By on May 7, 2013

2013-Acura-TSX _10_

Monday, May 6th, 2013 is a day that will live in infamy for this storied website. An egregious error was committed by our editorial staff, one so grave that it threatens to undo our credibility and achievements of the past decade that our founder, Robert Farago, and all subsequent contributors, worked so hard to achieve.

Our newest and youngest writer, Doug DeMuro, incorrectly asserted that the Infiniti G20, a slow-selling compact sedan that lived its life in obscurity, was somehow related to the Nissan Sentra. This is incorrect. Instead, the Infiniti G20 was the Nissan Primiera, a global premium sedan that was too nice to sell as a Nissan. Numerous readers were gleefully quick to correct young DeMuro’s mistake, weilding their superior knowledge with a sanctimonious fervor not seen since my last Generation Why column. Rest assured that DeMuro will have to do penance, in the form of a weekly article series extolling the virtues of General Motors.

To be frank, responsibility rests with myself and no one else. Not only am I an editor at this site, but I have a particular affinity for the smallest Infinti, one that I remember since my earliest days as a borderline-Aspergers car enthusiast. Despite  the G20 rivaling the WNBA in terms of popularity with the American public, I have long harbored thoughts of buying a clapped out P10 and installing an SR20VE motor. Somehow, things like credit card bills got in the way of that plan, and from now on, I have settled for following the MotoIQ G20 race car project.

Now that we’ve established that the Euro-transplant G20 was not the same thing as a Sentra, DeMuro’s whole premise is shot. The Acura ILX, which shares its underpinings with the Civic, is no longer a valid comparison. Good thing Acura still sells the TSX which is, you guessed it, a fairly slow-selling, modestly-performing sedan brought over from Europe and Japan (where it served as the global Accord) to help fill out the lower end of Acura’s lineup.

By now, you should all be familiar with the TSX’s technical dossier, since it’s been on sale long enough without undergoing any changes. I know this because the TSX launch in 2008 was the first press event I ever attended, and an eye-opening look into a career that allowed me to wear sneakers and an untucked shirt to a five-star restaurant. My assignment was to review the TSX for a men’s lifestyle magazine, and while I enjoyed the car quite a bit, I had no idea what I was talking about.

Having had the chance to get back behind the wheel four years later, I’m glad to see that my initial positivity was justified. The TSX is hardly the most powerful car in its class, with a 2.4L 4-cylinder making just 201 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque, and at 3415 lbs, it isn’t the lightest either. I would say it’s not the roomiest or has the most spacious trunk either, but I really couldn’t tell you. I was too busy driving the damn thing.

There’s not much out there that is will compel me to get in and simply drive for the sake of it. When I say this, I don’t want to come across as jaded either. It’s simply very difficult to have fun with most of today’s high-performance sports cars without seriously breaking the law, and most mainstream cars are technically precise, but not very much fun to drive.

The TSX, on the other hand, is just underpowered enough to really make you have to work the car hard, while rewarding you with enough tactile feedback to make even the most banal A-B drives entertaining. The 2.4L mill makes the car feel like a proper Honda, and the 6-speed manual gearbox is just superb. Mazda’s 6-speed manual in their Skyactiv cars is widely touted as being the best transverse manual gearbox in the ‘biz. I think this one is better, but people have largely forgotten the TSX exists, allowing Mazda to claim the crown.

Inside, the TSX shows its age with a lack of any touchscreen, a finicky Bluetooth system and a smattering of buttons laid out with little rhyme or reason. I didn’t mind. It’s nice to feel a physical control rather than engaging in an awkward heavy petting session with a touch screen system. All the materials appear to be of a very high quality and the fit and finish is what one would expect from an Acura. It’s a good thing that the TSX’s cabin is such a nice place to spend time, because it ain’t pretty. The Acura “beak” front end makes yet another appearance here, more subdued than on the TL but still all too prominent.

