2003 Acura RSX

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2003 Acura RSX

Key specs

Base trim shown


2 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2003 Acura RSX trim comparison will help you decide.

2003 Acura RSX review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
For its second season in Acura’s 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 that’s 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.

Driving Impressions
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.


Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
Posted on 3/26/03

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.0
  • Interior design 4.4
  • Performance 4.5
  • Value for the money 4.8
  • Exterior styling 4.7
  • Reliability 4.8

Most recent consumer reviews


My son loves the car.

The car great on gas and reliable. He loves driving it. He goes every where with no problems. It has style and comfort in mine.


cute and fun

It's a bit small and a coupe. Interior styling was really nice--lots of knobs and fine touches. Car drove a little rough and was not comfy for long rides. Not good in snow or rain--slippy. Fun to drive but needed the bigger engine. No mechanical problems at all but sold it at 50K for an upgrade.


Best Car I Have Ever Owned

I have loved every minute of owning this car. I just got into modifying cars, and it has been a blast doing so with this car. Emissions functions have not been touched, just suspension and aesthetics, and I have enjoyed learning about cars with this little car. Has a lot of pep, and handles great! Super easy to learn manual on, and it has a brand new clutch in it. It will continue to run well, and whoever is lucky enough to snag this car, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

See all 33 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Acura Precision
New car program benefits
48 months/50,000 miles
60 months/unlimited distance
48 months/50,000 miles
Roadside assistance
48 months/50,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
6 years old and newer from their original in-service date, with 80,000 miles or fewer at time of vehicle delivery.
Basic warranty terms
2 years/100,000 miles
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
182-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

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