2008 Acura TL Type-S Review – Acura Tests Your Self-Control

Tuesday February 5th, 2008 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: hollyrrr

2008 Acura TL Type-S
By Holly R.

Pros:

  • Super-stiff suspension (a sedan that drives like a sports car)
  • Easy to read gauges and controls
  • Super-comfortable seats
  • Superb acceleration

Cons:

  • Headlamp beam pattern is not good (dark, curvy roads using the low beam setting was downright scary)
  • Bluetooth® was too hard to program (of course, I still haven’t been able to program my portable one, so take this criticism with a grain of salt)
  • The windows didn’t roll down or up smoothly and it would be hard and frustrating to just crack the window open for some ventilation

If you have self-control issues, you do *not* want this car. You won’t be able to afford to keep it after all the tickets you’ll get. With that said, this was my first car for a review. Wow, what a car! I was thrilled to drive it, to say the least.

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2008 Acura TSX Video Review

Tuesday January 15th, 2008 at 6:11 PM
Posted by: aquadog

The 2008 Acura TSX is a popular entry-level luxury sedan that is fun to drive, has great fuel economy, precise steering, a smooth shifter, many high tech features, a luxurious interior, is really safe, and might just be the perfect all around vehicle. The TSX is equipped with a 2.4 liter, 16 valve i-VTEC four-cylinder engine, puts out 205 horsepower, 165 lb-ft of torque and does a 0-60-mph in 7 seconds. It has a ton of technological features that include heated leather seats, a sunroof, climate control and an optional navigational system with voice recognition so you can control the stereo and heating controls by voice. The 2008 Acura TSX earned a 5-star crash test rating from the NHTSA for driver side and frontal impact and 4-stars for its passenger and rear impact. Overall, the TSX is a great buy.

Watch the video review as Kurt sums up the character of this extremely sporty, high tech, entry-level luxury sedan.

YouTube Preview Image


2008 Acura TSX Photo Gallery

Acura TSX Specs

2008 Acura TSX Specs

AcuraThe official website of Acura – www.acura.com

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2008 Acura TSX Review – Balance Found

Tuesday January 15th, 2008 at 6:11 PM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

2008 Acura TSX
By Kurt Gensheimer

Blings:

  • Shifter feels like it’s greased with Crisco
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • High fun-to-drive factor
  • Luxurious and high tech interior
  • Comes standard with everything but navigation

Dings:

  • Vague clutch pickup in first gear
  • Four cylinder is a little lacking in grunt

Verdict: The car that Mr. Miyagi would drive until the end of time. Read the rest of this entry »

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2008 Acura MDX Review and Driving Impressions

Wednesday December 26th, 2007 at 11:1212 AM
Posted by: twain

2008 Acura MDX
By Twain Mein

Pros:

  • An SUV that handles well
  • Every electronic gadget you could imagine
  • Luxurious interior
  • Real 3rd row seating

Cons:

  • Modest acceleration
  • Mediocre gas mileage
  • Electronics overload

Introduction

This is the upgrade to the very popular mid/full-sized SUV, the Acura MDX. This SUV slots between the Toyota Highlander and Chevrolet Tahoe in size and offers 3rd row seating. Equipped with lots of features, 300 horsepower, and bold new styling, its no mystery why the MDX is already Acura’s best selling model.

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2008 Acura MDX Review – Putting the Sport Back in Sport Utility Vehicle

Thursday December 13th, 2007 at 7:1212 PM
Posted by: AKramer

2008 Acura MDX
By Alex Kramer

Pros:

  • Truly inspired handling
  • Bold interior and exterior styling
  • Smooth, refined drivetrain
  • Awesome DVD based multi-channel audio/video system

Cons:

  • Acceleration could use a little more “oomph”
  • Operation of navigation system could be made easier
  • 3rd row seats are for kids only
  • Cartoonish front grill

Driving Impressions
Traditionally, driving a large SUV has meant making certain trade-offs. To gain the extra utility and off-road capability of an SUV, sacrifices in performance and handling are required, as any driver of a Ford Explorer or Chevy Blazer could attest to. Some of the recent car-based crossover designs have injected a bit more zip into the driving equation, but given the option of a sports sedan or a crossover SUV for tackling a set of switchbacks, and the choice is still obvious.

