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2011 Acura TSX

Overview
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2011 Acura TSX Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

While its Acura TL big brother competes with heavy hitters like the BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G Sedan, the second-generation Acura TSX is light on direct competitors. Why? Because for those seeking a premium-branded sedan with a $30,000 starting price and fuel economy that reaches into the 30 miles-per-gallon range, the choices are rather limited. The Audi A4 is one, as are the Volvo S40 and Lexus IS. However, the TSX's big advantage versus most of its competitors can be summed up in a word that a premium-brand marketer like Acura would never use: Value. The base model with a manual transmission (another increasingly rare feature in this class) starts just over $30,000 and even fully loaded barely reaches $34,000; a loaded V6 stays just south of $40,000. Piece together its quality, performance, features and fuel economy, and the TSX looks to be one of the best premium sedan bargains going.

You'll Like This Car If...

In terms of technology, fuel economy, performance and value, the Acura TSX is a premium-level bargain. Not only does it offer an enviable resale and reliability record, it's one of the few sport sedans left that still offer the option of a manual transmission.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Unlike the Audi and Volvo sedans, the TSX does not offer the option of all-wheel drive. More troubling to some of us is the electric power steering system that demands constant attention on the highway.

What's New for 2011

For 2011, Acura makes a number of changes aimed at quieting the TSX's cabin and improving fuel economy. Along with an all-new Sport Wagon addition (reviewed separately), the TSX receives revised front and rear styling, as well as a number of interior upgrades. An improved Technology Package includes a new LED backlit navigation screen, Song by Voice user interface and 15 GB of downloadable storage space on the system's 60 GB hard drive.

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 six-speed manual's precise shifting action and the five-speed...

automatic's exceptionally aggressive Sport mode, the later being especially welcome on the automatic-only V6 model. The 2011 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 (EPS) system. Devoid 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 1 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. We're hoping the system will be improved over the life of the TSX, because we really like the rest of the package.
Favorite Features

DVD-Audio Surround Sound
Audiophiles will have to have this comprehensive premium sound system. Included in the Technology Package, the 5.2 DVD-Audio Surround Sound is so utterly clear and clean, it puts all other stock systems to shame.

Voice-controlled Navigation System
The 2011 Acura TSX offers a sophisticated navigation system with an LED backlit eight-inch screen that Acura claims delivers 400 percent better resolution than last year's system. Also on board is Acura's Song by Voice music search, 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-view camera is also part of the package.

2011 Acura TSX Details
Interior

If soft, warm and rich is the vibe you seek from a premium sedan, settling into the TSX may leave you lukewarm. Although the new interior does bring a bit more color to the console, door panels and steering wheel, even the contrasting color stitching isn't enough to make the high-tech TSX feel like an a upscale Audi. That's because the TSX eschews traditional luxury cues for a more technological type of richness, although wood-look trim is available. Beyond the visual, the TSX's interior is all business, offering seats that are both comfortable and supportive, and a rear seat that sufficiently passes the six-footer test. New rear heating/cooling vents help keep rear passengers comfortable while a climate controlled center console keeps perishables from perishing. The smallish trunk is less impressive, but long items can be safely stowed once the 60/40-split rear seatback is deployed.

Exterior
2011 Acura TSX photo

Defined by sharp edges, pronounced wheel flares and a forward lean that gives it a bolder, more athletic demeanor than the original TSX, the 2011 Acura TSX is made more alluring with a new front grille and headlamp treatment, new fog light bezels and a new front lip spoiler. Around back, new tail lamps and license plate garnish heighten the TSX's visual appeal. Mirror-integrated turn signals, 17- or 18-inch wheels and a long shoulder crease all combine to make the TSX look longer and wider than it really is.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 Acura TSX boasts a long list of standard equipment that includes Bluetooth phone connectivity, iPod integration (and simpler auxiliary input), steering wheel-mounted controls, leather seating with position memory, moonroof and dual-zone climate control. The V6 adds 18-inch alloy wheels, one-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 front, front side-impact and two-row side-curtain airbags, plus electronic stability control.

