Acura always has been a classy brand, Honda's approach to luxury motoring with a sporty flair. The TSX is no exception, offering an interesting craft that's more substance than style.
For less than $30,000, there is a lot of car here, including a number of advanced electronic features for safety and convenience as standard equipment. And that four banger puts out a solid 205 horsepower with good economy.
TSX is one of Acura's smallest cars, slotting under the popular TL and above the RSX sport coupe. Acura recently announced it would discontinue RSX, making the TSX the smallest in its line.
Based on the European version of Honda Accord, the TSX has the kind of crisp handling response favored by Euro-car buyers, although the suspension tends more toward comfort than cornering.
For 2006, Acura upped the horsepower for the 2.4-liter engine, modifying the fuel-delivery and exhaust systems for more performance. The engine is equipped with Honda's i-VTEC valve-control system that evens out the power across the rpm.
Even so, the TSX needs to get up on the tachometer before hitting its maximum pull. Although the horsepower is strong, torque hangs at a modest 164 pound-feet, reducing power for standing starts unless you rev the bejabbers out of the engine.
The TSX is a favorite among younger buyers but should appeal to any driver who appreciates a sporty upscale sedan at a reasonable price.
Vehicle type: Five-passenger, four-door sedan, front-wheel drive.
Engine: 2.4-liter inline 4,205 horsepower at 7,000 rpm, 164 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm.
Transmission: 6-speed manual.
Wheelbase: 105.1 inches.
Overall length: 183.4 inches.
Curb weight: 3,257 pounds.
EPA rating: 22 city, 30 highway.
Highs: Nimble handling, engine power, luxury features.
Lows: Fussy video controls, peaky engine power, modest styling.