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You're gonna love this review... :rolleyes:

BY MARK PHELAN
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST

March 11, 2004

Acura's TSX compact sport sedan is an exceptionally well-equipped car with a magnificent engine that powers it to near head of the class among small front-drive entry-luxury sedans.

While the TSX is clearly better equipped and more attractively priced than competitors like the Lexus ES 330 and Infiniti I35, its appearance, handling and performance fall short of its real goal: giving Honda's luxury brand a match for the Mercedes-Benz C-class and BMW 3-series.

Based on the Japanese-market version of the Honda Accord, the TSX has an undistinguished exterior design.

"That looks a lot like an Accord for $28,000," one passerby observed.

The TSX also has a very small interior. At 91 cubic feet, it offers less space than a Honda Civic sedan, and it does feel cramped when carrying two or three passengers. It is roomier than the BMW 325i and Mercedes C240, but smaller than the I35 and ES 330.

Size notwithstanding, the interior is very attractive, with standard leather seats and trim and tiny gaps between parts. The LED instrument panel tended to wash out in bright sunlight, however, offsetting the value of the car's large and legible gauges.

The gauges light up whenever the car is running, which made it disconcertingly easy to take off without turning the lights on at night. A car with luminous gauges should also have a twilight sensor to prevent this.

The exceptionally long list of standard features includes Acura's excellent navigation system, with voice recognition and a crystal-clear display mounted high in the dashboard. The system is very easy to use, but I would prefer if Acura prevented it from taking manual commands while the car is in motion.

Other standard features include a 360-watt stereo with a six-disc in-dash CD changer, heated front seats and dual-zone climate control.

Antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability control are also standard.

That sort of equipment would add thousands of dollars to the price of any of TSX's competitors, making Acura's small sedan a large bargain.

The 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine is exceptionally powerful and flexible, producing 200 horsepower and providing strong smooth acceleration in all gears and at a wide variety of engine speeds. The engine did have a noticeable vibration around 3,000 r.p.m., however.

The close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission is also a joy to use, with short precise shifts and a very attractive leather-wrapped knob atop a brushed aluminum shaft.

The speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering is firm and precise, giving excellent feedback through the wheel during most maneuvers. The four-wheel disc brakes also meet Acura's usual standard of excellence, providing firm smooth stops with very little fade even in heavy repeated use.

Despite all those exceptional mechanical pieces, the TSX's handling falls short because of its front-wheel-drive layout.

Having the vast majority of the car's weight located in front of the passenger compartment leads to a nose-heavy feel that became very apparent when cornering fast and going over hills. The car goes where you point it, but it feels less composed than benchmark small sport sedans like the 3-series, C-class and G35.

The result is that the TSX felt a bit sloppy and unbalanced in such sporty driving, a major detraction from its many other virtues.

Because of the TSX's lack of dynamic composure, the 3-series, C-class or Infiniti G35 would all be better choices for sporty drivers.

While the TSX's marvelous engine, transmission and steering make it the pick of the litter among small front-drive sport sedans, it's not ready to run with the big dogs.

2004 Acura TSX with navigation system
Rating: THREE STARS (out of four stars)
Reasons to buy: Engine; price; many standard features.


-Shortcomings: Handling; interior room; Accord-like looks.

-Vehicle type: Front-wheel drive, five-seat compact sport sedan

-Base price: $28,490 (excluding destination charges)

-As tested: $28,490

-Standard equipment: Front side air bags, side-curtain air bags, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, navigation system with voice recognition, sport seats with perforated leather trim, power driver's seat, heated front seats, 360-watt eight-speaker stereo with in-dash six-disc CD changer, dual zone automatic climate control, cruise control, power windows and locks, remote locking, security system, power sunroof, 17-by-7-inch alloy wheels, xenon high-intensity headlights, power side mirrors with integrated turn signals, Homelink remote control for garage door and other electronics

-Options: None

-Specifications as tested

-Engine: 2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder

-Power: 200 horsepower at 6,800 r.p.m., 166 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 r.p.m.

-Transmission: Six-speed manual

-Fuel economy: 21 m.p.g. city, 29 m.p.g. highway

-Wheelbase: 105.1 inches

-Length: 183.3 inches

-Width: 69.4 inches

-Height: 57.3 inches

-Curb Weight: 3,241 pounds

-Where assembled: Sayama, Japan

-Comparative base prices

(not including shipping charges)

-BMW 325i $28,100

-Infiniti I35 $30,600

-Lexus ES 330 $31,725

-Mercedes-Benz C230 Kompressor $28,490


Contact MARK PHELAN at 313-222-6731 or [email protected].

