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Just forget about buying Acura TSX's navigation system

June 15, 2003
By Kenn Peters
Staff writer

Let's get to the bottom line first.

The 2004 Acura TSX is a great car that's fun and comfortable. For $26,490, anyone who wants a true sports sedan can't go wrong. This thing is good looking, and it's a blast to drive.

Just one thing: Skip the $2,000 voice-activated navigation system, and you've got a car for $26,490. Order the navigation system and the car's price is $28,900.

The navigation system has a couple of downsides. It doesn't seem to activate every time it hears a voice, it seems complex, and it includes a touch screen that's also home for the stereo controls.

So youknow what that means: the touch screen is hard to see during the day, and each time the car is started an audio button has to be pushed to bring up the stereo's controls. Forget it and keep the cash.

With or without the navigation system, the TSX includes a load of safety equipment, such as side air bags and curtains, vehicle stability control, traction control and four-wheel disc brakes.

It also has a load of luxury equipment, such as a power moonroof, tilt and telescopic wheel, stereo and CD, wheel-mounted controls for the stereo and cruise control.

Throw in Acura's reputation for quality, and what's not to like? You've got a car that looks sharp, drives like a larger car, has an understanding suspension that can be firm when it has to be and offers a good deal of trunk space.

In the minds of many consumers, and correctly so, the TSX will take up where the old Integra dropped off. The fact is the Integra isn't half the car the TSX is.

Where the TSX is smooth, the Integra is rough around the edges; where the TSX rides well, the Integra is harsh.

So the TSX is positioned nicely to take up the slack left by the Integra and give people who want a little more dash in their Acura ride, another option.

Remember, theAcura CL coupe is departed, and that was the last sporty entry Acura had, until now.

The TSX also gives Acura a shot at holding onto customers who might jump ship and go to one of the European brands.

So the question becomes, is the TSX good enough to prevent that from happening?

The answer is yes.

The TSX may not have the cache as some of the European brands, but it's got the mechanical goods. It may not have the same type of ride quality as the Europeans, but it has more interior room, and the engine is as sweet.

The TSX is powered by a 2.4-liter, 16-valve, 200-horsepower four-cylinder engine, and it's available with a six-speed standard or a five-speed automatic at no extra cost. Acura believes most TSX owners will opt for the automatic.

The 200-horsepower four-cylinder will fool a lot of people into believing it's a six-cylinder. It's ultra smooth and quiet, but it's capable of kicking up its heels.

If it's shy anywhere, it's at the low end, but within a tick it comes alive and has a strong finish.

At thesame time, it turns in up to 32 miles per gallon on the highway and 23 mpg around town, so it allows drivers to have their cake and eat it too.

What's nice is the TSX is available with only one trim level, which includes just about everything. The interior is immediately pleasing and comfortable, and the controls are exactly where you'd want them. Everything is there, cupholders, nooks and crannies, covered areas for valuables such as sunglasses or phones. The seats are heated.

The TSX is front-drive, and it's equipped with fairly aggressive tires. That means snow tires are going to be a must for people who want traction without hesitation during the area's bad weather.

Finally, back to the bottom line and the question of whether the TSX is as good as its competition. Check the real bottom line, the one that says $26,490, then check the competition.

http://www.syracuse.com/business/poststandard/index.ssf?/base/business-0/1055320691201860.xml
 

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Besides, who needs the navigation system when you have a cell phone?

Here's my question.... automatic or manual?

I currently have a Integra GSR sedan.... (I guess it can be considered the father of the TSX?).

I'd like to get a manual again, however, my fiancee doesn't know how to drive one very well (I've tried teaching her) and would prefer that I get an automatic.

I've gone back-and-forth, but can't make up my mind. I figure if I get an automatic, I'd still have my sportbike to keep me happy for performance, but I'd really like to get my hands on that magnesium 6-speed.

Any hints, suggestions or advice?
 

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From all I have heard the auto and the manual are completely different beasts. I myself will opt for the manual when i trade in my CL.

