By on April 22, 2011

Detroit has a long, sad history of self-delusion when comparing its cars to premium imports. Could you tell the difference between the Ford Granada and the Mercedes-Benz 280SE? Murilee’s take: people on ‘ludes should not drive. But what choice does Buick have? The Regal Turbo I reviewed a few weeks ago lists for $35,185. So they’d prefer that people not compare it to the Sonata 2.0T. Rather, the Acura TSX. And so, ever the agreeable reviewer, I did.

The first-generation Acura TSX lacked the striking good looks of the half-size-larger TL, but it was cleanly styled and wasn’t an unattractive car. The current TSX, with its chrome beak, chunky wheel openings, and fussy detailing? The surprisingly tasteful Buick scores an easy win here. The situation is much the same inside the two cars. The Acura’s cabin, with a faux tech vibe, generally seems less solid and more plasticky (though the door panels are nicely upholstered).

Acuras no longer have remarkably low instrument panels, but visibility from the TSX’s driver’s seat remains at least as good as in the competition. The windshield has a reasonable rake, and its pillars aren’t overly thick. The rear seat is tight and too close to the floor, but this is typical of the class. One place Acuras continue to shine: the front seats are aggressively bolstered yet are also very comfortable. Even though the Buick’s buckets benefit from four-way power lumbar adjustments (compared to two-way manual), they don’t compare.

For the Regal’s uplevel engine, Buick opted for a 220-horsepower turbocharged four rather than a V6. Rumor once had it that the second-generation TSX would similarly receive the RDX’s 240-horsepower turbocharged 2.4-liter four. But it did not. Instead, in its second model year it gained the TL’s 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. A V6 might not be fashionable, but it’s simply better. Especially this one. Responses are stronger and more immediate than with any turbo four, and a lusty soundtrack rivaled by few other sixes (much less any four) encourages frequent trips to the 6,800 rpm redline. Unfortunately, Acura’s excellent six-speed manual is not an option with the V6. The mandatory automatic transmission has an industry-trailing five ratios, but with so much engine to work with and an aggressive “sport” mode this isn’t a major disadvantage. Up two cylinders and down a ratio, the TSX V6’s fuel economy should suffer. But according to the EPA it slightly outpoints the Buick, 19/28 vs. 18/28.

Enthusiasts didn’t often buy the first-generation TSX because of how quickly it accelerated. Rather, they prized its handling. The current TSX has a smaller, sportier steering wheel than GM seems willing to fit to ANY of its cars, much less a Buick. Partly as a result, the TSX’s steering initially feels reassuringly firm and aggressively quick. But it’s all downhill afterwards. Despite its heft, the electric-assist steering isn’t communicative. Partly because 62 percent of the car’s 3,680 pounds reside over the front wheels, understeer arrives early and builds rapidly. Suspension tuning is supposedly firmer than in the base TSX, but it’s still considerably softer than in a TL SH-AWD. So there’s also quite a bit of lean in hard turns. The first-generation car’s tight, precise feel is more present in the Buick.

Though there’s still some tire noise on concrete, the TSX V6 is quieter inside than past Acuras. The quality of the noise that intrudes generally supports the premium branding—the TSX sounds more upscale than the Regal. But, while the TSX V6 filters out pavement irregularities better than the fidgety TL SH-AWD, the Regal rides better still, especially over larger bumps.

Acura charges dearly for the V6: it lists for $36,010. The Technology Package (nav, upgraded audio) adds another $3,100. TrueDelta’s car price comparison tool indicates that, when both cars are similarly equipped, the Buick Regal Turbo lists for about $5,500 less—nearly the same amount the V6 and its attendant plus-one wheels add to the Acura’s price. This is somewhat justified, as the Regal’s acceleration falls closer to that of the four-pot TSX.

Nevertheless, the V6, nice as it is, costs too much. Another $3,705 will get you into an Acura TL SH-AWD. The larger sedan’s torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive and firmer suspension much more effectively transfer the V6’s power to the pavement and induce grins on the driver’s face. And, if you want a manual, one is offered. For enthusiasts, the TL SH-AWD is the clear choice among Acura’s sedans. For non-enthusiasts, what’s the point of the V6? Same as in the Accord and Camry, I suppose. But American drivers increasingly realize they don’t need the extra cylinders to safely merge onto the freeway.