Copyright © 2004 Detroit Free Press Inc.

http://www.freep.com/money/autoreviews/phelan11_20040311.htm
 

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hip said:
.....it's not ready to run with the big dogs.....

Oh yeah?????




2nd!!!!!!!




This dude is just not up on current events. :D

BTW I didn't notice his hot Mercedes finishing 2nd. Or 1st. Or 3rd for that matter.


Just kidding of course. But this guy obviously is just not a fan.
 

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Re: Re: Acura TSX is loaded, but hurt by front drive

larchmont said:
Oh yeah?????




2nd!!!!!!!




This dude is just not up on current events. :D

BTW I didn't notice his hot Mercedes finishing 2nd. Or 1st. Or 3rd for that matter.


Just kidding of course. But this guy obviously is just not a fan.
Well, I see at least you're HTML skills are improving... ;)
 

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He is eating his wheaties and learning how to use his wifes mac....he can't be all that bad.
 

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Your welcome...Also pleased to note that your learning html is good for the brain.....You do have to exercise it...Unfortunately it is harder to exercise the older you get.....I have been trying to learn php since christmas and still have not finished the book
 

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Pretty good review, me thinks.

But couple gripes with the review:

The gauges light up whenever the car is running, which made it disconcertingly easy to take off without turning the lights on at night. A car with luminous gauges should also have a twilight sensor to prevent this.
1). The TSX has an icon that comes on in the gauge cluster when the headlights are on. I'm confident that Honda realized this potential problem beforehand and put that icon in there just for that reason. (I say this belongs in the Easter Egg category). All the other cars I've driven doesn't have a seperate icon just for the headlights, the gauges just light up instead. Plus, with the headlights being HID with an unique sharp cut-off, you'd be blind not to realize that the headlights aren't on.

2). Some people don't want a RWD car.
 

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I thought it was a horrible review. I don't mean just horrible for the TSX, but horribly unrepresentative of the car.
 

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Another thing that stood out about the review.

-Shortcomings: Handling; interior room; Accord-like looks.
Interior room I can understand, althought the TSX is by no means a sardine can.

The handling I disagree with but I understand where he's coming from (he's using the BMW 3 Series, G35, and C-Class as a benchmark against the TSX).

But the comment about Accord like looks? No way! I just don't see it. The front, the back, the side, not even close. And I don't think he's referring to the interior because he's said that the interior is "very attractive".

Acura wanted to make the TSX stand out from the Honda Accord so it can attract potential Accord buyers into something more profitable in the TSX.
 

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Whatchamacallit said:
.....Interior room I can understand, althought the TSX is by no means a sardine can.

The handling I disagree with but I understand where he's coming from (he's using the BMW 3 Series, G35, and C-Class as a benchmark against the TSX).

But the comment about Accord like looks? No way! I just don't see it.....
I guess Whatcham is more understanding than I am.

I can't see ANY of these three things, and they were some of the main things that made me say it was a "horrible" review.

About interior room: Most people (including reviewers) have felt the TSX to be VERY GOOD for a car of this class -- except for people who have gone just on the basis of the specs, which seem to misrepresent the TSX. As I've said various times, interior dimension specs in general are notoriously unreliable, for whatever reason. From how he expresses it, it seems that on this aspect he was going mainly if not totally on the specs rather than on how it really is. In any event, it's possible to see how someone might not love the interior room, but to call it a "shortcoming" is quite a negative spin.

About the handling, I think you're being WAY too understanding toward him. To refer to the the TSX's handling as a "shortcoming" is utterly absurd. As you indicate, the TSX isn't quite up to the level of some other cars. But it's far from clear that it's below the level of all the cars you mention. I recently drove a G35 for a few days and I can tell you that the TSX doesn't take any clear back seat to it, in fact I thought the G35's handling was slightly below the TSX's. And it's far from unanimous that the MB's have better handling than the TSX.

What the heck, I picked up a reference to see if I'm being partial to the TSX. I'm not. Consumer Guide, which rates the cars from 1 to 10 on various scales including handling, rates the TSX equal to or higher than the G35 and the MB's -- some of the versions of those models rate equal to the TSX, the other versions rate lower -- and equal to the 3-series cars except for one of the loaded 330's. Don't get me wrong; I don't think the TSX's handling is really "equal" to that of most of the BMW 3's. But the thing is, when you have a 10-point scale and you're only dealing in integers, you have to do some rounding. And the fact that they came up with the same number for the TSX and the BMW does have some significance.

So, to refer to the TSX's handling as a "shortcoming" is positively lunatic. Pardon the strong terminology, but it is so.

About the looks, even Whatcham (nice guy that he is) seems to feel the reviewer's comment was a bit blind.

