Comfort Sport Build
RDX A-Spec SH-AWD
This one has to be a longer read....
With CST front shocks sent back to Tein for inspection/overhaul, the oem front coilovers were called into duty after many years of sleeping. I was curious how the wheel noise would respond to the change, and unfortunately the noise and vibration got significantly worse with the soft oem suspension. I am now inclined to believe the issue is either in the bushings or axle. Not able to identify the root cause quickly, I feel like the car is destroying itself if I continue running it as a daily.
I have to find out the source of the problem, but in a less time-pressured way. That means taking TSX out of daily duty.
The car is too close to my heart to say goodbye now, so the question I asked was, which car compliments TSX the best?
Long story short, after Model 3 was vetoed, M340 feels too excessive/purposeful, and 330 feels good but not great, I stayed in the Acura family and got myself a RDX A-Spec.
For those of you in the market for RDX, my deal was 4.8k off MSRP, including the $1k loyalty credit. Maybe there is more room, because apparently A-Spec models with red seats do not sell well in Bay Area. All A-Spec on the lot were made in 11/2018, and mostly blue color. In comparison, RDX average day-to-sell is 40-50.
My car has high mileage for a new one, but somehow, the powertrain feels smoother than the almost-new RDX I tried before. Maybe just the nature of break-in. The power flows with NA engine response, the AT mostly works behind the scene. Now I understand why the powertrain, especially the engine, is praised.
A few standout items that nudged me towards RDX instead of 330:
- Audio system is killer, punches way way above its class. BMW's "Hi-Fi" system might as well be branded Lo-Fi.
- Excellent storage.
- The car has traditional Honda/Acura virtues, but now feels like BMW- instead of just Honda+.
- Feels like I get more car for similar or slightly less money.
Things I like about RDX so far:
- Audio, yes I know have praised it, but on RDX this really is studio-level sound stage and precision.
- It seems like my FlashPro can be re-used on RDX!
- Ventilated seats!
- Pano roof! But apparently it does not have safety film…
- K20C seems to be as powerful as J35, when the 10AT is in the right gear and when in turbo.
- The car feels balanced, and good enough for everything. Other than brakes, I do not feel like I need to have Type-S for commuting and shuttling kids.
- The tail is responsive, and follows the front surprising well. The front grip feels not great, though I haven’t pushed the car hard enough yet to see if it is suspension tuning or just tires.
- I like the TrueTouch interface more than I thought I would, and the infotainment manages to hide it’s slower speed well with smooth UI transition.
- This is a happy car, but I do not know how to explain it other than say it is easygoing.
Things I do not like:
- Tire noise with the 20” A-Spec tire is loud for a new generation car…
- The LCD screen in the instrument panel is not good. Small texts are pixelated, and the info is placed too low. Acura decided the upper area is reserved for ACC, LKAS, and boost/g meters, and I do not understand why.
- The computer for Infotainment already feels under-powered. Infotainment also has a few bugs.
- Voice recognition is clearly based on Alexa, but is quite slow, like the connection is on 56kbps, and with mixed result. Address is fine, but saying place names rarely work, even though I can find those places using search on the infotainment.
- The A-spec seats are not as comfortable as they should be.
- Even though steering and handling feel good, the chassis feedback feel more synthetic and computerized than 3G MDX.
- Brake is useable, but a bit vague and non-linear. This is probably where Type-S is going to see a significant improvement by using fixed calipers. In fact, I believe the reason A-aspec uses 20” 255 tires is because those will be used by Type-S. So I am hopeful that Type-S caliper/rotor can be dropped into A-spec.
- Other than audio and interior, the car is still not at tier-1 level. For example, chassis stiffness feels less than 330, ride quality is missing the well-damped feeling in the initial response, and in-car tech is at least one generation behind BMW. But then I am getting BMW- for the price of Honda+, so not much to complain really.
04 TSX AT
My build thread - Comfort Sport Build
Phase 1: CT-E I/H, 06 air tube, 06 CAT, reflash
Phase 2: 06 intake cam, 45 VTC, RSP IM, FlashPro
Phase 2.1: HFC, 06 RBB IM
Phase 3: ASP header
Tein CST 8-5 kg/mm with revalve, Progress RSB, Alutec strut bar
Skunk2 Front upper arms
XLR8 BBK (ST-41 4-pot caliper/SS line/One-piece slot rotor)