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The March issue of Consumer Reports has a small article on the TSX. They described it as very pleasant; a smooth, quiet engine; firm & controlled ride; impressive fit & finish.

A full report will be out in their Sept issue.
 

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.....which I guess comes out in early August. We'll be watching for it.

That small article in the March issue was actually the second little write-up. This one is much more favorable than the earlier one. In fact, it's extremely favorable. Looks like their full report is going to be a big, big :thumbsup:

The first little write-up, a few months ago, had some people worried -- it gave the impression that they thought the TSX was basically just an Accord, and so you might as well just get an Accord. I thought pretty definitely that from the way they wrote it, it just meant that they hadn't tested the TSX yet or maybe even tried it, so it didn't mean anything at all about what they'd wind up saying. It didn't.


P.S. This is an edited version of my post. On my first try, I had forgotten how favorable this March article was. When I went to paste a copy of it here (see below), I took another look at it, and saw that it was really really good. They don't love the headlights, but then again I don't either.
 

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Here's the text of the article:


First look: Acura TSX

When Acura dropped the Integra in 2001, it replaced the car with the sporty two-door RSX. In spring 2003, Acura introduced a new four-door sedan, the TSX, based on the Honda Accord that is sold in Europe, Japan, and elsewhere outside the U.S.

The TSX, designed to be sportier than the typical family sedan, has a 200-hp, 2.4-liter Four. For about $27,000, it comes well equipped with heated leather seats, stability control, and side-curtain air bags. Its main competitor is the Audi A4 1.8T, about $30,000.

In our preliminary driving, the TSX has been very pleasant. The smooth, quiet engine is coupled to either a 6-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic transmission. The stick shift is a delight; the automatic, very smooth and responsive. The TSX is fairly agile, with responsive steering and good tire grip. The ride is quite firm though well controlled. The cabin is quiet, the seats are comfortable, and the fit and finish are impressive.

Most controls are easy to use. The standard low-beam HID headlights have good intensity, but they also have a sharp cutoff that can distract oncoming drivers on undulating roads.
 

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If the only negative thing they said about the TSX was the sharp cutoff for the headlights, I would think it did pretty darn good. I can't wait for the full report in the September issue.
 

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I wonder what they will compare it with, and what category of car it will be placed in. They define "upscale sedans" as $30-40k... I wondered about comparing it with 4-cyl entry-lux cars, but the Saab 9-3 is in that upscale group (that the TL leads).

Hmmm...

Personally, I think it's best compared with the 9-3, C-class, and A4 - four-cyl entry lux models, FWD except for the C-class.
 

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If TSX does make it into CR Upscale Sedan category (which I'm sure they would), it would be very interesting to see how the TSX scores against the TL.

I don't think there are enough "entry level upscale sedan" or some sorts out there in the $25K to $30K (or even $22K to $30K) price range to justify having their own category for CR review purposes.
 

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jcg878 said:
I wonder what they will compare it with, and what category of car it will be placed in. They define "upscale sedans" as $30-40k... I wondered about comparing it with 4-cyl entry-lux cars, but the Saab 9-3 is in that upscale group (that the TL leads).

Hmmm...

Personally, I think it's best compared with the 9-3, C-class, and A4 - four-cyl entry lux models, FWD except for the C-class.
Whatchamacallit said:
If TSX does make it into CR Upscale Sedan category (which I'm sure they would), it would be very interesting to see how the TSX scores against the TL.

I don't think there are enough "entry level upscale sedan" or some sorts out there in the $25K to $30K (or even $22K to $30K) price range to justify having their own category for CR review purposes.
First of all I would like to announce that this might be the first time on this site, or maybe anywhere in the history of mankind, that two such estimable posts from two such estimable different people are quoted in the same reply.

Thank you very much. :D

Great posts, and great points. I took another look at the piece in Consumer Reports to see if there's any indication of category or anything like that, and there isn't.

I agree with JCG about where the TSX belongs most logically. We'll see if that's pretty close to what they do. I think it should be.