Ultimately, no mind-altering substances were needed to legitimately compare the new Regal to the Acura TSX. The latter feels stronger and more responsive with its optional V6, but the Buick is priced against the four. The Acura also has better front seats and quicker steering, but in just about every other area the Buick does at least as well, and often better. Most notably, the Regal handles more precisely, rides with more composure, feels more solid, and is easier on the eyes.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t only reflect how good a job GM did with the Regal. Acura’s strategy over the past two decades has been to take whatever qualities led people to buy its cars—and eliminate them. The Integra and Legend nameplates? Gone. Tasteful styling? Communicative steering? Faultless ergonomics? Gone, gone, gone. The glorious V6 and supportive front seats remain, but for how much longer? If Acura had instead built on its early successes, the target posed by the TSX would have been higher.

Suburban Acura in Farmington Hills, MI, provided the car. They can be reached at 248-427-5700.

Michael Karesh operates TrueDelta, an online source of automotive pricing and reliability data.


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76 Comments on “Review: 2011 Acura TSX V6...”


  • avatar

    I’d buy an Integer if they still made them in (and in the same spirit).

    • 0 avatar
      Lumbergh21

      When buying cars, I always buy integers.  I find complete cars to be much more practical than 2/3 or 3/4 cars.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      Acura has never strong sales success, while the market seems to be accepting Buick well. Their Q1 sales were way up, YOY:
      2011 Q1 Buick= 44,739; Acura= 31,368
      2010 Q1 Buick= 32,136; Acura= 27,793

      I wonder if the Buicks command higher transaction prices than Acura at the same time? 

      You can thank CAFE for Regals not having a V6 here. The Opel version has an awesome AWD V6 available. Acura will probably have to follow suit as soon as their CAFE credits are used up. Honda already plays the CAFE card by categorizing the Accord CrossTour as a Truck, so they might not have many credits left! Still, they get to average the imported Acuras with the imported small Hondas, such as the Fit.   

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        If GM can make the Camaro, Lacrosse 3.6, 2012 Impala 3.6, and CTS-V work with CAFE rules, then why can’t a V6 Regal work?  The situation makes it look like GM is shafting the Regal in the engine department.
         
        It isn’t like a Regal OPC would be a high-volume CAFE killing model anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @ajla- Much higher fuel economy will be required to meet the combined Car/Truck 34.1MPG requirement for 2016. Those of us who like performance will likely be disappointed by the limitations on powertrain options this standard will require. The simple reality is that CAGE drives higher costs while limiting vehicle choices. Worse yet, there is talk of requiring fleet average economy that is higher than any vehicle sold today meets, including the Prius. 

    • 0 avatar
      Invisible

      Why is a Buick being compared to a Luxury car like this TSX. A Regal is more in line with an Accord.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        There is a European Honda Accord and a European Opel Insignia. Both of these cars, virtually unchanged, have been brought over to the US and badged as an Acura and a Buick respectively. Fact.
        The Insignia and Accord compete in the same market space (midsize, mainstream) and the Insignia vastly outsells the Accord.
        Simply putting a badge on an imported car does not make it any better or worse. If BMW has stuck their badge on the car it would not be any better or worse than it actually is. Some people would buy one for the “cachet” of BMW, but it would be criticized as not worthy of them.
        Acura is in the same market space as Buick, Volvo, Saab, Lincoln and maybe Infiniti. It is not BMW,. Audi, Mercedes or even Lexus. GM isn`t trying to position Buick as a BMW fighter because they have Cadillac (not there yet).

  • avatar
    tced2

    I drive a 1G TSX (4-cylinder with 6-speed manual).  Lots of folks demanded a V6 (for better acceleration).  I have always maintained Acura already made a perfectly good V6 sedan – the TL.  Why add weight of a V6 and ruin the fun quotient of a more maneuverable TSX?  Just buy a TL if you want a V6. And the price of the V6 TSX is out-of-sight.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      but the TL is hideous

      • 0 avatar
        redliner

        It’s a shame, but the last gen TL was a genuinely handsome car. The current one is just horrible, even after the refresh. Like Audi, Acuras cars from the Mid 2000s are conservative but handsome, and they will age well.

    • 0 avatar

      My wife would not even enter the Acura booth at the last car show. That is how offensive my wife finds the looks of the Acuras. I tend to agree with her. Nothing in their booth enticed us. I would have at least fained an NSX prototype in the booth to attract potential buyers.

