2010 Acura TSX Expert Review:Autoblog
The 2010 Acura TSX V6 is something of a consolation prize. At the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, Acura showed off a new 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel and said it would launch in the U.S. this year. A few months later in New York, Honda's luxury arm showed off the all-new second generation TSX sedan, and we expected to be driving the culmination of the two right around now.
Unfortunately, a confluence of events a few months after the TSX was shown caused Acura to reverse course and put the diesel engine on the shelf. As world oil prices hit all time record levels, the never ending construction in China and Dubai seemed to be consuming the entire world supply of diesel, driving prices higher and higher. At about the same time, the world came to the realization that loaning money to people who couldn't pay it back might not be a great idea after all. With sales in the toilet everywhere, Acura decided that throwing a gasoline-powered V6 into the TSX might be a better idea. Was it?
Photos copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.
If there's one interior annoyance, it's the automatic locking mechanism. The doors of most contemporary cars either unlock when you put the car in park or when you pull the door handle. With the Acura (and Hondas, for that matter), only the driver's door unlocks, leaving the rest of the occupants to manually fumble with the door switches before extricating themselves.
When Acura unveiled the new TSX last year, it was the second model after the RL to get the controversial shield grille, and in the interim we've seen the new proboscis affixed to the rest of the automaker's lineup, from the MDX to the all-new ZDX crossover. Although the new nose has endured its fair share of criticism, a quick glimpse at Acura sales shows the buying public isn't as adverse to the rhinoplasty and, prior to the late 2008 economic collapse, TSX sales have grown over the prior year. Since then, the drop-off has been consistent with the market, and for the first time in years, people are actually talking about Acura styling rather than being wholly unaware of its existence.
Aside from The Shield, the only visual changes on the V6 model are the rear deck-lid badge, an 18-inch wheel package and a slightly larger lower air intake under the front bumper to help cool the larger engine.
The interior carries over from the standard four-cylinder model, which, regardless of what you think of the outside, is largely a good thing. The TSX has the same great seats found in other Hondas and Acuras, making up for the lack of adjustments with plenty of lateral and leg support.
The dashboard is well laid out with independent controls in the center cluster for the audio and navigation system. Acura's control knob system was definitely superior to BMW's iDrive and Audi's MMI when it debuted several years ago. However, the user interface is starting to get long in the tooth both visually and functionally. Newer designs from Ford, BMW and Audi have higher resolution screens and easier to navigate menu structures, but it still serves the purpose and serves it well.
While four-pot variant is available with a six-speed manual gearbox, the six-cylinder model only comes with an automatic. Unlike the Buick LaCrosse, whose lever is too low and too far back, the shift lever is well forward on the console in the same position as the manual unit and falls easily to hand. For those who still want to manage their own ratios, Acura has fitted wheel-mounted paddles with the appropriate left-down, right-up arrangement.
The V6 in the TSX is the same 3.5-liter unit found in the base TL, meaning 280 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque are being channeled to the front wheels. Unsurprisingly, the 50 percent bump in torque is immediately noticeable. Unfortunately, the mantra that torque is good and more torque is better is largely targeted at rear-wheel-drive cars, or at least front drivers that know what to do with it. Sadly, the TSX doesn't seem to fit into that category. At the launch event for the TSX V6, Acura representatives identified the BMW 335i, Lexus IS350 and Audi A4 3.2 as the chief competitors for this new model. Leaving the rear-wheel-drive Bimmer and Lexus out of the mix, we've got to focus on the the A4 – although it's no longer available in the U.S. with a V6. It did, however, come equipped with standard quattro all-wheel drive last year. Which begs the question: Honda has a fantastic torque vectoring all-wheel drive system in every other model in its lineup, so why isn't it available on the TSX? This omission is truly unfortunate.
Put the TSX into Drive or Sport and the first thing that happens when you touch the gas pedal is a strong tug to the right on the steering wheel. On most surfaces, this is followed by a squeal from the front tires even with very moderate throttle application. While Acura has equipped the TSX V6 with a larger wheel and tire package, it seems to be one geared more toward long tread life than actual grip. A 40-percent bump in power and 50-percent increase in torque applied through the same wheels expected to manage directional control requires more than just a plus-one tire/wheel sizing. The front geometry of the TSX needs a significant re-work if it's expected to be responsible for this work-load – and some grippier rubber would be at the top of our mod list.
