A brand-new front-wheel-drive sport sedan joined the lineup of Honda's luxury division as an early 2004 model. Slotted between the RSX sport coupe and the midsize TL luxury-performance sedan, the compact TSX four-door was similar to the European version of the Honda Accord. The TSX received a modest makeover for 2006, and nothing has changed for 2008. Competitors include the Audi A4, BMW 325i and Lexus IS 250.
A high-revving four-cylinder engine is standard. It produces 205 horsepower.
Like so many manufacturers today, Acura promotes the sport sedan's aggressive appearance. High-intensity-discharge headlights flank Acura's familiar five-sided grille. These xenon lights sit above lower air intakes that suggest racing brake ducts. The back window slopes into a short trunklid, whose sharp termination is intended to help air separate cleanly from the rear of the car at highway speeds. A power moonroof is standard.
Nine-spoke alloy wheels hold 17-inch V-rated all-season performance tires. Measuring 183.3 inches long overall and 57.3 inches tall, the TSX has a four-wheel-independent double-wishbone suspension with a multilink configuration in the rear. Trunk capacity totals 13 cubic feet.
The interior features deeply bolstered seats that are upholstered in perforated leather. A three-spoke leather-wrapped sport steering wheel contains integrated audio and cruise controls. Dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and keyless entry are standard, and the eight-speaker 360-watt premium audio system includes a six-CD changer. Acura's optional navigation system can operate with voice recognition; for 2008, that feature is newly available in Hawaii.
Under the Hood
Acura's 2.4-liter four-cylinder generates 205 hp at 7,000 rpm and 164 pounds-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm.
Either a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed automatic with a manual-shift provision can be installed.
Side curtain airbags and all-disc antilock brakes are standard. Side-impact airbags include a passenger-sensing system. An electronic stability system is also included.
Finding fault with the TSX isn't easy, but it feels more like a family car than a sporty four-door companion to the RSX. The manual-shift TSX accelerates eagerly, and its gearshift glides smoothly between ratios.
This sedan is exceptionally quiet and easy to drive, and it maneuvers with satisfying behavior. Unlike some sport sedans, the TSX delivers a relatively gentle ride on smooth surfaces. But on urban pavement, potholes produce substantial reactions and the ride gets stiff with considerable body movement. The seats offer excellent support, and the bright gauges are easy to read.