    • 0 avatar
      shortthrowsixspeed

      tced2 raises a great point. I recall reading a good number of TSX reviews lamenting the lack of a V6 option in the TSX. They raved about the handling and the shifter, but in the end said what they often do: it needs more power. now? see? be careful what you wish for.

    • 0 avatar
      Invisible

      I like the V6 TSX far more than the TL. PLUS, why bitch about Acura giving buyers an option of upgrading to a smooth powerful V6? I don’t want a 4-banger.

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    A good review. I too prefer the previous generation car.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    I can’t get past the horrid Acura front end, undoubtedly the worst nightmare currently on the market. Almost makes the Mazda 3’s clown grin look stylish.
     
    Both the Regal Turbo and this Acura are IMO too expensive and they both land in sort of a no mans land. Less expensive than for example an Infinity that has more performance capabilities and is an all around nicer car but considerably more expensive than many cars that offer similar performance and interiors and I’m sure the Acura’s sales reflect it and the Regal Turbo’s will.

    • 0 avatar

      mtymsi,

      I agree. Especially about the no mans land. Had GM put some real power in the Regal Turbo, like they had in the old Regal Turbo and GSX, the launch would have had a far better welcome party. Buick had some real bad ass engines back in the day. It seems Chevy is the only one getting any R&D money for engines now a days.

    • 0 avatar
      Invisible

      I like the grill on the 2011 TSX. I just don’t understand why people bitch about the grill. Yes, it’s ugly on the TL and RL, but on the TSX and the MDX, I find it very attractive.

  • avatar

    Bah. It’s still hideous.

    • 0 avatar
      Diesel Fuel Only

      Agreed.  Doesn’t look like a sporty, upscale small/medium sedan. Too fussy from every angle. The gauge cluster seems excellent, but the steering wheel looks like a the place they decided to display every function button in the car.
       
      V6’s do sound nice but the handling penalty here sounds high for what’s gained.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    “Acura’s strategy over the past two decades has been to take whatever qualities led people to buy its cars—and eliminate them. The Integra and Legend nameplates? Gone. Tasteful styling? Communicative steering? Faultless ergonomics? Gone, gone, gone. ”

    That made me laugh.

  • avatar

    One strength not mentioned in the review–the TSX has been very reliable:

    http://www.truedelta.com/car-reliability.php?stage=pt&bd=Acura&mc=6

  • avatar
    John Horner

    It looks like I will be keeping my ’06 TSX for a long time!
     

  • avatar
    JJ

    Hey look, a Honda Accord with a weird looking grill.

    http://honda.nl/content/autos/modellen_accord_4-deurs_galerij.php

    First the Opel Insignia, now the Accord…It’s fun to read these Euro-market car reviews that are sold under a different nameplate in the US. Also; on topic, the new Euro-Accord has also generally been unfavourably compared to it’s predecessor, especially in terms of steering feel and handling. Shame really, cause it really was a nice ‘under the radar’ car.

    I wouldn’t buy either of these US versions though (the Buick and Acura) just because in your market they appear to be sold at a premium, while over here they’re a couple K less than the comparable 3-series/C-class/A4. Subjectively therefore it seems to me like they’re overcharging, but then of course it could also be that the german three just sell their (US) entry level models at a discount in the US. 

    • 0 avatar
      Invisible

      While you are pointing out that it has a different name in Europe, I suggest you go research the China market version with yet a third name.

      Different names for different continents. What’s the big deal? In Japan, the USA Accord is named an Inspire. Big Whoop.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Big whoop because you seem to consistently miss the point that it is fair and accurate to compare the Buick Regal directly against the Acura TSX. Especially since you have now admitted, finally, that they compete against each other in Europe and are essentially the same cars just sold over here.

  • avatar
    carguy

    A Euro Accord with a V6 does not make a sport sedan – just a $25K mid-size FWD family car with all the options ticked.

    • 0 avatar
      Invisible

      Not everyone wants a SPORT sedan. Many want a LUXURY sedan for high speed comfort. Not a huge market for $35K sedans like this Acura to take to the Autocros at the local parking lot. Leave that market to the ricer Civic kids at TOV.

      • 0 avatar

        TSX is no more luxury car than Camry XLS. Camry actually might be more in sport sedan category than TSX.

