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2011 Acura TSX

Overview
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2011 Acura TSX Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

While its Acura TL big brother competes with heavy hitters like the BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G Sedan, the second-generation Acura TSX is light on direct competitors. Why? Because for those seeking a premium-branded sedan with a $30,000 starting price and fuel economy that reaches into the 30 miles-per-gallon range, the choices are rather limited. The Audi A4 is one, as are the Volvo S40 and Lexus IS. However, the TSX's big advantage versus most of its competitors can be summed up in a word that a premium-brand marketer like Acura would never use: Value. The base model with a manual transmission (another increasingly rare feature in this class) starts just over $30,000 and even fully loaded barely reaches $34,000; a loaded V6 stays just south of $40,000. Piece together its quality, performance, features and fuel economy, and the TSX looks to be one of the best premium sedan bargains going.

You'll Like This Car If...

In terms of technology, fuel economy, performance and value, the Acura TSX is a premium-level bargain. Not only does it offer an enviable resale and reliability record, it's one of the few sport sedans left that still offer the option of a manual transmission.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Unlike the Audi and Volvo sedans, the TSX does not offer the option of all-wheel drive. More troubling to some of us is the electric power steering system that demands constant attention on the highway.

What's New for 2011

For 2011, Acura makes a number of changes aimed at quieting the TSX's cabin and improving fuel economy. Along with an all-new Sport Wagon addition (reviewed separately), the TSX receives revised front and rear styling, as well as a number of interior upgrades. An improved Technology Package includes a new LED backlit navigation screen, Song by Voice user interface and 15 GB of downloadable storage space on the system's 60 GB hard drive.

Driving the TSX

Driving Impressions When it comes to all-around driving fun, we could hardly ask for a better balance of enthusiasm and comfort. We like the six-speed manual's precise shifting action and the five-speed...

automatic's exceptionally aggressive Sport mode, the later being especially welcome on the automatic-only V6 model. The 2011 Acura TSX encourages a quicker pace when the road begins to meander, and adequately absorbs surface irregularities and external roars when cruising. If there's a fly in the TSX ointment, it can be found with Acura's efficiency-enhancing electromechanical power steering (EPS) system. Devoid of feel that sometimes borders on numbness (depending on which KBB editor you ask), the TSX is no match for competitors such as the Audi A4 or BMW 1 Series when it comes to accurate steering feedback. While most vehicles require subtle steering input when traveling straight down the highway; the TSX seems to require constant, unnatural-feeling corrections. We're hoping the system will be improved over the life of the TSX, because we really like the rest of the package.

DVD-Audio Surround Sound
Audiophiles will have to have this comprehensive premium sound system. Included in the Technology Package, the 5.2 DVD-Audio Surround Sound is so utterly clear and clean, it puts all other stock systems to shame.

Voice-controlled Navigation System
The 2011 Acura TSX offers a sophisticated navigation system with an LED backlit eight-inch screen that Acura claims delivers 400 percent better resolution than last year's system. Also on board is Acura's Song by Voice music search, and voice activation for the navigation that allows for voice input of city and street names, Zagat restaurant information, weather conditions and real-time traffic information and rerouting. A rear-view camera is also part of the package.

2011 Acura TSX Details
Interior

If soft, warm and rich is the vibe you seek from a premium sedan, settling into the TSX may leave you lukewarm. Although the new interior does bring a bit more color to the console, door panels and steering wheel, even the contrasting color stitching isn't enough to make the high-tech TSX feel like an a upscale Audi. That's because the TSX eschews traditional luxury cues for a more technological type of richness, although wood-look trim is available. Beyond the visual, the TSX's interior is all business, offering seats that are both comfortable and supportive, and a rear seat that sufficiently passes the six-footer test. New rear heating/cooling vents help keep rear passengers comfortable while a climate controlled center console keeps perishables from perishing. The smallish trunk is less impressive, but long items can be safely stowed once the 60/40-split rear seatback is deployed.

