By Michael Andre Adams
For buyers under the age of 30, TSX–Acura’s entry-level luxury sedan, is the volume leader in its segment, according to Global Insight.
Bringing style, performance and class to the playing field starting at $29,610, I can understand why TSX rules. And now, after a week behind the wheel of the TSX Tech V6 version, heck, I want one too!
Introduced in 2003, for model year 2004, TSX received a complete overhaul in 2009. This year’s enhancements to the now second generation TSX includes a hot list of aesthetically cool, quiet and tech savvy features.
On the outside, I noticed a sharper front fascia versus a more subtle, somewhat demur look of the past. With some refreshments to the front grill and fog lights, this year’s fascia has a bit more bling to it. Subtle revisions were also made to the taillights. Beyond seeing on the exterior, you might feel the results of the new underbody panels that are said to improve TSX’s aerodynamics.
Would you say I was a bit too technical if I mentioned that the standard 17-inch 5-spoke aluminum wheels for the 4-cylinder model now incorporate a machined lip on the face of the spokes?
On the inside, Acura cleaned up the center console a bit with darker trim pieces and brightly finished door handles as the standouts. Contrasting-color stitching for the leather seats, door armrests and center console also adds to the upscale feel. If unlike me, people actually sit in your rear seat, they’re sure to enjoy the addition of center console mounted vents for heating and cooling comfort.
For 2011, TSX is available in a total of six trim levels:
TSX 5-Speed Automatic @ $29,610
TSX 6-Speed Manual @ $29,610
TSX 5-Speed Automatic with Technology Package @ $32,710
TSX 6-Speed Manual with Technology Package @ $32,710
TSX V6 @ $35,150
TSX V6 with Technology Package @ $38,250
So what’s the Technology Package all about? It’s definitely something for the grown, sexy and fun in you.
This year’s package includes an LED backlit full VGA navigation screen with 400-percent better resolution than last year’s; Faster performance, improved search ability and expanded map coverage in the navigation system; A 60-gigabyte hard disk drive system capable of storing 15-gigabytes of music, which is roughly 3,500 songs—give or take. To help you find any song in particular, Song By Voice™ is at your service. Just speak the name of your song and let the whip find it while you focus on driving. That’s a nice enhancement to the voice recognition system.
A few things I happen to notice includes the noise level of the interior cabin. In some entry-level vehicles, well, to keep it real the noise level on the highway can be damn near unbearable, especially if you’re on a phone call or trying to hear your favorite jam! To dispel such a notion TSX has a new acoustic glass front windshield, even thicker side glass and increased use of sound-deadening insulation, all of which gives adds about $10K of value, for an additional $3K.
Under the hood, both the 201 horsepower 2.4L inline 4-cylinder and the 280 horsepower 3.5L V-6 received a reduction in internal operating friction to improve fuel economy, lower carbon dioxide (CO2) output and increase engine life. At either four-cylinder trim level, that equals a fuel efficiency rating of 22 miles per gallon in the city / 31 on the highway in the automatic and 21 / 29 in the manual transmission, with 19 / 28 for the V6. From experience, I can tell you that the V6 automatic has the force of a V8, making it one extremely fun to drive whip covered by a 6-year/70,000 mile limited warranty.
Best of all, as a former Honda Accord and Acura Legend owner, I love the assurance of a Honda/Acura product.
For more information, visit Acura TSX.