2012 Acura TSX — Compact luxury and great performance

By Bruce Caldwell
The 2012 Acura TSX is the brand’s entry-level car. It’s a viable contender in the compact sport/luxury sedan class. TSX prices have an $8,000 spread between the least and most expensive trim packages. We drove the top model Tech V-6, which was a fine car although not as great a value as the four-cylinder models.
Walkaround: TSX styling is contemporary and not out of keeping with competitors. We’re not crazy about the prominent wheel arches, but otherwise it’s a handsome car. As expected of an Acura, fit and finish are first rate.
Interior: The TSX pampers the front seat occupants at the expense of rear seat occupants. The Tech package adds a lot of sophisticated audio, communications, and navigation features, but we questioned the extra cost. A big trunk with flat folding rear seats and a large pass through provided substantial cargo capacity.
Under The Hood: Engineering excellence is an Acura hallmark and the 2012 TSX is no exception. The silky smooth 3.5-liter V-6 engine is the same as used in the heavier Acura TL. It adds a lot of performance to the TSX.
The V-6 produces 280 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque, while the 4-cylinder is rated at 201 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque. The V-6 is only available with a fine 5-speed automatic transmission, but the 4-cylinder can also be mated to a 6-speed manual. The 4-cylinder/6-speed goes a long ways toward making up the horsepower gap and costs thousands less. The EPA rated our V-6 tester at 19/28. We averaged almost 23 mpg in mixed driving.
Behind The Wheel: There’s nothing to complain about the TSX V-6 driving experience. Performance is excellent as is comfort.
Whines: The V-6 engine is great, but tough to justify financially compared to the peppy I-4. The Tech package also carries a hefty premium. Back seat space is tight for a luxury sedan.
Bottom Line: The 2012 Acura TSX V-6 is a great driver’s car and a good candidate in the compact sport luxury field. The base versions shine in the bang for the buck department.