By on January 15, 2010

The V6 that nobody asked for?

Remember the ’86 Acura Legend Coupe, the definition of elegant muscle? Or how about the ’97 Integra Type R, the weekend racer you couldn’t break? These were Acuras that inspired passion, joy, and a special place burned into my long-term memory. Even though it’s been 24 and 12 years ago respectively since I drove these high points for Honda’s luxury brand, I remember them like it was yesterday. In contrast, I drove a TSX V6 a mere three days ago, and already my primary remaining impression of it is a longing for those Acuras of yesteryear. And my memory isn’t even that bad.

I’ve always liked Acuras. At least the idea of them. I don’t demand rear-wheel drive and V8s in my sport luxury cars. I appreciate the Honda work ethic, attention to detail and sense of assurance. The difficulty is, if you like them, you go to the dealership and wonder where they are. The TSX V6 is the perfect example. It’s a Honda Accord with a pretentious snout and three-times the buttons.

YeeshThe interior is Steve Jobs personal Hell. Every necessary button comes with an average of four attendants. I stopped counting at five thousand.Things  look very nice inside, in the current black and silver style, but nothing generates a ‘wow’. Nothing generates a ‘where’ or ‘what’ either, so I shouldn’t complain.

Ergonomically, everything is pretty much at or near where you’d guess it would be. Every switch and knob feels firm but pliable, like a good assistant or yoga trainer. Which is what luxury’s all about in the end.

Based on the European Honda Accord, the TSX exterior design is more crisp than its underlings. Cues like the hip crease are tense and sophisticated, but overall Acura’s design language has a limited vocabulary. There is not enough to give this car – the whole line, really – distinction. There is nothing terribly wrong with the TSX, it’s just not as attractive as, well, everything else in the class (the Lexus ES being the only possible exception.)

On that pretentious snout rests the Acura crest, a stylized caliper, signifying the company’s devotion to engineering. It is rightly placed over the hood. This is where the discipline shows. The V6 is new for 2010, offering the TSX’s first-ever step up from the four-cylinder. The 24-valve, single overhead cam with variable valve timing puts out 280 horses and 254 pound feet of torque. This is not insubstantial. The engine revs freely, effortlessly and on an easy to understand path. And there’s no shortage of grunt, despite the 3700 pounds. tsxv63

The five-speed automatic transmission is equally attentive. As opposed to many competitors, this one is a worthy dance partner, never falling behind or stepping on the wrong cog. Downshifts were on time and correct, without the three-blind-mice effect, bumping around in search of the right gear. The automatic clipped to the four-cylinder actually achieves better gas mileage than the manual.

The V6 also comes with enhanced steering, which feels like they added a couple of clock weights to the standard electronic set up. The result is more satisfying than the over-juiced wheel in the base TSX. It is not better, just heavier. Heavier has a shorter learning curve which makes me wonder if I’d get used to the lighter settings, adapt my driving, and not care after a while.

One thing is certain: the brakes aren’t stopping potential buyers in their tracks. They are simply not as good as most of the competition. While not unsafe, they lack the precise feeling and sheer stopping power this drivetrain deserves.

The fact that the suspension is decent makes the inferior brakes even more disappointing. The car’s roll is minimal, keeping you fairly flat, without making your fillings fly out. The car is waggle free. Combined with the frictionless engine and alert tranny, the TSX is hardly short on fun.

tsxv64But neither are the Audi A4, BMW 3, Mercedes C, Infinity G, Cadillac CTS, Hyundai Genesis, Volvo S80 . . . All of which have more personality in one department or another. The TSX is a conservative entry in a broad market segment. So while the car is not bad, it fails to stand out against a dozen direct competitors. And I’m probably forgetting some . . . Oh, right, the V6 Honda Accord, this car’s fraternal twin.

The suspension is assembled from the same components (albeit a tad softer.) The engine lacks a mere eight horsepower, though for that compromise your gas mileage climbs by two (city/highway average.) Though nearly identical in exterior measurements, the Accord offers six more cubic feet of cabin space. It might not be of the useful variety, but that’s not the point. It’s eight grand less (our tester stickered at $38,881) and, in many respects, it’s better.

The TSX’s luxury appointments are just that: appointments. The guts are too similar and style too tame. If you’re fond of Hondas and have more money than you used too, buy a V6 Accord, swap out the tires for a stickier set and donate the remaining six and a half Gs to your favorite charity. You’ll be better off, the world will be better off and maybe, in the long run, it’ll help make Acura better. Till then, thanks for the memories.

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84 Comments on “Review: 2010 Acura TSX V6...”


  • avatar
    tced2

    I’ve always said that Acura already offered a V6 TSX, it’s called the TL.  Leave the TSX alone (don’t make it bigger, insert a heavier engine, etc).

    • 0 avatar
      Slow_Joe_Crow

      Actually the TL is based on the US Accord so it’s a bigger softer platform. Of course that points up the bigger problem with Acura and Lexus, you can always buy a high spec version of the base Honda or Toyota. In fact my mother flat out said that if she had to replace her 2003 TL right now she would buy a V6 Accord just because she doesn’t like the styling of the current TL.