        What in Germany considered to be mainstream family sedan in US is called sport sedan. I cannot explain why midsize Opel Insignia, Honda Accord and Nissan Maxima considered “sport sedans” in USA. People want well handling and comfortable cars and while TSX might be comfortable it is not well handling and not safe to drive since steering lacks any feeling. Buick is a German car – enough said.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I have never seen one of these in white… always black or grey around here.  I think it actually looks better in white, not an altogether bad looking car.  But they totally blew it on the suspension tuning, and not offering a stick.

    I think you would be better off with a 4cyl stick and go aftermarket for suspension upgrades.  And I still think the 1st gen is much better looking.

    But if the Buick compares price-wise to the 4cyl, why didnt you test one of those?

  • avatar
    jaje

    I no longer look at Acura for any of our upcoming purchases.  There is really nothing special about them.  I’d long consider a Genesis before I’d plunk down on any Acura.  Anyway – you can get some screaming deals on the RL (however look at the old D3 model where selling the discount was the only tactic as the cars were lackluster).

  • avatar
    dreadnought

    Never understood the appeal of this car. When I was car shopping back in 04 I test drove the first gen TSX and expected to be wowed, based on the reviews i read at the time. Instead I walked away unimpressed: OK handling-nothing special, rough ride, a bit of slop in the numb steering just off-center. The good points: the 4 cyl was creamy smooth, nice manual shifter, and the seats were nice, but I was led to believe it was a Euro sedan with Japanese reliability, and I just didn’t feel the Euro part. The car didn’t feel solid, it felt light, and not in a good way.

    Now I’m shopping again and I won’t even consider this car, because even its fans seem to think it’s gone downhill. And 40K for a nose-heavy 6 cylinder, FWDer is insane. I could pick up a lightly optioned (but not stripped) 3-series for that much. It wouldn’t have all the toys the TSX has, but it would be a heck of a lot better to drive. 

    I have driven the Buick. I would consider it, but as you say Michael, the seats suck. Too bad, becuase it’s a decent car otherwise: nice interior, steering feel better than I expected, engine wasn’t the smoothest, but passable. Felt pretty solid, mildly Germanic. And you can get one with a stick (though I drove the auto) But the seats are a deal-killer, for me, anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Completely agree. Test drove one last week, and in most regards I was truly impressed. Nice ride-handling balance, enough engine to get by, surprising interior quality. But even with up-down and in-out lumbar adjusters, I just couldn’t get that 2-by-4 out of my lumbar spine. If you can’t sit in it, you can’t live with it. Game over. PS: The LaCrosse has the exact same problem, though ergonomically it also has other ones.

    • 0 avatar

      I would rather compare TSX with A4 or MKZ not with BMW. MKZ costs from 34K to 40K with 3.6L V6 and A4 with 4 cyl costs around the same. So it is not unheard for FWD family car to cost 40K. FWD A4 is just a FWD car. But there is A4 Quattro and MKZ Hybrid – both are the best in the class. So both MKZ and A4 stand out in some aspect which makes them special. I have no idea what TSX has that makes it special. I am not even sure it is better than regular MKZ. Regal is 4 cyl so cannot really compare. Some try to compare it with Sonata, but Sonata is not as sophisticated as Regal. It is like comparing Corvette and Porsche. Corvette might be more powerful and faster than Porsche and cost much less but it does not mean it is better.

      • 0 avatar
        slance66

        I cross shopped the TSX and 3 series.  What the TSX has is a car with enough room in back (now, not the prior generation) for a family of four, and a high revving 200 HP four cylinder that gets 32 MPG HWY and 22 city.  While the steering is perhaps poor compared to a 3 series, it’s great compared to a Camry, as are the seats.  The reliability is also good.  I like the styling except for the beak.  I almost bought one, instead getting a CPO 328xi.  I drive so little that I chose performance over MPG.
        The V6 TSX makes no sense because in that price range it doesn’t compete.  But a lightly used CPO 4 Cyl model, well equipped, is low 20’s.  In that space and at that price, it’s a heck of a car.  So for a dad who wants a frugal family sedan, that is more fun to drive than a Camry, what would you buy?  The A4 is far more expensive, and the MKZ is just a gussied up Fusion.  Maybe the Regal is a competitor, but in 4Cyl trim it is short of the TSX by 3MPg city and 2 HWY, with 18 less horsepower and more weight.  The Infiniti G is an absolute gas pig, as bad as some SUVs.
        Cars are a trade-off, and the 4 Cyl TSX strikes a very nice balance few cars can match.  The V6 does not.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        Re: Corvette vs Porsche- it all depends on how you define “better”. More performance is surely “better” and lower price amplifies that value. Now, image is another thing and there is no accounting for taste. 