Exterior
2011 Acura TSX photo

Defined by sharp edges, pronounced wheel flares and a forward lean that gives it a bolder, more athletic demeanor than the original TSX, the 2011 Acura TSX is made more alluring with a new front grille and headlamp treatment, new fog light bezels and a new front lip spoiler. Around back, new tail lamps and license plate garnish heighten the TSX's visual appeal. Mirror-integrated turn signals, 17- or 18-inch wheels and a long shoulder crease all combine to make the TSX look longer and wider than it really is.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 Acura TSX boasts a long list of standard equipment that includes Bluetooth phone connectivity, iPod integration (and simpler auxiliary input), steering wheel-mounted controls, leather seating with position memory, moonroof and dual-zone climate control. The V6 adds 18-inch alloy wheels, one-touch ignition key start and Acura's new Active Sound Control system, which works by eliminating exterior sound entering the cabin. All the safety gear is included, such as front, front side-impact and two-row side-curtain airbags, plus electronic stability control.

Optional Equipment

Every bit of optional equipment available on the 2011 Acura TSX is wrapped up into one mouth-watering Technology Package, the highlights of which include a world-class DVD-Audio Surround Sound system and a comprehensive advanced HDD navigation system, both of which are detailed in the "Favorite Features" section of this review.

Under the Hood

The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is coupled with either a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic that features a high-revving Sport mode. Like in so many Honda and Acura vehicles, the i-VTEC engine is at its best when pushed hardest. Those seeking better low-end performance should look at the new 3.5-liter V6. With 280 horsepower on tap it's sure to be a scintillating ride, although without a manual transmission, probably not as much fun as the base car.

2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder
201 horsepower @ 7000 rpm
172 (manual), 170 (automatic) lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 (manual), 22/31 (automatic)

3.5-liter V6
280 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
254 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28

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2011 Acura TSX Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 157 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.4/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Great quality

By on Wednesday, May 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Have had this car for 3 years and 40k. Great car and reliability. Torque steer is annoying, but expected in a front wheel drive car."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Most reliable and overall best car I have ever had

By on Saturday, May 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great car. I get over 34 mpg in highway driving."

Cons: "must use premium gas"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Superb car for the money. Many features that are standard are extra on other cars. Better than advertised mpg makes for good range. Solid construction, comfortable, quiet until you put the hammer down. Love this car. Sorry the TSX is being discontinued."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Excellent car for the money.

By on Friday, May 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great realibilty and quality for price"

Cons: "Ride is rough to some of competing cars."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Car interior design is excellent and very intuitive. In this class of car the interior lighting should be LED but that is an easy upgrade the I did. The engine and transmission perform excellent for a 4 cylinder. Plenty of acceleration and you can use the paddle shifters to help performance. Use synthetic oil in the car for better performance. The dealer will try to have you use 5w 30. The ride of car is rougher or tighter than the Accord and the older TL that I had."

Love my Sport Wagon

By on Friday, April 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Gorgeous body"

Cons: "Noisy tires- even when new- space between seats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Fabulous Car !!! Pros: Gorgeous body style, Most comfortable ride ever, love the tech package, road hugging, powerful- My most favorite car ever !!!! I was a honda driver for the last 5 cars- Love Hondas but so UNCOMFORTABLE. This is a snuggly seat w the warmer- fabulous. Just read they are retiring the body style… too too bad. Cons: Space between seats so tight- hard to retrieve items that fall there inevitably."

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Very disappointing

By on Monday, March 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "leather? fold down split rear seats"

Cons: "radio ride mpg bluetooth chasis noises"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"The salesman said its a Honda on steroids well,awful sound system , terrible blue tooth for your phone. You must manually enter each contact into the car's system .Are you kidding ? Not very fast , mediocre mpg 25. Its not the car Strange rattles from chassis , dealer had to fix something , now there"s a high pitch squeal when you accelerate I would like to keep long term.. I can't wait for the lease to be up..PS would never consider another Acura , not that the car is a lemon but BORING. Acura was the first Japanese Lux , but Infinity and Lexus have surpassed them ."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Awesome Car

By on Sunday, March 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliable, Economical, Sporty, Fun"

Cons: "Premium gas"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned this car for four years now and absolutely love it now as much as I did when I first bought it. For a 4 cylinder, it has great get up and go, is comfortable and has all the bells and whistles that I want/need. The ride is comfortable and it handles great - love taking freeway on/off ramps at high speed - this little car just hugs the road on the turns. The shifters on the steering wheel make for a fun drive. I average 28mpg combined city/highway, with 60% being highway. It is also very reliable. I have not had any major issues, just standard brake and tires. I've been looking at buying a new car, but am mixed on giving this great gem up!"

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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