    • 0 avatar

      I experienced “HELL” when I drove the Accord this car is based on. I hated everything about it. But, if Acura wanted to get my interest, they coulda made that a Twin turbo 6 and made the car slightly larger inside.

    • 0 avatar
      tced2

      The RL is slightly bigger inside (and outside).  Honda doesn’t offer a twin-turbo V6.  All the “experts” want a rear-drive V8.
      My point is that there are other models that meet these other needs.  Quit making every car bigger and more powerful.  The original TSX was very suited to its market and if you wanted a bigger, more powerful car – there is the TL – or a bigger car with turbo 6-cylinder -try a Bimmer. I don’t want to pay Bimmer prices.

      • 0 avatar

        Agreed no need for a V6 inside of this car a 4cyl is plenty. I don’t understand people on here and autoblog. They all bit** because nothing is RWD and a massive V6 or V8. Yet you know most of the “armchair quarterbacks” are driving small cars that are 10 years old.

        People need to pull there heads out of their asses and realize you can’t have 400hp and 40mpg

        Sat in a 2006 TSX and loved the interior and everything about it except for the doors sounded like tin compared to the new Honda Civic.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      I also agree.

      Its a moot point to have TWO sedans, with THE SAME Motor, SAME displacement and within inches of each other.

      It cheapens the TL by having a younger brother thats almost its same size. And it cheapens the TSX by being a lardier fat ass.

      Hurts both cars.. in side price and design.
      Now Honda is trying to being the UK Accord Tourer to the US badged as a TSX WAGON (with a higher — unjustified price), against the RDX, MDX and ZDX. Makes no damn sense placed against the “tiny” wagon. People will choose the CUVs for sheer choice / price / size among all else, which will kill the wagon. And in Acura’s eyes it will be “justified” because of its own self competition.

      Acura is also putting together the idea for a return of the Integra / RSX. Only now its going to be some b.s hybrid.

      That.. is why ya walk away from Acura!
      I’d like to be able to DRIVE / THRASH the damn car.. not sit in a cocoon.

  • avatar
    mountainman

    Too bad, I had high hopes for the V6 version when it came out.

    Still can’t get over that ugly snout……

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      I wonder how hard it would be to re-attach the euro Accord grille. It’s possible the bad rhinoplasty could be fixed. I really don’t have any other problems with the styling.

  • avatar
    Ernie

    What was wrong with the design of the 2008 TL?
     
    WHY did they do this to these cars?
     
    WHY do they insist on “NO MT” options on every new car entry?
     
    To paraphase Bart Simpson “What happened to you, ” [Acura] “? You used to be cool..”

  • avatar

    When I test-drove it (as new for 2010), the feeling was “too big”. Had to pass on it for Lexus IS, which is actually just as big, only doesn’t feel so. And I don’t mind FWD either. I remember how Erich Heischulle came 8th overall in One Lap of America in a Neon, leaving a pile of Corvettes in the dust.

    • 0 avatar
      rtt108

      There is only 1 thing this car will offer that you can’t get in the Accord.  In the fall Honda is bringing over a full wagon version.  YAY !!

      Unfortunalty, it’s out of the price range for most of us family guys … which seems like an error if your selling a wagon, which to my mind is a family car by definition.

      Still waiting for a full Civic wagon again (not a sawed off hatchback).  I think I’m going to be waiting a long time. 

      EDIT: Oops, I didn’t mean that to be reply to Pete Zaitcev, just a general comment … wrong button.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      rtt108:

      Now Honda is trying to being the UK Accord Tourer to the US badged as a TSX WAGON (with a higher — unjustified price), against the RDX, MDX and ZDX. Makes no damn sense placed against the “tiny” wagon.

      People will choose the CUVs for sheer choice / price / size among all else, which will kill the wagon. And in Acura’s eyes it will be “justified” because of its own self competition.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Wish it came with a manual, but I do like that it’s 3700lbs.  I know that’s no lightweight but some companies would figure out how to make this car way 4000lbs.  And actually the nose is staring to grow on me.

  • avatar
    Ernie

    rtt108 – have your cake, eat it too . . . and carry some lumber in it:
    Mazda3 2.5 Wagon!
     
    The 2010 model of the 3 addressed my last few safety concerns (but I went for a larger back seat).

    • 0 avatar
      rtt108

      That would be one of the afore mentioned sawed off hatchbacks!  I have a Toyota Matrix.  It too, is too short in the cargo area.  Just a hatchback.

      People seem to have forgotten what a station wagon is.  Every time I post a comment like this I get a series of responses suggesting various hatchbacks or 1/2 wagons.   None of them offer enough cargo space with the rear seats up.

      There are still a few real wagons on the market.  Usually the Euro Luxo wagons.  BMW 3, Audi A6, Volvo S50.  The only one that was almost affordable was the 09 Subaru Outback.  Too bad they went all bloated SUV on us.  But I’m not in a position to drop that much cash on wheels.