      • 0 avatar
        Invisible

        MKZ, lol. HIdeous. CHEAP interior. Awful dynamics. Horrific gas mileage unless you get the hybrid.

      • 0 avatar
        jrasero23

        Was looking at CPO 2011 TSX and MKZ recently. Both are in the middling near luxury category and both lack true direction. The TSX is a very good car with is modern interior and good handling, but it lacks power for what you pay, the interior is way too similar to my previous Accord, and it’s priced pretty high for a car that will be discounted this summer. The MKZ is very Fusion, but you can look at this two ways. One the MKZ has the top of the line Fusion Sport features plus Lincoln amenities, or you can see it as a dressed up Fusion and don’t care about the Lincoln styling or extras.

        Coming from an 2010 Accord Coupe EX-L V6 the TSX wasn’t an upgrade for me. The interior while a tad more refined and was too Accord like, the handling while more nimble still lacked the power of a V6, and a 2011 CPO TSX on average was at least $1000 more than a 2011 MKZ.

        The MKZ while not perfect is a better package. For the same price of an TSX I got a MKZ with AWD and the standard V6 263 HP Duratec motor. This means good handling, better acceleration, and a very reliable and durable engine. Styling is subjective but for me I never enjoyed the Acura beak grill and I find the MKZ conservative styling but big toothy grill much better.

        Overall both these cars are hard sells (when they were new) for $30k+ but when used they offer a better value compared to your BMW 3 series, Mercedes C Class, Audi A4, or the Infiniti G series do to price. Hands down the German competition and Japanese offer better performance for a used car but cost thousands more used.

        a CPO 2011, with less than 40k on it I found
        Mercedes C Class at least $25k
        BMW 3 series at least $25k
        Infiniti G37 or G25 $21k-25k
        Acura TSX $20k-$22k
        Lincoln MKZ $19K-20K

        a course the German and even Ifiniti are better performance and luxury but are they $6k better?

  • avatar
    John R

    Eh…Between these two I vote pre-owned Infiniti G. I don’t mind the new TSX and the V6 with a proper set of tires could be entertaining. The Buick on the other hand, meh. Everytime I see a LeSabre clogging up the passing lane I dislike the brand less and less. I’m sure this new Regal is a fine car – unfortunately it suffers from guilt by association.

    • 0 avatar
      Diesel Fuel Only

      Just watch the tail end on those G’s.  Lots of weight up front and a tendency to go round and round in the wet.  I knew someone who bought one as an alternative to a 3-series and not long after getting it went round and round she goes.  Fortunately stopped going round facing the direction she had been heading!
       
      But they do have killer looks – no doubt about that.

  • avatar
    stuki

    The reason to get the current TSX boils down to wagon and manual. Neither of which can be had with the V6. Of course, Acura being Acura. you can’t have manual and wagon at the same time, either. With the 2012 Si getting the TSX’s 4 and manual for 2/3 of the price and substantially less weight, why even bother; unless you, or your insurance company, is simply allergic to the Si’s boy racer image.
     
    If I was about to have a kid, the wagon would be pretty much top of my list for my manual aversive SO, though

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    As a chassis-guy, who knows a bit about the bits connecting the steering wheel to the front wheels, I was loaned one of these about two years ago by a visiting friend who had parked behind my car. I was nerved by the precision in the steering… the showa electric gear was fine, but the system overall had no intendend compliance and lousy on-center feel and seemingly no self centering. 

    The first is very good if one is looking for direct steering response, the second and third rob the driver of subtle feedback, but all that coupled with super-firm shocks and I couldn’t wait to get back with my gallon of milk and return the car to my colleague …

    The car was highly pointable, but it was such a twitchy bitch that the variable crowning and undulations in the tarmac of a well-maintained Michigan state trunk road (M-xx) in the Ann Arbor area, had it wandering all over the road and seemingly requiring a lot of counter motion at the st wheel to maintain a straight line … (had me thinking of the old dictum about the most maneuverable air-superiority fighters also being the most-unstable (think inertial-coupling and snap-rolls)…

