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2002 Acura RSX

2002 Acura RSX

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$1,239 — $8,303 USED
28
Photos
Coupe
4 Seats
29-30 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
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2002 Acura RSX Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Honda’s luxury division unveiled a replacement for its subcompact Integra at the 2001 New York Auto Show, barely three months after an RS-X prototype was seen at Detroit’s auto show. Unlike the Integra, which came in coupe and sedan forms, the new RSX is built only as a front-wheel-drive hatchback coupe. Calling the RSX a “groundbreaking sports car,” Acura Executive Vice President Dick Colliver says the automaker hopes to sell about 30,000 units annually. The RSX, he adds, promises “a true race-bred driving experience.”

On sale since July 2001, the RSX comes in base form with an all-new, 160-horsepower four-cylinder engine. Like other Acura models, the RSX also has a performance-focused Type-S edition, with 40 hp more, firmer springs and dampers, and a larger front stabilizer bar. The RSX is the first Acura to be equipped with an “intelligent” valve-control system that is said to enhance performance and efficiency.

Acura’s target buyer is 27 years old with an active lifestyle, a college degree and a $60,000 annual household income. Three out of five buyers are expected to be male, with the Type-S expected to have a greater appeal to the male audience.

Exterior
Curvaceous in profile, the RSX has a grille that provides a family resemblance to other Acura models. Accompanying the grille are large multireflector headlights and a beveled chin spoiler. Displaying chiseled accent lines, the body features short front and rear overhangs. Thin A- and B-pillars are comp...

Vehicle Overview
Honda’s luxury division unveiled a replacement for its subcompact Integra at the 2001 New York Auto Show, barely three months after an RS-X prototype was seen at Detroit’s auto show. Unlike the Integra, which came in coupe and sedan forms, the new RSX is built only as a front-wheel-drive hatchback coupe. Calling the RSX a “groundbreaking sports car,” Acura Executive Vice President Dick Colliver says the automaker hopes to sell about 30,000 units annually. The RSX, he adds, promises “a true race-bred driving experience.”

On sale since July 2001, the RSX comes in base form with an all-new, 160-horsepower four-cylinder engine. Like other Acura models, the RSX also has a performance-focused Type-S edition, with 40 hp more, firmer springs and dampers, and a larger front stabilizer bar. The RSX is the first Acura to be equipped with an “intelligent” valve-control system that is said to enhance performance and efficiency.

Acura’s target buyer is 27 years old with an active lifestyle, a college degree and a $60,000 annual household income. Three out of five buyers are expected to be male, with the Type-S expected to have a greater appeal to the male audience.

Exterior
Curvaceous in profile, the RSX has a grille that provides a family resemblance to other Acura models. Accompanying the grille are large multireflector headlights and a beveled chin spoiler. Displaying chiseled accent lines, the body features short front and rear overhangs. Thin A- and B-pillars are complemented by compound-curved window glass to improve visibility.

Michelin P205/55R16 tires are mounted on five-spoke alloy wheels. New variable-assist rack-and-pinion steering is installed, and the new suspension consists of Control Link MacPherson struts up front and double wishbones in the rear. A power moonroof is standard on both models.

Interior
Four people fit in the RSX, which has two bucket seats up front and a 50/50-split, fold-down rear seat. The upholstery is a blend of regular and suede-look fabric in the base coupe, while the Type-S gets perforated leather (which is optional in the base model). Large, metallic-face gauges are grouped in a pod that’s angled toward the driver, who clutches a three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Standard equipment includes automatic climate control with air filtration, keyless entry with an anti-theft immobilizer, and power windows and mirrors. A Bose seven-speaker stereo system with an in-dash CD changer and a trunk-mounted woofer goes into the Type-S edition. Cargo volume totals 17.8 cubic feet.

Standard equipment includes automatic climate control, keyless entry with an anti-theft immobilizer and power mirrors. A Bose seven-speaker stereo system with an in-dash CD changer and a trunk-mounted woofer goes into the Type-S edition.

Under the Hood
An all-new 2.0-liter, 16-valve i-VTEC four-cylinder engine powers the base RSX, producing 160 hp and 141 pounds-feet of torque. The Type-S coupe gets a stronger four-cylinder that generates 200 hp and 142 pounds-feet of torque. Both engines qualify under LEV II (Low Emissions Vehicle) standards, but the Type-S requires premium fuel.

What Acura calls a “quick-shifting” 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 while driving on steep grades. Type-S coupes come only with a close-ratio six-speed-manual gearbox. Type-S coupes come only with a close-ratio six-speed-manual gearbox.

Safety
Side-impact airbags and three-channel, all-disc antilock brakes are standard and come with occupant position and height sensors for the front passenger. The Type-S has larger front disc brakes. Front seat belt pretensioners and a LATCH system for child-safety seats are standard on both models.

Driving Impressions
Acura has taken an impressive leap ahead with the defiantly sporty RSX, which ranks as exceptional all around. In either form, the coupe behaves in a manner comparable to its alluring style. Even the base model maneuvers with agility, though it doesn’t necessarily reach beyond some sport-coupe rivals.

Crisper handling is a big bonus with the tautly suspended Type-S, which exacts little penalty in ride comfort. Occupants might feel nearly all the pavement imperfections, and the ride can get bouncy on wavy surfaces, but it will annoy few. The base RSX coupe rides even more pleasantly.

Base-model performance is eager, if subtle, with the SportShift automatic transmission, but the 160-hp engine emits a fair amount of blare when pushed to high rpm levels. The automatic also may suffer a bit of a “dead spot,” causing the engine to slow down significantly during gear changes.

Acceleration with the Type-S ranks as all-out energetic, and its richer exhaust note is particularly satisfying to the enthusiastic driver. Though it is able to rev to high rpm in an instant, the engine also is happy to loaf along at low speeds. The close-ratio gearbox in the Type-S is one of the best around, requiring only a quick flick to move up or down the gears.

The rear seats are for small people, but the front is wholly adequate, with firm but comfortable seats. The unusual gauge orientation, with zero at the bottom of the tachometer and speedometer, seems odd at first but logical later. Instruments are neatly red-lit at night.

 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide;
Posted on 4/3/02

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.6
30 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.2)
Comfort
(4.1)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Love this car

by $_Ayala from Maryland on August 16, 2020

I had the 2002 model that I purchased on 2006. I sold it last year on 2019. I had some performance work done. This was my first car I purchased when I was 19 but i had massive fun driving it. I had ... Read full review

(4.0)

Attractive, sporty, and practical

by RSX-fan from Vista CA on June 18, 2020

Great car overall. Very fast and torquey. There isnt excessive amounts of power to the wheels which can save you at the pump. The limited-slip differential is a godsend when speeding around corners. ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2002 Acura RSX currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 Acura RSX has not been tested.

Latest 2002 RSX Stories

See all 2002 Acura RSX articles

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All Model Years for the Acura RSX

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The RSX received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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