The TSX remains quite popular with buyers around the same age as me, but at $31,150 for the 6-speed manual version, it would have to be my parents buying it for me.  As much as I like the idea of an imported-from-Japan-European-sedan with a real manual, no infotainment system and a badge that says “premium-but-not-a-douchebag”, I can think of plenty of choices, both used and new, that I’d blow my meager auto journo salary on before I bought a TSX. But for all of you Internet Tough Guy Product planners, this is the car – nay, the Honda product – you’ve been waiting for.

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63 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2013 Acura TSX...”


  • avatar
    Junebug

    I use to like Acura, had a ’86 Integra that my ex wife took, so I bought a new ’89 Integra! But, not since the mid 2000′s have I thought they were cool. I did like the TL before the transformers look.

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      I had a ’08 TL Type S with the 6 speed….loved that car until it got hit and was never quite right again and I got rid of it. It was a good looking car, with enough performance to keep me happy (except for the fail wheel drive…torque steer was horrendous despite the LSD) and had a ton of features standard. But then the TL took a turn for the ugly which is too bad because it’s still a great performing car. The first gen TSX was a great little car that could’ve used another 50 HP to be a real contender but alas Acura just made it fat.
      I’m hoping that Acura can turn it around before they become irreversibly irrelevant.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        “I’m hoping that Acura can turn it around before they become irreversibly irrelevant.”

        It’s too late.

        I was just pondering whether we’ve entered a new Malaise Era last week as I finally threw in the towel for good on the intention, now 2.5 years in the chase, of attempting to replace my nearly 8 year old vehicle, with a new one.

        Despite my good fortune of being able to purchase a new vehicle with no financial sweat off my sack, I LITERALLY could not find a single one, whether front, rear or all wheel drive, in the approximate price range of 23k to a smidge over 50k, that equals, let alone bests, my current one in terms of a combination of aesthetics, interior quality, blend of ride comfort & handling or overall goodness.

        All the new & shiny vehicles I looked over and drove were significantly worse than their predecessors and/or fatally compromised by at least several fatal errors in fabrication or design (even if they were new models with no parents or grandparents to judge them by) that made them markedly less attractive AND distinctive than what I’ll now continue to drive for an unknowable number of additional years.

        The saddest part of this exercise was seeing how far the formerly formidable have fallen and how the “new to the scene” wannabe contenders are, without exception as best as I was able to discern, bloated with technogadgetlogicasynchrocity, yet seemingly saddled with the same truly boring bones & personality.

        It’s as if every automaker is intentionally cross-pollinating each others’ factories and sending their models to the same finishing school.

        So, yeah…I can definitely live without 360 degree surveillance cameras, air conditioned seats, tail-gate-via-radar, auto-parking and EVEN Bluetooth integration, AND I WILL HAPPILY CONTINUE TO DO SO.

        Here’s a special shout out and hearty fuck you to the following automakers for egregious crimes against driving dynamics and/or motor and drivetrain refinement, in particular, but in no particular order:

        BMW
        Acura
        Lexus
        Cadillac
        Lincoln (Horseless Carriage & Coach Company)

        If the current trend of automotive design continues, it will truly matter not if we’re all out and about in driverless vehicles sooner rather than later. Bring on Skynet’s awakening.

        • 0 avatar
          kvndoom

          Which is why I’ve said (and will continue to say) that the car should have lived on with another engine, ANY engine. Who cares if 50/50 balance is off? Hell, throw a goddamn cinder block in the trunk and enjoy the ride.

        • 0 avatar

          I think BMW came up with a special 320i just for “us”. The current F30 has bad steering, which is amazing to type in the same paragraph as “BMW”. The e90 was a e46 in a slightly over styled suit of clothes and better gadgets, but the F30 has lost the path…..even the MSM car press advises you to order carefully if you care about more than the spinning prop badge.

          The ultimate damnation comes from a business acquaintance, who gets a car allowance at work and leases his cars. He’s NOT a car guy, and was very happy with his manager special three series e90 (automatic/premium package/leather/non-sport). Lease up, he goes and gets a new F30 in same trim. Regretfully, he advises me “the other car was better”, and “unfortunately they didn’t have any left”…….he does buy for the BMW emblem, and even he knows….