On the other hand, when merging onto the freeway or making a pass on a two-lane road, the increased power is welcome. The extra thrust is easily accessible with a tap of the left paddle and a squeeze of the throttle, although the transmission's responses could be quicker. Anticipating acceleration events with an early down shift helps mitigate the laggard responses, but we're hoping that when Acura rolls out its new six-speed gearbox in 2011, the TSX is one of the first recipients.
One of the few dynamic criticisms of the four-cylinder model was odd steering feel, particularly just off center, where the TSX exhibited a bit of a dead spot. The V6 retains the same electric power-assisted steering system as the four, but it's been re-calibrated and feels notably tighter. The overall sensation of the steering is improved, although the extra weight on the front wheels means the car doesn't feel as nimble as its four-banger sibling. Pushed hard into corners, the V6 exhibits considerable understeer, but it shines rolling down the highway. Cruising along on the open road, the V6 feels utterly relaxed, yet ready to provide ample thrust when needed.
Even with the V6, the TSX still gets pretty respectable fuel efficiency numbers. The EPA calls it at 18 mpg city and 27 highway. In our testing we saw 22 mpg in mixed driving, about what we'd expect in the segment. Our test unit was equipped with the Technology package, bringing with it the navigation system and landing the sticker price at $38,760, including destination – in the ball park with the Lexus and several thousand dollars less than the Germans with similar equipment.
Acura calls the TSX V6 the performance model and while it certainly offers improved acceleration, it feels far less sporty than its little brother. It loses much of the light-on-its-feet-feel of earlier TSXs and seems to want to be a TL when it grows up. Rather than call this the performance edition, in reality, it's another luxo-cruiser. If your commute involves traversing some twisty roads between home and office, the four-cylinder is a better choice. On the other hand, if you spend a lot of time on the highway, the V6 shines as long as you don't gun it until the on-ramp straightens out. But for our money, we'd stick to four cylinders and a manual gearbox.
Photos copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.
Acura has a good thing going in the luxury segment. Unlike Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi – but like Lexus – Acura's best selling car is not its entry-level model: Acura moves more TLs than anything else in its line-up. And unlike those other brands, Lexus included, all of Acura's offerings carry five-star safety ratings from NHTSA, are rated as top safety picks by the IIHS, and the Automotive Lease Guide has declared that Acura offerings have the best resale value among luxury brands. Now, Honda's premium division has grown by one with the addition of the TSX V6, and Autoblog was invited to find out if the new, more powerful sedan could keep the brand's good thing going. Follow the jump to find out.
Photos Copyright ©2009 Jonathon Ramsey / Weblogs, Inc.
Shot with a Nikon D70 and Nikon 18-200 lens
The TSX V6 was engineered to fill the gap between the four-cylinder TSX and the relatively new TL. With the latest TL having gone upmarket in several areas, Acura felt there was enough space between its entry and mid-market lines to offer a stepping stone between the two. But this wasn't strictly about plopping a V6 into a TSX and adding some bigger digits after the dollar sign. According to officials, this car is about creating a more comprehensively sporting version of the TSX, yet one that wouldn't trod on the bumper of the TL.
If you're familiar with the 2009 TSX that was introduced last year, then you're up-to-speed on the TSX V6's exterior; there were essentially no changes made to the car beyond larger wheels, a V6 badge on the trunk and a different compound on the rear brakes. Even the dual tailpipes are the same size on both cars, and there are no interior changes – not one – to differentiate the four-pot from the sixer. Acura decided the V6's buyers were looking for sport package identity, they simply wanted more power. So, as with the bionic man, this is an operation to be felt, not seen.
But in Acura's estimation, this is also a car meant to truly compete with the A4, 3 Series, and C-Class. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder in the base TSX has 201 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque, leaving it ten horses and 88 lb-ft down versus Audi's 2.0-liter four. The 3.5-liter V6 in the TSX boosts its numbers to 280 hp and 254 lb-ft, giving it better outputs than the sixers in the Mercedes C350 and Audi A4 3.2, figures bested only by the BMW 335i – and it shades all of them by a hair in the fuel consumption stakes.
As stated, Acura didn't do anything to the interior, but it still deserves mention. Overall, the inside offers a placid view and the designers have done a good job of providing visual variety. There are plenty of contrasting curves, overlaid with four different plastics treatments throughout and perforated leather inserts in the doors. It won't grab you by the heart when you take a seat, but it ought to age well – a trait that seems too rare in the luxury segment. (something that would go some way toward explaining that resale value...)