      Nope, I’m SOL.  Too few customers left who appreciate a cheap 4 banger wagon with a manual tranny.   The only option for a family these days is a huge “mini” van, or a fuel sucking SUV.   I guess in America enough is not enough, we need excessive!

      Kind of like Paul Neidermeyer’s post about his F100.  Too few people who actually use thier truck as a work truck, and too many insecure suburban guys who are buying image.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      There’s the Elantra Touring – that’s a lot closer to real wagonism. Maybe not so exciting a choice…

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      Would the Golf/Jetta wagon not qualify?  Full wagon, four-cylinder, manual gearbox.  (Maybe you don’t want a VW for other reasons, but it seems to fit.)

    • 0 avatar
      rtt108

      Elantra, maybe.  have not taken a close look.  I’m not in the market for the time being.

      VW would be a home run if not for the horrible reliability and customer hostile dealer service network.  I’ve had 3 VWs.  Loved driving them, hated fixing them again, and again, and again … What complete and utter garbage!

    • 0 avatar
      peterbigblock

      Acura is no longer the punchy, zippy near lux brand. Neither are they true prestige lux like BMW, Merc, or even Audi. As a longtime Honda and Acura fan and owner, I’ve left the brand. They’re ugly, boring, and expensive. There’s nothing special about them. Too bad.

  • avatar
    iheartcars

    @tced2: I agree – the TSX needs to stay 4-cylinder to differentiate it from the TL. I guess Acura wants to mimic the A4′s model structure?
     
    @Ernie: I completely agree with you about the 2008 TL. The 2008 TL is a classic Acura. Though not as elegant as the Legend coupe (my favorite Acura design of all time), it’s a high point in their design. What depresses me most about the new ugly Acuras is that they’re designed in the US (I think in Acura’s design studio in Pasadena, CA?) so it makes them seem more out of touch with what US customers want.

  • avatar
    bmoredlj

    They added 80 horses and 230 pounds, and didn’t upgrade the brakes?
    Not to mention…3700 pounds for a so-called “compact” sports sedan? What is this, the seventies?

    It’s also amazing how much better-looking the more restrained Euro Accord is than this. Acura has gotten flack in the past for dull designs, but dull is better than ugly IMO.

  • avatar
    JMII

    They should have put the turbo from the RDX in this car instead. They should have stopped putting so many buttons on the center stack. They should have kept the weight (and size) down. They should have… oh forget it, Acrua has lost the plot.

  • avatar
    Ernie

    IHC — the 2006 was actually a touch nicer looking, but no S ;)  I almost bought one but the tranny was toast (CPO too!) — the woman basically burnt out the clutch.  Best thing my wife said through the entire car search: “why did you stall that car?” —- it was the first different car I’d driven so I assumed it was a different transmission  . . . but nothing else I test drove ended up stalling . . . too bad.  The 2008s were actually selling above MSRP used when I was looking too . . . yikes
     
    bmoredlj, sometimes, when someone’s wrong, they’re just going to stick with being VERY wrong.  Whoever chose the BEAK did so.  The pre-facelift MDX was a stylish ride . . . like a 2nd gen CR-V in a tuxedo . . . I wasn’t fond of the RDX’s styling . . . but now that they made the beak more pronounced, I throughout HATE it.
     
    Honda’s the classic kid from the other side of the tracks forgetting it’s heritage now that it’s more popular.
     

  • avatar
    vvk

    Wow, I am really loving the interior! They have really made it look a lot better than the old TSX. Too bad about the brakes and the price. I’ll take a 328i for that kind of money.

    • 0 avatar
      theflyersfan

      +1 about the interior.  I think we’re in the minority but I don’t mind the extra buttons – anything to keep me from having to mess around with a joystick/rotor/knob to do most functions.

      I swear I’ve read that the Aussie-spec Euro Accord nose fits on the TSX.  Not sure if it’s legal to do the swap, but just throwing this out there.  The rest of the TSX isn’t all that bad, but after several years of seeing it, the overdone snout just hasn’t grown on me. 

      As for the TL with a stick – isn’t it just the AWD model that has that choice between auto and manual?

    • 0 avatar
      boofer

      have you ever priced a 328i with comparable equipment? according to zag/cars.overstock.com, a new 2010 V6 TSX with Tech (nav, DVD audio, backup camera, etc) can be had these days for about $33,100 + TTL.

      a comparably equipped 328i (NOT 335i) with:

      TITANIUM SILVER METALLIC PAINT (354)
      6-SPEED STEPTRONIC AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION (205)
      2-WAY POWER GLASS MOONROOF (403)
      8-WAY POWER FRONT BUCKET SEATS (459)
      BMW ASSIST (639)
      DVD-BASED NAVIGATION SYSTEM (609)
      HEATED FRONT SEATS (494)
      IPOD & USB ADAPTER (6FL)
      PADDLE SHIFTERS (2XA)
      PREMIUM PKG (ZPP)
      SATELLITE RADIO (655)
      SPLIT FOLD-DOWN REAR SEATS (465)
      XENON ADAPTIVE AUTOMATIC HEADLIGHTS (522)

      is about $39,800 + TTL. so it’s nearly $7,000 more, which isn’t necessarily a ton of money for people eyeing a BMW, but it’s still $7,000. essentially you’re paying that for better balance, brakes, and overall driving dynamics, but the engine is not as powerful. TSX V6 is 280 hp / 254 lbft, and the 328i is 230 hp / 200 lbft. big difference there.

      i would also rather have Honda reliability over BMW.

      however, if money was not an issue, i would have no problem leasing a 3-series coupe.

