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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 142 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

Hands down best auto I have ever owned.

By on Tuesday, April 29, 2014

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
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Wonderful driving experience."

Cons: "Lack of AWD"

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

"I have the V-6. It provides for a great driving experience. Plenty of power, terrific cornering, very solid feel when driving. Components are high quality and sound system is as good as I have heard, including Bose. I have 4 kids old enough to drive that are still at home and this is the car they fight over. It gets 18-20 mpg around town and 35 (yes 35) mpg on the highway. Best auto purchase I have ever made (my 12th car). Can't say enough about it."

15 people out of 26 found this review helpful

Great entry level luxury

By on Monday, April 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,500

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: "A lot of fun to drive, awesome price"

Cons: "I really don't have any complaints.."

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

"This car is probably more fun than it should be to drive. I went into my most recent car buying experience feeling like a 4-cylinder vehicle would be a joke. This car has changed my views on what quality and drivability are. From the high quality leather seats to the amazing sound system and navigation, the interior of this car is top notch. The 200hp engine is no joke, either. Whether I have the car in normal drive or Sport Mode, the car is very sensitive to the gas pedal and responds appropriately. Much more so than I had ever thought that a 4-cylinder vehicle could. I really love this car and am hoping to get years of enjoyable driving out of it. Highly recommend! It's in its last year of production with the new TLX coming out, so great deals are out there for it."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

My best car to date

By on Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

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
9/10

Pros: "Performance, style, quality, features, looks"

Cons: "No biggies, really - cabin could be quieter."

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

"After driving GM prior to 1987, and Hondas since 1987, I decided to get an Acura in 2010. Love it. Perfect car for my style, needs, and habits. Rates a 10 on just about everything, but the cabin should be just a little quieter, with a little more noise isolation, preferably. The V-6 with Tech Package is exemplary in terms of handling and convenience, but I don't use some of the features available in the GPS system, just the basics. I love the sound system, XM Radio, and handsfree links. Gas mileage is impressive considering the performance. I got mine with the interior trim upgrade, moon/sunroof deflector, and I installed an aftermarket protection film on the front end, mirrors, light lenses, etc.... I also have a legal film on the side and back windows, which helps the interior remain cool and protected from UV rays. As a hobbyist detailer, I use only the best buffers and chemicals in protecting all surfaces, and I drive gently most of the time, brake easily, and in general baby the car, but sometimes I do scoot when I feel the need, and the stiffer V-6 Tech Package car responds extremely well in curves and straight ahead tracking. It would cruise all day at 90+ mph, but the car's favorite cruise speed is 75, right in a most efficient band with respect its characteristics. I have absolutely nothing but good things to say about this car. It is, quite simply, perfect for me, a single man who rarely has more than one passenger at a time."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Very good car

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

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

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

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

"I was plesantly suprise at the gas milage. When I first bought the car I thought the gauge wasn't working because it took so long to move off the F"

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Excellent Car

By on Monday, January 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20

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
9/10

Pros: "Incredible styling, quality interior, performance"

Cons: "Back Seats tight - good for kids"

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

Taking Delivery of My New Baby

"After 4 years of research, test drives, and comparisons of various luxury sedans in this class, I decided on leasing a 2014 Acura TSX Special Edition 5 speed. The styling was great, the interior roomy (not in the back, but the kids are still little and fit) and the driving dynamics are comparable to anything in it's class. After test driving other cars in this class, I saw no reason to pass this one up - backed by Honda's Ironclad reliability - this one is a keeper - will buy out before lease ends for sure! If you want a well built, well engineered, and reliable performer with standard features that cost thousands more with the competition- look no further - there is no prestige in overpaying for the overpriced, potentially unreliable competition from across the pond."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Taking Delivery of My New Baby

Still exceeds expectations after owning 6 months

By on Saturday, January 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,500

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: "Front seat comfort, performance, reliability"

Cons: "Small rear doors"

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

"I purchased a used TSX wagon as a second car for the wife, kids, and dog. The car quickly became the car of choice for the whole family (over the BMW). It combines Honda reliability with Acura cool. Front seat comfort is outstanding, performance of the 2.4 is solid, paddle shifters responsive, xenon lights are great, and the utility is perfect. The only negative is that the rear doors may be a little tight when the kids get older. I rent different cars several times per month. It is always a treat to come home to the Acura."

7 people out of 7 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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