The seats remain wide and comfy. Strikingly, compared to the skinny seatbacks becoming au courant among smaller luxury cars, the side of the seat is thicker than a brick wall. Rear legroom doesn't appear to be compromised since it's only the bolsters that create the bulk, but it did come as a surprise.
As for another detail of the interior: we appear to be alone in this, but the dash feels awash in buttons. The steering wheel has 11 buttons on it, seven of them multi-function. The center stack is a button convention with two multi-function knobs as special guests. We're sure it wouldn't take much to adapt and find our go-to buttons, but the initial cockpit survey leads us to think Airbus, not Acura.
Still, none of that is any deterrent to enjoying the car. Besides, in this league, it's the driving that counts.
Acura's assertion that this wasn't just about more power but about creating a sportier car is backed up in every way. In our review of the four-cylinder TSX, the engine was said to be "sufficient, but still lacks real grunt," and the car was described as doing "its job without much fuss, but never gets your adrenaline pumping."
Not so in the TSX V6. Although the V6 model gains an additional 194 pounds, the additional horsepower and torque offsets the extra poundage. Lay on the gas from a stop in the base TSX and the car aspires to action. In the V6, you only get the action.
The new coil springs and damper settings fore and aft do a terrific job of keeping road harshness away from cabin occupants. They're aided in the quest for cabin quietude by electronically controlled engine mounts and a feature only available on the V6: Active Sound Control (ASC), a noise cancellation system that filters out certain frequencies.
If you tell a group of automotive scribes that you've engineered a sedan for sporty performance and let them loose in twisties, they will, without fail, beat the bejeezus out of it to redline, smoking brakes and beyond, then compare it to the platonic ideal of a rear-drive BMW. Put through that tried-and-true test, the front-drive Acura fares well. Going hot and heavy into a hairpin will get you a serving of understeer and a flashing yellow triangle while the traction control works to keep the ship righted. But we were delighted to find that the flashing yellow light was the most intrusive part of the TC – no piercing whistles, no dominatrix-like clampdown on the brakes, no sudden wondering "Where did the power go?" It was always just enough to keep you going over the road and not over the cliff.
The electronic power steering returned decent feedback. Most importantly, we always knew where to put the wheel when planning a line, and corrections weren't necessary when we laid the course. The suspension kept to its tasks just as well when flying as it did at town speeds, keeping all the wheels where they needed to be even as the car was squatting and flicking to stay in its lane. The brakes did get tired a bit early. They were fine all the way up and over the mountain, but there was a gradual yet noticeable fade while plugging through corners. Not surprisingly, when we exited the car, the tangy scent of hot brakes was heavy in the air.
However, few of this TSX's drivers will ever belt this car like it's a Belmont Stakes runner. And if you are looking for a ride to do your Crank imitation of Jason Statham... you shouldn't be looking at a TSX anyhow.
Back here on Earth, and off the Hollywood set, the TSX V6 comes good with just about everything you'd want from it. The drive-by-wire throttle that feels like instant-on acceleration at low speeds loosens up nicely on the trot. The five-speed automatic (no manual option on this car) knows its gears and isn't afraid to kick down, and the extra power pulls the TSX nicely out of apexes. Even though there's a manual shifting mode with paddles on the steering wheel, we barely used it and rarely called on peak horsepower. The latter doesn't come on until 6,200 rpm, just 700 rpm shy of the redline, and at that height, even the ASC can't keep the cabin from becoming vociferous.
The grabby brakes loosen up as well – which is as much down to fade as anything else when it's really hard going. But maintain a rhythm, don't stab at the stoppers like a serial killer, and they'll serve you well.
In short: drive this car like it's a TSX with more power and better dynamics – not like it's a Lotus Elise – and you'll get a fabulously put together package that comes standard with a bucket of kit. If you want a TSX with more power, you've got that and more with this model. And if you're looking for an Acura that handles enthusiastically enough to seriously play on the same pitch as the three gatekeepers of the entry-level premium segment (3, C, and A), here you are. And you'll get it for less coin than those other cars: base base MSRP is $34,850 plus $810 destination and, if you're game, $3,100 for the Technology Package. That money will also save you money: you'll get better gas mileage than those other cars as well.