      • 0 avatar

        328i worth every penny. TSX is not in the same league as 328i, not even close. It is several notches lower. It is rather in same league as Camry, Avalon or Accord. Just buy Accord and save even more money. I cannot believe Accord can be as bad as TSX though since is popular car and Karl Brauer from Edmunds.com even called Accord FWD BMW (no kidding!). Well I did not drive Accord but if it is similar to TSX something is wrong with Karl Brauer and I have to take his words with grain of salt. I do not read Edmunds, MT and so on opinions any longer – I trust only TTAC, Autoextremist or Autosavant.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      Boofer:

      I have a general problem with comparing a current TSX V6 against a 328i as opposed to a TL with the same displacement 6cycl against the 328i, or the 335.

      I also understand the concept of comparing the German sedan (of its cheapest trim) against the Japanese sedan.. but I don’t think the two lineup at all.

      First I thought BMW moved to the 330i as the base car for pocket change under 30g. *Checking their website*, I was wrong, then I remembered that the 328i is probably their stripper, with square wheels, the tiny gutless motor, cloth seats and no options, which is how they get to “30g”.

      It also doesn’t surprise me in the least that things I thought were standard.. aren’t, unless you pick up their 330 or 335, for pushing 37g. But even I could definitely do without half of the stack of options listed.

      BMW has a larger amount of engine options, along with trims and body styles than Acura. They also are getting way from buying large packages. Its coming down to an option can be done separately. That’s how it seems online, but the dealers buy the expensive ones (marketing ploy).

      I also believe that they are / were running a lease ad pushing free maintenance for the lease term. (Then after its up, ya dump the car, too expensive to keep up.) VW was also doing it, lease the car for a time period and get free maintenance (which tells me maintenance is not cheap, long term or short term).

      Also, if money wasn’t an issue.. wouldn’t you want a 3 series tourer/ wagon or a E46 99-05, E39 95-03 M5 touring / wagon? And which 3 series would you choose. The E46 going back to 99, that was a really finely shaped perfectly sized car, especially in the Tourer form, in the dark blue (my opinion).

  • avatar

    @Educatordan,
    My ’99 Accord 5speed is 3200 lbs. Several years ago, a neighbor tempted me by selling his 2002 3series. I drove several other cars for comparison, including a TSX (probably 07). I could feel the additional weight in the TSX, and the lack of as much soul as my Accord has.
    I relate strongly to Michael Martineck’s comments about Acuras of earlier eras, especially the Integer. If they brought back the Integer without porking it out, I’d probably buy one (especially if they added at least an inch of headroom).
    I’d love a Cayman, but until I can afford one, I’m probably sticking with my Accord, or, should I have to replace it, getting a Civic. (To me the incremental benefit of the 3 series in terms of driving dynamics wasn’t worth the cost, whereas if I had the dough, a Cayman would be.)

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      Used ones are coming down in price for Caymans.  Just get it Cert pre-owned.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      With a tuner brake job, the RX-8 can be the poor man’s Cayman.
      Well, maybe the poor man’s weird Cayman.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      A few minor corrections…

      1. Its InteGRA, not Integer.

      2. 3200lbs for the 99 Accord 5spd? I have the 00 which weighs in at about 2900. I also had a 92, which topped out at 2888, (http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/spec_Exterior.aspx?year=1992&make=Honda&model=Accord&trimid=-1)

      Which coupe did yo say you had.. for 3200lbs?
      http://autos.aol.com/cars-Honda-Accord-1999/available-trims

      3. Id also like to point out.. as a side comment.. the Cayman is decent, but Id rather buy a used REAL PORSCHE = 911, or if ya live in the UK / Japan / Europe, a 3/5dr Civic hatch.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Resident cheap bastard checking in.  38k??  WTF???
     
    rtt108 – I feel your pain, but have 2 suggestions:  Mazda5 which does come with a manual or a CPO’d A4 Avant with the 2.0T

    • 0 avatar
      rtt108

      +1 on the cheap b*stard ;-)

      Yes, the 5 was on my short list when I bought the Matrix.  In hindsight I should have gone with that .. or put a crow bar in the wallet and forked over for the Outback while it was still a car.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    3,700 lbs. is totally unacceptable in this class, even if it had 4WD which it doesn’t.
    Of all the current ugly Acura grill shields, this one is one of the less barf inducing. Sorry, the only positive comment I can think of.
     