Hell no do not forget the Nav system. I have one in my CL and yes sometimes the glare makes it hard to see and yes it gets smudges on it. However I have never been happier about a decision than getting the nav. I have never gotton lost again, finding the local restaurant/atm/bar etc is now so easy because i have the yellow pages in the car at all times and to tell you the truth i use it just to tell how long i am from the next turn. never hurts to have more knowledge And do not forget the wow factor. And that is with my old version. i have heard/seen the new one and it rocks. The screen is huge.

Get the nav you will not be sorry.
 

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95gt said:
From all I have heard the auto and the manual are completely different beasts. I myself will opt for the manual when i trade in my CL.

Hell no do not forget the Nav system. I have one in my CL and yes sometimes the glare makes it hard to see and yes it gets smudges on it. However I have never been happier about a decision than getting the nav. I have never gotton lost again, finding the local restaurant/atm/bar etc is now so easy because i have the yellow pages in the car at all times and to tell you the truth i use it just to tell how long i am from the next turn. never hurts to have more knowledge And do not forget the wow factor. And that is with my old version. i have heard/seen the new one and it rocks. The screen is huge.

Get the nav you will not be sorry.
I've heard quite a few complaints about the new nav system... including the article that was posted here.

Apparently to change something as easy as turning down the A/C or changing radio stations requires a few presses on the screen. Don't know that I want to be spending more than a few seconds doing that stuff while driving. I also read somewhere that every time you use it, it always displays a warning about using it while driving, which is yet another screen you have to get past to continue on.

Sure, it's a cool gadget, but to me, I'm not sure it is worth a couple extra thousand dollars. In addition, have you checked into how much the updated DVDs cost for that system?
 

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SJ:
If you enjoy driving (and it sounds like you do), you'll kick yourself if you go Auto.
Get the stick. A few reasons:
1. It's stick for cryin' out loud.
2. The forums have tons of posts saying the 6MT is quicker.
3. It's your car, not your fianceé's. (Or will she share it?)
4. Everybody should lat least KNOW how to drive stick even if they don't own one. Teach her--on your OLD car. It'll be a bonding experience.

Navi? You're on your own. I'm not a fan but lots of posters seem to love it.

Good luck either way.
 

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thebullfrog said:
SJ:
If you enjoy driving (and it sounds like you do), you'll kick yourself if you go Auto.
Get the stick. A few reasons:
1. It's stick for cryin' out loud.
2. The forums have tons of posts saying the 6MT is quicker.
3. It's your car, not your fianceé's. (Or will she share it?)
4. Everybody should lat least KNOW how to drive stick even if they don't own one. Teach her--on your OLD car. It'll be a bonding experience.

Navi? You're on your own. I'm not a fan but lots of posters seem to love it.

Good luck either way.
We won't be sharing the car, but she always likes to throw out the "what if her car breaks down" or "if you drink too much while we're out with your car" scenarios.

I've started teaching her how to drive stick on my current car (GSR sedan). She can, for the most part, but not very well (and we haven't driven in traffic yet)... probably needs more experience. The downside was that not long after I started to teach her, my clutch needed replacing and my tranny needed to be rebuilt... it was probably not 100% due to her, as I had around 100k, but I'm sure it didn't help. Besides, she's not exactly a great driver in an automatic... she gets easily distracted, so worrying about the clutch and shifting might make things worse. :)
 

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Yeah I admit that is a pain to have to hit a couple of buttons to change AC etc but sinec i really don't change them that often (climate control) dont find it an issue. I use my stearing wheel controls about 90% of the time for radio/cd so that is not an issue either. Is expensive but I will never forgo it if it is an option because of the positive experience i have had. Also i have not even changed my DVD on my 2001 and really have not had any issues so it is not like you need to update it every couple of months. Think it is only like 200 bucks anyway. Either way nice car but just like the toys
 
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04 Acura TSX w/NAVI

I didn't think I needed the navigation system. Umm....Wrong!

