By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
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.
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.
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.
KBB Expert Ratings
The Acura TSX sedan and TSX Sport Wagon carry over unchanged for 2014.
Driving Impressions 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 crossover SUV.
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.Exterior
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.
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.
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), 22/30 mpg (automatic, Sport Wagon)
280 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
254 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 mpg
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.