After driving the 2008 Acura MDX for a weekend, all I can think is that the engineers over at Acura must have missed this portion of SUV design school. This is the first large SUV I’ve driven where the phrase “it handles well” doesn’t need to be followed with “for an SUV”. The MDX handles so well that you’ll probably forget it seats seven, has a full leather interior, a DVD entertainment system, and all the other features of a large luxury SUV. Let’s take a closer look at the vehicle that puts the sport back in sport utility.

2008 Acura MDX

Build
Every MDX is packed with lots of standard features, including leather upholstery, sunroof, heated front seats, power everything, and airbags all around. Our MDX featured the top of the line sport and entertainment packages, which add such features as an adjustable suspension, navigation system, and DVD entertainment system. All this fancy technology is packaged within a car that is very solidly built, from the door hinges to the windshield wipers. As up-scale as the MDX might be, this car comes from the same extended family as the trustworthy Civic and Accord, which should reassure any potential buyer worried about long-term reliability.

Interior Comfort and Ergonomics
When I first sat down in the driver’s seat of the MDX, it felt more like sitting in a cockpit than getting behind the wheel of a car, with the front seats fully separated from each other by a continuous center console. There are buttons, knobs, and controls everywhere, and everything has a very modern, technological feel to it. Although I enjoyed having everything at my fingertips, the interior will be too cluttered and overwhelming for some.

Acura MDX center console Acura MDX rear seat DVD entertainment Acura MDX 3rd row seating

Our MDX came equipped with a DVD based entertainment system, with a fold down LCD screen for rear seat passengers and built-in wireless headphones. A discrete multi-channel, DVD-Audio sound system is also included, with 10 speakers and over 400 watts of power. This system was custom designed for the MDX and the result is stunning sound, among the best I’ve heard in a car. As wonderful as this system sounded, figuring out how to control it is no picnic. The buttons and knobs related to the entertainment system are tightly clustered and not intuitively laid out. Similarly, the navigation system is less than user friendly, with a hard to use joystick-like device that you use to access the various menus and functions. Note to Acura: touch screen user-interfaces are cool!

The MDX is billed as a 7 passenger vehicle and the interior is quite spacious on the whole. With both rows of rear seats folded down, you can easily slide large items in through the rear hatch, and throwing something like a bicycle in the back is a piece of cake. Cargo room was still quite good with only the 3rd row of seats folded down, but once this final row is deployed, there is unfortunately almost no cargo space leftover. Acura must have only had kids in mind for this 3rd row of seats, since they are quite cramped and feature almost no leg room.

Handling
Acura calls it super-handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD). Most drivers will call it “Holy !!@%*! This thing can corner!” SH-AWD distributes optimal engine torque not just between the front and rear axles, but also between the left and right rear wheel. This allows the driver to apply a lot more throttle when cornering, since the system automatically channels the power to the appropriate wheel to prevent under or over steer. To put it simply, it is almost impossible to get the car unglued from the pavement, no matter how silly you get with the throttle.

The active damper system on our MDX allows the driver to chose between comfort and sport modes. Final suspension tuning was reportedly done on the Nürburgring race track in Germany, which explains why driving the speed limit often feels painfully slow, especially with the dampers set in sport mode. Although a bit harsh for every day driving, the sport mode provides a level of stability and confidence that is truly remarkable, especially for such a large car. This puppy was designed to fly through sweeping turns at autobahn speeds.

Steering is somewhat heavy, but provides excellent feedback. With the suspension set in comfort mode, the ride is supple yet firm enough to prevent excessive body roll. Braking is powerful and fade-free, with the wide 18” Michelin all-season tires providing plenty of bite. I can only imagine what levels of grip would be attained if these were swapped for some high-performance summer tires.

