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2004 Acura RSX

$1,595 — $9,775 USED
Coupe
4 Seats
27-30 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 2 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Handling, especially in the Type-S
  • Ride comfort on smooth surfaces
  • Six-speed gearbox operation
  • Performance in the Type-S
  • Resale value

The Bad

  • Engine noise in the base model
  • Tight backseat space
  • Difficult backseat entry and exit

What to Know

about the 2004 Acura RSX
  • 160-hp or 200-hp engine
  • Six-speed manual in the Type-S
  • Available Sequential SportShift automatic in the base coupe
  • FWD configuration
  • Race-bred personality

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
In its third season in Acura’s lineup, few things have changed in the compact RSX sport coupe. Heated mirrors are now standard, and one new body color is available.

Dick Colliver, Acura executive vice president of sales, has promised “a true race-bred driving experience” for this front-wheel-drive hatchback coupe. Acura targets youthful enthusiasts, including the highly coveted “tuners.”

In base form, the four-cylinder engine generates 160 horsepower. The performance-focused Type-S edition whips up an additional 40 hp and features firmer springs and dampers, as well as a larger front stabilizer bar. The RSX was the first Acura equipped with an intelligent valve-control system, which is intended to enhance performance and efficiency.


Exterior
The RSX has a curvaceous profile; it has a wide pentagonal 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 complements 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.


Int...
Vehicle Overview
In its third season in Acura’s lineup, few things have changed in the compact RSX sport coupe. Heated mirrors are now standard, and one new body color is available.

Dick Colliver, Acura executive vice president of sales, has promised “a true race-bred driving experience” for this front-wheel-drive hatchback coupe. Acura targets youthful enthusiasts, including the highly coveted “tuners.”

In base form, the four-cylinder engine generates 160 horsepower. The performance-focused Type-S edition whips up an additional 40 hp and features firmer springs and dampers, as well as a larger front stabilizer bar. The RSX was the first Acura equipped with an intelligent valve-control system, which is intended to enhance performance and efficiency.


Exterior
The RSX has a curvaceous profile; it has a wide pentagonal 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 complements 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.


Interior
Four people fit inside the RSX, which features two front bucket seats and a 50/50-split, folding rear seat. Base-model upholstery is a blend of regular and suede-look fabric, while the Type-S gets perforated leather; leather in the base coupe is offered as an option. Large gauges are grouped in a pod that’s angled toward the driver. A three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel is installed, and a seven-speaker Bose stereo system with an in-dash six-CD changer goes into the Type-S. 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 on steep grades and minimizes unnecessary shifting. The Type-S coupe comes only with a close-ratio six-speed-manual gearbox.


Safety
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 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 scores 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.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.8
17 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.1)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.4)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Reliable even when modified

by Brentsi from Cincinnati, Ohio on November 7, 2018

The rsx had a turbo kit, was reliable and a daily driver for many years. Even with over 400hp got 28mpg. Only downfall is the seat stiching comes loose after years of use. Read full review

(5.0)

Had this car for a decade and a half. A true love

by Megan! from Carmel, NY on October 23, 2018

So comfortable to drive. Has driven cross country three times and stayed with me out west at the beach and northeast in the snow. Amazing car. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2004 Acura RSX currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 Acura RSX has not been tested.

Latest 2004 RSX Stories

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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