2009 Acura TSX: Long distance runner

I covered great distances in a 2009 Acura TSX and enjoyed every mile. I drove to back-to-back press events in eastern Washington and central Oregon. I couldn’t have asked for a better car than the Acura TSX. I covered hundreds of non-stop miles in total comfort. And, I got almost 34 miles per gallon easily surpassing the EPA estimate of 20/28.

I traveled a variety of freeways and secondary roads. The TSX has excellent handling, which made the back roads very enjoyable. The new, longer wheelbase helped make highway travel smooth. Acura’s excellent navigation system was a big help in unfamiliar places.

Walkaround: The TSX was redesigned for 2009. We preferred the previous styling, especially the front-end treatment. More pronounced noses and sharper bodylines seem to be an Acura/Honda trend. The fit and finish is excellent as always. Superior quality control is an Acura hallmark.

Interior: Well-appointed, comfortable interiors are standard Acura fare. We had no discomfort even after long hours of driving without a break. The black leather seats are a pleasant blend of comfort and support. The soft headrests helped prevent neck fatigue. Front legroom is of the stretch-out variety even for tall drivers. Adjustable lumbar and two-temp heated seats are appreciated long distance features.

The contoured leather-wrapped steering wheel was very comfortable during long stints behind the wheel. The auxiliary audio, phone, cruise, and info controls kept us entertained and informed without taking our eyes off the road.

Wheelbase has been increased by an inch (the body is 2.5-inches longer and 3-inches wider than the 2004-2008 TSX) for 2009, but it didn’t benefit back seat passengers. Legroom is snug. The center armrest is nicely padded. Rear storage bins are small.

The trunk is reasonably big, but the floor isn’t totally flat and the wheel wells intrude on the available space. The trunk opening is wide as is the pass-thru to the folding rear seats.

The TSX was equipped with a stellar sound system with AM/FM/satellite radio, a 6 CD player and MP3 capability, so I had plenty of road music on my trip. Front seat storage areas are ample. The sunroof was above average in size.

Under The Hood: The 2009 Acura TSX is available with a single engine — a 2.4-liter inline four cylinder that produces 201 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque. The front wheel drive car can be ordered with either an excellent 6-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automatic. The automatic has steering wheel paddle shifters. Our test car had the smooth and sporty 6-speed manual transmission.

Behind The Wheel: The Acura TSX is a wonderfully competent and comfortable long distance traveler. It’s equally at home on short, local errands. Controls and ergonomics are all well designed.

Whines: The front end styling looks like something Pontiac rejected.

Bottom Line: As the entry level Acura the TSX represents an excellent value. It has Acura/Honda precision engineering and quality at an attractive price.