  • avatar
    jaje

    I still love my Hondas…just the good ones of the past.  It was in the mid 90′s that Honda just went downhill on average (with Acura leading the charge).  Outside of some small great cars (ITR, S2000) they made (which is their specialty) – Honda chased the bigger is better philosophy and sold us big appliances since then.
     
    Big screw ups:
    Acura RL – destroys the brand that the Legacy created (Honda feared a model name completely outshone their brand).
    Acura Vigor – 5 cylinder inline engine just so Honda could claim it competes with BMW’s inline 6s – of course with a floaty fwd platform.
    2002+ Civic – gone was the venerable and coveted 4 wheel dbl wishbone suspension for a front mac strut setup in order to save some space…Civics no longer handled as well since.
    2002-2006 Civic Type R (Hatchbacks were cool and still and fun to drive until Honda screwed up its age old formula…add weight, all season tires, Buicky suspension, and an under performing DOHC VTEC engine that loses to most minivans.
    2005 Acura RL – add AWD (give it ricey name SH-AWD), 300 HP VTEC v6 – great seats and put it in one of the most boring looking cars ever made.  Competitors offered v8s with RWD or AWD or Turbos and Acura never made a dent in their sales – only maybe cannibalizing the TL.
    Honda Ridgeline – it was a good effort (fit most truck buyers needs) but the truck was just homely looking that no one would ever go to the dealer to drive it and it got poor mpg.  Honda then canceled the diesel which would have given them a differentiator.
    2008 TSX – canceled diesel option (differentiator) then made it heavier, slower and uglier.  Solution – throw in a v6 keep fwd.
    2010 Acura – focus on Hybrids (which Honda does poorly at)
    2011 CR-Z – Insight Hatchback (we all know how well the original Insight sold)

    • 0 avatar
      rtt108

      I would disagree on the Civic.  I have an 05 Civic sedan which I love.  IMHO most of us never bought the Civic for handling or performance (Honda seems to agree).  It, and my previous 93 Civic, have both been 100% dead reliable, cheap to buy, cheap to own, easy to drive, and fun to drive as far as that goes for a compact economy car.  100% perfect basic transportation.  I personnally think the handling is just fine on the 05.  But I’m long past my days of hoonery.

      Although I’m not a fan of the Star Trek interior of the current Civic, it’s still my #1 choice for basic a sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      I would agree that the 2002+ sold better as it became more mainstream appliance like the Corolla – but for those of us who grew up with the smaller lighter Civics that just made them a joy to drive (and for me race for many years).  Now Mazda has the “zoom, zoom” crown and Honda which was known for wind noise but fun to drive cars…is now known for wind noise and boring cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      The current model Civic coupe is a very good handling car; in may not have all of the alacrity of some of the 80s-90s models, but it’s a lot more composed and grippy.  You are right though that the handling on the 01-05 model was garbage.  Not that it was a bad car; it was a great car for the average person.  I bought a 01 Corolla over it though because the ‘rolla was faster and handled better.

    • 0 avatar
      AccAzda

      jaje:
      To add to the issues of the Civic..
      More and more competitors have a hatch to go along with the sedan.. and they have the option of having more power.. than a 1.8 – 2ltr.

      The mazda 3 has a larger motor, with an optional 5dr design and a better interior.

      Im sorry.. I LOVE TO DRIVE and the Civic doesnt inspire that at all. NTM the dash… oh god the dash. I know Honda spent so much MONEY working out the speedo display and the whole arrangement around the wheel.. but if ya move away from that.. all ya got is a box-in-dash nav unit or base stereo.. least they could do is cover it behind a panel.. make it less prone to be stolen..

      On top of..
      There is nothing else in the dash right of the nav unit, just acres of grey plastic.

      I hate to go for value…
      But the Mazda 3 hatch has it hands down, for interior design, for body choice, engine choice.. heck there are more features than the Civic.

  • avatar
    BostonDuce

    You forgot to mention the arm wrenching torque steer, and constant snare drumming over expansion joints.
     
    My ’95 Integra is a better ride.
    BD

  • avatar

    I have an ’06 TSX with the 6-Speed and I like the car.  I don’t find the 4-cylinder underpowered.  In fact, that engine is a smooth revving jewel.  I’ve gotten the new TSX as a loaner, and I liked the interior design, but was put off by navigation system not being touch-screen anymore.  The steering on the new car was awful though compared to the ’06.  So weird feeling, very loose and not easy to determine how much the car was going to turn based on input.
     
    Brakes have always been a weak area for Honda.  My ’04 Accord had terribly underpowered brakes, and the ’06 TSX is only slightly better.
     
    All in all, the car has been very reliable, 4 years and 32,000 miles later.  However, now that I am simultaneously leasing a Miata, I have decided my next car will be RWD.

    • 0 avatar
      snowallergy

      I test drove the 2010 TSX 4 cyl recently. The price wasn’t bad at all. Can now be had for about 25k.  I didn’t notice anything amiss about the brakes. Ane the car had plenty of HP. Rode a little stiff for me since I’m used to a camry. But it had a lot that the camry doesn’t on the fun scale.