I'm more than willing to acknowledge the TSX's weak points. But I have a very low tolerance for :bs:
(Of course not talking about Whatcham, but about the reviewer.)
 

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Let's see....

"Accord-like looks" -- That's just silly. Seriously, what dolt is going around mistaking the TSX for an Accord?

"The TSX also has a very small interior." -- Um, no. This is one thing that irritates me about automotive journalists. They'll review a small car and complain about interior room. HELLO!! IT'S A SMALL CAR!! The TSX is not meant to be a Lincoln Town car. It is what it is -- a smallish sedan. And for sedans of this size, the TSX has a sufficient amount of room.

Furthermore, the writer failed to notice -- or worse, did not acknowledge -- that most people prefer a tighter fighter plane-like cockpit in sportier cars. If your primary concern is "roomy", then you're probably not looking at any car in this class. So compare the size to other cars of it's ilk and you'll see that the available room is just fine.

As for handling, I think the TSX handles very well for a front wheel drive car. Again, the inherent nature of FWD does not make for a car that handles as well as a RWD car when they are pushed. But the TSX handles well from my observations on curvy roads. When compared to other FWD sedans, the TSX is certainly in the top 5%. When compared to RWD sedans, the TSX is set to be exposed to some criticism. That's the nature of FWD cars, not necessarily a criticism of the TSX specifically.

For me, the fact that it's FWD right now is a good thing. It helps to convince the wife unit that it will be a good "foul weather car" as a replacement for her truck. If it were RWD, I don't think she we even consider it. As it stands, I don't think she's feelin' it.

I'm such a hypocrite. But I'm okay with that. :D
 

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Ferg said:
,,,,,I'm such a hypocrite. But I'm okay with that. :D
:D :D

The one thing I liked about Rush Limbaugh was how he would intone the word "hypocrisy," which he used to say every chance he got. His eyes would get extra intense right before he started the word and he'd pause for a millisecond, then he'd pause for a few milliseconds after the first syllable, and say "pah" with particular staccato emphasis and with his face looking like it was going to crap into his pants, while also sort of twitching or swiveling his neck and shoulders a couple of times before continuing with the rest of the word. And it would take him almost as long to say the word as it takes to read this.

"hi--PAH'-----crisy" :D


Haven't heard him lately but I have a feeling he might be using the word less now.
 

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larchmont said:
:D :D

The one thing I liked about Rush Limbaugh was how he would intone the word "hypocrisy," which he used to say every chance he got. His eyes would get extra intense right before he started the word and he'd pause for a millisecond, then he'd pause for a few milliseconds after the first syllable, and say "pah" with particular staccato emphasis and with his face looking like it was going to crap into his pants, while also sort of twitching or swiveling his neck and shoulders a couple of times before continuing with the rest of the word. And it would take him almost as long to say the word as it takes to read this.

"hi--PAH'-----crisy" :D


Haven't heard him lately but I have a feeling he might be using the word less now.



:stupid: (you're not stupid larchie, I just always wanted to use this emoticon!)

You're killing me!! I love how he used to rant about "casual drug users" and how these educated, white, upper middle class scumbags were as much a part of the drug problem as the dealers on the corner and the true addicts.

:rofl:
 

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You know, when I first posted this article and I actually composed a full page rebuttal rebuking the author for his transgressions… (sounds good, maybe I should be a writer?)

But then I thought about it and sound nah, you guys would handle this and do a more thorough job.

But there is one thing you need to keep in mind, where the author lives and who his paper accepts a majority of its ad revenue from?

I’ve always maintained (and it does pain me to say this) the reason Detroit will never again build a wildly popular and successful European sedan is…

They don’t know how. No offense to anyone who lives or comes from there, but when you have a “closed” industry such as it exists in “Detroit,” well, let’s just say “you can’t keep repeating the same mistakes and expect to arrive at different outcomes.”

Detroit’s biggest problem is too much “inbreeding” and I’m not referring to incestuous relationships. Everyone who works in that industry comes from that area. Little outside influence ever makes its way in and transforms the (American) car industry. Instead the other companies they acquire become more “Americanized” (and not in a good way) rather than American models becoming more European.

Ford is a good example, they bought; Aston Martin, Volvo, Land Rover, Mazda and who knows how many alliances with other European companies they had? Look at the Jaguar X-Type, based on a Ford Mondeo (European Escort) platform, not bad, but not great. It looks pretty good but it’s overpriced, underpowered and has poor build quality.

Or how about the latest Volvo models, shall I go continue? All these brands were never really outstanding before Ford bought them. But they had a “uniqueness” exclusive to their brand. So in Ford’s quest to make them more reliable and main stream, they lost it. All the intrinsic values that made each brand unique are pretty much gone. Ford has "homogenized" them into other Ford products.