I'd love to see a TSX/TL comparison in Consumer Reports, or anywhere for that matter. We've done it on our sites, but I haven't seen intensive comparisons in any "official" places. If they ever do it, I think it's pretty predictable what it would be: The TL is more powerful, more advanced, and slightly more upscale, but the TSX is more outstanding for what it is.
 

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larchmont said:
First of all I would like to announce that this might be the first time on this site, or maybe anywhere in the history of mankind, that two such estimable posts from two such estimable different people are quoted in the same reply.

Thank you very much.
:rolleyes:


I do admit that the odds are stacked against the TSX. The key categories that CR looks at aren't necessarily TSX's strengths.

Cons: :thumbsdow
Acceleration (In comparison to the other $30K-$40K beasts)
Headlights (CR comment about the sharp cutoff)
Turning Circle (Radius)
Maximum Load
Cargo volume
Interior Room
Braking

Pros: :thumbsup:
Transmission
MPG
Handling
Controls and Displays
Interior Fit and Finish

I don't think pricing really factors in for the overall score, although it would definitely help in Quick Picks and/or Recommended models.
 

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Whatchamacallit said:
I do admit that the odds are stacked against the TSX. The key categories that CR looks at aren't necessarily TSX's strengths.....

I don't think pricing really factors in for the overall score, although it would definitely help in Quick Picks and/or Recommended models.
Gotta disagree with you on these things. I see what you mean, but for what it's worth I'm a long-time CR follower, and I don't get the impression they consider those aspects quite how you imply. I think they look mostly at overall quality, utility, efficiency, and anticipated reliability. Regarding performance measures, I've gotten the impression they look at the various performance aspects just very broadly, sort of (but not formally or exactly) whether the car is poor, fair, average, good, or great. For example, I don't think they care much if a car does 0-60 in 7.0 or 8.0 -- I think they'd both be considered "fine." And I absolutely do think that they include price, very significantly. If they don't think a car represents good value, they don't recommend it, and if it's unusually good value, they count that a lot.

The only thing that's stacked against the TSX regarding the upcoming Consumer Reports review is that it's a new model. I fully expect an excellent rating, but even with that, it's very possible they might not "Recommend" the car because of it not having enough of a track record for them to project reliability one way or the other. They don't give any reliability rating if a car doesn't have enough of a track record, and they don't "Recommend" a car until they can give it at least "Average" on reliability.
 

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I agree that TSX probably will get a favorable CR write-up based on good stats on broad spectrum of tests.

But the part that I don't think TSX will stand out is the section at the very back of the automobile section (where they break down and rate each aspect seperately using scale of red to black circles).

I don't think TSX will get "excellent" rating in many of these areas, but it will get a lot of "very good" to "good" ratings consistently. Maybe a "fair" ratings on brakes.

You are right about them not recommending new models. The March issue (focusing on three-row SUVs) features 4 new models. None of them are "Recommended" or designated "Quick Picks". However, good to see that the lowest priced model (Honda Pilot EX), finished first. :thumbsup:
 

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Whatchamacallit said:
.....But the part that I don't think TSX will stand out is the section at the very back of the automobile section (where they break down and rate each aspect seperately using scale of red to black circles)......
Well actually.....

If you mean the section that I think you mean, I'm pretty sure the TSX will do better than you think, because in that section, those "red and black circles" don't mean the same thing they usually mean. IMO this is a big problem about Consumer Reports' system, maybe the only major problem.

Usually those "circles" represent a rating scale where a blank circle is "average," and the red and black circles and semi-circles represent the pluses and minuses. (Solid red circle = Best, half red circle = above average, half black circle = below average, solid black circle = worst.)

But in that section (if it's the one I think it is), the different kinds of circles just represent certain frequencies of problems. So, unlike in the other sections, where a fixed number of cars get each type of rating, in this section most of the scores are "good," or at least appear to be good, because few cars have enough problems in any given category to get black circles or semi-circles. So, it appears as though almost all of the cars are at least "average" in almost everything, and most are "above average," because people assume the circles mean the same thing that they mean in all the other sections -- which is what they SHOULD mean.