      How are you liking the miata? And are you in the miata target market? I’m 52 and a former owner of the MGB 1980 limited edition black. I found out the limited part of that meant you’ll be on the road a limited amount of time. But I now secretly pine for a mx 5. I just don’t kow if I can take the seat of the pants ride at this age.

  • avatar

    Supposedly Honda has rediscovered its old identity. So many in three years or so we’ll start seeing products like the ones that made them a major player.

    I haven’t driven the TSX V6 yet. I found the steering acceptable in the four, perhaps because my expectations had been beaten into the ground by other reviews. But was it fun? No.

    Based on responses to TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey, the 2009 TSX has been average in reliability so far. Also not what Honda used to be.

    Not signed up to help with the survey yet? Details here:

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

  • avatar
    Steven02

    I think the latest Acura design language is terrible.  That alone will prevent me from buying one.  Interesting that you say it isn’t worthy of the extra price because it isn’t luxury enough.  The review of the engine sounds more adequate than spectacular.

  • avatar
    carguy

    I had a very brief drive in an automatic TSX V6 and the interior is very nice but it felt very nose heavy against the last gen 4 cyl TSX and not nearly as nimble. But the price is the main problem – I suspect that at $38K the depreciation will be somewhat hefty. For that kind of money you can have a nicely configured 328 or A4 which are as much or more fun and will provide better resale. Maybe a low mileage used V6 TSX will make a great daily driver in a couple of years? I’m sure its very reliable.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    That interior is absolutely terrible. Since when is a plastic button fest considered luxurious? And why is that Audi or BMW can get away with 6 buttons or so on the steering wheels of their flagship sedans that have a million functions, but Acura needs 10,000 buttons on the steering wheel of a warmed over family sedan?

  • avatar
    V6

    i think the 3.0L V6 from the old accord would have worked better in this car.
     
    also, i mean come on in every market beside N.A this car (as a 4 cylinder) is a competitor for the Mazda6/Camry etc. Acura/Honda can’t just take it and slap a fug grill on it and expect it compete at that price against Audi/Infiniti/BMW etc. perhaps they should look at how Honda NZ & AU sell both the TSX (as Accord Euro) and the regular American Accord side by side, it’s been a pretty successful way to compete in both the medium and large car segment without having one model trying to be everything to both segments.

    • 0 avatar
      AccAzda

      The CHIEF competitors for this car.. could be a 3 series or a CTS…

      DO remember the TL has the SAME 6cycl.. so what is the point that TWO competiting cars have the same motor.

      If they kept the original TSX size, with the turbo 4 and the weight as acceptable.. they wouldnt be in the pickle they are in now.. (not this pickle anyway.)

      And ya dont put this car against a Mazda6 / Camry… the price point just isnt there. (Besides the fact that the Mazda  is a 3rd tier car behind Camry/ Accord, the American stuff then the 6.)

      And the US Accord is badged in Europe and or japan as the Inspire.. only the U.S/ Canada and AUS is stuck with this bloated mess.

    • 0 avatar
      V6

      completely missed what i was saying…

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    “overall Acura’s design language has a limited vocabulary. There is not enough to give this car – the whole line, really – distinction.”
    This says everything.

  • avatar
    carve

    The Acura logo is a stylized caliper?  That’s news to me.  I always thought it was a Honda “H” logo with the top pinched in to turn it into an “A”.  That way they have corporate consistence (first letter of name for the logo) as well as paying homage to their lineage.

  • avatar
    esldude

    Owned nothing other than Hondas or Acuras since 1982.  I must say, I think Honda has lost its way.  I think Mazda comes closer to what Honda once was.  One thing it never was years back was bloated and heavy.  Anyway you slice it 3700 lbs is heavy.
    Lights, simple and always seeming like you got more car than you expected was Honda.  Acura being a luxury Honda may have simply been a bad idea actually.  Luring Honda away from its roots.  Honda has been trying to find its feet in luxury when it once was a simple quality car.

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    Actually, Michael, I don’t remember the ’86 Legend coupe, and I was cruising the new Acura showrooms then.  Probably because there wasn’t one–it didn’t appear until mid-1987. Which is when I bought my new Integra RS. I drove the coupe as a loaner while I was getting some warranty work done. After the Integra, it felt ridiculously heavy, though not at all sluggish. Later I got a Legend sedan, after it got the 2.7 engine that debuted in the coupe. Didn’t make sense to me to get a car that big without 4-door utility.
    Great car, the coupe, but I thought it was pretty much a Japanese Monte Carlo.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    Acura must be the most confused, unfocused brand out there.  And that’s saying something.  It’s true, Acura has turned out some very good cars along the way.  But they seem to change their mind about what market they want to cater to every few years.  The previous TSX was refreshing – based on the smaller, lighter European Accord and with driving dynamics that reminded one of Alfa Romeo (with reliability!).  But now, it’s just another bloated, ugly, overpriced Asian car.  For the very first time, if someone gave me any Acura for free, I would either trade it in immediately or politely decline the offer.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    The V-6 TSX is just silly. Why have the TSX and TL price points overlapping like that?
     

