By on June 25, 2008

09tsx_action_009.jpgYou may not know this, but Acura has only two executives. One of them oversees the design and build of fantastic, fun, reliable, affordable cars. This suit was responsible for all the Integras, the NSX, the Legend and the original TSX. The other executive has the reverse Midas touch. He botched the RSX, let the NSX stagnate for a decade, and shot the Legend in the head and gave us the RL. And now that sonofabitch got his hands on the new TSX. To say the result is disappointing is to say that gas is becoming a bit dear. Advance? I don't think so.

The last TSX's sheetmetal was as neat and tidy as an OCD's tie rack. The new model is as ugly and confused as a meth addict living under a highway overpass. The TSX's profile is just plain hideous, complete with Mercedes S-Class-style over-blistered wheel arches and Grandpa's belt line. Every detail has a strange shape. The TSX's trapezoidal grill is smiling, angry-eyed Pokemon. The doors and door handles are disco ball-styled with some 30 different surfaces.

09tsx_static_029.jpgPrior to seeing this car's exterior, I thought some of these shapes were only theoretically possible. Not to put too fine a point on it, it looks like Acura hired an inebriated M.C. Escher.

The interior is worse. While the button-laced steering wheel is slicker than the hair on the sorority girls that will be driving it, the center console is an ergonomic disaster zone. There's no design per se, just hidden buttons adrift in a Black Sea of more buttons. That said, they're all well-marked. If you have reading glasses and don't mind taking your eyes off the road to play button, button, where the Hell's that button, you're good to go.

09tsx_detail_017.jpgThe TSX's polymers are corporate parts bin in quality, but there are huge panel gaps, coral-sharp edges, misaligned pieces of trim and some fauxluminum that looks like it came from the Chinese factory that cranks out the fenders for the 1:24 70 Chevelle™ Baldwin Motion Plastic Model Kit. But hey, the TSX's gauges are handsome and clear. Oh, and did I mention that this diminutive, svelte-bottomed writer found the Acura's entry model cramped in both the front and back seats?

By now, the odds are in Acura's favor, right? Surely the Euro-style driving experience which glorified the previous iteration will make up for "Why Did You Think You Can Dance?" aesthetic and functionality missteps. Hint: nope. If you drove and loved the previous TSX, you'll want to drive over to the Discovery Channel. Specifically, the Myth Busters demolition department.

09tsx_detail_048.jpgThe TSX's steering is now "electric motor drive." To laypeople, that means "Oops. We meant to put that Novocaine in your mouth, not your forearms." The helm's too light, and there's no feedback, except for occasional bursts of torque steer. For a vehicle that used to boast razor sharp steering, this is a great leap backwards. The car's handling and cornering are perfectly adequate– which puts the TSX painfully middle of the pack. It's a disappointing descent to mediocrity.

The official press release paints the Acura TSX as some kind of high-tech commuting professional car. So why is the double-wishbone (with rear multi-link) suspension is abusively harsh and jarring, and noisy to boot? The target demographic drink expensive coffee. In the TSX, they will be wearing expensive coffee.  

09tsx_detail_044.jpgThe TSX's powertrain is new model's sole bright spot. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder is as smooth and refined as a V6. It puts out enough horsepower (201) and torque (170 ft. lbs. @ 4300 rpm) to motorvate the Acura from rest to 60 in a none-too-thrilling 7.7 seconds. While that's on par with similarly-powered competitors like Audi's base A4, so what? Equally disappointing (given the lack of thrills involved), the autobox TSX's offers 21/30 mpg. That's only slightly better than the V6 Accord's 19/29.

And what ABOUT the Accord? The TSX is tagged at $2500 more than a comparably equipped (i.e. four-pot) Accord EX-L, rewarding oxymoronic stealth badge snobbery with a whopping 11 horsepower and a logo that would flummox a Jeopardy contestant. Or, for $200 less than the TSX you can drive off the Honda lot in a loaded 268 horsepower V6 Accord. And that's just in the Honda corporate stable. You could fill an entire 800-word article with "better cars than the Acura TSX that cost around $30k."

09tsx_action_011.jpgBut really, the 2009 TSX doesn't suck because there are better choices. It sucks because it's ugly, the interior's cramped, the steering's awful, it's no fun to drive and the suspension is laughably loud. And okay, a little bit because the last TSX was so much better (which now becomes a legend, so to speak). Honda needs to put the right people back in charge of their supposedly upmarket brand before it becomes a total irrelevance. Or, in this case, after.

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145 Comments on “2009 Acura TSX Review...”

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    In Europe the reviews sound similar – Also the station wagon version has somehow magically lost 30% of the previous model’s cargo space, along with the flat cargo floor with the seats down and the electric hatch.

    I think I just got my head around what happened: They must have had some focus groups and asked them what they liked about the last Euro-Accord/TSX, and somehow mixed up the “pros” and “cons”

  • avatar

    As much as I’m disappointed in the new TSX, I’m also a little happy, because now I don’t have any urge to trade-in my 2006 6MT for a new one. But seriously, Acura WTF is up with this styling direction and general lack of driving verve, let’s hope they don’t screw up the new TL too badly (aside from the FWD thing).

  • avatar

    The sad thing is this will sell well enough to justify its existence.

  • avatar

    I’m as dumb-founded an everyone else about the looks of this car starting with the new “harelip” grill look that someone at Acura thought was a good look. I didn’t think the previous model was that dated. I’m also getting a little concerned about the stuffing 10lbs of crap into a 5 lb bag approach they are taking inside the cabin.

  • avatar

    But really, the 2009 TSX doesn’t suck because there are better choices. It sucks because it’s ugly, the interior’s cramped, the steering’s awful, it’s no fun to drive and the suspension is laughably loud.


    Someone who agrees with me. I always thought the previous TSX was cream of the crop for what it was. But after seeing this thing, all I have to say is a big WTF!? The car is hopelessly ugly, it’s no longer the compact “Integra 4 door” it was was and the engine, while remaining the sweet I4 it is, actually loses a couple horsepower. A friend of mine owns a 06 TSX and when she saw the styling for the new version she almost threw up.

    Why does Acura see it fit to let these things loose on the road? I’d love to say the next TL won’t be such a disaster but I’ve already seen previews and the outlook for Acura’s styling looks bleak.

  • avatar

    I just don’t see why anyone would buy this car over a G35, IS250 or A4.

  • avatar

    I’m a huge fan of Acura. My generous wife allows me to purchase/lease a new one every two years. I’m really happy with my current RL.

    However, the exterior on the new TSX gives me the dry heaves. Is it just me, or does this look like a knock-off of a 3 series BMW? Why do the Japaneses makers seem to so closely follow German styling?

  • avatar

    Complacency has ruined many a company. Honda may call the shots here but I think even Honda needs to stop with the space shuttle interiors and
    “cutting edge” designs on the outside. They are fast becoming ugly cars and that is making even GM cars attractive by comparison.

    Doesn’t anyone know how to make a normal sedan anymore? Culturally are we heading down this direction with car styling?

  • avatar

    Never let it be said that TTAC won’t rip an automaker a new one when it deserves it.

    Seriously though, what happened? That interior is dreadful. Heck, the Licoln MKZ looks a nicer place to sit.

  • avatar

    One more thouight; the refinement, quality and reliability of Acura autos off-set the iffy styling.

  • avatar

    This is a real shame because I LOVED the last TSX – it was in the running but we snagged an SI sedan for $10,000 less – basically all the features except leather, better handling, and faster.

  • avatar

    Acura is as much about the name as the reliability. This thing does not do justice to the brand. Why not just by an accord indeed.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz


    Except that it’s more than iffy styling. It’s a bad interior, bad ergonomics, and a surprisingly harsh and uncomfortable suspension.

  • avatar

    So it really does give some meaning to the phrase.”All Good Things must come to an End!”

    ….although this helps a lot by eliminating one more trip to a dealer to check out the competition….

  • avatar

    even as a honda fanboy, I have zero desire to own this car. I’ll take the old one any day over this.

  • avatar

    just a question for thought (though I don’t know the answer)…
    did ‘acura’ have much of a choice on most of the car? the platform of the old one was replaced in the corporate stable…
    not that the two are separate, but it’s probably better to blame honda than acura…

    as for the old one being a ‘4 door integra’, i believe it was a little too big for that…

    as for the new tsx, don’t forget, this is the platform honda/acura is planning to launch its NA diesel in…

  • avatar

    Honda can have spotty reliability the first model year, especially early on. The 2006 Civic wasn’t so hot, but the 2008 Accord has been better.

    I’d like to provide early results for the new TSX. If you know someone who buys one, please send them here:

  • avatar

    As for the car, I don’t dislike the exterior styling as much as some people. And after reading all of the reviews trashing the steering, it felt passably average. Which is of course worse than good.

    But my biggest problem with the car, one not mentioned in this review, is that the instrument panel is piled high in front of the driver. What happened to the low IPs Honda was once known for?

  • avatar

    As a current TSX owner, I sadly have to agree with this article. When I first got wind of the new TSX, I hoped and prayed until my knees bled that it would receive the RDX turbo motor. My prayers went unanswered.

    Not only did the engine remain relatively the same, the ’09 TSX is now the bloated, slow equivalent to the current TL. See here:

    If, by chance, Acura drinks too heavily one night, we might see the RDX motor in the revamped TSX. IMO, that’s the only way to salvage this car.

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    Ugly. A buddy of mine has an older TSX, and it’s a great car. This, not so much.

  • avatar
    Jon Paul

    I have an ’05 TSX. Overall, I love the car – but with one major gripe: road noise on bad pavement, especially concrete. On nice roads, it’s perfect.

    I got a look at 2 new ’09s the other day. The overall outer styling wasn’t bad, except for the grill. It looks like Star Trek stole the Saturn emblem or something.