          Acura has become an over-marketed Honda (and my MDX proves the vaunted Honda Quality is a distant memory…more Check Engine lights from 90k than my 300k BMW (e46)-the Acura was clearly designed with “make it out of warranty” as a design target based on the number of Catalyst, Tranny, and other things that magically go away at 90k).

          Yes, there is widespread de-contenting out there. If you take cars apart like I do, you learn real quick where the factory saves money when they don’t think anyone is looking.

  • avatar
    Madroc

    The biggest problem with the second-generation TSX is that it isn’t a first-generation TSX. With the redesign it got bigger, heavier, softer and quieter — none of which was what it needed to stand out in a crowded segment of nice, $30K midsized sedans. I drive an ’06 and when I got a second-gen as a loaner once I was underwhelmed.

    The K24 engine and snicker-snack 6MT are pretty nice, though. Glad they didn’t change that. I’m also amused that seven years after my car rolled off the boat they still haven’t fixed the Bluetooth.

    • 0 avatar
      klossfam

      Totally agree with Madroc. Having had a gen 1 TSX (2004), I still miss it. Same for a friend that has moved on to a G35 since his 2004. Simply one of the best FWD platforms ever. Perfect size, perfect ride/handling mix and as noted, just underpowered enough that you had to work it a little (which was all part of the fun).

    • 0 avatar
      chrishs2000

      Exactly. My wife picked and preferred a CPO ’08 TSX to a brand new ’13 without even considering the money. The first gen is just an absolutely joy of a small sports sedan – quiet enough, comfortable enough, luxurious enough. But it stands out as incredibly tossable, excellent turn-in/steering, and a fantastic simple interior with no clusterf*k of buttons, very good materials and great visibility.

      The 2nd gen TSX just strikes me as trying ‘too hard’ to be a sports sedan. Why, in God’s name, is its steering wheel the same size as my S2000? With a ratio almost as fast? Yet at the same time the suspension is softer and it is substantially bigger? The car has never made sense to me.

    • 0 avatar
      stratocaster

      I also used to own a first-generation (2004) TSX with the six-speed manual. LOVED IT. I bought it new with 10 miles on the odometer and drove it for nine years and 170K miles. It was very hard for me to let it go after all the great memories I had in that car.

      Sadly, the car started showing its age after about 150K miles. The A/C compressor seized and grenaded, sending metal shards all through the A/C system. The reverse gear started grinding every morning. The door lock actuators kept failing. After replacing the one in the driver’s door three times, I just gave up.

      That said, if someone offered me a lightly used first-generation manual TSX for a reasonable price, it would be very hard for me to pass it up.

  • avatar
    jmo

    “The TSX, on the other hand, is just underpowered enough”

    0-60 in 7 seconds doesn’t seem all that slow.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      Maybe for the manual, if you’re dumping the clutch during launch. I test drove a 2004 TSX with the automatic. It drove like my 1989 Galant, and was about as gutless on the bottom end. How about a 0-30 mph of 4.0s?

  • avatar
    snakebit

    Just as the 1 Series BMW is the model for those who couldn’t afford a real one, and the ILX is the model for those who couldn’t afford a real Acura, to me, the TSX is the beginning of the real Acura experience, the equivalent of the 3 Series to BMW. Like Madroc, I liked the first gen TSX better, and if I were replacing my 3 Series coupe today, the only other alternatives I would consider aside from BMW would be the last edition of the first gen TSX (2008?)sedan, or certified pre-owned second gen TSX.

  • avatar
    JD23

    Not to be too much of a pedant, but the current TSX launched in the spring of 2008, which was five years ago. I remember a friend buying one that summer, pre-financial collapse. In fact, TTAC reviewed it in mid-2008.