  • avatar
    hans007

    i have a TSX right now.  a 2005.  the new one honestly is not THAT bad, but its not better than the old one.
     
    so for the most part i think most 1st gen owners just stay away from it.  its expensive considering there are a lot of non luxury cars that are comparable.  the interior is pretty nice, but its barely different from a standard accord.
     
    that said i’ve had my tsx for 4 and ahalf years and over the holidays a neighbor backed into it with his F150.  I can probably get it fixed for $1000 or so as the door is just messed up, but I’m thinking maybe its time for a new car.   So seeing as the entire acura lineup is horrible, I am going to move up… to an audi a4.

  • avatar
    wpaulson

    Autoextremist.com comments on Honda/Acura design at the Detroit Auto Show says it all:
    … you stroll around the Honda and Acura stands and see the absolute horror show of egregious design miscues, missteps and flat-out mistakes (Crosstour, ZDX), there’s no need to ask “why?” anymore. The people involved need to be run out of town on a rail and then Honda needs to start over. It’s that simple. Memo to Honda: Shiny Happy Smiley efficiency isn’t nearly enough. You better get your s….t together, or it’s going to be Toyota, Ford, Hyundai and VW leading the charge over the next decade, and you’re going to end up being an also-ran, and an after thought.

  • avatar
    eh_political

    It would be interesting to see how used car prices of  the first gen TSX are holding up relative to the current one.   I almost bought an 06 six-speed, and would not consider  a second gen, it’s laughably irrelevant.

    Something is rotten at Honda.  The very virtues that grew the brand are being discarded, and like Toyota, it is defying gravity primarily on the strength of its name.  Could weakness in the JDM be responsible for weakness in design, execution and philosophy?  I am at a loss to explain the decline of the Japanese automobile, but none of the companies bear much resemblance to the juggernauts of the 80′s and 90′s.
     
     

  • avatar
    powerblue

    I love the front of this car. Its edgy enough to make it exciting but conservative enough to appeal to the people that buy Acuras. Honda’s vehicles are always like this. Honda builds a strong vehicle on a strong platform and then adds just enough spice to the design to get your attention but not too much as to alienate their classic customers.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Maybe I’ve just spent too many years in poverty spec-mobiles, but how many buttons are there on that dashboard? What do they all do? Christ, you’d have to spend at least half an hour with the user manual before setting off anywhere…

  • avatar
    NickR

    There seems to be a thriving aftermarket for Chrysler 300 grilles (most of them pimptastic).   Surely one of those companies can come up with an aftermarket grille that looks like it belongs on the Acura and not a Transformer.  And if you are going to look like a Transformer, at least work Megan Fox in somewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      wpaulson

      There is an aftermarket grill that I think looks better than the current bottle-opener grill. However, I think it may be a little overpowering. It might look best with silver paint.
      http://www.carid.com/product.php?productid=71383&cat=32283&page=1

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    The only vehicles with fuglier front ends than the Acura lineup are the new Mazda clown face models. Both stop me dead in my tracks from consideration.

  • avatar
    boxelder

    The Bucktooth.  I hate it.

  • avatar
    roadkill

    I have always loved honda. I had a 1990 Integra GS and now own a 1998 honda accord. I find that as time goes by, honda, like many other car brands, are making their cars bigger and heavier. Their only remedy is more horspower.  Makes the spec sheet look good but doesen’t change the performance of the cars that much. How far do you figure they’re going to go with these constant growth spurts? I mean, the reason for the existance of the Honda Fit is solely because the Civic is now almost the size of old Accords. They just keep growing.
    On another note. I was reading up on the 2010 Honda Accord euro type s. Their look is much nicer, they have a great torquy diesel, and they even make a wagon. Why is this car not sold this side of the pond? If that came here I would buy it tomorrow. It seems that now that I have the money to buy myself a new car in this price range the TSX and TL (2 cars I was most fond of in 2006) have now become fugly. And I do not wish to buy used.
     

    • 0 avatar
      Tosh

      The TSX wagon diesel with stick and cloth is my dream car. If it doesn’t come , my next car might be a Leaf (EV) or the Subaru-Toyota FT86 coupe, depending on how quickly armageddon approaches.
       
      I feel my current 01 CL-S is the second to last good looking car Acura has made (original TSX is last), but I feel it is one size too large and heavy for me.
       
      The article should point out that a stick is not available with the V6 (as one photo shows a manual).

  • avatar
    AccAzda

    Can someone PLEASE tell me the point of this entry compact… when the original version was a turbo 4 with a smalleer body.