    Inside, they destroyed one of the great features of the car – simplistic controls. There is an economy of buttons in my car, and I like it that way. My nav system is butt simple to use. The new one looks like I’d need an IQ of 300 to operate correctly.

    Honda totally lost focus on this one.

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub


    “The interior is worse. While the button-laced steering wheel is slicker than the hair on the sorority girls that will be driving it, the center console is an ergonomic disaster zone.”


  • avatar

    I, too, found the last TSX to be downright delectable. Tidy, conservative-but aggressive Euro-styling, great handling and decent fuel economy.

    Now Honda seems to be floundering a bit. A bit too much for me. I’ll not bother test driving it as this review is similar to UK reviews.


  • avatar

    The front grill reminds me so much of a Saturn.

  • avatar

    I blame this on Chris Bangel, at least the exterior styling. What is the deal with Honda following his stupid direction, they guy is a no talent hack. I have a feeling that clown is going to send a lot of design in a backwards fugly direction for the next decade because so many people buy those ugly BMW’s and other manf. draw from their success.

    Honda is seriously missing the ball lately with their fat ugly cars. It’s a shame I was really looking forward to this new TSX being even better than the last and raising the bar for everyone else.

  • avatar

    If this is the spiritual successor to my 1991 Integrs GS Sedan, Acura is SO screwed.

    Until it was stolen, I loved that car.

    This thing is soft, anonymous, and forgettable.

    I drove and thoroughly enjoyed the previous TSX, and it was universally lauded in the automotive press.

    Honda used to have a reputation of improving their models every time out. Now, with the current Accord, the RL, and the new TSX, they seem to be regressing. Honda’s losing their mojo.

  • avatar
    John R

    So another Honda favorite enters the pantheon deeply loved but horrifically managed Japanese classics (which seem to be mostly Hondas).

    I’ve always respected the TSX in that while it wouldn’t set the asphalt on fire at least it looked good, was a great place to be and it was great fun to drive.

    So…what’s the point now? Why bother? Almost any sedan with an embossed V6 badge(many of which come in at thousands less) would eat this thing’s lunch. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, buy an Accord EX-L V6!

  • avatar

    I usually fit in with Honda’s mentality but the new TSX / RL are just terrible. The mechanics are still great and well built but their styling went from neat looking to over reaching in just 3 years. The old TSX (which we own a 2004 model) was actually one of the best looking Honda sedans I’ve owned and seen. Even the factory package and optional silver star wheels make it quite a good looking car. The interior was nice and still holds up well after 4 years of family duty and 55k miles.

    The 1G TSX was so well done all Honda had to do was slightly tweak the look and interior not hit it with the ugly stick.

    But I have yet to drive the new one – will take take one for a test drive when we bring her 2004 TSX into the Acura dealer for a pre track inspection (brake bleed, mechanics check) as my wife will be driving it at her first high performance driving school.

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    “I blame this on Chris Bangel, at least the exterior styling. What is the deal with Honda following his stupid direction, they guy is a no talent hack. I have a feeling that clown is going to send a lot of design in a backwards fugly direction for the next decade because so many people buy those ugly BMW’s and other manf. draw from their success.”

    I don’t know who Chris Bangel is, but Chris Bangle is one of the most influential car designers in recent times. At a time when all cars were starting to look the same, he radically changed BMW car design for the better. There’s a reason other car designers copy his designs… because they’re good.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    Chris Bangle designed the E39 5-series and the E46 3-series. What was wrond with them?

  • avatar

    “horsepower (201) and torque (170 ft. lbs. @ 7300 rpm)”

    I think the RPM figure belongs paired to the horsepower one, not the torque one. 170 lb*ft * 7300 RPM / 5252 = 236 HP.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz


    Oops! Corrected to 4300 RPM for the 170 lb ft of torque.

    Thanks for the catch.

  • avatar

    I saw my first one of these in the flesh last week and its even worse in real life then the pictures let on – particularly with the rear spoiler the whole thing has the visual coherency of Picasso’s cubist phase.

    How very sad – the last TSX was so good.

  • avatar

    Tally my vote too…..I’m an ’04 TSX owner who’s extremely disappointed with the new one. Would never even consider an ’09 just because they’re SO UGLY!!!

  • avatar

    This is sort of typical of Honda, or of any company where the engineers run roughshod** over other departments. It’s like the bizarro version of General Motors (“accountants run amok”) except that, instead of rabid cost cutting, you get a well-engineered car with that appeals to the guy who designed it, and that guy has a very inflated opinion of his market sense.

    The steering is a perfect example of this; I’m sure it’s a technical marvel that’s reliable, uses hardly any power and makes great coffee, but it’s not as good, from the consumer’s POV, as the older hydraulic rack. The button bonanza and suspension crunchiness is probably the same attitude.

    The Germans do this, too: ramming products down their customers’ collective throats because, dammit, they’re engineers, they know everything. At least Honda usually makes a reliable machine.

    Styling, well, styling has never been Honda’s thing. They get it right on occasion (Odyssey, 2G CR-V, 7G Civic, 6G Accord) but they also go off on tangents very, very often (Element, 3G CRV, any Prelude, 7G Accord, four-eye Integra). I can’t fault them for the TSX’s look, because ugly-but-noticeably seems to be the theme du jour for luxury brands. No one wants quiet elegance anymore; they want “IN YOUR FACE, LOOK AT MEEE!!!” styling. The last Acura models were the exception, not the rule, when it comes to styling.

    (** I once had the misfortune of managing in a company run by engineers. Nice people, but the professional arrogance was terrifying.)

  • avatar

    Justin, you really nailed this review. I hated the steering as well, but the handling was pretty good due to the really stiff suspension. The car moves well laterally, but you have no idea how much to turn the wheel or what’s going on with the tires. Kills any kind of confidence.

    However, I thought the engine was lacking. Maybe it’s good with the manual, but in the automatic, 200hp to move 3400 lbs seems a bit inadequate in this class. Oh, and I actually like the styling, minus the grille. Aftermarket TSX grilles will fly off the shelves.

    Big vote for the Accord Coupe V6 from me.

  • avatar

    Your opening comment about two executives in charge of Acuras surprises me. I didn’t think the first TSX was designed with Acura in mind. You wouldn’t happen to know which of the two is in charge of the car that I don’t think should be given the NSX name, would you?

  • avatar

    For those of you (like me) who swear that you’ve seen this mess of an interior before – you have. Inside the original Tribeca.

    That’s right, this Acura’s interior was born from the womb of the flying vagina.

  • avatar


    as for the old one being a ‘4 door integra’, i believe it was a little too big for that…

    When the Integra was transformed into the RSX, Acura dropped the 4 door Integra. However, they realized that a 4 door Integra was integral (so to speak) in plugging the hole between the RSX and the TL and thus, the TSX was born.

    So the TSX is for those who loved the RSX’s playful and fiesty nature, but needed 4 doors and couldn’t afford the TL….thus TSX = 4 door Integra replacement.

    And again I say….I hate this car’s styling. I shudder at imagining what the next gen RL will look like.

  • avatar

    Aside from it’s boxy look – I really liked the Element’s look and even better when the 2wd SC models came out. Very funky looking and different yet versatile, fun to drive, decent mileage, very good road manners and handling, plus compact dimensions so you can park it in tight spaces. I’d note that other drivers would give odd looks versus the hate you look that Hummer drivers get. If you camp or do a lot of sports the Element is plain and simple awesome. Tailgate to sit on, tons of room inside to change for the beach, etc. A lot of beach vball players own these and love them as they can drive out on the beach.

  • avatar

    The new TSX is just one big WTF.

    Put the new TSX and the old one side by side and test them back to back. How is the 2009 version an improvement?

    2006 TSX owner

  • avatar

    I’ve praised my ’06 TSX many times on TTAC, and as I type this the Acura dealer is finishing up service for the Rack and Pinion on it. They gave me a loaded ’09 TSX as their service loaner, with 1400 miles on it – and they can’t give me my car back quick enough.

    Now, I think that the review is slightly harsh, but that’s why I come to TTAC – realism. But to wit, the main points stand. The steering is…disconnected. It’s responsive outside of the center position, but in the center position, the feedback is horrible. The bigger body introduces a much more ‘floaty’ feel at speed (I don’t recommend my methods, but I’ve had it up to 100mph just to see), and then the numb center point on the steering furthers that float. The handling is no longer as sharp as my trusty ’06, yet even with those issues, they seemed to have eliminated a good deal of the body roll. This is probably due to the somewhat wider stance of the vehicle. It’s definitely got more low-end power, and accelerates quicker, and doesn’t sound bad while doing it.

    The interior, I think, isn’t bad, considering it’s target audience (28ish-40ish salary climbers), and I certainly had no issue figuring out what I needed to do where even with the navi. That said, I’m a techie and figure that stuff out quick. The center stack is much higher than the old TSX, as is the hood, so it’s more difficult to judge proximity than before. There is a deluge of buttons, and that’s definitely a problem…however, there are voice commands for the radio and nav, so at least there is some reprieve.

    However, I don’t understand how the interior can feel cramped. I’m 6’3 275, and I was quite comfy, given that it has more room than the model it replaces. You can say that the controls are cramped, but the interior on the whole is downright roomy. The gauge cluster is pretty good lookin, but depending on the position of the steering wheel, can be difficult to see. Not sure about how the fit and finish was an issue, as the one I’m driving had the usual Acura level of fit and finish. Perhaps it was an issue with the review vehicle.

