2004 Acura TSX Review

2004 Acura TSX - New sport sedan.


The all-new Acura TSX sports sedan combines a powerful engine, choice of 6-speed manual or 5-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission, drive-by-wire throttle control system and race-bred suspension with an interior that is comfortable and loaded with amenities. Not a bad formula, you ask? Not bad at all. The TSX features an advanced 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine that generates 200 horsepower at 6800 rpm, 166 lb-ft of torque at 4500 rpm and overall performance comparable to some competitors with 6-cylinder powerplants. The TSX 4-cylinder engine is equipped with a drive-by-wire throttle control system that eliminates the need for a mechanical connection between the accelerator pedal and the engine, and continuously adjusts the sensitivity of the accelerator pedal to match current driving conditions. It also incorporates throttle control into the car's VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) system, controls the vehicle's cruise control function and modulates the throttle to help make automatic transmission shifts even smoother. Since many performance enthusiasts prefer shifting gears themselves, the TSX comes with either a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission, or a compact 5-speed Sequential SportShift(TM) automatic transmission. Despite its impressive 200 horsepower output, the TSX with manual transmission delivers 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway, while the TSX with automatic transmission delivers 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway. All the numbers are quite extraordinary. Although my co-tester and I question the implementation of a 4-banger in a luxury sedan, the 2.4 in the TSX is very refined and impressive with V6-like power. Our TSX tester came equipped with the 6-speed manual gearbox, which was mostly fun to run through the gears. It's those anxious times in rush-hour traffic that we'd prefer the automatic. The suspension is bit on the stiff side, but that's what consumers in this segment desire. Our TSX tester remained very flat as it gripped the pavement while enjoying some spirited driving along 107th Street near Saganashkee Slough. To provide stability and ensure superb stopping power, the TSX is equipped with 4-wheel disc brakes with 4-channel ABS, 17-inch alloy wheels and P215/50R17 Michelin tires. The five-passenger interior of the TSX is sporty yet refined with modern LED- illuminated instrumentation, intuitive controls, and a long list of standard luxury amenities. The comprehensively equipped TSX features deeply bolstered, perforated leather seating, a leather-wrapped three-spoke sport steering wheel with wheel-mounted audio and cruise control switches, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power moonroof, a 360-watt Acura Premium Sound System, power windows and door locks and keyless entry. Standard 8-way power driver's seat adjustment and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel allow the TSX to accommodate a wide range of drivers. The Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition is available as a factory-installed option. This latest-generation navigation system features an 8-inch touch screen display, a comprehensive destination guide with 7 million points of interest spanning the continental United States, 3-D graphics for freeway on and off ramps and turn-by-turn voice guidance. We thoroughly enjoyed the Nav system in our TSX tester. It's so easy to use and it provides a wealth of information. In addition to its highly rigid, computer-designed structure, the TSX incorporates a vast arsenal of the latest safety technologies. It is the first Acura to feature standard side curtain airbags to help protect vehicle occupants from head and neck injuries in the event of a side impact. With everything that TSX offers, one might expect to pay a lot more for a car of this caliber. Our fully-equipped tester was priced at just under $29,000. If you can forgo the Nav system, you'll save approximately $2,000. It's a value in luxury terms.

2004 Acura TSX w/Navigation
Engine: 2.4-liter (200 hp) I4
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Drive Type: FWD
Fuel Economy: 22 city/29 highway
Base Price: $28,490
As Tested: $28,990 (including $500 for destination)
Website: www.acura.com