    Now ya have virtually the same motor, in virtually the same price… COMPETING AGAINST itself (TL / TSX)

    • 0 avatar
      Piste

      The original version wasn’t turbo charged.
      My wife drives an ’06 TSX.  It is a brilliant little car.  It was parked next to a new TSX the other day when I went to pick it up from a service appointment.  The contrast between the two was astounding, the new one doesn’t even slightly resemble the old. They took a clean, small sedan and made it big and gaudy.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Remember earlier in the 2000′s when Audi started slapping that strange horse-collar grille on everything?  It never seemed to fit just right with the rest of the design and since they were chrome, and I’m starting to notice this, over the years, road debris and other gunk would make it look even worse.  Now Audi’s recent designs have really toned down that front heavy look and now they are rightfully getting praise with those designs.

    There’s also the Subaru “flying vagina” front treatment that was shelved rather quickly for a less “offensive” look!

    So one can hope that Acura is taking notes.  They can’t be blind, deaf, and dumb…this is Honda/Acura we’re talking about.  It’s possible with their first round of refreshes in 2 years or so that this horrid front end will never be seen again.  It’s a bloody shame about the current car – like so many posts here have said, the previous gen was one nice, comfortable, right-sized car that could move quickly.  Now they really screwed it up big time.  The same can be said about the TL…I see SO MANY previous gen TSX and TLs…at times it seems like I see more of them than I do Civics and Corollas!  I have a feeling in a few years, I won’t be seeing the same thing with the current generation.

    Acura – fix the car or be prepared to lose even more buyers.  And for God’s sake, fix the RL for good or take it out behind the shed and give it the “Old Yeller” treatment just like Infiniti had to do with the Q45.

  • avatar
    Upuaut

    The Acura symbol is supposed to be stylised calipers? For the last 20 years everytime I see it I think Star Trek.
    When I was in the entry lux market 2 years ago Acura didn’t even make my list. Everytime I see a kid in an Integra with the inevitable fart can exhaust blaring shooting through my neighborhood at unsafe speeds I move Acura a notch further down the list of lux cars I would consider in the future. Same reason all the K-cars with fake wood glued to the side hurt Chryslers reputation (amongst many other things) as a luxury car maker.

  • avatar
    V6

    .

  • avatar
    ConejoZing

    “It was in the mid 90’s that Honda just went downhill on average (with Acura leading the charge).”
    “Although I’m not a fan of the Star Trek interior of the current Civic”

    Yes! Someone else noticed the subtle mid 90′s change. It started really subtle… then eventually consumed the whole brand. Early 90′s was just an awesome time, really. Honda at that time had very well made, simple, practical cars. Then everything got really haphazard and complicated in a stumbling move “upmarket.” Which of course left them vulnerable to Hyundai / Kia.

    And you know what?
    People really like Star Trek. Whereas VW, BMW, Audi go for an artful, sophisticated (ok yeah Audi has been known to be over the top aggressive with their grilles) look Honda can and will GEEK their cars. Which is ironic that the GEEK squad drives VW and Chevrolet vans lol.

    • 0 avatar
      AccAzda

      JEEZ,
      Its really unfair to yourself AND them to catagorize / write off the interior of a billion dollar car to being “Star Trek”. The company spends a coupla hundred thousand dollars on the interior of the car, to minimize you actually having to look DOWN to see the speedo.. and people write it off for the weird interior. WTF!

      Actually,
      I think they did a pretty damn amazing job of having the the dash curve lining up with the curve of the hood.. right into the pass cabin with the speedo almost lining up with the lowest line of sight.. so you dont even have to look down.

      It’s the little b.s things that piss me off.
      1. Like they need to incorporate a nav cover / way to keep the unit from being stolen.
      2. Work some more detail into the pass section of the dash / ip area
      3. Fix the void of space where the plastic covered shifter lies. Its useless dead space, with no storage or usability.

      I just had this brainstorm..
      The company also does / did a lot of racing… so the interiors could be going towards that direction — keeping all functions around the wheel at ease of operation.

      In case I wasnt notified, Honda didnt move upmarket. They are still on the same playing field as the domestics..

      Its Acura, that they are trying to get a step or so above Honda, while keeping the bones of Honda buried deeply — as evident in a comparison of the MDX / Pilot, RDX / CRV.

      Its also been JUST recently, that EVERYONE is doing a corporate fascia for every vehicle. The Audi grilles are pretty amazing, a take off can be seen through Mitsu. While Audi interiors.. are pretty top notch — exluding the MMI – nav unit b.s completely.

      Only thing Hyundai / Kia have is that warranty. The vehicles are a kind of a toss up. Not bad looking (style is always subjective.) But ya dont go there for cars ya want to “drive” or “reliability”. PRICE is pretty much their only point for being.. and doing everything cheaper than the Japanese, (including labor.)

      It’s only VERY recently, that Hyundai / Kia actually have something to crow about.. besides the blanket protection for job loss and other associated untouchable protections..

      Their engines.. are going to be pretty amazing. Stuffing a 2ltr 4cycl with direct injection, into a car larger than CURRENT Accord with NO 6cycl available AND getting better fuel economy… THAT.. is amazing in itself. Yes the designs are coming around (they pilched the designer from Audi), but its the cars that have to sell themselves.. without value as their biggest point.


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