  • avatar
    Reino

    The beak leaves something to be desired, but the rear is beautiful. These always stand out in a sea of Accords. My Accord has the same 2.4 engine and is quite fun to drive at high revs, but God knows I could use the extra 40 HP.
    I’m not so sure about that center stack (same plague as the 8th Accord). I think the old TSX had it better.

    It’s a wonder that the IS outsells the TSX, because the TSX is a much better car, despite being wrong wheel drive.

  • avatar
    mike978

    Interestingly GM brought over their Euro midsize (Insignia) as a Buick. Honda brought over their Euro midsize (Accord) as an Acura. But Ford brought over their Euro midsize (Mondeo) as a Ford. These cars are all comparable in terms of quality (materials etc, not necessarily mechanical reliability), but the Fusion starts much cheaper in the US than the comparable Euro car.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Rest assured that DeMuro will have to do penance, in the form of a weekly article series extolling the virtues of General Motors.”

    Sounds like the punishment is far worse than the crime, go easy on the kid folks he’s good people.

    “I know this because the TSX launch in 2009 was the first press event I ever *attend*, and an eye-opening look into a career that allowed me to wear sneakers and an untucked shirt to a five-star restaurant.”

    I presume you meant “attended”, or perhaps “the first press event I did ever attend” which sounds a bit like it came out of Harry Potter and the Automatic-Only 911.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    The upside of the TSX’s relative unpopularity is that the dealers are practically giving them away on lease deals. In my neck of the woods it’s a cinch to find one for $299/month with $0 down; that’s well-equipped midsize sedan money for a car (and dealership experience) a good half-cut above. I wouldn’t cross-shop it with low-end BMWs or even Infinitis, but I would consider it just about ideal for a sensible, relatively economical commuter and family car.

  • avatar
    Synchromesh

    I used to own an Integra GS-R sedan and that’s the last Honda/Acura product I’ve owned. And it will be the last for a long time. Because Honda sold out. They stopped making fun cars and started making this junk.

    When they replaced it in the Acura lineup with this Eurotrash abomination I knew I wouldn’t touch anything they make again unless it was a used S2000. Integra was awesome! Light at 2850lbs, with a revvy engine (8100rpm redline!), 30mpg, with some luxury stuff thrown in but most of all it was fun! This car is an ugly bloated pig that’s highly underpowered. It has similar 0-60 times as the ‘Teg that was designed in the early 90s! That’s ridiculous. At least the first gen car looked decent. Current car looks awful with that beak.

    So I bought a WRX after 12 years of Hondas. I’d like personally thank Honda for that.

    • 0 avatar
      chrishs2000

      I agree with most of the Honda bashing, specifically on the current TSX, but have you even driven an 04-08 TSX? With the 6MT? On a mountain road? You’d be hard pressed to find many faults compared to an Integra.

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      I tested them both, back to back, a few years ago while car shopping. A few times to make sure, and against an older TL as well. Where to begin. 1st gen had better steering feel. 2nd gen had better seats, interior, ride, front room, back room, ride quality, was much quieter and looked better from every angle but the front. I had read all the stuff here and elsewhere and went in expecting to like the older one better. I came away thinking, WTF are they talking about? It wasn’t really close.

      It seems to me that there is nostalgia for the old TSX, as with the old Integra and CRX. All nice cars in their era. But really, the new one is much better in almost every way. That said we all need something different, I wanted a smaller family sedan that was fun to drive and not too thirsty (I didn’t but either of these). Were I a young single guy, I could see the benefits of the prior gen standing out more.

      • 0 avatar

        Slance66, I agree, but if your baseline expectations are an Integra GS-R then you need to look elsewhere.

      • 0 avatar
        Synchromesh

        I lost you right after you said that 2nd gen TSX looked better from every angle. It’s very ugly with that beak and it appears I’m very far from being the only person who thinks so. The first gen car was decent looking at least.