Anyway, just remember, everything you read on the web is not fact based. In fact, little is even fact checked by the websites, heard that today on NPR. So if someone who represents the American car industry wants to “blast” what is inherently an outstanding car (a little personal bias showing here), I say let him. After all that’s what makes this country great!

I for one don’t plan on subscribing to the “FREEP” anytime soon and won’t be supporting his ill conceived and inferior journalistic crap. BTW, wasn’t he a friend of that writer for the N.Y. Times who was caught plagiarizing? :rolleyes:
 

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What a joke. I'm all for reading reviews that criticize the TSX, but this one is just poorly done. This writer needs to lose his job - I would hope for more from a writer in Detroit.

The TSX also has a very small interior. At 91 cubic feet, it offers less space than a Honda Civic sedan, and it does feel cramped when carrying two or three passengers. It is roomier than the BMW 325i and Mercedes C240, but smaller than the I35 and ES 330.
Well, the I35 (Nissan Maxima) and ES 330 (Toyota Camry) are of course much larger cars. If someone is looking for a smaller car, would they bitch about how small each one they test drive is??

The LED instrument panel tended to wash out in bright sunlight, however, offsetting the value of the car's large and legible gauges.
I have never noticed this - ever. The only thing I've ever noticed is that when I turn my lights on during dusk or dawn while wearing sunglasses, I have to turn up the illuminescence since the step below "retina scorch" is dark for sunglasses.

The gauges light up whenever the car is running, which made it disconcertingly easy to take off without turning the lights on at night. A car with luminous gauges should also have a twilight sensor to prevent this.
OMG! Thank god he made it through the test drive ok! :rolleyes:

The exceptionally long list of standard features includes Acura's excellent navigation system, with voice recognition and a crystal-clear display mounted high in the dashboard. The system is very easy to use, but I would prefer if Acura prevented it from taking manual commands while the car is in motion.
Yes, passengers should be forbidden from using the nav while the car is moving.

The 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine is exceptionally powerful and flexible, producing 200 horsepower and providing strong smooth acceleration in all gears and at a wide variety of engine speeds. The engine did have a noticeable vibration around 3,000 r.p.m., however.
Not mine :squint:

The result is that the TSX felt a bit sloppy and unbalanced in such sporty driving, a major detraction from its many other virtues.

Because of the TSX's lack of dynamic composure, the 3-series, C-class or Infiniti G35 would all be better choices for sporty drivers.
This sounds more like an opinion formulated from reading better reviews, not first hand experience. Honestly, I'm not convinced he drove it.


And the pic on the review page is of the A-SPEC TSX, which I'm pretty sure he didn't drive :rolleyes:
 

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Hispanic208 said:
Is the interior of the TSX really smaller than a civic?? =/
Yeah, we haven't talked about that in a while.

According to the specs, they're pretty close. But IMO interior space specs, for some reason, don't seem very indicative. Notice I'm not saying they're not "accurate," because I'm sure they're accurate measurements of SOMETHING -- I just don't know what. I imagine of course they're defined pretty specifically, but all I know is that I've never found them to be good guides to how cars feel inside, except in the most approximate way.

The only way to tell is to just sit in the cars. And I think that people's impressions from that is that the TSX is (as you'd expect) bigger inside than the Civic. In fact, it seems that most people experience the interior room of the TSX (especially in the rear) to be larger even than most cars of its own size, so of course you'd expect it to seem roomier than cars of a smaller size, like the Civic.
 

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Hispanic208 said:
Is the interior of the TSX really smaller than a civic?? =/
No way.... I find the interior of the TSX very roomy... It's got more room than my co-workers civic coupe and the TSX is about the same size as my brother's 93 corolla...but there's waaaay more interior room on my TSX. You definately have to sit inside to tell. The numbers don't really mean much IMO.
 

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TSX & Accord

Pretty much everyone who has seen my new ride likes it but they do say that the exterior looks like an Accord ... some even say a Civic. I cannot say I disagree, mind U, but I blame it on Honda/Acura having a distinct style that is easily recognizable


Sadly, 1 of my neighbors did not even notice that I had replaced my Accord bc he said they looked so similar


On a Side Note: I recently parked near a TL & asked my friend which he thought looked better (I am still wondering if I should have gotten a TL instead) His comment was that they look alike so whats the difference.

This would be the same friend that went to an Acura dealer a while ago & I asked him to help me find a black TSX on the lot ... as he strolled down the aisle he kept pointing @ TLs. Finally he asked how the heck does he tell the difference & I responded look for the little ********* headlights & he was like "U gotta be more specific than that bc they both got it" Dang Honda/Acura & their distinct style
 
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