    As for the exterior styling…I don’t hate it, and like some aspects of it, but I HATE the grille. It’s incredibly cheap looking. I’m still a bigger fan of the previous model’s styling as opposed to some of the deep cutting on the new one, but the new one isn’t horrendous as some are making it out to be. At least the back quarter of the car is sleek and sharp, which is more than I can say for the Altima (which perennially has the ugliest rears, IMO). The wheel wells on the new TSX are where I think the design went awry. It would look 100% better with less overstatement on those, which just look too Nissan-ish. I think the overall thoughts behind the design were to have some similarities with the base 3 series, and the IS250. In the process, they went from slick and understated, yet classy to angular, sort of slick, and way overstated and cheapish (grille), maintaining only a fraction of the class.

    I’m also not quite sure why Acura stays with the same Michelin MXM4 tires, which are dreadful on that car. Considering the price of that rubber, you’d think they could go cheaper and put on something better, like bridgestone potenzas. Hell, even the General Exclaim UHP’s are better than those Michelins, and they cost half as much!

  • avatar

    “If this car 4 rings on the grill was made by Audi, Mr. Berkowitz would have given it 4 stars easily.”

    Well, the Audi 2.0T engine delivers as much power, more torque over a broader range, and just about the same gas mileage. And that’s before you add a $600 ECU upgrade.

    I’ll give the TSX an advantage in the stick-shift department (at least verses the A3; the A4 stick is pretty nice). But most TSXs and A3s/A4s come with an automatic. The A3’s DSG really shines.

    Quattro will be available in the A3 2.0T automatic for 2009. Even with quattro, the A3 will sticker for about the same price as the TSX. The A4 gets a major overhaul for 2009, boasting more power and some 250 lb*ft of torque over a broad range… yes, the base engine will have 250 lb*ft of torque before an ECU upgrade.

  • avatar

    That A3 Quattro may have the same ‘base’ sticker, but will end up about $3k more once you add all the options that are standard in the TSX.

    That was one reason I went with a TSX when I bought it – it only comes 2 ways – loaded, or loaded with a Navi. I liked the A3 a lot when I compared it back in ’06, but the value of the TSX won out.

    Simply put – the previous TSX was a Honda through and through – solid across the board in all categories, but not the best in any of them. And I can’t fault it for that.

  • avatar

    Another staggering disappointment from Honda.


  • avatar

    What were the previous ‘staggering disappointments’? I mean, we’re not talking about GM here…Even though some aspects of this car leave something to be desired, it’s still miles beyond most of what detroit is offering.

  • avatar

    Very nice exterior. This is how modern cars should (and would) look like. The interior is a bit cluttered and should have been simpler.

  • avatar

    “Arg, we don’t know what we’re doing”

  • avatar

    I like the commercials they are running on tv. Other than that, this car is trash.

  • avatar

    This is about the fifth negative article I have read on the TSX. I considered it because of its manual transmission. But once I decided on an automatic I thought the 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 was a much better deal: better ride, smoother engine, more room and cheaper at $24,988. Bought one last Saturday. Although I would have preferred a car little smaller like the TSX for its maneuverability.

  • avatar

    I really think Acura has missed on exterior styling lately, but that’s subjective, I suppose.

    But there’s little excuse for them to lose the tidy driving characteristics of the previous gen TSX when you know they’re capable of doing it right.

  • avatar

    superb review, thanks. i often wonder if acura will become a meaningful brand to contend with the germans, or even contend with infiniti but so far no signs of hope, in fact this car takes them a big step backwards. maybe the next gen TL will be a winner.

  • avatar

    “There’s a reason other car designers copy his designs… because they’re good.”

    To paraphrase Edmund Blackadder III:

    “Is this some definition of the word ‘good’ which which I was previously unfamiliar?”

  • avatar

    I just saw the facelifted RL, and I think it’s time to stick a fork in Acura — they’re done.

    I can’t see any redeeming virtues here. Heavier, thirstier (yes, I know they made the gear ratios a bit taller to game the EPA numbers; big deal), bulkier, but no bigger inside. Uglier on the outside, and no good to drive.

    I understand the rationale behind electric power steering (improving fuel economy by reducing loads at idle), but I have to wonder if an automatic stoplight shutoff system (a la Prius) would get the same result without the dismal dynamic shortcomings of electric assist.

  • avatar

    Wow, this thing must be total garbage, seeing as how it got a worse review than the lowly V6 Mustang Convertible! What a shame. The old TSX was such a well-respected car.

  • avatar

    Other disappointments: new RL (one of the ugliest exteriors on a contemporary vehicle) and new Pilot (one of the ugliest interiors in a contemporary vehicle). Bloating the new Accord up to nearly the size of a Chrysler 300 was more than a little disappointng as well.

    Right now I hear they are struggling to get a 100k V10 Acura to hustle ’round the ‘ring as quickly as a 70k V6 Nissan.

    They have lost their way.

    And for the record, I think the previous TSX was a superb little sports sedan – the only thing it needed was the one thing Honda didn’t see fit to give it: the turbo 4 from the RDX.

  • avatar

    Maybe I’m just silly, but every time I sit in an Acura I’m made dizzy by the buttons. It’s like they went to the button factory and were like, “So you’re saying if we order three times as many buttons, the whole order will only cost twice as much because of your great volume pricing? We’ll take SIX TIMES as many buttons as we were initially going to order, I’m sure we can find a function for all of them!”

    Those lousy buttons mess me up so much I make convoluted blog responses just thinking about them.

  • avatar

    Sad. But Acura’s real mistake IMO was junking the Integer. A new Integer would sorely tempt me. I tried an 08 TSX last fall and I didn’t feel any strong reason to trade my ’99 Accord 2.4 5-speed for one. I could feel the extra weight, and I sure didn’t like it.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Chris Bangle is one of the most influential car designers in recent times. At a time when all cars were starting to look the same, he radically changed BMW car design for the better.

    Holy crap, you drank the koolade! I give you a 3/10 for trolling. It’ll take BMW another whole generation to recover from Bangle. The 7, 6 and Z are hideous, the 5 and 1 are eyesores, and the 3 barely escaped. The 3 coupe is the only thing of beauty in the BMW stable right now. Thus Bangle’s “promotion” the hell out of the design studio.
    Influential? Maybe. For the better? No.

  • avatar

    Honda may not qualify for a death watch series of articles, but there is something seriously wrong with that company. Their Formula One cars are as slow as Force India’s! The mothership has treated Acura like an afterthought, consistently diluting what made Acura great in the first place–what’s up with that? It’s not like Honda has seven other brands to feed.

    And then there’s the styling… ugh.

    As for Chris Bangle (or Adrian Van Hooydonk, Tonto to the Lone Ranger), you also have to blame BMW management. They approved the ugly things.

  • avatar

    Honda should get some credit for finally bringing together Bangle haters and admirers. No matter how you feel about BMW’s, you’ve got to agree that what’s coming out of Honda’s studios right now is downright scary.

    OK, so the Element and Ridgeline were … odd. And the current CR-V perhaps somewhat unusual. But then the deluge: Accord, Pilot, TSX, RL. And those TL spy shots circulating on the net this week look frightening.

    Are they subcontracting styling out to Chrysler or what?

  • avatar

    As for Chris Bangle (or Adrian Van Hooydonk…

    Thanks for pointing out that Adrian van Hooydonk of the Netherlands designed the 7 series…or maybe…not.

    Personally I like the 7 series, after the facelift anyway.

    Some BMW models were designed by Bangle himself if I’m not mistaken (Z4, 6-series), but yes, the one that started it all originated in the brain no doubt affected by other great Dutch export products that will never end up on a balance sheet.

    The Acura TSX is actually the Euro Accord…So if you don’t want one, don’t move to Europe and order an Accord at the dealership, cause you’ll still end up with this car.

    Just lookin out.

  • avatar

    I test drove an ’08 and ’09 TSX back-to-back a few months back, both with automatic tranny and w/o navigation. Honestly, I liked the ’08 better. Granted, I spent about 15 years driving Hondas and Acuras, so the ’08 TSX felt like an old friend after two minutes in the driver’s seat. The 5-speed auto worked a lot better than I expected with the high revving 200hp 4-cylinder, too.

    I intended to buy an ’08 if the dealer could have found one in Gray or Silver with Ebony interior. I was even considering one in Milano Red with Ebony, which they did have on the lot and they offered it to me at $3k off sticker. The premium fuel requirement was a show stopper, given the unknown future of gas prices. I also had a tough time reconciling the fact that my sister’s ’06 Accord EX 4-cylinder was at least $5k cheaper and would likely outpace the TSX in a straight line. The TSX was so sharp though and the handling was as good as my Mazda3 s but with a smooth ride, too.

    The ’09 TSX wasn’t an improvement aesthetically to my eyes and it isn’t growing on me. I’m not very fond of the RDX, MDX or upcoming TL shots I’ve seen either.

    Between the new Acura “family identity”, a Civic Sedan that has been referred to as suppository-like and an Accord Sedan that is just odd from most angles, I’m a little concerned.

    The bright spots are that the Civic Coupe is pretty nice looking and the Accord Coupe is a bonafide looker! The new Fit looks promising too….but Acura needs to rethink their corporate look and FAST!

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Many of Honda’s latest designs are uglier than their predecessors while gaining weight and loosing fuel economy. Wow, what has happened?

    A well equipped Mazda 3 Grand Touring is looking like an excellent alternative to the new TSX at many thousand of dollars less money.

  • avatar

    Sure, the styling is borderline atrocious, but at least you’ll have a hard time dying in one! The IIHS seems to love the thing more than Acura loves hideous front-clips on their newer models;

  • avatar

    I am a big Honda/Acura fanboy (I’ve owned two Integras and two Accords), and when I heard a new TSX was coming out, I was ready to rush out and buy it, based on my past experience and the rep of the current TSX.

    However, after seeing and reading about the 09 TSX, I instead went straight out and got an IS 250 instead (my first ever Toyota product – great job Honda!). Anyways, the IS is a fabulous car, and I am so glad I made the switch.

