Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get average or better mpg, have average or better reliability, good crash-test ratings, and our experts' recommendations.
By Jim Flammang
March 26, 2003
Vehicle Overview For its second season in Acuras lineup, little has changed for the compact RSX sport coupe, which replaced the long-lived Integra. Unlike the Integra, which came in coupe and sedan forms, the RSX is built only as a front-wheel-drive hatchback coupe. Dick Colliver, Acura executive vice president, promises a true race-bred driving experience.
In base form, the four-cylinder engine generates 160 horsepower. The performance-focused Type-S edition spits out 40 hp more and features firmer springs and dampers and a larger front stabilizer bar. The RSX is the first Acura equipped with an intelligent valve-control system, which is intended to enhance performance and efficiency.
The RSX is curvaceous in profile; it has a grille that provides a family resemblance to other Acura models. Large multireflector headlights and a beveled chin spoiler accompany the grille. Displaying chiseled accent lines, the body features short front and rear overhangs. Compound-curved window glass complement thin A- and B-pillars to improve visibility. The RSX rides a 101.2-inch wheelbase and measures 172.2 inches long overall.
Michelin P205/55R16 tires are mounted on five-spoke alloy wheels. Variable-assist rack-and-pinion steering is installed. The suspension consists of Control-Link MacPherson struts up front and double wishbones in the rear. A power moonroof is standard.
Four people fit in the RSX, with two front bucket seats and a 50/50-split, folding rear seat. The upholstery is a blend of regular and suede-look fabric in the base coupe, while the Type-S gets perforated leather; leather is optional in the base model. Large, metallic-faced gauges are grouped in a pod thats angled toward the driver, who clutches a leather-wrapped steering wheel. A seven-speaker Bose stereo system with an in-dash CD changer goes into the Type-S edition. Cargo volume totals 17.8 cubic feet.
Under the Hood
A 2.0-liter, 16-valve i-VTEC four-cylinder engine powers the base RSX, which produces 160 hp and 141 pounds-feet of torque. The Type-S gets a stronger four-cylinder that generates 200 hp and 142 pounds-feet; it requires premium fuel.
A five-speed-manual transmission is standard in the base model. An optional five-speed Sequential SportShift automatic unit incorporates Grade Logic Control, which holds the proper gear and decreases unnecessary shifting on steep grades. Type-S coupes come only with a close-ratio six-speed-manual gearbox.
Standard equipment includes all-disc antilock brakes, side-impact airbags, occupant-position and height sensors for the front passenger, front seat belt pretensioners and a LATCH system for child-safety seats.
Acura took an impressive leap forward with the defiantly sporty RSX, which ranks as exceptional. In both the base and Type-S versions, the coupe behaves in a manner comparable to its alluring style.
Crisper handling is a big bonus with the tautly suspended Type-S, which exacts little penalty in ride comfort. The base model rides even more pleasantly.
Base-model performance is eager, if subtle, with the Sequential SportShift automatic transmission, but the 160-hp engine emits a fair amount of blare when pushed to high rpm levels. Type-S acceleration ranks as all-out energetic, and its richer exhaust note is particularly satisfying. The close-ratio gearbox in the Type-S is one of the best around.