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2011 Acura TSX

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2011 Acura TSX Review

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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 161 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.4/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

The very best.

By on Sunday, August 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, easy getting in and out of auto."

Cons: "None."

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

"I have owned almost every model car in my lifetime of 76 years. This 2012 TSX IS BY FAR THE HIGHEST AND BEST QUALITY CAR I HAVE EVER DRIVEN AND OWNED. I can't find anything negative to say about this auto that was made in Japan. Great paint work on my silver auto."

Best car we have owned

By on Monday, August 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,550

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "ride, comfort, navigation"

Cons: "$$$ major maint; console display too small"

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

"We love our 2010 TSX. Very sorry to see Acura discontinue it. The new ILX does not have comparable room or cargo space and the new TLX is several $1000 more expensive. TSX very reliable with routine maintenance and comfortable ride for 4-5 persons. We owned 2 Lexus ES300 previously and like the TSX better. Would buy another to replace this one if a current model TSX was available. We bought the tech package with navigation and use it all of the time."

Okay but not great

By on Thursday, July 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "size, milaege"

Cons: "choke ,floor of back seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Difficult entry to rear seat. Gas tank imposes on accessibility. Feels like car is always pulling forward as if choke is always on. Size good. Acceleration fair. Mileage reasonable."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love my TSX sport wagon close to perfect

By on Saturday, May 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,234

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "price, fun to drive, gas mileage, entry luxury"

Cons: "No: AWD, V6, HD radio, suede or ventilated seats"

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

Taken just after brought it home

"I love my TSX sport wagon, most of my friends think my sport wagon love is crazy. I don't understand why they aren't more popular and why people can't get over the idea that modern wagons are not the old beast station wagons with the wood paneling. Also by definition most SUV's are classified station wagons, as the station wagon definition is based on having a D pillar, which most SUV's have. So why so few wagons and why do so many flock to the SUV's and crossovers instead of the more fuel efficient and fun to drive sport wagons? In my mind its all marketing and mental. The mental part being the negative connotation many have associated with what a station wagon is, in most Americans eyes station wagons are just "grocery picker uppers", no fun to drive and haven't changed since the early wood paneled models. Europe doesn't have our issue, wagons sell great in Europe which is why the European brands are the main ones making them, doesn't cost them much more to make a version of them for the North American market. Modern wagons are far from the old "Griswold Truckster" from Nation Lampoon's Vacation that so many associate with wagon. They and particularly the 2012 TSX Sport Wagon are sleek, fun to drive, good performance, good gas mileage, entry luxury with good utility/cargo. Drives more like a sports car or at least equal or in my opinion better to its sedan competitors. In my opinion most SUV's drive like trucks and you know you aren't driving anything close to a sedan or sports car. However with this car if you entered the car with a blindfold (which would be a crime as it has such a great look) and took the blindfold off inside and started driving I'm pretty sure most would swear they were driving a luxury sedan not a wagon. You could never get away with that in any SUV. So why "close to perfect", I think mostly was too short lived. Acura gave up on it before they perfected it. In my opinion by 2012 models all Acura's should of had HD radio (they do now). It also lacks several modern safety features (also common on current Acura's) that I also feel should of been standard on that model. But most of all it should of at least had an option of AWD and a V6. I mean they were selling a V6 in the TSX sedan of the same year (and for years prior and after) and from the rear doors forward they essentially are the same car. Likewise think Acura should of at least offered ventilated seat option (now available in advance models) &/or had an option of suede seats like they did with the TSX Special edition sedan of the same year. Sadly the TSX special edition was only available in the sedan (without the tech package) and not available in any version of the TSX sport wagon, very shameful. The special edition was great looking with the red stitching in the suede and leather and black roof liner. If you notice the suede in my pictures, I paid extra to have that installed with purchase. Dealership had a 3rd party install and since it was written in the contract has been covered under warranty (though I've had no issues). Had Acura not given up on the TSX Sport Wagon perhaps these small things would have been addressed and would it would of become a perfect wagon. If Acura made the current (2015/2016) Acura TLX &/or RLX in a wagon, I think they would have reached perfection."

14 people out of 31 found this review helpful

Taken just after brought it home

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."

9 people out of 15 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."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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