By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.7
The 2013 Acura TSX will appeal to anyone looking for a luxury mid-size car at a non-luxury price. Often overlooked, the TSX has classy styling and appointments that reflect the high levels of comfort, refinement and convenience we have come to expect from the Acura brand. The lineup is simple but still manages to offer good variety: Sedan and wagon models, inline 4-cylinder and V6 engines, manual and automatic transmissions, a sporty Special Edition and all the options rolled into one Technology Package. While not as much pure fun to drive as a BMW 3 Series or Audi A4, the Acura TSX nevertheless feels responsive, rides comfortably and is one of the best values in the segment.
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 2013 Acura TSX certainly qualifies.
If you live in an area where inclement weather is the norm and you just won't be comfortable without all-wheel drive, you'll have to look at the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class or Audi A4 instead.
The Acura TSX was thoroughly redesigned just two years ago and heads into 2013 with no real changes. The V6 model is now available only with the Technology Package (no more base V6) since most were being purchased that way anyway.
Driving Impressions It's hard to find a better balance of dynamics and comfort than what the 2013 Acura TSX delivers. The 6-speed manual gearbox, a no-cost option on the Special Edition, has...light, precise shifting action. The 5-speed automatic is inevitably less involving but it does have paddle shifters and a Sport mode that makes it feel a little more aggressive. The 2013 Acura TSX encourages a quicker pace when the road begins to meander, feeling refined and striking a lovely balance between stability and maneuverability. When cruising along on the freeway, it adequately absorbs surface irregularities and mutes running noise. If there's anything to complain about, it's Acura's electromechanical power steering system; it makes its contribution to fuel efficiency but doesn't have the feel and feedback of its German competitors. The car feels quicker but oddly less involving with the stronger, smoother, heavier V6.
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 other stock systems to shame.
FEATURE-PACKED NAVIGATION SYSTEM
The 2013 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 there's also voice activation for city and street input, Zagat restaurant information, weather conditions and more. A rearview camera is also included.
With precise fit and finish and a warm, upscale ambiance, the cabin of the TSX is as comfortable as it is attractive. The contemporary design is executed in high-quality materials including supple leather-trimmed seating surfaces. The available navigation system takes some getting used to but, in general, the control operations are intuitive and clearly displayed. The rear seats feature a 60/40-split folding design for cargo flexibility, while the TSX Sport Wagon has a class-leading 66.2 cubic feet of cargo space – comparable to most compact SUVs. The TSX provides generous rear-seat legroom and head room.
The 2013 Acura TSX's body is sleek, clean 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, if controversial, shield-style (some say, beak-style) 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.
The 2013 Acura TSX's standard equipment includes xenon headlights, Bluetooth hands-free phone capability, iPod integration, 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 limits sound entering the cabin. All the safety gear is there, including six airbags. The sporty Special Edition package includes black suede seats with red trim, metal pedals, dark-finish wheels and either automatic or manual transmission (it's now the only way to get the manual).
Almost all the optional equipment available on the 2013 Acura TSX is wrapped up into one Technology Package. This includes 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. Available accessories include two aero-look sport packages with front and rear spoilers and rocker-panel extensions. There are also 18-inch wheels available in a choice of finishes.
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 paddle shifters. As with so many Honda and Acura products, the TSX's i-VTEC engine loves to rev and is at its best when pushed hard – which happens a lot, as it isn't actually all that powerful, but you won't usually mind. The bigger 3.5-liter V6, of course, has more power and a broader spread of torque, but the 2.4 is not the embarrassment some base engines are. Also, the V6 comes only with the automatic, and adds some weight to the nose of the car, so it's less entertaining to drive than the 4-cylinder.
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), 22/31 mpg (automatic, sedan), 22/30 mpg (automatic, wagon)
280 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
254 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 mpg
By 00derek on Saturday, September 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
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."
8 people out of 16 found this review helpful
By Jack on Monday, August 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Front seat comfort is the best"
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."
By City Driver on Monday, August 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
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."
By lulu on Friday, July 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,700overall rating 9 of 10rating details
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."
8 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By mark on Sunday, July 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I am very picky and looked at many cars before buying this one. I really love this car the only complaint I have is the transmission should shift smoother. The acceleration in non sport mode is ok. In sport mode it is pretty fast. If your going 85 and hit the gas you still really feel it. The cars looks inside and out are just great. Very comfortable to drive. Under the hood is pretty simple and maintenance parts are easy to get at. I plan to keep this car for a while. Also the price can not be beat. I did like the Mercdes C300 a bit better, but the increase in cost was not justified. I will most likely buy a TXL v-6 next time due to wanting a v-6 and the great gas milage and 9 speed tranny."
4 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By rudy on Tuesday, April 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
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."
22 people out of 35 found this review helpful