    Experience reminded me of a time as a tot, watching my dad gently sawing the wheel back and forth as he drove a not quite 2-yr old Vista Cruiser up Middlebelt Rd. around 696 in the late 60’s (back in the days when they used to paint the gaps between the white (I don’t recall them being yellow then) lines black (for better contrast in the days before highly-reflective paint) … I thought to myself then, wow, driving seems so difficult…

    But I learned a decade anda half later, that driving was not so hard, and a lot of grease-monkeying around, a few car restorations, and an engineering degree later, that at that time, dad’s directional inputs were due to lash in the rest of the steering system and a simple and highly compliant rag-joint (there is a reason they called them that!) isolator… 

  • avatar

    Good review Michael, as usual. Accord was never top player in Europe. It had nice engines but thats all. It always had cheap tinny feeling to it, steering and handling was nothing special. I mean drive Audi A4 and right after that Accord and compare. Forget Audi – it never really even hold comparison to Passat and Mondeo, and Mondeo was kind of cheapo car. So I do not understand why Americans are so excited about Acura. Buick aka Insignia is surprisingly good given the reputation Opel always had. It feels solid and upscale but it deserves better engine. I do not know about seats – I drove it about 10 minutes and liked steering and handling – better than Maxima or Sonata for sure, Feels more solid and upscale.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Americans have been excited about Acuras because, unlike VWs and Audis, they can be expected to work when needed. Audis and VWs may feel more upscale, but that doesn’t do the owner much good when his upscale, European dream machine is sitting in the shop for the third time within a year.

      • 0 avatar
        Invisible

        Yes, knowing the Acura will be reliable and require minimal attention from the owner is a HUGE plus. Yes, an Audi has it’s appeal, but the thought of having the service adviser on my speed dial is a HUGE negative.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      I don’t know about Accord vs. Passat。 But I do recall a comparison test of Camry SE vs. Passat by Road and Track, where the Camry is slightly in handling (acceleration, slalom etc.)

  • avatar
    wsn

    Well, if a Buick Regal can be compared to a Acura TSX, so can a Subaru Legacy GT be compared to a Mecedes C300 and beat it soundly. But does it make sense?

    • 0 avatar

      The build quality of the Subaru isn’t in the same league. Otherwise it would weigh over 4,000 pounds instead of 3,500.

    • 0 avatar
      dreadnought

      Why can’t the Regal be compared to the TSX? They both compete in the exact same market segment in Europe-European Honda Accord vs. Opel Insigna. I’m don’t think that slapping a “prestige” badge on an Acura changes that fact. And Acura is probably the least “prestigious” of the “prestige” badges, anyway.

      What separates Acura from Buick anymore? Maybe Acura having a separate showroom and service facility (though not always), as opposed to Buick usually being in a shared facility with other GM brands? That’s about it. Just because Buicks used to be cars bought by senior citizens doesn’t mean that is the reality now.

      Suburu Legacy vs. Mercedes C300? You can compare the two but they’re not considered in the same market segment anywhere.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        Yes, you can compare Regal to Euro Accord …… in Europe.

        BTW, this is the North America. There is no Euro Accord here. It’s one thing to compare a Buick to a Honda, it’s another to compare a Buick to an Acura.

        Badge does matter. I know that the TSX is based on the Euro Accord. But so is ES350 on Camry, A4 on Passat, etc. Shared platform or part doesn’t make them target the same segment.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        “What separates Acura from Buick anymore?”

        Buyer demography.
        Can we agree on that Lexus directly competes with Cadillac?

        IMO, an Acura buyer is more of a Lexus/BMW wannabe. Not quite there, but the division is not so wide. TL isn’t much worse than ES350, and MDX comparable to RX350.

        A Buick buyer is a Chevy buyer who got a little richer. I just don’t see Buick as close to Cadillac.

      • 0 avatar

        It is not “based” on European Accord – it is the European Accord with different badge. It is easy to fool Americans who never were in Europe to believe that it is a “luxury” car when in reality it is not even close. It is just middle of the road European market car with lot of leather and loaded with options. If it was so easy to design luxury cars then German engineers would be in trouble.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        Inside Looking Out,

        It doesn’t matter. The new Buicks are just hypes. I would choose a Honda over a Buick in a heartbeat.

        GM is a failing company on life support. The only thing they are good at is product hype. I have seen it for the past 20 years. But the fact is that, they don’t have any net conquest sales and as a result their market share dropped year after year.

