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April 21, 2010 > Auto Review: Acura TSX

Auto Review: Acura TSX

By Dick Ryan

The TSX is the smallest of the fine line of sedans made by Acura. It was completely redesigned for the 2009 model year so there are few major changes for 2010. However, one big change is the addition of an available V-6 power plant.

The TSX that we tested had the new V-6 and the tech option package. Base MSRP was $37,950; an $810 destination and handling charge was added to that. The tech package is an additional $3,100 and included Acura's voice activated navigation system, rear view camera, real time traffic rerouting software to avoid road congestion, weather data, and a 415 watt sound system with 10 speakers and a 6 disc CD changer. Also included in this package is an automatic climate control system that uses GPS and a solar sensor to help control TSX's interior temperature.

The V-6 develops 280 HP and 254 pound feet of torque from its 3.5 liters of displacement. It uses Acura's famous VTEC variable valve timing system and a high-flow exhaust system to improve the flow throughout the engine. Electronic fuel injection feeds the 11.2 to 1 compression ratio with premium unleaded gas to register 18 mpg in the EPA's city test and 21 mpg for the highway test. The V-6 only comes with a 5-speed automatic transmission that has paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

If you want to save some money, you can get your TSX with a 2.4-liter, inline, 4-cylinder engine. This unit develops 201 HP and 170 pound feet of torque. You can choose a 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission with this engine and there is no difference in the base price ($29,310). The manual transmission variant delivered 21/24 mpg on its tests with the automatic delivering 20/23 mpg.

Acura always fits very nice interiors in its vehicles. The 8-way driver and 4-way passenger front seats are great. They are very supportive and comfortable, just the thing for long road trips. Leather trim of seats, steering wheel, and other areas give a rich feel to the interior. The back seat can easily handle six-foot tall passengers. A power moon roof is standard on the TSX.

Although I don't consider the TSX a sports sedan, it is fun to drive. It has good feedback from the electric power steering system. The V-6 engine delivers plenty of get-up-and-go. The body design and construction uses many techniques to deliver the rigid platform necessary for precise handling. Acura engineers have fit the TSX with upgraded shock absorbers and suspension settings to make it responsive and predictable. ABS brakes perform well during back road driving. The TSX is a good choice for someone who is looking for luxury touches in an automobile while keeping costs in mind.

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