2012 Acura TSX

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2012 Acura TSX Review


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

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.

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

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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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

Buying this car?