    After the RL and TSX, I can only hope they don’t similarly screw up the TL. Based on the spy pix I’ve seen, I am not optimistic.

  • avatar

    Acura’s slide downhill is continuing.. These days they seem to be content with making vehicles that are “just good enough to churn good enough profit” and that’s it. I have no doubt that this iteration of TSX will probably sell well enough. There are plenty people in coastal California cities who should really be driving an accord, but who’re willing to pay a few thousand more for an Accord with pseudo-luxury badge.

  • avatar

    I’m more concerned about the TL than this car. While the TSX was tastefully conservative, the TL is one of the most attractive modern sedans of the last ten years. They’ve nowhere to go but down.

  • avatar

    Michael Karesh :

    “But my biggest problem with the car, one not mentioned in this review, is that the instrument panel is piled high in front of the driver. What happened to the low IPs Honda was once known for?”

    I also miss the “sitting on the roof” feeling that pre-2000 Hondas/Acuras had. There was no comparison with the view out of the windshield between an older Integra and a newer RSX.

    I remember reading a while back there were two reasons why Honda had to ditch the low cowl look.
    First – the new crash standards required more metal in the front for extra crash protection and also the newer pedestrian impact standards.
    Second – the front suspension changed from Honda’s famous compact (I think it was a double wishbone style) and rather expensive setup to a less expensive but larger assembly.
    I can’t be the only Honda/Acura fan that really missed the larger glass/less metal look of the older models compared to the pinched and cramped look of newer ones.
    I’ve also driven a 2009 TSX for what amounted to a rather long approved test drive from a local dealer that I take my Acura into for service. I’m a huge fan of the older TSX but this one just did nothing for me. All of the comments are dead on accurate with the steering feel – there isn’t any. The dash is mid-90’s GM-crazy-button filled with no rhyme and reason in placement. The front end is just begging for an auto bra. (Saturn called – they want their front end back.)
    I have seen very few of these compared to the last generation TSX – maybe one or two tops. Fuel economy might help sell these but I cannot imagine many buying this based on looks.
    I’m getting very worried about Honda now…lots of steps backwards in looks, economy, and build quality. They don’t need to become Toyota!!!

  • avatar

    Oh, I suppose Honda will still sell scads of the new metal, but I just absolutely despise most of the things they’re doing now.

    The Accord sedan is just awkward-looking from every angle, and comes off mostly as looking like a ten-year old Saturn sedan. For crying out loud, there have been ULTRA-COOL CONCEPT VEHICLES!! How on EARTH could they hatch such a turkey as this monstrosity??

    I don’t find the Accord coupe as being much better, either. Just the most gigantic “coupe butt” ever unleashed on American roads. The butt on that thing is just as awkward as everything on the sedan.

    Interior-wise, gone are “legendary Honda ergonomics,” replaced by a panel full of a hundred buttons.

    I haven’t had a good look at the TSX, except for that awful guillotine grille. But yes, I see Justin’s observations — more Accord-esque utter ridiculousness in the styling. Plus the same ridiculous interior nonsense.

    Sure, they’re noisy and rough-riding, a TSX-specific and Honda-generic fact of life.

    Add the steering and everything else, I suppose, and what do you get? Gosh, could Honda be doing a much better job of driving its loyal customers away from its vehicles?

    Justin pretty well nailed it right on target: Gosh, you can do so much better than this for the money. In just about any dimension you care about. If you’ve been a life-long Honda fanboy, consider using this as an excuse to try something else for a change.

  • avatar

    I find it incredibly interesting how manufacturers can quickly turn the tables against their favor. They are going to have a lot of people running to competitors after this stinker. Prior to the TSX and RL, Acura had a really handsome (yet slightly uninspired) line-up of cars. But the TSX and TL always managed to grab my attention, mainly because they represented to me the sporty yet slightly conservative styling that I really loved from the E36/E39/E46.

    When I saw the new accord, I was hoping to god they wouldn’t botch up the TSX. Unfortunately, when the first press pics were released, my first reaction was DO. NOT. WANT. This is what they have to respond to the prettier and sleeker Infiniti G? This is what they have to respond to the comparatively gorgeous IS? Most people don’t like to buy ugly cars–especially the status/image conscious group that goes after cars like these despite not being able to afford it.

    This generation won’t be as popular as the previous TSX, and I won’t be surprised to at least see a quick decision to axe that hideous piece of plastic on the grille.

  • avatar

    I likely won’t get to drive one of these soon but the styling is a bit strange and the controls look very confusing. It will likely sell because it’s the lowest price car from a “luxury” name plate. The people who bought or wanted the TSX because it was an “Acura” will buy this car. People who bought or wanted a TSX because it was a neat little sport sedan will likely jump ship to Mazda and the new 6.

  • avatar
    the number 3

    This is unfortunate for Acura as their sales haven’t been good lately. Personally I’m disappointed, for I had high hopes for the 2nd gen version. Will it still sell? Hard to say. Here in Ontario there’s quite alot of the first gen TSX models and Acura has been doing some heavy marketing, however I doubt alot of people will be able to swallow that trapezoidal grill. Even I think the grill’s ugly (this is coming from a guy who likes Bangle’s flame surfacing).

  • avatar

    I’ve never seen a car get torn so many new tailpipes like this one just did. It doesn’t matter whether you think Honda is right or not for offering V-8s and other big engines in their Acuras (and I don’t) if they can’t get the rest right.

  • avatar

    i might be stupid but I don`t see a single industrial failure in the Acura TSX design.Well proportined, good fit and finish at least for exterior, all lines are logical and break accordingly to design etiquette.Even chrome lining around doorframes is the way americans from cadillac should learn from.Ok? What exactly you don`t lke in TSX design?Interior buutons are cramped on central console? haven`t heard you saying that about Audis.

  • avatar

    What is the deal with the Audi complaints?

    And yes, I believe the A5 review complained about some ergonomic issues with the buttons.

    For the record, the new A4 crushes this atrocity..

  • avatar

    Beelzebubba: The premium fuel requirement was a show stopper, given the unknown future of gas prices. I also had a tough time reconciling the fact that my sister’s ‘06 Accord EX 4-cylinder was at least $5k cheaper and would likely outpace the TSX in a straight line.

    2 things here…one, the price difference between premium and regular amortized over a year has been roughly $143 and $130 for me over the 2 years of owning my vehicle. As the comments on the “regular” editorial from a few days ago here pointed out, if you can’t afford that, then you have no business buying the vehicle requiring that fuel. The car is almost $30k…and $120 a year is the dealbreaker?

    Secondly, the 06 TSX pisses all over the 06 Accord 4Cyl in HP (205 v 166), torque (164@4500 v 160@4000), Handling, and just about everything, and that’s with the Auto. Forget about it with the manual…The TSX is no off-the-line speed demon, but it’s certainly more than capable in driving situations that 95% of the population faces on a daily basis. In short, the TSX would definitely outpace the USDM Accord in a straight line. That was just a foolish statement.

    Edit – oh great here comes the V8 chest-bumping again…

  • avatar

    I drove one last Saturday. our 12 year old, 132,000 mile Civic is quieter at idle.What has Honda done here?

  • avatar

    Acura –

    My 2003 RSX was great, I love my 2006 TSX and I can’t stand what you are doing to your lineup now. Why does everything need to be so EXTREME, yet also so boring? Lots of great, interesting angles, but lame profiles and low-rent wheel/time packages? Why is the TSX SO MUCH MORE than a “comparable” Accord? Before, it was a justifiable step up, now its an expensive step sideways, or really, DOWN, with more power available in the Accord. Was there any call for a bigger, more expensive TSX? Isn’t that what the TL is for? You can’t (and shouldn’t try to) move up market when you’re not satisfying the requirements to do so (more power, more luxury, rear wheel drive, etc)…NOT that your actual customers (not the bloggers) were looking for any of that. Personally, I like having a reasonably well equipped 4-cylinder, $30k car. Judging by the number of TSXs that I see around here, its a formula that worked. If I wanted something more from Acura, I would step up to a TL. I chose the TSX over the TL. If I want RWD, I’ll go get a Lexus IS. I chose the TSX over the IS. If you want to have a package with a turbo and/or AWD, great, maybe I’ll buy them, sounds good to me – just don’t come out with a new, odd looking model that has no significant upgrades yet somehow when spec’ed out, costs $5,000 to $7,000 more than the outgoing model!

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I can and will spend more if I feel the increase is justified, but this is a wrong time to screw the “bottom” of your market up…your top of the line isn’t a halo model, hasn’t been for a while and the refresh isn’t going to get you there. The TL is nice, but it is gettng old. Any buzz about the new TL is getting mauled by the concerns over the styling. The RDX is a gas hog and everyone knows it. The MDX is OK, but you can’t live on big SUVs alone. You have nothing to draw people into the brand, keep them moving up or aspire to. Massive failure of beyond epic proportions. Right now is the time to play up on price and economy and somehow you are trying to be the techno-Lexus. You are what you are and you were very good at it for about 20 years and now it has gone all wrong. Read it, accept it and re-boot.

    As for the TSX (I have a 2006 with 32,000 trouble free miles), you had a great, affordable, economical (34.6 MPG yesterday, awesome!), sporty, competent vehicle that cruised smartly under the radar and never failed me. I’m sure the new TSX is “nice”, but, even though I have sat in one, I’ll never turn the key on one because the numbers and the reality of this thing just don’t add up.

    – greg c
    atlanta, ga

  • avatar

    dave and greg pretty much nailed it…I average 25-26mpg in 2/3city-1/3hwy driving in my ’06, which isn’t exactly top of the heap, but damn good for the size and class of car that the TSX was.

