The added torque and power from the V6 makes now make the TSX a serious contender in this class. The 3.5L V6 puts out 280 HP and 254 pound feet of torque with ease. With the V6 TSX weighing in at only 3680 pounds, it goes from 0-60 in 5.9 seconds and the quarter mile comes in 14.4 seconds. As with any front wheel drive vehicle, there is noticeable torque steer during acceleration.
The V6 only comes with the automatic, but paddle type shifters are mounted to the steering wheel that allows manual shifting of the transmission. The I4 is available with either the 6 speed manual or the 5 speed automatic. When using the manual shift paddles to command up and down shifts, there was excessive delay in executing the down shifts. This would be a letdown in spirited driving especially when executing downshifts to engine brake and put the car in the right RPM band to accelerate out of corners.
The V6 TSX is equipped with 18” wheels and P235/45R-18 Michelins. These tires performed well in both rainy and dry weather conditions. The brakes are tuned to suit the character of this car, very responsive but not too firm or grabby. Acura includes active brake assist, which applies full braking pressure when the vehicle senses a sudden application of the brake pedal. The TSX is also equipped with a stability control system to keep the car headed in the intended direction.
The TSX goes where ever it’s directed and body motions are well controlled. Clearly one of the things that contribute to this nimble feel is steering effort, which is a bit too light for my tastes. The electronic power assisted steering rack provides good on center feel but I would prefer more steering effort to feel more connected with the road. Understeer is prevalent, the added weight of the V6 surely reinforces this not so welcome characteristic, but for those who never drive aggressively this is not an issue. Ride quality is excellent, bumps and other imperfections in the road are soaked up well and the chassis does a great job of isolating passengers from the road. Unfortunately, I was not able to take this car down some tight twisty mountain roads because of excessive rain and landslide conditions here. Based on some aggressive driving in other conditions, the TSX doesn’t feel like it would be the driver’s pick amongst the competition.
The body lines for this sedan are beautiful, nothing too radical but I actually prefer the front end look of the previous generation TSX, the new Acura grill is a bit too strong for me. Strong character lines along the wheel arches and across the doors that flow to the trunk line make for a sleek and elegant appearance. The interior design flows well and I think it is one of the best out there. The large speedometer and tachometer with blue back lighting for all the controls are nice to look at. The interior is available in a couple different two toned, light and dark color combination. Acura’s choices of color hues are just right.
The base level TSX with the four cylinder starts out for under $30,000, the V-6 adds over $4,000 to the sticker price and the Technology package is an additional $3,100. The TSX that I tested had a MSRP of $38,760. The base model TSX is a very good premium luxury sedan and seems like a good value at $30k. However, the additional cost of the V6 quickly erodes away the value component of the equation. If Acura were to make the TSX all wheel drive or rear wheel drive, I think it would be a more compelling value proposition. However, there is simply too much going on with front wheel drive set up to make the TSX top contender in this segment. It does have one of the best interiors of its class but that doesn’t justify the price premium required to get the V6. At the $38,000, a whole host of more powerful luxury sedans are available.
Who should buy it?
The TSX is for those who seek a premium sedan with a nice curb appeal and a stylish interior. It will not be able to offer the same driving dynamics as a rear wheel drive sedan, but there are plenty of buyers out there where this is simply not a big factor. Given Acura’s great reputation for quality I suspect that the maintenance costs will be low and reliability will be high especially compared to the German competitors. I think the TSX is geared more for younger adults and I suspect women will be the primary purchasers. I think that Acura will draw heavily from owners of other Japanese vehicles as they move up the ladder. Those who tend to favor the European offerings will likely be unconvinced by TSX. Even though it is a solid vehicle, it’s just too pricey.
The addition of the V6 now makes the TSX is a serious contender for those who are looking for a great all around premium sedan. It will be a terrific daily driver that allows for some spirited driving and is effortless to drive. It does get pricey with the option packages. I’m not certain that the V6 is really worth the price premium since the base vehicle with the four cylinder is arguably a better value and just as luxurious.
2010 Acura TSX Specs
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