If that isn't how you keep a good thing going, then we don't know what is...
Photos Copyright ©2009 Jonathon Ramsey / Weblogs, Inc.
New Car Test Drive
New V6 model offers more power.
For the first time, the Acura TSX is now available with a V6 engine. The availability of a V6 for the 2010 Acura TSX represents a step almost as big as the styling changes introduced with the 2009 model year. More than just an engine change, the Acura TSX V-6 has a character all its own, distinct from the four-cylinder version.
Technology has always been one of the main appeals of the TSX, and this extends beyond the drivetrain and chassis. Acura's superb navigation system is the equal of anything in the class, and it displays real-time traffic with congestion re-routing and local and national weather. An airlines display lets you track a flight's progress across the country. The top-line audio system sets a standard for the class, too, with superbly crisp surround sound. Like the other features, hands-free Bluetooth cell phone architecture is cleanly integrated with the car's electronics.
The Acura TSX is a four-door, five-passenger, front-wheel-drive sedan. Considered a near-luxury car, the TSX comes standard with leather-trimmed seats, power everything, dual-zone climate control and heated seats and outside mirrors, electronic stability control and a full array of airbags.
The 2010 TSX is available with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.5-liter V6. The four-cylinder comes with a choice of manual or automatic transmission, while the V6 comes with an automatic. The four-cylinder is rated at 201 horsepower and just 172 pound-feet of torque but it revs happily and, with the six-speed manual, it's the enthusiast's choice; figure on 0-60 acceleration in the mid-seven-second range. Fuel economy, according to the federal government, for a TSX four-cylinder automatic is 21/30 mpg City/Highway.
The new V6 changes the character of the car. Acura's V6 is smooth and linear, and up in the higher revs makes a pleasant growl. Good as the five-speed automatic is with paddles and a sport mode that holds manual gear selections, it hasn't the involvement factor of the six-speed manual offered only with the four-cylinder. The V-6 model is heavier by 210 pounds and takes 3 mpg off EPA city and highway ratings. And it needs an extra 15 inches of space for a U-turn. The TSX V-6 gets an EPA-estimated 18/27 mpg.
The TSX uses front-wheel drive, whereas true sports sedans are rear-wheel drive. That said, the TSX is one of the better-handling front-wheel-drive sedans. And in its class it's hard to beat as an everyday driver that can still be fun on a winding road. The 2.4-liter engine is rated at 201-hp,
Styling is true to Acura themes, the more aggressive, buff look to emphasize stance introduced on the 2009 model.
The 2010 Acura TSX competes primarily with the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, and Lexus IS. Other competitors include the Cadillac CTS, Infiniti G37, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Saab 9-3, Volkswagen CC, Volvo S60. Among them, the 3 Series, CTS, G37, and C-Class use a more sporting rear-wheel-drive setup.
The 2010 Acura TSX ($29,310) comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a choice of either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission at no extra cost. The TSX V-6 ($34,850) comes exclusively with a five-speed automatic.
Standard features include leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated seats, eight-way adjustable driver's seat with memory, four-way passenger seat, power seats, windows and locks, heated outside mirrors, steering wheel controls for cruise and audio, seven-speaker AM/FM/XM/6CD stereo, USB and auxiliary audio input jacks in the center console, moonroof, Bluetooth, HomeLink, trip computer, two power outlets, Xenon headlights, fog lights, and speed-sensitive wipers.
The TSX V-6 model adds 18-inch wheels, recalibrated steering and suspension, and active sound control, in addition to the drivetrain changes.
The Technology package for the TSX ($32,410) or TSX V-6 ($37,950) upgrades to a 10-speaker, surround-sound, 415-watt, AM/FM/XM tuner with multi-format, six-disc CD/DVD audio changer; the voice-recognition navigation system adds a rearview camera, AcuraLink communications with real-time weather, traffic and dynamic re-routing.
Dealer-installed accessories include interior trim kits, trunk tray, trunk hooks, cargo organizer, and cargo net. Other Acura-approved accessories include 18-inch, 10-spoke, chrome-look or ebony-finish alloy wheels; backup sensor; wheel locks; sport bumper kit; rear bumper applique; deck lid spoiler or wing spoiler; moonroof visor; car cover; and nose mask.
