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 above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
Expert Reviews 2 of 5
By Bob Golfen
September 6, 2003
Life imitates video games. At least, that's how my teenage sons view the styling of the new Acura TSX. To them, the sharp creases, well-defined geometric shapes and wedge posture of the 2004 sedan looks like one of the virtual cars they race
around virtual streets on the TV screen. This was a good thing, they said, and I had to agree. Without going to extremes, TSX looks distinctively modern while maintaining the classy aura of an Acura. TSX is also a quick performer that's loads of
fun to drive, highly appropriate for a video-game car. The test car had a six-speed stickshift instead of a gamer's joystick, but it was just as much fun to manipulate. And with 200 horsepower cranking from a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, TSX has the
acceleration to escape the virtual bad guys. For 2004, TSX moves in as Acura's entry-level sport-luxury sedan, coming up against heavy competition from such upscale players as Infiniti, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Cadillac, Lincoln, Volvo and Jaguar. TSX
enters the market without a lot of fanfare, but is sure to get plenty of notice as word gets around. What it is TSX is actually the European and Japanese version of the Honda Accord, introduced last year and widely acclaimed for its style and
performance. A bit smaller than the U.S. Accord, TSX's brisk engine power and maneuverability set it apart from the midsize sedan crowd. It comes just one way, fully equipped, at $26,490. Engine and transmission Again, Honda shows how to get
clean, economical power from a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine. No supercharger needed here, just exceptional engineering and electronics, including i-VTEC, the Japanese automaker's advanced "intelligent" valve-control system that provides power
across the RPMs as well as good fuel economy and reduced emissions. Throttle control is "drive by wire," with electronic linkage instead of cable or levers. The engine feels very smooth, and provides brisk if not awesome acceleration. Part of
the power equation is just 166 pound-feet of maximum torque. This modest muscle makes itself known at midrange under acceleration, when the engine power seems to just hang there. Under way, TSX cruises at highway speeds with minimal effort and makes
passing maneuvers quickly and easily. The lack of a V-6 option may turn off some prospective buyers who will check out sporty sedan competitors such as Nissan Altima 3.5 or Volkswagen Passat. TSX comes with either the close-ratio six-speed or a
five-speed automatic as standard equipment, both costing the same amount. The six-speed shifts with sharp precision, moving into each gear with a satisfying click. The gear ratios are well-mated to the engine, whether accelerating onto the freeway or
slogging through traffic. Handling and drivability Crisp handling and responsive steering make TSX feel like a proper spor
t sedan, not quite in Audi or BMW territory, but close enough considering the price tag. This is the kind of craft that driving enthusiasts crave on winding two-lane roads. Cornering is flat and balanced, and TSX can race through tight curves like
sports sedans costing twice as much. The chassis dynamics include four-wheel double-wishbone suspension; torque-sensing variable power rack-and-pinion steering; Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control; four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock;
and 17-inch alloy wheels shod with V-rated performance tires. The suspension is firm but rarely harsh, tracking well through rough surfaces with minimal jostle. Highway cruising is quiet and refined, with minimal road noise or wind roar. Styling
The video-game appearance garnered many positive comments. TSX may not be as highly distinctive as Cadillac CTS or Nissan Maxima, but the style is strikingly modern without straying too far from
Acura's corporate look. Interior This is really nice, refined and even spacious, at least for front-seat passengers. The back seat gets short shrift, but this is a fairly small sedan after all. Attractive metallic surfaces highlight the
nicely designed dashboard. At night, it's all a soft blue glow, including a small beam that shines from above the shifter. The seats are perforated leather, and the carpet is thick. Overall, the feeling is subdued and sophisticated, very comfortable
and accommodating. One clinker: the top of the center console slides fore and aft. It should lock in place. The test TSX came with the car's only option, a $2,000 GPS navigation system with voice recognition. "Home, James." Honda and Acura
continue to beat the competition in the user-friendliness of their nav systems. But really, for the amount that most people would actually use such a thing, it seems excessive. Price TSX comes totally equipped for $26,490. Standard equipment
includes dual-zone climate control, moon roof, full power features, heated front seats, leather seating and leather-wrapped steering wheel, power driver's seat, 360-watt audio with eight speakers and steering-wheel controls, cruise control and remote
locking. The navigation system and shipping, at $500, pushed the test car's total to $28,990. Bottom line TSX hits the mark with sporty performance and a high level of standard features at a reasonable price. And now we know why the
Europeans dig the new Accord. Acura TSX Vehicle type: Five-passenger, four-door sedan, front-wheel drive. Base price: $26,490. Price as tested: $28,990. Engine: 2.4-liter inline four, 200 horsepower at 6,800 rpm, 166 pound-feet of
torque at 4,500 rpm. Transmission: Six-speed stickshift. Wheelbase: 105.1 inches. Curb weight: 3,241 pounds. EPA mileage: 21 city, 29 highway. Highs: Sport performance. Luxury features. Styling. Lows: Console
woes. Modest engine torque. Tight back seat.
Expert Reviews 2 of 5
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