        Trust me, it won’t take long, before Buick becomes a China only brand. Maybe within 15 years.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @wsn- “GM on Life support”- Won’t let the facts get in the way of you opinions, will you?
        Buick is the fastest growing brand in America, Chevrolet just had its biggest month ever. GM will outsell Toyota worldwide by hundreds of thousands if not a million or more this year. Once the GM product pipeline starts to flow, they will do even better. Best of all, they will report big earnings this Thursday and one quarter after another going forward. GM is strong and will get stronger.

      • 0 avatar
        Invisible

        Sorry, the Regal is a competitor to an Accord. In many ways, the Accord is superior to the Buick. I just don’t see any jump in quality for Buick? It’s still a Chevy with more plastichrome accents.

  • avatar
    JMII

    My wife tried to like the previous generation TSX, (back when it looked good). But overall it was just blah. Tight back seat, average trunk, needed to rev to move, but oh that manual tranny was pure magic. The turbo + 6 speed would have made thing interest, but now (as mentioned) the TSX is just another “me too” mid-size, that is too heavy and too expensive. The dash gets more confusing and exterior gets more fussy… Acrua is lost out because the Honda mothership seems lost too. The previous TL looked great and really moved with the V6, however it was a touch numb. Gone are the light, tight feeling, quick to react, free reving, flickable Hondas with honest interiors of the past. I miss my Prelude Si and have always been bummed out that by the time I could afford an Integra they were long gone. Even with a V6 the TSX is no mans land: not fast enough to be considered sporty, a touch too thirsty to be an economical choice, average handling and iffy looks. Hard to find a reason to buy Acuras now especially with  Hyundai offering such excellent alternatives.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Regal handles more precisely, rides with more composure, feels more solid, and is easier on the eyes.

    Feels more solid? Did not get that impression at all.

  • avatar
    Coley

    The 2004 TSX that I purchased in April of 2003, within the first month of their offering, has been an excellent car for me for about 110k miles to date. I bargained them down to $25.9k for automatic without the nav. At that price, I thought it was a steal. It compared favorably with the 2003 Accord EX-L 4 cyl against which I compared it, and eight years later, I think mine has aged much better.

    Not too long ago, I had a new, 4-cyl model as a loaner when mine was in for some regular service. I liked it also. I suppose that I’m easy to please. Sometimes, I don’t even know what some of you guys are talking about in your descriptions and complaints of driving characteristics (off-center steer?). No matter. To some extent, it seemed bigger and heavier, although it could be mind over matter. At the same time, though, I felt that it “tracked” superbly, if that’s the correct term. My loaner had a Nav system, but even still, the simple ergonomics of the electronics were long gone. In some ways, that’s going to be unavoidable, but in others, the “improvements” seemed stupid.  I’d prefer not to adjust a dial in one location and see the feedback on a screen that’s several feet away.  I’m sure I’d get used to it quickly, though.

    I’m going to take anecdotal issue with the not-as-solid-as-Audi criticism.  A few weeks ago, some coworkers and I went out to lunch a few times in the same week.  When we traveled in a similarly aged and miled A4, it sounded like the doors were going to fall off, and the glove box was temporarily held shut with a bungee cord. The next day, in my TSX, the A4 owner commented on how solid the doors sounded, how nice the car felt.  His jaw dropped when he looked at the odometer and I told him it was eight years old.  Maybe the A4 he’d bought used had simply been beaten harder, who knows?

    I don’t know if I’d buy the new TSX now.  I agree that the V6 is a waste. My buying service, just for curiosity, is quoting me $30.4k for a non-nav 4-cly. That’s crossing a significant mental threshold in my mind from my $25.9k ’04, even if inflation says they’re about the same.  The “non-premium” competition has gotten a lot better in the past decade.

    Also, I was younger, childfree, and single when I bought my TSX. Priorities change with age. So, my feelings are mixed. Hopefully, I have at least another hundred-thousand miles to sort them out, and see what else comes down the pike in the mean-time.

    • 0 avatar
      Invisible

      I also don’t get people’s fascination with Audi interiors. Upon close inspection, they are nothing special at all. Cheap actually.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Wow, you really do have some “unusual” views. Audi interiors have been generally held up as industry leading. This is by other manufacturers themselves and many have copied (soft touch materials, blue backlighting etc). Please enlighten us as to what manufacturers or cars have a much better interior?