Safety features include a full complement of airbags for front and side curtain airbags in back. Rear outboard seats provide anchors (LATCH) for child safety seats. Antilock brakes let the driver steer the car during emergency stops, brake assist boosts initial brake pressure in panic stops and electronic brake-force distribution apportions brake application between front and rear to optimize stopping distance. Electronic stability assist, coupled with traction control, adjusts brake and throttle to keep the car going where it's supposed to go through evasive or avoidance maneuvers or when road conditions deteriorate. Tire pressure monitors are standard.
There is a consistency to Acura's styling that ties its current models together and the TSX is no exception. Although it stretches the mold a bit, as it should, there's still no mistaking it for anything but one of Honda's luxury line.
The front end blends elements from Acura's other two sedans, the sporty TL and the more serious RL, and from the MDX sport utility. The headlight housings, for instance, with their squinty lenses curling around the front fenders to reach deep into the arcs of the front wheelwells, look like a direct lift from the TL. The elongated, pentagonal silver bar topping the similarly outlined grille pulls from both the MDX grille. The gaping lower air intake is a new design cue and shaves visual mass from what might otherwise be an overpowering front bumper while adding function by funneling needed cooling air into the engine compartment and reducing front end lift. Hood sculpting defines the TSX's centerline and front fenders.
The side view departs a bit more from the family look, but keeps just enough of the cues to stay true to its design DNA. This is especially evident in the side lenses of the headlight and taillight housings and the silhouette of the trailing lip of the trunk lid, all of which closely mirror the previous TSX. In much sharper relief, though, are the sculpted character lines in the door panels. These add visual bulk and combine with edgy wheel arches remindful, again, of the MDX to make a stronger statement about the car's sporty aspirations. Door handles embedded in the upper crease give the view a cleaner look.
The rear aspect, sad to say, suggests of recent Toyota Camrys more than of the previous TSX in its overly busy styling. A deeply cut horizontal line slices straight across the rear vertical of the trunk lid, itself looking almost concave against the gently convex vertical of earlier models. Taillights bridge the seam between trunk and fenders and the license plate recess mirrors the five-angle grille, visually pushing the trailing lip higher and seeming to add sheet metal across the lower reaches of the trunk lid. The rear bumper cups the trunk opening with unflattering sedan like bulk, which makes the hot rod-spec dual exhaust tips look a little lame.
Six-cylinder models are identified only by standard 18-inch wheels, “V6” badge on the trunk, and slightly larger lower grille inlets.
Liking the new Acura TSX interior is easy. It's comfortable without being plush, sporty without being sparse. Communication between driver and car is, for the most part, open and easy and unabridged.
The front seats are supportive, with enough side bolstering for reasonably rambunctious motoring on twisty roads. The bottom cushion could be deeper, but this is a common shortcoming in many cars. The front seat passenger still gets shortchanged with no height adjustment, which leaves even taller people feeling as if they're sitting in a hole. Cabin measurements show the TSX with the least front headroom, more rear legroom than the IS, and about par elsewhere.
The rear seat is more like a bench than twin buckets, and space for the lower extremities is snug; this is the typical pinch point in compact sedans. Rear head restraints adjust for height, which is a plus for its occupants, although even when at their lowest position they limit the visibility out the back window from the inside rear view mirror. All four doors have dual inside pulls, one horizontal and one angled up, for easy closing by passengers of any stature.
Gauges tell their tales with easy-to-scan graphics and floating needles. The steering wheel sports push buttons and toggles controlling more than a dozen functions, not counting the horn, making it look like it would be just as comfortable in a jet fighter cockpit as in a car. This is good for fighter pilot Walter Mittys who fantasize about mixing it up with the other side's Top Guns or those who like to keep their hands on the wheel at all times, but it could be a bit much if you just want to drive the car.
The center stack, however, with either the base sound and navigation system or the optional Technology Package, is one of the more intuitively arranged that we've seen, with large, finger-friendly buttons and a reasonably easy-to-learn multi-function joystick-like knob for the multi-layered information center-cum-map screen. The high-end audio setup does force the relocation of the CD changer down into the bowels of the center stack, where it's not as easily accessed as with the base system, which parks it at the top of the stack, but that's a minor complaint, and one that won't even show up on the technophiles' radar.
A Grammy-winner helped tune the optional sound system. Rather than the kilowatt of power some high-end systems use, the Acura/ELS uses a more modest 415 watts of amplification, ten speakers, and DVD-audio capability to deliver detailed sound that could very well be the next best thing to being there. Ticket prices and musician fussiness what they are, we think it's better than being there.