        As for front room, back room, etc, people don’t buy sporty sedans for room. If you want room – buy a minivan. Personally I found Integra to be more than adequate and in general I prefer smaller tighter cars. When I buy a sports/sporty car room isn’t much of a concern to me. Luxury isn’t either. But overall performance and fun factor are. And both TSX gens lack it horrendously. Just the fact that I’d much rather have an old Integra than a new TSX should tell you something.

        chrishs2000, I haven’t driven one, no. I got to sit in it once at a dealership and that was enough for me to walk away in disgust and never look back.

        • 0 avatar
          chrishs2000

          @Synchromesh: I’m not really sure how you were able to judge how much fun the first gen TSX was by sitting in it at a dealership. Take one out on a nice curvy road. IMO, it has the old ‘Honda magic’ of a chassis that at once feels rock solid and substantial but also feather light with excellent feedback when thrown into a corner. It’s really difficult to find cars that can do that anymore.

          @slance66: I guess it’s a matter of subjectivity. To me, the 2nd gen TSX interior is God-awful with that plastic goider center stack sticking out and the clusterfk of buttons. I tend to prefer cleaner cabins and really dislike the new trend of making center stacks look like female organs (Hyundai, Ford, etc). The 07-08 TSX with Navi is tough to beat for me in that regard.

          • 0 avatar
            Synchromesh

            @chrishs2000: Does it have a 1.8L engine that squeezes nearly 100bhp/l with VTEC and revs to 8100rpm? Does it weigh under 3000lbs? No? See, THAT right there was the Honda magic. 200bhp from a 2.4L is hardly impressive. And 0-60 of over 7s is downright pathetic.

      • 0 avatar
        fvfvsix

        The 2G TSXes are dead sexy from the back, and rear 3/4 views. That beak is kinda ugly – and I own one because it’s such a good damn car.

    • 0 avatar
      Chris C

      As someone who still owns and has daily driven a 2005 WRX 5MT for the last 8 years, and has enjoyed a lot of time behind the wheel of first-gen and second-gen TSXs over the years (so much so that I purchased a 2012 TSX Wagon about 8 months ago), I’m scratching my head at this comparison. While I love my WRX and continue to drive it a couple days a week, you’re comparing apples to oranges!

      To the author: I had a very similar experience the first time I received a loaner TSX with the 6MT. I had the car for two weeks, and drove the piss out of it, taking every opportunity to chirp the tires on that underpowered thing with a smile on my face. I just wanted to DRIVE it, and I couldn’t really explain why. The same feeling didn’t carry over completely to the wagon, as I’m stuck with a rather boring 5AT, but I’m sick of the clutch in-clutch out shuffle every morning and evening in traffic.

  • avatar

    +2, good read, thanks

  • avatar
    mtypex

    1.5 years later, I am enjoying the TSX that I bought to replace the stolen Integra. While an Accord, it drives smaller, basically like a grown Integra. I moved recently from Detroit to Chicago and now commute by train, but that’s fine, as I can enjoy it on weekends instead of grinding it on commutes.

    I am happy that the Infiniti G20 issue was resolved.
    I’d rather not have to boycott the site. Thanks, Derek.
    Don’t make him write about GM… cruel and unusual punishment and all that.

    As for the Verano and Regal, they’re really not bad, but they’re not great either. You can’t throw on oversized grilles and underpowered engines and expect them to compete with Acuras. A number of people within GM agree with me. As for my own impressions, I test drove a Regal on my 29th birthday. I’d rather have a Regal/Insignia than a Fusion/Mondeo.

    As for the 3-Series, Infiniti G, etc we are talking about more expensive cars, and if you are talking about V6 engines, you are talking about thirstier cars. The TSX has been fairly rewarding when it comes to fuel mileage. I put premo gas in it, but it has not yet entirely cleaned out my wallet.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      The Euro Accord (TSX) is smaller than the US Accord, hence it does drive smaller.