        Let me get this straight – Acura is a luxury brand, but Audi (which really is a luxury brand) has cheap interiors. How come the average transaction price for an Audi is way higher than for an Acura and Audi US or Global sales are much higher than Acura. Is everyone but you wrong?

  • avatar

    The best feature in a 2007 TSX?  The navigation system.  Touchscreen navigation!  Amazing!  So very easy to use, so intuitive.  You’d think the craze of smart phones and tablets with touchscreens would cause BMW and Merc to rethink the iDrive knob.  Unfortunately, Acura is following the iDrive trend?  I guess I can’t get a new TSX…  

    The old TSX was such a well sorted vehicle. Why double the number of buttons and make everything look so garish?  Everyone who rides along gushes with comments about the handsome clean interior.  The ergonomics are near perfect.  All the best points of a cross between a German and an American interior.  While fit and finish are not quite VW quality, the Acura interior has a much more natural flow.

    I’m certain the new TSX would have been a winner with some minor interior material upgrades and above par improvements throughout the internals.  Too bad…

  • avatar

    This Buick is engineered and built in Germany so it is not really an American car.

  • avatar
    ckgs

    I recently took my 1st gen TSX in for 100k service. The car has been absolutely bulletproof with zero problems, and is still like new inside and out. Classic Honda reliability – feels like it’s just getting broken in. I’m very happy with it and was convinced I’d be in another new TSX someday.

    That was until the dealer provided a 2nd gen TSX as a loaner. While I really wanted to like it, and I have to agree with most of the posts – it’s a step back. They ruined the steering, cheapened the interior, raised the beltline too much, and screwed up the ergonomics. I didn’t notice any improvement in road noise, my biggest complaint, but maybe those improvements are just in the V6. But $35-40k? No way.

    Sorry Acura. I’ll probably look to Subaru or Lexus.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    TL SH-AWD! Alphanumeric letter names have truly gone out of control and just as meaningless as the dull appliances they are attached to. As they say another one bites the dust or the previous car was much better.

    CAFE or no the Regal needs a good V6 sport model or optional engine period!

    • 0 avatar
      Invisible

      Seriously, you consider the Acura TL with the SH-AWD system to be a dull appliance?

      I’d like to know what you consider an EXCITING appliance.

  • avatar
    Eastern Roamer

    Acura sees to have all the parts but can’t get them into one package. Example: you can’t get ventilated seats with a manual in the 2012 TL. Acura has the only AWD manual in the lux segment and they left out the ventilated seats? Really?!

    Same with the TSX – V6 but no manual… FWD with a heavy V6 up front instead of a turbo 4. Will the SH-AWD trickle its way down to the TSX some day? I doubt it.

    Everything they need is there! Just put it all together, Acura!

  • avatar
    genopower@hotmail.com

    I just looked at 20+ cars and traded by 2006 GTI for a TSX. I found a CPO 2010 model with 14K miles for $27,000. For that money I think it’s a great car. I’ve seen in the forums where they paint the grill body color and it makes it much more handsome. You can also get a nice stainless steel grill online. I think this car is getting and unjust bashing. Your bashing is my savings. It is very comfortable, way better than the G35 I had. And you’re really selling this engine short. It sounds great, growls nicely and revs freely. It runs hard and fast. As for bashing the steering I had no problem keeping up with my friends S4 through the mountains here in the Berkshires. We routinely were running at 60-70 mph. No problem. I agree it isn’t a BMW. But BMW is way more money and much less reliable. The TSX is solid and reliable, which, whether you want to accept it or not, can be important for some of us. I for one don’t like blowing money on repairs and maintenance. I wish Acura’s team would have worked a wee bit harder. This car had the potential to go the distance but instead they settled for 88%. By the way, I was able to get 5 quarts of oil and a filter for $13.99. That’s $1 dollar more than the filter for my GTI cost.

  • avatar
    crackedacuradash

    WARNING!! – I own a 5 year old Acura TL and would NEVER BUY Acura again.

    All of the 04-06 TLs have huge cracks down the middle of the dashboard in the exact same spot. It’s so bad there is a Facebook Group just for the issue and local news stories. It is a safety issue since the cracks all go right over the passenger airbag. Yet, Acura refuses to fix the problem. They have offered to fix it for the “discounted” price of ONLY $1,050!

    Acura does not care about their customers or stand by their product.

    David L.


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