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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 169 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
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Great car!

By on Monday, April 04, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great car for the money."

Cons: "Could use better cup holders."

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

"This is my third Acura, 2000 TL, 2004 TL M/T 2010 TSX 3.5 Tech I've had complete satisfaction with Acura vehicles, dependable, the 3.5 V6 is an incredible engine, quick, great mileage satisfying to drive! My only wish is a manual transmission as the 2004 TL equipped with a 6 speed manual was my favorite 195,000 miles original clutch and the smoothest shifting trans ever!"

2 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Very reliable and great on gas

By on Saturday, January 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Gas mileage"

Cons: "Lack of power"

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

"Very economical car with great reliability. The exterior has aged well and I think it's a better looking car than the TL or ILX. The car came equipped with a lot of standard equipment that would cost thousands of dollars more verses the German brands. The gripes I have about this car is its power is not great and you really have to make it scream to get up to speed. The backseat room is very small and there's no backup camera. I would give this car a favorable rating because it's been a great car for me."

A Keeper

By on Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

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: "Great Looks, fun driving, great features, reliable"

Cons: "Back Seats kind of tight"

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

"I am in the middle of my three year lease on this car, and I am faced with a really tough decision - do I trade in for a new TLX, or do I keep? This car has exceeded all of my expectations, and instead of getting bored with it and wanting the newest, I honestly love this car more and more with each passing day and am seriously considering buying it out after my lease ends! The look, the feel, the driving dynamics are phenomenal, and of course, being a Honda Product - no visits to the dealer or shop other than routine maintenance! I've been really disciplined with how many miles I drive on this car, in case I decide to trade-in, however, I don't see a trade-in my future - this is a keeper! What I love about it is the balance between new technology and old in one package. I enjoy the fact that my Acura still has a Manual E-Brake! And of course the reliability of Honda/Acura's 2.4L V-TEC engine is my favorite part of this car - 200HP, without a turbo charger and a tried and true engine that will last for many 1000's of miles without any issues. If you need a good entry level luxury car at a reasonable price without the "gremlins" that plague the competition from across the pond - look no further - the TSX is the car to own! Too bad you may not be seeing my car on the used car lot for sale!"

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I have ever driven.

By on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very reliable car and lots of fun to drive!"

Cons: "Dont have any cons for this car."

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

"This car has excellent acceleration,and the steering,brakes,and tires give you a true sports sedan driving experience. Even with its incredible tork and acceleration, I still managed about 25+MPG in the city, and 30-34 MPG highway. When you combine all of this with the premium sound system and bluetooth,its a really sweet ride. Just last week, I had the car completely serviced. My service tech heard a small noise when he went to start it, and he determined that it would probably need the timing belt replaced in the next 6 months. I didn't feel right selling this car in that condition, so I paid the $700 to get the work done now. That should give someone a peace of mind for at least the next 100K miles!"

11 people out of 25 found this review helpful

Will never buy anything but Acura in the future.

By on Monday, October 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 129,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Gas mileage, ride quality, comfort, accessories."

Cons: "Bump into exterior and you will leave a nice dent."

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

"I find myself volunteering to drive whenever friends or family want to take a road trip. This car is amazing. On a trip from Greensboro to Atlanta I averaged 42mpg thanks to the Bridgestone Ecopia tires that are standard on this car. The interior is quiet and the sound system is nice. The back seat is a little tight but who cares.........I never ride back there. If purchasing this vehicle make sure you pay a little more to get the technology package. It is worth every dime."

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Space, style and bulletproof reliability

By on Friday, October 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,372

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "reliability, cargo space, value for features,"

Cons: "missing latest tech (collision and blind spot)"

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

"The TSX Sportwagon is my 4th Acura and I expect it to last as long as my first (22 years and 230,000 miles). It may not have the most up to date technology (collision avoidance, blind spot warning, text message reading, etc.) but, for the value, it has everything I need. There is plenty of space to fit four passengers comfortably, five in a pinch. The cargo area can easily swallow a variety of items; I even fit a 12 foot tree with all the seats down from rear to dash. Some may not like the "beak" on the front but it is distinctive enough without being too flashy. Fuel economy so far (4300 miles) has averaged 23.46 with 80% city / 20% highway driving with a high of 27.6 and low of 21.35. It is great for long trips, my longest between fillups has been 480 miles with a gallon or two left in the tank. It is very solid and stable on the highway with a little more road noise than expected but that is what the amazing stereo is for. I am disappointed that this is the last model year for the TSX but will enjoy my Sportwagon for many years to come!"

12 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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