    Thoots – how is the TSX rough-riding, and how is that “honda” in general? Were you driving it on a friggin’ double black diamond slope? You want rough riding in a sedan? Try the Subaru Legacy in a base model – the seats alone are a nightmare…while you are concerned with the lack of padding comfort on a seat bench, the suspension sneaks up behind you and slits your throat.

  • avatar

    I’ve been a long time Honda fanboy. My first car was a pristine 1991 CRX Si that I wish to god I never sold, my second was a 1997 Prelude SH that I also loved. Honda has lost the plot. The years of double-wishbones front and rear, lightweight, fun-to-drive cars have been replaced by overweight, stut-based suspensioned, ugly, Toyota-chasing, bland transportation appliances. About the only thing that has improved are the engines and automatic transmissions (the manuals seem to be going downhill as well). Honda has completely abandoned all of its great cars in pursuit of more mainstream sales, much like Toyota did years before. Count the dead – Legend, NSX, CRX, Prelude, Civic hatchback Sis, etc etc etc. I switched to Mazda a while ago and never looked back. Mazda is everything Honda used to be and more. They cater to the market Honda abandoned in pursuit of more sales.

  • avatar


    I mean the Acura is one of the best car out there in quality,economically and reliability.

    I don’t see any reason why the interior is Boring. Those gadgets make you just seat in the car and play with those knobs or learn how to use the instrument panel the whole day.

    I mean we are talking about the Acura here.

    Not bad for a company that was founded in 1986 just for the American Consumer.

    One of my favorite is Acura RSX Typs S and please never ever compare it to a Mazda.

    My friend tune a Acura Integra and oh boy it is Unique Whips

  • avatar

    When will you guys get it thorugh your heads, the DOLLAR ain’t worth jack-sh*t anymore! You cant get something for nothing, your $30,000 US dollars today are really worth about $23,000!
    That is why you are seeing a “new” TSX that kinda sucks. Be prepared to see many other of your favorite cars get downgraded for the US market in the near future.

    Trust me if the US dollar had remained strong over the last 5 years rather than tank we would probably be looking a 2nd gen TSX with a turbo and AWD.

    The way I see prices for cars have not risen in proportion to the drop in the value of ths Dollar. With that in mind companies like Honda will need to become really creative to hold down prices to a level that Americans will be able to afford.

    REMEMBER the USA is supposed to be the high volume, HIGH PROFIT market, but sales are decreasing at the same time that all those factories have been built here to satisfy a demand that is drying up.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz


    Really? What about the Pontiac G8 GT, new Nissan Maxima, Nissan Altima V6, Saab9-3, Audi A3, Dodge Charger RT, Honda Accord EX-L V6, Honda Civic Si sedan, Volkswagen GLI, Toyota Camry LE V6, Ford Fusion V6 AWD, Mazda6 V6, Chrysler 300C, Lincoln MKZ, Hyundai Azera 3.3 or 3.8, Hyundai Sonata V6, Hyundai Genesis V6, Mini Cooper S, Ford Taurus?

  • avatar

    Acura: Decent enough cars designed and marketed by the most disfunctional team in the auto business. Styling = Bland to bizarre, and the current alphabet soup system for models is STUPID. Remember when Acura was bold and inovative? They started on top and gave the leadership away to Lexus.They had balls enough in the beginning to call there top of the line car Legend! What the hell is a “RL” and why would I want one? Today in the Honda marketing plan they are just what a Mercury is to a Ford.IT didn’t HAVE to happen. Pity. Bill C.

  • avatar

    I never heard of such a negative comment about Acura’s before especially in the world of performance modification.

    So, What do we buy now Mazda and BMW again I guess? Everything else is just POS.

    Not Really!!!

  • avatar

    “Or, for $200 less than the TSX you can drive off the Honda lot in a loaded 268 horsepower V6 Accord.”

    This statement is spot-on for us. We first looked at a new TSX, then decided to head to another dealer to look at a new Accord EX-L V6. No comparison, we bought the fully loaded Accord.

  • avatar

    Acura TSX series has more mature look with some deadly reliable design. The auto also has a great performance and handling. the most striking feature is its tons of features that makes to stand from others.

  • avatar

    A friend of mine bought a new first gen TSX on my recommendation. She has more money than she knows what to do with and was going to get an Accord, and I said why not go for something with some style. I won’t be recommending the new one.

    The number of posts here demonstrates that lots of car enthusiasts are interested in and might be able to afford a TSX. Honda is shooting its self in the foot by butchering this car.

  • avatar

    Justin, buddy… don’t hold back – why don’t you tell us how you really feel? ;)

    All kidding aside, I love this site for it’s candid reviews and just for a reality check to see if I’m the only one out there thinking these dark thoughts… apparently I’m not.

    What disturbs me is since my first Honda, an ’89 Accord SE-i, I noticed with each succeeding generation more conservative and larger iterations.

    That was fine as long as Honda introduced new technology and better driving dynamics. Eventually, they grew on me and I got over it but not anymore.

    Lately, it’s gotten out of hand. I wasn’t thrilled by the 2003-2007 Accord but by comparison the 2008 is not just incrementally disastrous by comparison, it’s a failure on so many levels. C’mon Honda, you could do so much better than this.

    As the owner of ’93 Accord SE and and ’04 TSX 6-speed (both in pristine condition) I am very concerned. What happens now if any of my beloved Hondas is totaled or stolen, I mean what car do I buy next?

    I’ve always looked up to Honda as a superior company who could out-engineer just about anyone. Who’s styling I subjectively felt was better than all but a handful of it’s competitors.

    But now it looks like each succeeding new model resembles some distorted origami created by crack cocaine addicts or worse, Homer Simpson.

    It looks like someone got really drunk and decided to make the new TSX a clone of the Saturn Aura (or a loose interpretation). What’s real scary, more than one person had to approve this decision.

    Lucy, you’ve got some splaining to do…

  • avatar

    Look, the ’08 Accord is definitely very different in many ways from the model it replaced, and even more so looking back a generation or 3. BUT, that shouldn’t take away from the fact that it’s a damn nice vehicle, and for what you get at the price points, it’s an incredible value and reliable.

    Perhaps Honda would have done better to name it something different and have a bigger car like Toyota did with the Camry/Avalon split. However, they’re just as guilty too, with the Camry growing and growing. It’s the industry trend, not just Honda.

  • avatar

    Excuse me forgive me. I am not sure why the new Honda 4 door Accord is not appealing to some Americans. Compare to a Mazda design I prefer Honda, compared to the New Camry I prefer the Accord.

    I find the New Accord is the best Honda they ever design. I don’t get it.

    We Americans are not even the best dress People in the world and We worry about the looks of our car. I would hire a fashion consultant first before I step out of a good looking car.

  • avatar

    I don’t understand how Honda can make such ugly cars. Their build quality is superb, is it that hard to design something akin to an Alfa? I mean it doesn’t have to be Alfa-styling per se, but something better looking than this abortion would be nice.

  • avatar

    The new Accord is a great alternative… to the Avalon. Compare sizes of the two vehicles. They’re like inches apart. The TSX is fat as hell, too. Looks okay in person (the weird surface angles are less noticeable) but the grille has got to go! It seems every god damn generation Acura is always changing grilles. Pick a good one and stick with it. BMW did it. Why can’t you?

  • avatar

    Why oh why couldn’t Acura have taken a page from Infiniti. New G35 is just a tasteful re-representation of the first generation. THAT’S what I was hoping to see from Acura for the 2nd gen. TSX.

  • avatar

    BEAT :

    Excuse me forgive me. I am not sure why the new Honda 4 door Accord is not appealing to some Americans.

    Glad to help:

    Ugly proportions – front, rear, greenhouse.
    Ugly front end.
    Ugly bugged-out headlights.
    Ugly Ridgeline truck grille.
    Ugly rear.
    Ugly bad copy of decade-old Saturn taillights.
    Ugly sides with nonsensical “cut lines.”
    Ugly upside-down door handles.
    Ugly bad copy of BMW c-pillar curve.
    Ugly steering wheel.
    Ugly navigation screen hole in the dashboard.
    Ugly center stack with 42 small buttons crammed together.
    Ugly center stack that doesn’t “flow” down to the console.

    That’ll just about cover the “look” of the thing.

    Otherwise, there’s stuff like this:

    It’s grown too big.
    It gets worse gas mileage than competitors.
    It has more interior noise than competitors.
    It has bad ergonomics compared to competitors. (Those 42 buttons all crammed together.)

    That’s most of the list for me — I’ll leave it there. It’s one of the ugliest cars on the road now, and it’s going backwards when other cars are moving forward.

  • avatar

    I have said it before, Honda are about making money. They looked at Toyota beating them in the sales department in NA even though they had a better product through the 80’s and 90’s. They have got with the game and now make toasters too.

    Everybody hates Honda with this car not because of its shortcomings. They just know that Honda could blow the competition away if they wanted to.


  • avatar


    Styling is subjective. I have friends who really like the new Accord. I, for one, don’t find the sedan that nice, however the coupe is a looker.

    The new TSX is definitely a big departure from the previous generation. I own an ’06, and while I like the previous model’s styling, I think it’s boring. The new one is harder to like. The beak on the front is nasty, but when the new Camry was introduced every complained about that pimple on the front end. Time has passed, you see them on the road, and get used to it, the same thing will happen with the Acura. It will never be sexy, just like the Camry and Accord, it will just start to blend in. Most of the people in this forum don’t like it, but when I visited an Acura forum most people liked it. So it really is subjective.

    BUT… the biggest disgrace of the new model is lack of effort by Acura.

  • avatar

    Eh, Acura has really taken a style wise turn for the worse.

  • avatar

    Holy major screwup Batman!

  • avatar

    I love my ’06 TSX. This one makes me want to puke.