      Why can’t you throw a grille on a Vauxhall Insignia and expect it to compete. When you are ahppy for a grille to be thrown on a Euro Accord? They are comparable cars in Europe. I personally would prefer the TSX but they are comparable.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Just the facts. Buick pretty much uses two engines in their non-turbo autos, the 2.4 Ecotech and the 3.6 V6. Acura from what I can tell offers two I4s for their respective base models and a V6 standard for TL, and offers a V6 upgrade for TSX.

      If we look at the numbers Buick actually offers more horsepower in both their smaller automatic sedans than Acura, and in the midsize market, Acura does offer the V6 standard which of course blows Lacrosse I4 away. However according to the Buick dealer I recently spoke with you can get the V6 at no charge in the base Lacrosee for the 2013MY. Assuming this is true, Buick autos pretty much beat Acura autos in both torque and horsepower ratings, which is pretty sad for a faux premium brand like Acura.

      Verano base: 2.4L Ecotec DI DOHC I4 180 hp @ 6,700 / 171 lb-ft @ 4,900
      Regal base: 2.4L Ecotec DI DOHC I4 182 hp @ 6,700 / 172 lb-ft @ 4,900
      Lacrosse base: 2.4 L Ecotec DI DOHC I4 180 hp @ 6,700 / 171 lb-ft @ 4,900
      Lacrosse V6: 3.6 L LFX DI V6 303 hp @ 6,800 / 264 lb-ft @ 5,300

      ILX base: 2.0l I4 150 hp @ 6500 / 140 lb-ft @ 4300
      TSX base: 2.4L I4 201 hp @ 7000 / 170 lb-ft @ 4300
      TSX V6: 3.5L V6 280 hp @ 6200 / 254 lb-ft @ 5000
      TL base: 3.5L V6 280 hp @ 6200 / 254 lb-ft @ 5000

      If we compare Regal Turbo with top tier TSX, the Acura does win out very much in bhp. However almost double the displacement and extra number of cylinders plays a role in the success.

      TSX V6: 3.5L V6 280 hp @ 6200 / 254 lb-ft @ 5000
      Regal Turbo: 2.0 I4 220 hp @ 5300 / 260 lb-ft @ 2000

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_LaCrosse
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_Verano
      http://www.motortrend.com/cars/2011/buick/regal/specifications/

      http://autos.aol.com/cars-Acura-ILX-2013/specs/
      http://autos.aol.com/cars-Acura-TL-2013/specs/
      http://autos.aol.com/cars-Acura-TSX-2013/specs/

      http://autos.aol.com/cars-Buick-Regal-2013/specs/

  • avatar

    JUST SO EVERYONE IS AWARE!!! The Primera and Sentra are less than FOUR INCHES apart in length! FOUR inches! This is the size of the iPhone that I am using to compose this message as I drive!

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    “…review the TSX for a men’s lifestyle magazine…” I know it’s completely ignorant and asinine of me, but, for some reason that bit tickles the poop out of me. There is just something incongruous (in my nearly AARP mind) having “TSX” and “men’s lifestyle magazine” in the same sentence.

    My transvestite cousin has a TSX that he and his cronies call “The TrannySex-Mobile”.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>Mazda’s 6-speed manual in their Skyactiv cars is widely touted as being the best transverse manual gearbox in the ‘biz<<

    Actually, you have been the first I've read to make that declaration. Most reviewers seem to find as you have, that Honda is w/o peer in that area.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      No, many reviews have stated they thought the manual 6 speed in the Mazda 6 was very good and class leading. Although several did say not quite up to the Miata (Mazda!) levels.
      I will be test driving an Accord Sport along with a 6 Touring manual so will tell for myself. Just accept that Honda isn`t necessarily the only ones that can do good engineering.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Cite some.

        Even the very good new Mazda 6 is ranked below the Accord Sport. Miata wasn’t bad either, but never close to the S2000.

        • 0 avatar
          wmba

          Drove an Accord Sport 6MT this past Friday, Mazda6 6 speed manual yesterday. The Accord has a better shift and more power and is noisy under hard acceleration, with a floaty ride.

