Future Looking Bleak For The Acura TSX
The Acura TSX’s future has been in doubt ever since the debut of the smaller ILX, but more than ever, the rebadged European Accord appears to be living on borrowed time.
Automotive News reports that a few factors are conspiring to bring about the demise of the TSX. One is that the European Accord that the TSX is based on is a very poor seller in Europe, and the car sales crisis happening on the continent isn’t helping matters. Mid-size cars have really taken a beating, and the slow-selling Accord has been hit especially hard. Because of the slow sales, Honda is killing off the car rather than developing a whole new generation. That means no future platform for the TSX to ride on.
Furthermore, the next generation TL is going to be downsized to fit better below the upcoming Acura RLX. The TL and the new American market Accord actually use a global platform that can be scaled up or down, which is far more efficient rather than using regional platforms. The new, scaled-down TL is reportedly slightly larger than the TSX, meaning cannibalization would be inevitable.
Acura says that the TSX will remain in the lineup “for the foreseeable future.” After all, why kill a good thing. The ILX isn’t exactly setting the sales charts a blaze – it can barely pull away from the TSX.
It's so easy to fix Acura if they can remember what made them great to begin with back in the day and try to make a comeback with the following: 1) Ditch the alphabet soup and bring back car names with flare like Legend, Integra, Vigor, etc. 2) Make engine first, make money later. 3) Stop copying what the rivals are doing and become a market leader by being different. These days, maybe restart making low driving position and great visibility low hood line / belt line designs as nobody is really doing this (yes I know about pedestrian safety laws, but explain the GT-86 then). 4) Fire Jon Ikeda and replace him with a real Japanese lead designer that knows real Japanese aesthetics. Honda these days is just an American brand and its design really shows aka. clueless both interior and exterior. The modern stuff don't drive any good either (e.g. arcade like steering, rev hang, macpherson strut).
If the ILX becomes the only model below the TL in size/price, they need to make some pretty major changes asap! The 2.0L engine is a joke, a Corolla could keep pace with it easily...there is nothing 'premium' or 'entry-level luxury' or even 'near-luxury' with that boat anchor under the hood. The 2.4L and a 6-speed automatic should have been part of the package at intro, but the 2.4L and 5AT aren't even at dealers yet??? The base ILX falls between a Civic LX and EX in terms of equipment level and features. It shouldn't exist, kill it. The ILX Premium should be the lowest trim level and priced about $2k lower. I'd love to see an ILX with the last-gen RDX turbo 4cylinder under the hood, 18" wheels and sportier suspension. An ILX Type-S, perhaps? To be honest, I actually like the styling of the ILX. Side-by-side with the Civic, they did a good job of giving it a distinct look, not a tarted-up Civic with an Acura snout and tail lights. But please, for the love of God, put at least 200hp under the hood so it can get out of its own way!
I rather like the first generation TSX. I think it's the best of what old Honda used to make. Not so confident about this one. Can't help but think about the ILX when it comes to the TSX. I'm not sure why the ILX costs as much as it does. Perhaps amortization hasn't set in on the not so new Civic platform. Has it changed that much since 2007? I really like the ILX styling. It makes the Civic refresh look childish, riced out. Same for the TSX. They creased it, slapped on a body kit, and it looks like it put on some baby weight. What would make the ILX competitive is a 4 grand drop in price and K20 with EarthDreams technology, pumping out say, 185 HP, 160 TQ for a starter package. 6 speed manual of course with 6 speed auto as optional. An upper level trim could have the EarthDreams K24 pumping out 230HP and 190 TQ. The cherry on top would be a variant of GM's hiper strut and a 2900 LBS weight.
I've been looking for a lightly used 2008 TSX with manual and nav. That is a near impossible task. Seems all the TSX's with manuals are getting hooned up, much to my dismay. They lost me on the styling with the 2009 change. As a very happy Honda owner I've had a soft spot for Acura but I make no excuses for them, they are a Honda with more chrome. Nothing that they make warrants their new car prices, thus I'd only consider one used. This day and age where a KIA has all the same options that an Acura has you really have to differentiate a "luxury" vehicle with a different platform and engine options from your mass-market brand to justify double the MSRP. Acura has done that the worst (minus Lincoln) and thus their problems.