The Acura TSX is an appealing luxury sedan that doesn't carry a luxury price tag. Straddling the line between a compact and midsize car, the 2014 TSX faces stiff competition in the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS, Audi A4, Infiniti Q50 and Cadillac ATS. Unlike those rivals, the Acura is front-wheel drive only and thus may not appeal to enthusiast drivers, but the TSX slots in at a lower price than them all. The TSX boasts dynamic driving manners, and with the optional V6 dishes up considerable muscle. For those desiring extra space, the TSX is available as a sleek station wagon that proves the words "sleek" and "station wagon" can indeed be friends. Also not to be overlooked is Acura's reputation for reliability.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you want a premium sedan with a fine balance of sportiness and comfort, plus a reliability record as sterling as that of its Honda parent, you'll find much to like in Acura's TSX. Buyers requiring extra space can get that and plenty of style in the TSX Sport Wagon.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Although it compares as well or better than its competitors on paper, Acura may not have the badge appeal of some rivals. If you live where it snows and need the added traction of all-wheel drive, look to one the TSX's competitors.
The Acura TSX sedan and TSX Sport Wagon carry over unchanged for 2014.
Driving the TSX
The 2014 Acura TSX hits the sweet spot between dynamic handling that makes you want to attack a twisty road and the comfort we all crave for the commute home...
... after a long workday. The TSX doesn't offer the rear-wheel drive so often equated with sports sedans, but it is available with a precise 6-speed manual transmission for drivers desiring more engagement. The standard 5-speed automatic is inevitably less involving but does have paddle shifters and a Sport mode that can quicken your pulse. The TSX's suspension is balanced enough to tackle corners with glee yet still soak up road imperfections with minimal drama. Of our few gripes is Acura's electromechanical power steering that just doesn't have the feel or feedback of its German competitors. With 280 horsepower, the V6 model is noticeably quicker than the 4-cylinder version thanks to its 79 extra horses, but oddly feels less involving.
STANDARD LEATHER SEATING Once a separator between a premium and non-premium car, today some luxury brands are making you pay extra for genuine hide, offering instead faux alternatives. In the TSX, Acura doesn't. Even more relevant, the Acura TSX's front seats are among the most comfortable in this segment.
TSX SPORT WAGON We realize some people think station wagons are about as hip as fanny packs, but the TSX Sport Wagon can change your mind. Elegant on the outside, roomy within and nearly as spry as its sedan counterpart, the TSX Sport Wagon is a tempting and more fuel-efficient alternative to a crossoverSUV.
2014 Acura TSX Details
The TSX's cabin is comfortable and sophisticated. Comfort comes from its standard leather seating, body-hugging seats and excellent driving position. Sophistication is established thanks to its sweeping curves and bounty of buttons. Regarding the latter, the TSX goes a bit overboard on the buttons, which are sprinkled liberally across the steering wheel and dash like an over-salted soup. Rear legroom is good, as is trunk capacity at 14 cubic feet. The rear seats fold in a 60/40 split to create more room in both the sedan and wagon, the latter more than doubling its cargo room to 66.2 cubic feet thanks to a near-flat floor.
The 2014 TSX sedan has a clean and sleek body highlighted by angles and a rising crease on each side. The TSX's front fascia is a tamer affair than its larger TL sibling, and the snubbed rear flows nicely right down to the standard dual exhaust outlets. Here we must also again sing praises of the oft-overlooked Sport Wagon, which is one of the best-looking station wagons on the road. In either sedan or wagon form, the TSX presents a tidy package that speaks to young professionals. It's the kind of car that says, "I'm smart, responsible, but still know how to have fun."
The 2014 Acura TSX has a long list of standard features, many of which cost hundreds or thousands extra on its competitors. Among them are leather seating, moonroof, HomeLink transponder and xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights. Even the standard audio system is robust with 360 watts of power, seven speakers (including a subwoofer), and USB/auxiliary inputs in addition to AM/FM/CD/satellite radio. Special-edition models spice things up with red-accented instrument panel and suede seating, and classy aluminum pedals. Those with the Technology Package gain an 8-inch screen that relays navigation, traffic and weather, a rearview camera and 10-speaker audio system with hard-disk drive (HDD) to store music.
Unlike many of its competitors that offer a plethora of add-ons – and that can jack up a model's price by thousands – the TSX confines most of its options to trim levels, of which the Technology Package ladles on the most. In addition to those mentioned above, it also includes a nifty GPS-linked climate-control system and Song By Voice feature, which lets you request a song by – you got it – saying it. In the 2014 TSX Sport Wagon, the package also includes a power tailgate. V6 models include 18-inch alloy wheels and Active Sound Control to tame interior noise.
Under the Hood
Two engines are available in the 2014 Acura TSX: a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that powers most models and is the only option for the Sport Wagon, or a more potent 3.5-liter V6 that's exclusive to the sedan. Most buyers will opt for the slick-shifting 5-speed automatic transmission, but it's worth noting that Acura offers a 6-speed manual for 4-cylinder versions of the sedan. 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. The bigger 3.5-liter V6 has more power and a broader spread of torque, but the peppy 2.4-liter 4-cylinder is more than adequate for most drivers. Premium-grade fuel is recommended for both engines.
The 2014 Acura TSX sedan has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $31,530, and the TSX Sport Wagon starts at $32,880. A top-line Acura TSX sedan with V6 will barely crest the $42,000 mark. In contrast, a BMW 320i Sedan begins at $33,675, and if you want a leather interior and an exterior paint color other than non-metallic white or black, you'll need to tack on a couple grand more. Likewise, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Lexus IS begin at nearly $37,000, the Audi A4 at nearly $35,000, the Cadillac ATS at just under $34,000 and the Infiniti Q50 at over $37,000. Closer to the TSX's base price are the Volvo S60 and Infiniti G37 at just over $33,000. Slightly less is the Buick Regal at $30,615. Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price for the best deal. The TSX's resale value is expected to be good, but still trail the Lexus IS and Cadillac ATS.
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
"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."