Storage is more than adequate. Every door has a molded-in space for a water bottle, the front doors room for the proverbial map, although given a navigation system is standard, think guidebook or CDs. The glove box has a partitioned nook for the owner's manual and associated booklets, leaving the rest for smallish flat items. The front center console hosts a bi-level storage bin and two cup holders. The fold-down center armrest has two more. There's a bin in the front footwells on each side of what once was called the transmission hump.
Trunk space is 12.6 cubic feet, slightly more than BMW's 3-series and slightly less than the Lexus IS, and well behind Audi's A4. Only the center section is flat, the sides shaped by the need to accommodate the rear suspension components, and the opening itself isn't particularly commodious. Space is easily expanded by dropping the rear seatbacks simply by pulling the trunk-mounted release levers.
The standard Acura TSX is an enjoyable car to drive, with a free-revving, high-winding four-cylinder engine, slick six-speed manual gearbox, a reasonably balanced chassis with good compromise on the comfort/performance continuum, and decent feel to operating controls.
With 201 horsepower and just 172 lb-ft of torque the four-cylinder has its work cut out for it hauling around 3500 pounds of car and driver. It is very willing and happy to do that, and seems to rejoice in revs where others sound stressed. With the six-speed manual's shift and clutch action it's the enthusiast's choice and gets the best of the engine; figure on 0-60 acceleration in the mid-seven-second range.
The new V6 significantly changes the character of the car, not least by adding 70 horses and 84 lb-ft of torque and knocking about 1.5 seconds off that 0-60 sprint. Acura's V6 is smooth and linear, and up in the higher revs makes a very pleasant growl. Good as the five-speed automatic is with paddles and a sport mode that holds manual gear selections, it hasn't the involvement factor of the six-speed manual offered only with the four-cylinder. The V-6 model also adds 210 pounds and takes 3 mpg off EPA city and highway ratings. And it needs an extra 15 inches of space for a U-turn.
Fuel economy, according to the federal government, for the TSX four-cylinder automatic is 21/30 mpg City/Highway. Audi A4 gets an EPA-rated 23/30 mpg, BMW 3 Series rates 18/28 mpg, Lexus IS 250 gets 21/29 mpg.
Fuel economy for the TSX V-6 is 18/27 mpg while the quicker BMW 335 and Lexus IS 350 get a slightly poorer 17/26 mpg and 18/25 mpg respectively. Audi has dropped the V6 from its 2010 A4 lineup.
Both the V6 and the four-cylinder models offer composure that make for an ideal everyday ride. Changes to suspension and better steering feel do a good job of masking the extra 210 pounds the V6 brings to the TSX, most of it on the front end. Along with fatter tires on 18-inch wheels, the V-6 is the better handling model, except perhaps charging down a winding mountain road. The V-6 model is a more enjoyable drive primarily because of the vastly improved steering feel. Also, the automatic is happier behind the V6 than it is in the four-cylinder. Although the size of the brakes hasn't changed on the V-6 the braking system has been upgraded and feels every bit as stout it does on the lighter four-cylinder version.
What keeps the TSX off the shopping list of most enthusiasts is its front-wheel drive. While generally good for packaging and fuel efficiency, and the next best thing to all-wheel drive for most winter traction issues, it doesn't offer the handling characteristics, agility or feel of a rear-drive car nor an all-wheel drive biased to behave like rear-wheel drive as is Audi's A4 quattro.
Outward visibility is quite good forward and to the sides, the rear slightly hindered by rear headrests, a problem not unique to the TSX. The larger wheels appear to have added nothing to the minimal road noise and wind noise is muted to highway speeds.
The 2010 Acura TSX delivers the marque's hallmark traits of smooth mechanicals, feature-rich cabin and distinctive style. It's very good at what it is, a stylish, efficient, premium compact sedan with a sporty tilt, but it isn't a true sports sedan. If your passengers aren't too tall, the TSX is a comfortable and efficient commuter car.
NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent Tom Lankard reported from San Diego, California, with G.R. Whale reporting from Los Angeles.
Acura TSX ($29,310); TSX with Technology Package ($32,410); Acura TSX V-6 ($34,850); TSX with Technology Package ($37,950).
Options As Tested
Acura TSX V-6 Technology ($37,950).
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