    It’s a good thing that mine will last for another 10 years. I’ll skip right over this piece of **** and my next rides will be a Wrangler and a BMW 3-coupe.

    Acura, you’re supposed to be the Japanese import for non-douchebags (i.e., Lexus owners)….what happened?

  • avatar

    Acura has always amaze me with it’s interior, design, it’s handling capabilities and it’s performance engines, but this new design is ugly. I wonder if acura changed it’s R&D staff and engineers….

  • avatar
    Antohn Crispin

    Not to stick my head in the lion’s mouth… or should I say put my foot in the path of the steamroller but: does anybody seriously think that Acura is going to be losing money after the release of the rest of the new models scheduled for the next 2 years? Even if nobody on this website (writers and commentators alike) likes the direction in which Acura is heading, there have been plenty of automobile manufacturers that made money walking away from the enthusiast demographic.

  • avatar

    I think this may sum it up best… when the 1st generation TSX arrived here in April ’03, there was an immediate attraction that went further than appearance.

    The Euro Accord had already been out for well over a year and was receiving almost unanimous praise from both journalists and the public.

    The car had great style, decent mechanicals and offered great value. Fast forward 5 years and what was once an athletic looking car with great handling has morphed into a car we now feel hard pressed to like.

    The sad truth is if you have to force yourself to like it or convince yourself that it will “grow on you,” then something is wrong.

    Life is too short and 5 years is a long time to wait and hope Honda gets it right the next time around. Surprisingly, I too thought this current incarnation would be more evolutionary and bear a much stronger resemblance to the original.

    Honda will be hard pressed to appease those who feel cheated and alienated by the current design and choice of steering technology and its resulting road numbing calibration. Never mind any lack of performance, technology or handling improvements.

    A previous poster said it best, Honda should have followed Infiniti and made the current model less loathsome. Ironic isn’t it, this coming from a company that for years was criticized as being too conservative with it’s designs… go figure.

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    To the question posed: Will it sell?

    Unfortunately, yes. I’ve seen at least 10 this week…

  • avatar

    thoots, I’d love to know where you’re getting your numbers on gas mileage for 4cyl sedans the size of the new Accord, claiming that it gets worse gas mileage than it’s competitors. The Accord, which has a base sticker of $1k less than the class sales leader Camry, while being larger inside and offering much better handling, get EPA rated identical gas mileage.

    In fact, here…

    You’ve made several generalizations in this discussion, but have provided no actual basis other than your subjective dislike of the vehicles.

  • avatar


    But Honda doesn’t make your Integra/RSX anymore does it? That’s my point. From an enthusiasts standpoint, Honda’s best years are in the past(’80s-early ’00s). The S2000 is in it’s last years and has no confirmed successor. The Civic Si is the last man standing. Wonder when it will get dumped too?

  • avatar

    In Marketing stand point I think Acura stop making the RSX and Integra to avoid competition with its sister company the Honda Civic SI or the Honda Civic family sedans.

    I check the picture of the 2006 Acura TSX.
    said to say it looks like an 4 door Accord. I like 08 TSX Because it has its own character it doesn’t look like a Honda.

    It looks Like an Acura.

    Don’t believe me get the pics and compare them. the only difference is the Emblem.

    If you put the old 2006 Honda Accord and 2006 Acura TRX. they look exactly the same.

    Now we have 2 different cars and it own character.

  • avatar

    I am very, very happy that my girlfriend picked up an ’08 TSX lease – I almost convinced her to wait till these things came out and boy am I glad that she didn’t listen for once. I would not want this sitting in my driveway. Sorry Acura.

  • avatar

    I love my 2006 acura tsx…. styling: looks 100x better inside and out. as far as engine: i belive the 06 puts out about the same numbers…..

  • avatar

    If you put the old 2006 Honda Accord and 2006 Acura TRX. they look exactly the same. Now we have 2 different cars and it own character.

    TRX? hmm… all joking aside, yeah, there are similarities, considering the cars are made by the same parent company…but to say they look exactly the same, you’d have to ignore the larger body of the accord, the width of it, the more flared wheel-wells, the fat rear end, higher trunk, much more oddly styled grilled and fascia, different door handles, different interior panels, different layout and center stack, the different gauge cluster…

    Quite an over-generalization to say that they are exactly the same.

  • avatar

    Back to….

    Ronin317 :

    thoots, I’d love to know where you’re getting your numbers on gas mileage for 4cyl sedans the size of the new Accord, claiming that it gets worse gas mileage than it’s competitors…..

    You’ve made several generalizations in this discussion, but have provided no actual basis other than your subjective dislike of the vehicles.

    No problem, I can provide you with the basis from which I’ve gained my perspective. Regarding fuel economy, I think the most realistic and scientific numbers are from Consumer Reports, and compiled within its annual “Car Issue,” from a couple of months ago. Yes, people often spew venom towards CR, but CR takes each and every vehicle they test over the same varied-terrain course, a number of times, and come up with probably the most realistically comparably MPG number for each vehicle. So, here’s what a few sedans look like in “real world” CR numbers:

    25 MPG – Altima I4
    24 MPG – Camry I4
    24 MPG – Jetta I4
    23 MPG – Accord I4
    23 MPG – Sonata I4
    23 MPG – Fusion I4

    Now, let’s have a look at some V6 models:

    23 MPG – Altima V6
    23 MPG – Camry V6
    21 MPG – Accord V6

    And so on. Note that you could get Altima or Camry with a V6 and get the same mileage as Accord with the I4. For the record, CR’s I4 Accord was an LX-P, with the 2.4 engine, and its V6 Accord was an EX-L, with “Variable Cylinder Management.”

    Perhaps if Honda had been spending the past few years developing a six-speed automatic transmission, rather than trying to get its current five-speed to last past the warranty when attached to its V6 engines, Accord might be able to compete with the other V6 cars. It sure looks like “modern transmission” beats “turn off half the engine” electronics.


    Regarding styling, in reply to carguy622, I think the new TSX will probably be OK, but I don’t see anyone “getting used to” the new Accord. It just has awkward proportions, and thus “will never look right” to most people. Camry, in contrast, has pretty safe, ordinary sedan proportions, so yes, we’ll get used to the details of its styling.

    I’d sure accuse both Accord and TSX as having a whole bunch of “tacked on” cosmetics, which also detract from rather than enhance the styling — from Justin’s “30 different surfaces” on the doors, to the guillitine grille on the TSX, to all of the awfulness on the Accord — similar “why not add two dozen more angles to the sides of the car?” nonsense, the upside-down, huge door handles, the bugged-out-waaay-too-far headlights, the Ridgeline grille, and so on.

    And the worst of all in the Accord is the sense that it’s got a Sonata front end, a BMW c-pillar (though I’d call it a bad copy of Altima’s bad copy of BMW’s curve), and a decade-old Saturn rear end — it’s just a jumble of poor copies of styles from other cars, smashed together into an incohesive, ill-proportioned mess that they tried to “fix” with waaay-over-the-top (and ugly to boot) details.

    I think it’s just utterly ghastly.


  • avatar


    thoots, you can change the game all you want here, but the facts stand – your original post was detailing the fuel efficiency of the 4cyl Accord, which was faulty. You get called out on it, THEN you come back with some CR numbers from a test, touting 1-2mpg difference, and harp on the V6.

    It’s no use trying to use logic with someone that changes their argument once they get called out on it.

    By the way, I’ve heard exactly the opposite of what you have on the new Accord. I’ve heard and seen a ton of compliments on how it looks to my parents (who have an EX-L V6 in white diamond). However, I won’t generalize that to mean that everyone is in love with it. I mean, I think the Camry looks terrible in comparison, and really still hate the front end of it. But Opinions are like assholes…heheh

  • avatar

    Those CR mileage figures are pretty disappointing. Just saw a Honda commercial touting the “amazing” fuel efficiency of the VCM-equipped Hondas. What a laugh and a half.

  • avatar

    Geez, Louise…..

    Ronin317 :
    thoots, you can change the game all you want here, but the facts stand – your original post was detailing the fuel efficiency of the 4cyl Accord, which was faulty. You get called out on it, THEN you come back with some CR numbers from a test, touting 1-2mpg difference, and harp on the V6.

    You might re-read my posts, and see if you can find any sense that I have been writing only about four-cylinder Honda Accords. Oh, I’m quite sure that you have been talking about them, but I have been talking about the “global” Honda Corporation, all along. Remember the bit about how I “despise most of the things they’re doing now”? “Most of the things they’re doing” is stuff like making their vehicles less attractive, not being able to come up with anything more advanced than a five-speed automatic transmission, increasing the size and weight of their vehicles, and thus falling behind the fuel economy capabilities of their competitors.

    Sure, you mentioned the four-cylinder Accord, but the first time I made any distinction to that effect was when I listed the Consumer Reports MPG numbers. You asked me for the facts behind my words, and I gave them to you. Per CR’s test loop numbers, Accord is very most definitely getting lower fuel economy than Altima and Camry, both in I4 and V6 forms. In fact, as I pointed out, Altima and Camry with V6 engines can match Accord’s mileage with just the I4 engine.

    I suppose you can go ahead and try to turn this into a “pro-Honda game,” but what I provided above were simply the facts behind the statements I had previously made.

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    Yeah, but you said “Consumer Reports”. That’s, like, an automatic loss.

    It’s just a joke, man.

  • avatar

    I own a 08 TSX and these reader comments drove me to inspect an 09 yesterday in the dealer’s showroom. I was most disappointed in the interior…lots of cheap plastic and a busy center stack…they cheapened up the interior. The exterior design was ok, not offensive to me, but seemed bloated. If the steering is as bad as others described then Honda ruined this car.