The navigation system is a great option. Personally, I don't think that it's the most perfect system but, I'm positive it's one of the best ones out there!
It's really great to type in a phone number of let's say a convention center out in P.A. and, within seconds, it has the name of the place, address and route. It's a navi, phone book in one. Yes, initially the voice commands or touch point system will take a little getting accostumed to but, don't be a baby and you will be rewarded! If I had to buy the car again, I'd get it again with the navi. It's worth every penny! What's a paper map or mapquest? (Must be from caveman days)

Manual versus automatic...
Just get the automatic unless you're really racing the car everyday! I tend to drive from 60 - 90mph on a daily basis. If someone tries to challenge me, I throw it into sport mode. My previous car was a 2000 BMW 328Ci and, I'm pretty happy with this vehicle. I tried both manual and automatic prior to selecting the automatic. Automatic is fine. Yes, the manual has a little more spunk but, too many buy these awesome powered vehicles and drive it 60mph. Sorry, I could use the extra hand to play with my girlfriend while driving! I don't want to worry about a stick especially if she get's closer to me while I'm driving! ;) Do the manuals still come with that winding start up device in front of the car? LOL

Options installed and recommended:
Ravelco security device (Car must be flat bedded to be stolen)
LoJack Plus (LoJack + if stolen and unrecovered in 24hrs, you get 10K)
Valentine1 (Best radar detector I've found since my initial search yrs ago)
Splash guards (protects the paint job)
XM Roady w/a direct connection (forget carrying cd's)

Option I could have done without:
Fog lights (was pricey and after using it, I don't see that much of a benefit)

Hope this post was insightful!
 

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Wow...thread almost a year old!!

Great first post there cellular201

Welcome to the site :wavey:
 

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Dan Martin said:
Holy old thread batman!
Yes indeed my little Robin. :D

The old threads are a gold mine. When I first came onto this site, I checked them out and found a lot that was worth resurrecting.

And this one? That review from last June wasn't one of the best-done TSX reviews, but it does make the case against Nav, and does it well. Us Nav people might not like how he puts it, and I don't see why he highlighted it so much in this write-up which was supposedly about THE WHOLE CAR, but, so be it. It's worth another look -- so, nice job, cellular. And great write-up overall...... (to be continued).....
 

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cellular201 said:
I didn't think I needed the navigation system. Umm....Wrong!

The navigation system is a great option. Personally, I don't think that it's the most perfect system but, I'm positive it's one of the best ones out there!
It's really great to type in a phone number of let's say a convention center out in P.A. and, within seconds, it has the name of the place, address and route. It's a navi, phone book in one. Yes, initially the voice commands or touch point system will take a little getting accostumed to but, don't be a baby and you will be rewarded! If I had to buy the car again, I'd get it again with the navi. It's worth every penny! What's a paper map or mapquest? (Must be from caveman days)

Manual versus automatic...
Just get the automatic unless you're really racing the car everyday! I tend to drive from 60 - 90mph on a daily basis. If someone tries to challenge me, I throw it into sport mode. My previous car was a 2000 BMW 328Ci and, I'm pretty happy with this vehicle. I tried both manual and automatic prior to selecting the automatic. Automatic is fine. Yes, the manual has a little more spunk but, too many buy these awesome powered vehicles and drive it 60mph. Sorry, I could use the extra hand to play with my girlfriend while driving! I don't want to worry about a stick especially if she get's closer to me while I'm driving! ;) Do the manuals still come with that winding start up device in front of the car? LOL

Options installed and recommended:
Ravelco security device (Car must be flat bedded to be stolen)
LoJack Plus (LoJack + if stolen and unrecovered in 24hrs, you get 10K)
Valentine1 (Best radar detector I've found since my initial search yrs ago)
Splash guards (protects the paint job)
XM Roady w/a direct connection (forget carrying cd's)

Option I could have done without:
Fog lights (was pricey and after using it, I don't see that much of a benefit)

Hope this post was insightful!
Terrific write-up, cellular -- and, welcome!

I agree that the Nav is far from perfect. While I think that reviewer was too negative about it and also gave it way too much emphasis at the expense of other things about the car, and while it's among the very best Navs in any car (arguably the best), it has its problems. IMO this is the one area in which the TSX has been let off easy on the internet forums: people complain plenty about every other identified shortcoming about the car, but they tend to give it a free ride on this. I've noted a number of what seem like silly oversights in the Nav's workings, and virtually nobody else has thought that they matter. But still, I'm glad I have the Nav. WAY glad.

