
The four-cylinder model is rated at 22 in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with the automatic and 21/29 mpg with the manual. The V6 returns 19/28 mpg.
The TSX's cabin features a gracefully styled dashboard with a high-mounted info center/navigation screen, a sporty three-spoke steering wheel and a simple two-gauge instrument panel. There's no iDrive-like control system; this means that the secondary systems are controlled by buttons and knobs, which are numerous but relatively intuitive.
Trim Level Breakdown
As with other Acura models, the TSX features a trim level system in place of stand-alone options.
The entry-level TSX with 5-Speed Automatic comes standard with the four-cylinder engine in addition to leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats, a seven-speaker, 360-watt AM/FM/CD sound system with AUX and USB inputs, dual-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, HID headlights, Bluetooth connectivity and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The TSX Special Edition, available with either the six-speed manual or five-speed automatic, adds an ebony black interior with red stitching and imitation suede seating surfaces, a black headliner, metal pedals, front side and rear underbody spoilers, dark grey finish five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels and numerous "Special Edition" badges.
The TSX with Technology Package starts with the base model's features and adds a navigation system with real-time traffic and weather updates, a 10-speaker, 410-watt ELS sound system with Dolby Pro Logic II and a rearview camera.
The TSX V6 features all of the standard TSX features in addition to 18-inch alloy wheels and, of course, the six-cylinder motor. The TSX V6 with Technology Package mirrors its four-cylinder counterpart's features.
Standard safety features include dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems.
Looking for a sporty and fuel efficient near-luxury sedan like the TSX? You should also research the Volkswagen CC, Buick Regal and Infiniti G25.