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2012 Acura TSX

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2012 Acura TSX Review

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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 162 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

COMFORTABLE, QUIET, FUN to DRIVE,ECONOMICAL

By on Sunday, August 30, 2015

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "VALUE, DRIVING FUN."

Cons: "STYLING, ACCELERATION"

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

"TSX is a joy to drive. Car handles road well, has power, and accelerates ok. Interior comfort and noise is excellent. Car is getting @ 30 MPG in mostly 60-70 MPH driving. Affordable luxury car."

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

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