  • avatar

    I wanted to love this car but I don’t. The front grill only a mother could love. There is too much plastic in the interior, including the interior door unlock latches — something you use every time you use the car.

    I think the interior feels roomy — but I am only 5′ 5″ tall.

    There’s no feel to the steering. The Nav is so so. The stereo is very nice.

    What happened to the Acura that produced the Legend?

  • avatar

    “The other executive has the reverse Midas touch. He botched the RSX…”

    I hope by “botched” you really mean “murdered”.

    “Botched” describes what just happened to the TSX, not the RSX. That car was the top sport compact of it’s time, next to the WRX. Killing that car off instead redesigning it and moving it upmarket was the blunder that started Acura on this path of lunacy.

    This TSX is the nail in the coffin for Acura’s lineup. All their cars are now objects of Acura’s bean-counters and marketing department, sold to gullible people who buy into their “high tech” sales sham.

    And it’s a terrible shame, because when the first TSX was released, they were poised to really take off!

  • avatar

    I agree with all the comments stating that Acura has lost its way. I’ve owned two Acuras – a 1991 Legend and a 1996 RL. They each were very reliable. But I wasn’t passionate about either car.

    My sense is that Honda does not really have its heart into building luxury cars. What Honda does best is to build compact, economy cars. So when it tries to create a luxury car it starts with an economy car and adds technology and leather seats. The TSX I am told has a Civic engine. The current RL to me looks like a bigger version of a Civic or an Accord. Honda just doesn’t understand the luxury market in my opinion. They really should just walk away from it and do what they do best.

  • avatar
    Antohn Crispin

    Just to fan the dying flames a bit: do excerpts from the counterpoint editorial read something like this?

    “Congratulations on Acura for graduating from the days of sports compact teenagers and their carbon fiber, forged alloy wet dreams.”


    “When you park the 2009 TSX next to the first generation model, you get the impression you are watching the two main robots from the latest Pixar film. Inside and out, the new model makes the out-going model look dated by about 700 years.”

    And maybe…

    “The new car continues to build upon the brand’s fundamentals of providing more for less, proving once again that technology and luxury need not come at the cost of reliability and price.”

  • avatar

    Mr. Crispin has a point. And the 09 TSX is rated very high on safety — in the top 1% of all cars from model years 2003-2009. See Informed for Life.

  • avatar

    I would like to know what crack pipe, what giant Bob Marley doobie the heads at Honda and Acura is passing around at HQ.

    I digress way back: first, the low hood line that gave that wonderfully expansive view of the road went away. Like all other automakers, Honda then starting upsizing every succeeding generation. The size thing was going okay for a while, since HP rose and for the most part stellar ergonomics were always part of the Honda experience.

    In the new TSX, however, size is up, and HP is down. There is that button-city dash says to hell with simple ergonomics, a sentiment given a big amen by the similar innards of the new Accord and Pilot.

    I will make final judgment pending a test drive when my 2005 TSX goes in for service, but for now, I am wholly underwhelmed the 2009 TSX. Euro delivery of a 3 series never looked so good.

  • avatar

    What does loud suspension mean?

  • avatar

    In Acura’s relatively short history, this redesign may be the second worst screw-up they’ve made. The absolute WORST was replacing the still-stunning ’95 Legend with the ’96 RL.

    Word of advice to the design folks at Acura- the new brand ‘look’ hurts like a hangover! People may be looking, but it’s not in admiration.

  • avatar

    Damn! Acura is making some bloody ugly cars these days.

  • avatar

    Back for Rant Part II. My car was in for service this past Thursday, so I was able to examine the 09 TSX in person.

    It is bigger alright, specifically, noticeably wider. One was parked next to a current RL, and it was every bit as wide. The styling presents better in person, particularly in dark colors, but the cheese slicer grill has to go.

    I was able to finagle a brief test drive of the only six speed car on the lot. This particular car did not have the Technology pack, but the dash was still a sea of buttons, a contrast especially noteworthy to me after having had a non-nav 2008 TSX loaner. All in all, the interior felt very dark. Granted, it was a black interior, but Acura has deemed to remove any faux metal from the dash, steering wheel, and interior. If you want it, their accessory catalog awaits. The wider exterior translates into a more spacious feeling interior.

    Out on the road, the engine and trans remain a bright spot. The tweaking to the 2.4L motor gives it a nice midrange surge, and the powerband overall was quite linear. While the clutch take up was a little high for my tastes, the six speed still is one of the best shifting manuals out there.

    Alas, I do live in H-Town, which means there is nary a curve for 150 miles. The ride is quieter and smoother, if that is your thing. So, one ring around the feeder and I was back at the dealer. He confirmed the diesel in the works, but he could relay only whispers about a Type S version.

    In sum, my take is that Acura has given enthusiasts the middle finger salute. Sure, the TSX has an MT available, but the dealer I went to had one for who knows how many slushboxes. The mouth breathing masses love them some automatics, and that is who Acura really wants.

  • avatar

    One of the reasons I sadly left the Acura stable after 6 TL’s and before that the magnificent Legend is that the cars are “crap”. Looks and performance! The TL became a cramped “sport sedan” and who wants that RL which doesn’t seem to know where to put itself. After all these years I switched over to Hyundai and am driving an Azera and Sonata. They don’t pretend to be what they are not. Excellent value, and performance and in 2 years not one serious problem. Honda better start looking, because Genesis has now arrived. Acura has become a “misfit”.

  • avatar

    It’s a bit odd to read such a harmony of negative opinions.

    The original TSX’s design theme was tuned for European customers of Honda, still it made a huge success in the States. Other Acuras were originally designed to suit primarily American’s taste. I don’t know what went wrong with this new TSX.

    I must agree, the old TSX (Accord in EU) was a good piece of work, design-wise, but the style has evolved just a bit and I think that one could easily tell “it’s a TSX/Accord” by looking it from a mile away. Personally, I like the looks of the new TSX.

    I’ve read that the 2009 TSX offers power driver’s seat with memory, sunroof, Xenon headlights, and an USB port for music. The TSX has an optional technology package, which includes a navigation system real-time traffic and weather reporting, and a 10-speaker premium sound system with DVD-audio capabilities.

    I don’t see anything unworthy of Acura’s heritage, trim level wise.

    In terms of size, the 2009 TSX is 3.0-inch greater in width, has a 2.6-inch wider track and a 1.3-inch longer wheelbase than the current TSX.

    It has grown to keep up with the competitors. Doesn’t bigger mean better in TeXaS? :)

    “The new TSX is Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure is designed to reduce accident impact on passengers.”

    Win some, loose some. I bet that the new body structure introduce more sheer metal. They didn’t use composites, right?

    What dazzles me is the ride/performance. Many would say that the old TSX (Accord) had such a great suspension and performance. I believe that it’s good, compared to US comfy sedans, but I know that in EU there are better handling / with more sophisticated ride, sedans. One YT video of testing done by Auto Motor und Sport ( ) opened my eyes. Pay attention after the 37th second. Accord ranked at 11th place in that test.

    What to expect from the new TSX in regards of ride performance under stressful conditions?

    Regarding TSX engine’s power rating and torque, I wouldn’t care less about the petrol variant, because there is a 2.2 diesel engine cued up.

  • avatar

    I’m disappointed in the 2009 TSX too. Unfortunately, Honda/Acura decided that “just enough” equals “good enough” for this class, and I was certainly hoping for more. It should have more power and torque, better steering feel, and better mileage considering Honda’s expertise in fuel efficiency. Or, at the very least, it shouldn’t require premium fuel. The trunk should be larger. And, despite the wealth of standard features, it should cost less. Nevertheless, having driven the car twice, I think the harsh criticism here and elsewhere is way over the top.

    First of all, while the steering lacks some on-center feel, it becomes accurate off-center when pushing the car on twisty roads. I had read some criticism of the steering when I took the second test drive, so I was expecting to be irritated, but I wasn’t at all. Indeed, I found the TSX responsive with the light, agile feel characteristic of Hondas, and very well-controlled body motions. As some have mentioned, it has much less body roll than the previous generation, and to me that translates into better overall dynamics. When I drove the previous generation, the body roll turned me off.

    I was also impressed with the interior. The seats are outstanding, the materials seem decent, and I had no difficulties at all with the controls or overall ergonomics. I wish visibility were better, and like others I miss the classic “low cowl” Honda design.

    I wish the engine had more punch, but it sounds good, and the shifter and clutch are excellent. The engine/clutch/shifter combination is the most engaging aspect of the car, as Edmunds noted in its otherwise scathing review.

    So, where does that leave the TSX? I think Consumer Reports had it right with the last version, which they said “straddled the line” between sports and family sedans. That’s true for 2009 as well. It’s just sporty enough to draw some enthusiasts up from Accords, Altimas, etc., even though it’s not a hard-core sport sedan. And it’s just practical enough to serve as a family car, even though it’s easy to find more room for much less cash. And it’s probably just enough of a value to lure some enthusiasts down from more expensive European cars. This blend of virtues will draw plenty of buyers. But as an enthusiast, it’s precisely this “just enough” approach that’s so frustrating, because it should be a real sport sedan.

    I’d still consider the TSX, because overall I liked it despite the shortcomings. But the new Mazda6, for thousands less with four cylinder and six-speed manual, looks mighty tempting.

  • avatar

    I just brought the new 2009 Acura TSX, 6 speed manual transmission two days ago! A major upgrade from my 2005 Honda Accord 4-door LX model I sold after 13 great years by my side! The new 2009 TSX, is a mind blowing entry level luxury sport car for the price and all the additions and tweeks. I must admit I fell in love with the TSX when it released in 2003 and I’ve always loved Acura models from the RL to the late Integra. Acura much improved the look and feel of the second generation TSX model. People please stop hating & talking down this incredible ride just becuz the new model makes ur 03-08 look ancient. I have only received positive reaction from all who seen or been in the new 2009 TSX. It turns mucho heads when I drive around San Diego, California. The new grill definitely makes a bold new statement! But from the grill to the rear bumper the car is more aero dynamic. Yes, I admit even though the new 2009 TSX is a slightly larger body, it seem it lost trunk space, but that is a minor issue to me! Overall I’m impressed with what this car offers me! GREAT JOB ACURA! Satisfied customer!