Anybody still with me?

Doubt it!


OTOH if you aren't talking about the same section that I'm thinking of, "never mind." :D
 

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larchmont said:
If you mean the section that I think you mean, I'm pretty sure the TSX will do better than you think, because in that section, those "red and black circles" don't mean the same thing they usually mean.
Yes that's the section I'm referring to. So I'm guessing the ratings shown there doesn't reflect the test results in comparison to other competitors in that category but rather the CR's standard of what's acceptable and what's not?

larchmont said:
Anybody still with me?
Yup
larchmont said:
Doubt it!
Yup
 

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Whatchamacallit said:
Yes that's the section I'm referring to. So I'm guessing the ratings shown there doesn't reflect the test results in comparison to other competitors in that category but rather the CR's standard of what's acceptable and what's not?.....
Well, sort of -- I guess the answer is "probably."
They don't say what they consider "acceptable," they just indicate what frequency of problems is indicated by each kind of "circle."

If I ever get some free time :D I think I'm gonna write to them about this.
Maybe they don't realize it, but the ratings in that section are widely misunderstood.
In fact, I'd bet they're almost uniformly misunderstood.

To put it another way: Virtually nobody has any idea what CR is talking about there.
Or more accurately, they assume they know, but they're wrong, because CR means something else.

Pretty silly. Especially for a publication that usually makes so much sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
larchmont said:
If I ever get some free time :D I think I'm gonna write to them about this.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Sorry, I couldn't resist that one.

Forgive me.;)
 

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larchmont said:
Most controls are easy to use. The standard low-beam HID headlights have good intensity, but they also have a sharp cutoff that can distract oncoming drivers on undulating roads.[/i]
I get CR and read this a while back... does anyone know what they mean by "sharp cutoff"?
 

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sjlee said:
I get CR and read this a while back... does anyone know what they mean by "sharp cutoff"?
I can't believe I'm answering a car question for SJ -- talk about role reversal! :cool:

First, since I don't want to get credit that I don't deserve: Those weren't my words that sjlee quoted up there, I was just pasting stuff from CR.
(I know that SJ knows this.)

About "sharp cutoff": The TSX headlights, to me, are just weird. I experience them as just not illuminating a very large area. When I've said this, people have "corrected" me, saying that it's not that it isn't a large area, it's that THERE'S AN EXTREMELY DISTINCT BORDER between what's illluminated and what isn't. And indeed that's true, and that's what they mean by "sharp cutoff." I'd never thought of it before, but I guess on most cars there's sort of a continuum between what's illuminated and what isn't.

I still believe it's also true that the TSX headlights just don't illuminate a very large area, and I don't like that so much. All of this is also true of the high-beam, but it's less of a problem for me on that. Most people said they were sure I'd get used to these lights with time, and I have slightly, but nowhere close to where I like it.

BTW my prior car was the '03 TL-S, which I think also has HID lights (Does it????), but for some reason those headlights are EXTREMELY different from those of the TSX -- they illuminated a much, much larger area, and I don't recall any "sharp cutoff." In fact, the TL-S headlights were by far the most satisfying I've ever had in any car, and the TSX headlights are the least.

Go figure.
 

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larchmont said:
BTW my prior car was the '03 TL-S, which I think also has HID lights (Does it????)
Yes, it did come standard with Xenon headlights.
 

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sjlee said:
Yes, it did come standard with Xenon headlights.
Thanks, SJ.

I wonder then what accounts for the drastic difference between the '03 TL's lights and TSX's lights. I know that a lot of people don't agree that the TSX's lights are less good, but there's no doubt that there's a very great difference in the headlights of the two cars.
 

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I don't know, but I know that when I get in our Passat at night after driving the TSX, I feel like the headlights are like a dying flashlight. Granted there's much more of a lighting gradient, but I feel like very little is illuminated. I've gotten used to the TSX's quirky cutoff, and in fact I now prefer it. That said, I haven't driven another HID-equipped car (at least not at night).
 
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