Acura MDX 300-hp 3.7L V6 Acura MDX gauge cluster

Performance
Acura MDX 5-speed automatic transmissionThe MDX is motivated by a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 300-horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. This is the most powerful engine ever offered by Acura and like other high-revving Honda motors, she eagerly climbs to the redline with a nice snarl over 5,000 rpm. Yet, given that the MDX weighs over 4,500 lbs, even 300 hp isn’t enough to provide head-turning acceleration, which a 0-60 time of approx. 7.5 seconds confirms. At times you’ll find yourself wishing for some extra torque, especially since the SH-AWD provides such sure-footed power delivery.

What the MDX gives up in sheer grunt it largely makes up for with drivetrain refinement. The 5-speed automatic transmission is very intuitive in its gear shifts and also features a manual shift option, should you decide to switch gears yourself.

Styling
Having just watched the recent Transformers movie, I can’t help but chuckle every time I see the front grill of an MDX. It’s almost like the car was designed to be an extra in the movie, with its transformers badge proudly on display! What can’t be denied is that this is one macho SUV. From the aggressive front end to its wide rear hips and twin exhaust pipes, the MDX looks poised to launch down a runway. Unlike some of the other new crossovers, this is one SUV that will definitely stand out from the minivan crowd.

Value
With an MSRP of $40,195, the MDX isn’t cheap, but you get a lot for what you pay for. Equipped with extensive technological features, and featuring the best handling in a large SUV this side of Bavaria, the MDX is an impressive tour de force of automotive engineering. Sure, you can get a full-size crossover SUV for a bunch less, but it won’t be nearly as athletic or luxurious as an MDX. And there are quite a few pricier luxury SUVs that would have a hard time keeping up with an MDX in the mountains. All of which leaves the MDX in a class of its own: a vehicle that is truly sporty, quite luxurious, and utilitarian enough for the masses.

Who should buy it?
Not enough garage space for both an S2000 and an Odyssey? Buy an MDX and you get the best of both worlds, with a touch of luxury too!

Build Interior Performance Handling Styling Value Overall
Rating 4.5 4.5 4.0 5.0 4.5 4.5 4.5/A-

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2008 Acura MDX Photo Gallery

Acura MDX

2008 Acura MDX Specs

AcuraThe official website of Acura – www.acura.com

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2008 Acura RDX Review – The Ballad of Mr. Sensible vs. That Guy

Sunday November 4th, 2007 at 11:1111 PM
Posted by: John G.

Consumer Reviews of RDX Acura RDX Photo Gallery

by John G.

2008 Acura RDX

Up and Down

Up:

  • Handles like a tall sports car: tight and responsive
  • Sneaky fast motor
  • Paddle shifters are a hoot
  • Seating and driving positions work for both very short and very tall people
  • A crossover SUV that’s fun to drive? OMG THE SUN JUST EXPLODED!

Down:

  • Computerized audio, climate, and navigation system nearly impossible to learn and use
  • No full size spare tire, no engine temperature gauge
  • Cargo space, like most compact SUVs, not quite big enough for bicycles

Driving Impressions

There’s something about VTEC that makes you drive like That Guy.

It’s not just the variable valve timing: Toyotas have it, but they don’t make you want to dice freeway merges like you’re on your final qualifying lap. Nissan uses it, but no one feels the urge to drift a Sentra through a yellow light like they’re playing Grand Theft Auto. Ever since the Integra GSR, “VTEC” has been basically synonymous with “Drive it like you stole it.”

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First Impressions: 2008 Acura RDX

Tuesday October 23rd, 2007 at 12:1010 AM
Posted by: Derek

2008 Acura RDX

Pros:

  • SH-AWD lives up to its name
  • Puts the “sport” back into sport utility vehicle
  • Light, direct steering
  • Powerful brakes

Cons:

  • Weak fuel economy
  • Center console is too busy with navigation controls, audio controls, HVAC controls… you get the picture
  • Cargo space, like most compact SUVs, is limited to groceries and a couple of overnight bags

The Acura RDX is designated by the marketing wizards as a luxury urban sports utility vehicle. Powered with a 240 HP turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission, this energizer bunny is targeted squarely at the BMW X3, Land Rover LR2 and the soon-to-be-released Infiniti EX35.

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