By Bruce Caldwell
Acuras are wonderful long distance cars. They’re built so well and so comfortable that the miles just melt away. I’ve always felt that Acura cars were based on outstanding engineering. That super solid basis comes through when covering multi-state distances.
The precision engineering shines on boring freeways and even more on secondary roads. The Acura TSX is a nimble sedan, so twisty back roads are lots of fun. The wheelbase is long enough to make highway travel smooth.
Walkaround: The TSX was redesigned for 2009, so 2010 changes are virtually non-existent. We didn’t care for the grille/nose treatment last year and time hasn’t softened our opinion. I don’t know who came up with the current “bold prow” theme, but you couldn’t change it soon enough to suit me. 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 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.
As great as the front seats are the rear seats are snug. I guess you need to step up the Acura hierarchy to better pamper rear seat passengers. 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 sunroof was a nice size and functioned perfectly. The sound system/satellite radio was first class as usual.
Under The Hood: The 2009 Acura TSX was available with a single engine—a 2.4-liter inline four cylinder that produces 201 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque, but the 2010 TSX is now available with the great 3.5-liter 280 hp V-6 from the Acura TL. Like all Acura V-6 engines this is a super smooth engineering marvel.
The I-4 can be had with either a manual or automatic transmission. The V-6 is only available with the auto trans. The transmission availability might influence some buyers, but given the overabundance of congested traffic it makes perfect sense to choose an automatic 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. The V-6 is a great upgrade, but the I-4 is still an excellent choice.
Whines: Ditch the cattle catcher front end styling and bring back the smoother noses of earlier Acuras.
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.