          The Mazda6 is better to drive and nicer inside. Go and drive the two cars and make up your own mind. I’ve read a lot of “tests” and “reviews”. They pretty much missed the salient points that matter to me, which is annoying as hell.

          The original TSX was better than both, to my recollection. I found the Legacy GT better than the TSX, so got that back in 08.

          Like Deadweight says above, these new cars aren’t as good as older ones. It’s a crying shame to go for two test drives on new cars only to be dissppointed compared to the six year old one you already have.

          • 0 avatar
            chrishs2000

            @wmba: Excellent observations and these pretty much match mine. The 6 is a really impressive car and I think Mazda is doing a great job of out-Honda’ing Honda with normal sedans that are tremendously fun to drive.

            We compared ’13 Accord vs. ’13 TSX vs. ’08 TSX. Wife loved the Accord, really liked the ’08 TSX, and didn’t like the ’13 TSX at all. $30k for an Accord EX-L Navi vs. $16k for a CPO TSX Navi was a no-brainer. I love the older Leg GT and have always wanted one but the wife prioritizes fuel economy, reliability anc comfort over power. Damn!

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    At 29 (27 when I was last car shopping), I was/am in the thick of the TSX’s targeted buyers, and I test drove both a CPO current gen and used first gen. The first gen was by far the most fun to drive FWD 4 cylinder car I’d ever driven…since the two Infiniti G20′s my parents had when I was in high school. And yes, that transmission was brilliant. I could definitely see myself driving that just to go driving. What eliminated that from my list was the insurance…it was going to be $300-400 more for the TSX vs a G35, 3 series, or even Mustang GT, and that plus the decent but not incredible gas mileage (30 mpg on the highway on premium isn’t that much better than my BMW) eliminated the cost benefit that I look for if I’m gonna give up my otehrwise mandatory RWD and 6+ cylinders. As far as the current gen one went, it was very nice and quite fun, but not nearly as much fun as the first gen. Acura definitely numbed it up. That being said, had the TSX wagon been available with a stick shift, that probably would be the car I’m driving now instead of my BMW (and I told the Acura dealer that).

    OTOH, my e46 is the sort of car I find myself doing what Derek described, just driving it for the sake of driving it. On more than one occasion I’ve driven right past my house because I wasn’t done driving yet. Not sure about the second gen, but as I said, the first gen TSX would’ve been the same way had a got it. If the insurance wasn’t as much as it is, I’d probably get rid of the 330i and take a first gen TSX and a Z3 instead.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      The insurance part is certainly an oddity– When I sold the 2011 Accord Coupe (loaded EXL V6, nav, the works) and got the 2006 TSX, my insurance basically did not change. Something like +/- $2 a month. When I sold the TSX and insured the 2011 Juke in its place, my insurance dropped over $30 a month! I was shocked at how much the TSX was to insure. All instances were full coverage with the same coverage levels.

      I’m guessing that it is a popular target of thieves.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @Kvdndoom – the differences in insurance was unbelievable. I couldn’t believe that a FWD 4 cylinder Acura was going to be that much more expensive to insure than a Infiniti G35, much less a V8 Mustang. I’m guessing that in my case, living in Central Florida, I have the twin hits of those being cars that are both commonly stolen and commonly street raced.

        I looked at a wide variety of cars, everything from new Golfs, Mazda 3s, and Focii to Pontiac used GTO’s, CTS-V’s, STS’s, Infiniti Q45s, Ms, and the aforementioned Stang GTs, e46s, G35s, RSX/TSX/CL/Integras. I made a spreadsheet of the various expenses (maintenance, gas, and insurance) to find out how much I could afford to spend on each car. It was incredible to see how insurance could close (or widen) the gap between cars and how inexplicable some of the vast differences were.

  • avatar
    bikephil

    Not quite in the same class, but I just picked up a 2011 Kia Optima SX turbo. Love it. Has 274HP, faster than the TSX by far, and at least I think it is as handsome as any other sedan out there. Unless you’re still stuck on the Acura or BMW label, I am very pleased with the Optima. Averaged 34MPG last week driving my customary 1300 miles on the interstate.

