KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
Acura's 2008 TSX competes in the bustling compact premium sedan market. Although not as large or powerful as the Audi A4 or the new BMW 3 Series, price, quality and exceptional resale value make the TSX a worthy competitor. The TSX delivers an exceptional balance between ride comfort and road handling, and returns fuel economy figures rivaling some economy cars. If you can live without a V6 engine and the option of all-wheel drive, the well-equipped TSX has much to offer, especially when considering its sub-$30,000 price tag.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you grew up with Honda Civics and Preludes, but your new position in the world demands driving an upscale sedan, you'll love this car. The 2008 Acura TSX has the capability to serve as a business vehicle on the weekdays and a driving enthusiast's dream on the weekends. Its tight, six-speed manual transmission and powerful VTEC engine make it a blast to drive.
You May Not Like This Car If...
You may not like the 2008 Acura TSX if you are used to a torque-heavy V6 engine that offers up a hefty dose of power below 3000 rpm. Another quibble: Rear-seat legroom might be tight for some adults.
What's Significant About This Car?
The TSX has only one change for 2008---Bluetooth hands-free phone integration as a standard feature.
The 2008 Acura TSX is powered by a 2.4-liter, 16-valve four-cylinder engine producing 205 horsepower. You have your choice of either a six-speed manual or five-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission. Though quick, the TSX lacks the "pit of your stomach" punch only a six- or eight-cylinder engine can provide. Driving the TSX with the six-speed manual is a pure joy. The car is so well balanced that it almost seems to slice through curves like a knife through whipped butter. The front-wheel-drive layout works well for the TSX, providing excellent traction while being nearly devoid of torque steer. Acura has equipped the TSX with a comprehensive stability and traction control system known as Vehicle Stability Assist, or VSA. It's a nice feature that will provide you with peace of mind as you have fun with the TSX's nimble suspension.
Acura's voice-activated navigation is one of the best in the industry. Not only is it relatively simple to operate, you can vocally ask it to find landmarks, restaurants or gas stations.
Six-speed manual transmission
It's safe to say that Honda knows how to build a good front-wheel drive transmission, but this one is just a peach. Shifting through the gears in the magnesium box is pleasurable enough that we often found ourselves doing it just for fun.
Here is where the magic begins. The 2008 Acura TSX's interior is clad in the finest materials, far superior to anything in its price range. Every switch moves as though Teflon-coated and all the seams line up precisely. The seats are wonderfully comfortable and supportive for sporty drives, the dash is handsomely adorned with wood or aluminum and soft-touch vinyl and the instrument panel puts on its own light show once the sun sets; it's all truly a work of art.
Though some complain the TSX is rather basic in its execution, we think its sharp lines and clean appearance will stand the test of time better than some of the more trendy designs currently on the market. Build quality is beyond reproach, and the car is backed by a four-year/50,000-mile warranty.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2008 Acura TSX comes nicely equipped and includes a choice of six-speed manual transmission or five-speed Sequential SportShift automatic, four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes (ABS), Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control, 17-inch wheels, heated leather power seats (eight-way for the driver, four-way for the passenger), power moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, 360-watt Bose audio with in-dash six-disc changer, steering wheel-mounted controls for cruise and audio, front side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbags, Bluetooth hands-free phone integration, xenon headlamps, fog lights, XM Satellite Radio, heated side mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror and remote entry.
Notable Optional Equipment
The only option is the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition.
Under the Hood
The Acura 2.4-liter engine is marvelously silent and smooth. It delivers plenty of punch, though you'll have to rev it until the tachometer needle is well past the 3,000-rpm mark to make the most of the engine's power and torque.
2.4-liter in-line four
205 horsepower @ 7000 rpm
164 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 (manual), 20/28 (automatic)}
The 2008 Acura TSX has a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $29,000. When equipped with the automatic transmission and navigation the price rises to just over $31,000. Even at MSRP, the TSX represents a great deal. To see the typical transaction prices others in your area are paying for the TSX, be sure to check out the Fair Purchase Price. Owners will find much to like about the TSX's strong resale values, too. We estimate the TSX will retain a higher-then-average resale value, performing better than the Audi A4 2.0T, Volvo S40, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Cadillac CTS over time.