Interesting about how you switch to the SS when you want extra juice. I think most of us do it just for fun, and not necessarily to turn it up a notch. I wonder what you'd say about how much extra performance you get with it? (I'm fully able to get all I want from the AT; I guess you're more "ambitious" than I am.)

BTW what's the Ravelco security device? I don't recall that it's been discussed on the forums.

Pretty cool about the girlfriend part. Which leads me to say.....


:worthless:


:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Preferably an action shot.
 

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Actually, I would be willing to bet that switching to "sportshift mode" doesn't get you any better performance than just leaving it in "D". If you notice, when you floor the gas pedal while in "D", the car shifts near redline...

You lose less power from the motor to the wheels with a manual tranny when compared to an automatic.
 

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sjlee said:
Actually, I would be willing to bet that switching to "sportshift mode" doesn't get you any better performance than just leaving it in "D". If you notice, when you floor the gas pedal while in "D", the car shifts near redline....
That's what I had thought.
 

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Ah, good old thread! I'm still shooting for a TSX with NAVI. I have to drive both the auto and manual to finally decide on which one to get...considering the way I drive the 6spd will probably be what's in my TSX.
 

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HondaMan said:
Ah, good old thread! I'm still shooting for a TSX with NAVI. I have to drive both the auto and manual to finally decide on which one to get...considering the way I drive the 6spd will probably be what's in my TSX.
Yes -- if you have even half a mind to get the 6MT and the local conditions don't rule it out.....
 

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sjlee said:
Actually, I would be willing to bet that switching to "sportshift mode" doesn't get you any better performance than just leaving it in "D". If you notice, when you floor the gas pedal while in "D", the car shifts near redline...
Yup, that's generally correct off the line. Although, to nitpick, you can get to the 7400 fuel cutoff in SS mode. When rolling, being in SS means you're already in the right gear and don't need to mash the throttle to prompt a downshift.

I drive in SS all the time, partly because when I'm in D, I keep "upshifting" to N.
 

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cellular201 said:
Manual versus automatic...
Just get the automatic unless you're really racing the car everyday! I tend to drive from 60 - 90mph on a daily basis. If someone tries to challenge me, I throw it into sport mode. My previous car was a 2000 BMW 328Ci and, I'm pretty happy with this vehicle. I tried both manual and automatic prior to selecting the automatic. Automatic is fine. Yes, the manual has a little more spunk but, too many buy these awesome powered vehicles and drive it 60mph. Sorry, I could use the extra hand to play with my girlfriend while driving! I don't want to worry about a stick especially if she get's closer to me while I'm driving! ;) Do the manuals still come with that winding start up device in front of the car? LOL
Honda Odyssey: 0-30 2.7, 0-60 7.5, 0-100 20.9 ss ¼ [email protected] (C/D 6/04)

Acura TSX 6-SPEED: 0-30 2.5 0-60 7.2, 0-100 19.0, ss ¼ [email protected] (C/D 7/03)

Since about 20% of an engine's power is lost to an automatic transmission's torque converter, cars with ATs are generally about 1 second slower to 60mph than the manual versions.

(Apples to oranges but a Canadian road test of the automatic TSX reported 9.69 seconds 0-60 and the ¼ mile in 17.34 seconds. This is NOT a fast car.)

I guess times have changed in that maybe these days wimmenz get impressed that men are sane and mature when they claim they aren't racing at all after a soccer mom's minivan full of kiddies sucks their door off.

I think my 6-speed TSX's performance is barely adequate, but what do I know, I think anything less than a Porsche Turbo's performance is barely adequate......

:devil:
 

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bob shiftright said:
.....a Canadian road test of the automatic TSX reported 9.69 seconds 0-60.....
I'd bet my string of poloponies that I could lap* that.

Even in Canada.


* Figuratively; you don't do 0-60 in laps.
Except maybe Ortiz. :D
 
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