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2012 Acura TSX

Overview
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2012 Acura TSX Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

In a class defined by prestige, opulence and sticker prices exceeding the $60,000 mark, the 2012 Acura TSX will appeal to anyone looking for a luxury midsize sedan or wagon at a non-luxury price. Often overlooked, the TSX offers classy styling and appointments that reflect the high levels of comfort, refinement and convenience that have become hallmarks of the Acura brand. And while not as much fun as something like a BMW 3 Series, the Acura TSX nevertheless offers a supremely comfortable ride and perhaps the best value in the segment.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you are looking for a well-appointed premium luxury vehicle that delivers ample fuel economy, a simple pricing structure and an envious reliability record, the 2012 Acura TSX is a smart choice.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you live in an area where inclement weather is the norm, the TSX's lack of an available all-wheel drive system (AWD) may constitute a closer look at the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C Class or Audi A4.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Acura TSX sedan adds a new Special Edition Package consisting of several exterior design upgrades, unique red interior illumination, and microfiber seat inserts with red stitching. The TSX Sport Wagon replaces its spare tire with a tire repair kit, greatly increasing its under-floor storage capacity.

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 optional 6-speed manual's precise shifting action and the...

5-speed automatic's aggressive Sport mode, the latter being especially welcome on the automatic-only V6 model. The 2012 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 system. A lack 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 3 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.

Surround Sound System
Audiophiles will have to have this comprehensive premium sound system. Included in the Technology Package, the 5.1 DVD-Audio Surround Sound is so utterly clear and clean, it puts all other stock systems to shame.

Feature-Packed Navigation System
The 2012 Acura TSX offers a sophisticated navigation system with a high-resolution 8-inch display featuring sharp LED backlighting. Gracenote software helps you find music via voice commands, 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 backup camera is also part of the package.

2012 Acura TSX Details
Interior

With precise fit and finish and a warm, upscale ambiance, the cabin of the TSX is as comfortable as it is attractive. The contemporary layout is awash with high-quality materials and supple leather-trimmed seating surfaces. The available navigation system takes some getting used to, but elsewhere, the control surfaces are intuitive and clearly displayed. The rear seats feature a 60/40 split design for cargo flexibility while the TSX Sport Wagon features a class-leading 66.2 cubic feet of cargo space - comparable to most compact SUVs. Thanks to its larger interior dimensions, the TSX provides generous rear-seat legroom and head room.

Exterior
2012 Acura TSX photo

The 2012 Acura TSX's exterior is sleek and stylish, with defined wheel arches, honed body lines and a creased waistline. The face is distinguished by angular projector-beam headlights and Acura's signature, yet controversial, shield-style stain chrome grille. The available 18-inch alloy wheels complement the TSX's athletic design while dual chrome-tipped exhaust outlets for both 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder models convey a sporty sense of symmetry.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Acura TSX boasts a long list of standard equipment that includes xenon headlights (up to three times brighter than traditional halogen headlights), Bluetooth hands-free phone capability, iPod integration and an auxiliary audio jack for MP3/WMA players, steering-wheel-mounted controls, leather seating with driver-position memory, moonroof and dual-zone climate control. The V6 TSX adds 18-inch alloy wheels, 1-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 six airbags and Acura's ACE body structure for enhanced energy dissipation during a crash.

Optional Equipment

Every bit of optional equipment available on the 2012 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 4-cylinder engine is coupled with either a slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automatic that features a manual shifting mode and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. As with so many Honda and Acura vehicles, the TSX's i-VTEC engine is at its best when pushed hardest. Those seeking better low-end performance should look at the 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 inline-4
201 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
172 (manual), 170 (automatic) lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 mpg (manual), 22/31mpg (automatic)

3.5-liter V6
280 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
254 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 mpg

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2012 Acura TSX Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 149 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

Very Fun to Drive

By on Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 99,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "You get a lot for your money with this car!"

Cons: "Get aftermarket brakes."

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

"I've owned my TSX since 2009, purchased certified preowned. I have to say that overall Acura did a great job on this vehicle. Honda, Acura's parent company, tends to lag the market with advanced features, so the TSX lacked a few electronics. What it doesn't lack, though, is amazing handling and ride. Even with a 4 cylinder, this car can move! I have had no trouble keeping up and even beating V6 cars with more HP. The transmission and shift points are perfect. The transmission has no problem keeping up. Flawlessly. Where Acura blew it was with the brakes. They were awful! They squeaked constantly and wore out quickly. The rear brakes went out at 15,000 miles! In the meantime, I put ceramic brakes on it and that took care of the wear and squeaking problem. But the rotors were junk, so I put on slotted and vented discs and that took care of it. Other than the brakes, this is a terrific car. I'm sad in a way to sell it - just not enough room in the back. But it's a solid car and I've cared for it meticulously."

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Driving this car was a pleasure

By on Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: trade in

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "very satisfied with auto"

Cons: "no issues"

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

"Extremely well built car-- I had no serious trouble with its mechanics. Car served me well over four years of use and it should get another 90K miles. Rear brakes need replacement at 95K."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Comfortable, practical, reliable.

By on Saturday, September 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quiet, smooth, comfortable, 30 mpg!"

Cons: "slower than a Golf GTI. Infuriating NAV system"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"The most comfortable car I've ever owned. Front seats are like lazy boy armchairs. Superb for long road trips. Honda/Acura reliability are second to none."

17 people out of 35 found this review helpful

Best car we have ever purchased.

By on Monday, August 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Front seat comfort is the best"

Cons: "None."

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

"Used only by my wife and me(over 65), always covered, used for frequent trips to Utah and Montana. Never smoked in. All records at Las Vegas Acura."

2 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best Car I've EVER Owned

By on Monday, August 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000

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

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

"This car handles like it is on rails. The gas mileage is amazing and the vehicle is very comfortable to drive. I drive in the city and occasionally on the expressway. For a 4 cylinder car it has a ton of power. Will never own another car."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Love the car, wish

By on Friday, July 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, looks sharp, turns heads, zips along"

Cons: "Low front bumper easy to scrape."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"It rides low to the ground. It can be bumpy for passengers. Seats are very comfortable but not quite as durable as I would like--feel a wee bit shot after 40K miles, and I am a smallish woman. For the cost and the cost to operate, its a great vehicle."

10 people out of 24 found this review helpful

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