    • 0 avatar
      chrishs2000

      Optima is a really nice car but I cannot trust Hyundai/Kia products after experiencing so many self-destruct when the warranty expires and/or drive like garbage. Check back in when you have 150,000 miles and let us know.

  • avatar
    Mr. O

    I’d have to echo most of what has been said here. I like the looks of the TSX (especially the wagon), but will run at the mention of “premium fuel required”. And a ridiculous price tag.I currently drive a ’12 Optima SX that I can’t WAIT to get out of. Looks nice, but I can’t stand driving it. Problem is, and I’m in Dead Weight’s camp here, I can’t find anything I want to replace it with. Loved my ’04 Accord V6 that I traded in for the Kia, and want to love the new Accord, but..there’s..just..something..there..that keeps me from wanting to part with $30K for it. Civic? Can’t get past the dash. And in SoCal, finding anything used with decent miles is a struggle. So I’ll just sit here with arms crossed and hope for an automotive epiphany to manifest itself.

    • 0 avatar
      B.C.

      Running from the “premium fuel required” thing is a huge head scratcher to base a car buying decision on. Assuming that you drive the average 12K miles/year, average 25mpg, and that premium costs 20 cents more than regular, you’ll spend a MASSIVE 96 bucks more on premium than on regular in a year. The horror!

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. O

        I drive about 30K/yr, and in Southern CA, premium can get rather pricey. I can think about other things that $96 can go to.

        • 0 avatar
          chrishs2000

          If you really keep track of your spending down to 26 cents per day, I commend your budgeting!!!!!!!

          This is why I’m keeping my ’03 Accord V6 6MT until it’s completely destroyed. 240k miles and I’m still loving it, especially after rebuilding the front suspension last year.

  • avatar
    fvfvsix

    Here’s my take on 1G vs 2G. When I was 27, I bought a brand-new 1st gen TSX 6MT with Nav. That car was awesome, and truly fit into the drive-for-the-sake-of-driving category. The K24 engine wasn’t very powerful, but sounded awesome and revved to the moon. Handling was great! Braking…meh… but you weren’t getting any better / nearly as reliable at $27K It certainly fit my “car guy” needs at the time.

    Fast forward a decade, and lo and behold – needs and preferences change.

    Recently, we found ourselves looking to replace my wife’s commuter Honda. I wanted something lightly used that was easy to work on – so we bought a CPO 2G TSX. I have to say that it is a very good car at the price we paid for it. It may not be the car you’d want to attack a 2-lane mountain road with, but age and disposable income have afforded us the ability to buy other cars that will handle those tasks.

    To us, the 2G TSX is the car we drive when we really don’t feel like driving. It’s comfortable, relatively agile, and quick enough. The seats are comfortable, the stereo is great, and the cabin is generally a nice place to be. It’s that car you didn’t know you wanted until you spent some time with it…

  • avatar
    Oodie

    I’m sure it’s already been said, but seeing as how I’m in a particularly lazy mood, I’ll just say it here/again, and in the laziest manner possible:

    - I had an ’06 TSX 6MT

    - I would have considered this 2nd generation TSX if it:

    — Looked as good as or better than the 1st Gen

    — Handled as well as the 1st Gen

    — Performed significantly better than the 1st Gen

    — Was not more bloated than the 1st Gen

    Too bad.

  • avatar
    walker42

    Derek how about having Sajeev and/or Steve teach a small course on automotive fundamentals for new staff? You could do it over lunch once a week for a month.

    Plenty of people don’t know the definition of platform or how a camshaft works. Would be great for the summer interns and Doug. Over at Edmonds one of their guys does a walk-around on every new car added to the fleet and I think attendance is mandatory. If TTAC is a URL + 10 iPhones business model then you could do it online. It could be as simple as forwarding to everyone some of the best articles on the net about how cars work, greatest hits, etc. Lots of good technical stuff on the Hemming’s website.


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