  • avatar


    Too bad you bought now; there is louder talk about a V6 TSX being worked on by Honda, especially now that the diesel is on the shelf.

  • avatar

    rockStar you haven’t driven the 1Gen TSX. I got the TSX 2Gen as a loaner for 3 days so I spent decent amount of time playing with it. If you haven’t driven or spend time with 1Gen TSX, then you can’t really compare. The Gen1 TSX is a GREAT car. The only issue I have with it is the noisy tires and noise insulation is not that great. Apart from that, It beats the new TSX is all respects. The handling of the new TSX is also not very accurate because of the power steering. The prev TSX has razor sharp steering and is a joy to drive. After the Acura change in TSX/TL, my next car will be a BMW or Lexus.. no more Acura, they messed up.

  • avatar

    Why are people favoring v6 accord ? I test drove that car. The steering was just as lifeless. It has 268 hp yes but on a vehicle that’s going to carry around 3700lb of weight. It’s 0-60 is 7.7 secs – it’s really more in line with 8 secs. I did floor both cars.

    It also doesn’t have nearly as many tech gadgets as the tsx tech model, and the car chassis is huge and bulky.

    I have the tsx 09 and I couldn’t justify myself with a $31k accord when I paid $30.3k before tax on a 09 tech model that’s about the same speed, lighter, more gadgets, and more luxury stuff.

    It’s not a purist car but somewhere in the middle between an everyday car with some sporty stuff. The car doesn’t suck and I still like it.

    If you’re looking for a car for the enthusiasts, this car ain’t it. This car also doesn’t suck.

  • avatar


    You hit it right on the head about the 2009 TSX: it ain’t a car for enthusiasts, despite that delicious six speed manual’s availability.

    The “It Sucks” chorus sings because the Gen 1 TSX was a car for enthusiasts, and we had such high hopes that Honda would give us more of the same.

  • avatar

    I’m pretty sure the older models of the TSX have more power & owning a 2009 V6 TXS would be preferable. I have test drove the first TSX in 2004 & it was always a dream to own one day. After 13 years of owning the 1995 manual 5 speed 130 hp Honda Accord, I purchased the 2009 manual 6 speed TSX 201 hp & I love it!! It drives like a dream, it looks sleek & has a beefed up body. So I am pleased with my 2009 TSX purchase regardless of everybody hating on this awesome vehicle. I just can’t get over all the negative review on this website.

  • avatar

    Enough with the RDX engine! Besides, I had heard it wouldn’t fit.

    However, what about the S2000 engine. Wouldn’t that work? Or would that not fit either?

  • avatar

    Is it just me or does this car look amazing like the Honda Accord except it sports the bottle opener front end? I look at this car and can’t get past the fact that it looks like a female 20-something car or a car that teenagers will drive in a couple years …. dented up with tinted windows and pasted on air intake vents on the front fenders.

  • avatar

    I test drove the TSX for a few days and, overall, I liked it. Very fine Honda quality, ergonomics, fit and finish. The navigation system works very well. The trunk should have been larger, not smaller, than the previous model. Not a true sport sedan in the BMW tradition, but rather an upscale sedan with sporty pretensions (and far more reliable). Very slick manual transmission, but I am disappointed that it is less fuel efficient than the automatic. I don’t like the automatic at all: I switched from a left turn lane to a regular lane and hit the gas, only to feel the car pause for a second as cars came up rapidly behind me. Give me a 6MT any day. I think that the premium requiring high compression engine is not worth it: the minimal increase in HP & torque does not justify the extra fuel cost. Unfortunately, the ride is too jittery for my wife, and the bottle opener grill is tasteless (although better than on the TL). After market grills are available:
    So, I don’t agree with the preceding harsh criticisms.

  • avatar
    F the Dow Jones

    I just bought one of these, and well for the price I love it. I had a 2007 TSX previous to the ’09, and I hate to say this, but the ’09 is better in every way sans maybe styling. But the car still feels really cheap and crappy compared to other lux brands, I had an IS350 for the day yesterday, and I am kicking myself now for cheaping out with the Acura. Back to the TSX, the thing that pissed me off about the old TSX was the road noise, which became insufferable at 30mph, well, the new one does not have this problem, I find myself turning off the AC and radio just to see how quiet the car is. My ’07 was an automatic, which I thought lagged then only really did anything at around 5rpm, the new one starts moving aroun 3, but it is a manual so I don’t know if that makes a difference… Why I bought the stick I don’t know, it really make driving in Manhattan a pleasure :( Anyway, as much I was on the side of hoping the new TSX failed when it came out, I now really think it is a step forward for Acura, and now that there will be a v6 version, the tsx may actually rival the C,3 A4, no, actually it won’t but it’s getting closer.

  • avatar

    Just thought I’d comment here since I recently drove an ’09 TSX for two days while the navigation unit in my ’06 was being replaced.

    The ’09 is a much quieter (especially on textured roadways) and more substantial feeling car. The standard stereo is a step up from the only stereo that was available in the ’06 model, plus it has a USB port for an iPod. The interior is well constructed, but the dash is very high and imposing. The seats are not as comfortable for me, they lack thigh support and the lumbar support is always too high.

    Handling seems to be on par with the ’06, but the ride is a bit harsher, it lacks the initial softening to a impact that the ’06 has, and there is a lot of suspension noise. The thing that kills the new car for me is the electric power steering, right off center it gets hard to figure out how much the car is going to turn, and the effort goes all over the place as you go through the turning radius.

    So while Acura giveth it also takes away some stuff.

  • avatar

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Honda as much as anyone… perhaps more since I’ve been a “loyal” customer since for more than 20 years.

    But most of the criticisms levied against them lately maybe justified. Comments made by many here including those of “expert” reviewers have been very critical of the electric power steering.

    If I remember correctly, these things have been around a while – think 1951 Chrysler Imperial. The fact that Honda is unable to introduce a superior version using modern technology is shameful.

    Another issue I’ve recently discovered is through my sister and her ’07 Accord. With only 12K miles her rear brakes were completely worn! Not her front brakes which are only 1/3 worn, but her rears. If memory serves me, isn’t the rule of thumb for FWDs for every 3 front brake replacements, 1 rear replacement?

    After contacting Honda customer service, their response was ludicrous and insulting. They insisted this condition was perfectly normal and acceptable. In fact, many user groups and forums have been justifiably outraged and complaining vehemently about this for a number of years now.

    Some have required rear brake pad replacement in as little as 6K miles and others have made it as far as 23K. These kind of customer experiences are what drove many of us from the domestics car companies years ago.

    Is Honda, Toyota and Nissan now going to fill the void left by the diminishing Big 3 through mediocre design, inferior engineering and recalcitrant customer service? I hope not but all indications seem to indicate otherwise.

  • avatar

    hiptech:Don’t get me started with Honda brakes. My ’04 Accord had to have all 4 rotors replaces at 1,400 miles… yes 1,400 miles. In fact, the day I drive it off the lot the rotors felt warped. Whenever I braked moderately the whole car would shimmy. I thought it would go away but it only got worse.

    The new rotors lasted a good 10,000 miles before they started to shimmy under high speed braking again. Nowhere near as bad as the first set though.

    I traded the Accord for the TSX and the TSX started the shimmy at about 20,000 miles and the dealer told me the rotors needed to be replaced because they were rusted and could not be machined. I was not paying $600 for this, so I just live with it. In the TSX it is not bothersome because it only happens under very specific circumstances.

    Honda has been criticized for having weak brakes on a lot of their models and needs to step up the game.

  • avatar

    Other than the grill in the front, I don’t think this car is all that ugly — for example, it’s not nearly as ugly as the new TL.

    But it does look just like an Accord with a cheesey looking front grill and an Acura badge. The interior is a little different, but isn’t particularly better in either car. When I could get an Accord with a more powerful v6 that gets very close to the same gas mileage, which looks the same on the outside and arguably has a nicer interior while paying a little less, what is the point of the TSX to exist? It better have mighty fine suspension, well above it’s price range — which is all I can think of.

  • avatar

    Two years after the last comment, I’m compelled to reply. I’ve driven this car twice, compared it to an ’08 and I think the reviewers miss the mark. The 2.4L is a nice engine, well matched to the size and weight of the car. I don’t recall reviews of the 325i as slow, when it had less power. It’s FWD, get over it. Most cars are. The steering and handling are much better than the other FWD family sedans on the market. Compare it to them. Notice the word “family” in front of sedan, instead of “sport”. Compared to the prior model, the interior is much nicer, as are the seats. The ride is more compliant, and road noise is vastly improved. I prefer the current instrument panel, and the outside from every angle but the front.

    So what is this car? Competitor to G37 and 328i? No way. Competitor to the new Sonata, Camry, Mazda 6, Mazda 3, Legacy GT, GTI, Passat/CC, IS250 and A4…yes. I shopped a lot of cars recently and the TSX is just right for a family sedan that dad can drive and enjoy some decent handling and revvy acceleration, while pulling down over 30 MPG on the highway with loads of tech gadgets to boot. The IS and A4 can do it, but at a much steeper price similarly equipped and the IS has much less room in the back. The Camry and 6 are barges, as is the current Accord. The 3 is too small and cheap inside, the Passat, 2011 Sonata and GTI come closest, but VW reliability rates a fail and the Sonata is not as well built inside or out.

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