Optional Equipment

Every bit of optional equipment available on the 2011 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 four-cylinder engine is coupled with either a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic that features a high-revving Sport mode. Like in so many Honda and Acura vehicles, the i-VTEC engine is at its best when pushed hardest. Those seeking better low-end performance should look at the new 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 in-line four-cylinder
201 horsepower @ 7000 rpm
172 (manual), 170 (automatic) lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 (manual), 22/31 (automatic)

3.5-liter V6
280 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
254 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28

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2011 Acura TSX Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 139 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
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Very good car

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I was plesantly suprise at the gas milage. When I first bought the car I thought the gauge wasn't working because it took so long to move off the F"

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Excellent Car

By on Monday, January 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20

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: "Incredible styling, quality interior, performance"

Cons: "Back Seats tight - good for kids"

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

Taking Delivery of My New Baby

"After 4 years of research, test drives, and comparisons of various luxury sedans in this class, I decided on leasing a 2014 Acura TSX Special Edition 5 speed. The styling was great, the interior roomy (not in the back, but the kids are still little and fit) and the driving dynamics are comparable to anything in it's class. After test driving other cars in this class, I saw no reason to pass this one up - backed by Honda's Ironclad reliability - this one is a keeper - will buy out before lease ends for sure! If you want a well built, well engineered, and reliable performer with standard features that cost thousands more with the competition- look no further - there is no prestige in overpaying for the overpriced, potentially unreliable competition from across the pond."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Taking Delivery of My New Baby

Still exceeds expectations after owning 6 months

By on Saturday, January 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,500

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
10/10

Pros: "Front seat comfort, performance, reliability"

Cons: "Small rear doors"

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

"I purchased a used TSX wagon as a second car for the wife, kids, and dog. The car quickly became the car of choice for the whole family (over the BMW). It combines Honda reliability with Acura cool. Front seat comfort is outstanding, performance of the 2.4 is solid, paddle shifters responsive, xenon lights are great, and the utility is perfect. The only negative is that the rear doors may be a little tight when the kids get older. I rent different cars several times per month. It is always a treat to come home to the Acura."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Good enough.

By on Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, good value for features provided"

Cons: "Not enough rear seat room; needs more cargo space"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"My wagon is a good enough ride. It comes with plenty of standard features you would expect on a Premium brand vehicle (mine does not have the Technology Package). It drives nice with enough power (you're not going to win any drag races against any Camaro SS's or Mustang GT's)and engine and transmission work well together. The only thing I would change is expand the wheelbase to the rear seat passengers have more room; and, also at the same time increase the cargo area in the back."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Best car I've ever owned!

By on Monday, January 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,025

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
10/10

Pros: "Super fun to drive, great tech, audio, nav system"

Cons: "Wish it had Tiptronic to go with paddle shifters"

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

"I'm a huge car fan and I have previously owned an Infiniti G35 and a BMW 328i. The 2010 V6 TSX blows them both away in almost every category. First of all, the V6 is powerful and easily outruns the 328 and at least keeps pace with the slightly higher HP G35 due to it being slightly lighter. But where the real value comes in is with that actual way this car is made. It's rock solid. Every part of it is well made with very high quality materials. Parts of the BMW and Infiniti were poorly made or fell apart easily. But the Acura is one of the best made cars I've had or seen. The styling is fantastic and it's sporty, but not overdone. Now to the really important part...the way it drives and handles. I will be honest...after coming from a BMW and Infiniti, I wasn't expecting to be blown away with it. But I was. From the moment I test drove this and drove it onto the highway, I was blown away. It has a slightly heavy (in a good way) but perfectly smooth feel to it and handles incredibly. The acceleration (on the V6 model) is flat out awesome...extremely smooth and extremely fast while maintaining extreme control. I was very surprised at how "attached" to the road you feel seeing as this is a slightly lighter car than I'm used to. The handling is truly impressive and acceleration, especially when using the Paddle Shifters, is quite incredible and will shoot you back in your seat if you put the pedal to the metal. I have the Navigation and Technology package and I couldn't be happier with that either. Everything can be controlled by your voice. And if you don't like using that feature, most things can be controlled by the steering wheel mounted controls, including the Bluetooth system. The Navigation system is nearly flawless. It's DVD based, so yes you do have to update the DVD (149 dollars) every few years (probably 3 times if you keep the car for a decade), but it's SO worth it. Takes virtually NO time to boot up and know where you are. You turn the car on, it loads for about 5 seconds while you are putting your seat belt on and getting ready and before you know it, it's ready, spot on with where you are, and never fails me. It's a very intuitive technology and navigation system and it also has lane assist and reads every thing to you while lowering the music automatically while it's speaking. The tech and nav package also comes with ELS Premium surround sound system. I'm a HUGE audio snob and this system absolutely blows both the Bose and Harmon Kardon systems I've had in previous cars out of the water. It has a built in sub in the back and then 9 other speakers that create one of the most impressive and luxurious sound experiences you've ever had. There is no way you won't be blown away with how incredibly awesome the ELS system is. Other random things I'm very happy with about this car is the quality of the leather, interior accenting, trunk space, HID lights, and memory seats. I can't tell you how much fun this car is. It's the best money I've ever spent and I plan on having this car until it won't drive anymore. And since it's basically a Honda, I know that will be a looooong time from now. It's literally the best car you can buy."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best Value in Its Class

By on Saturday, January 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Wanted a sports sedan, the first fork in the road--safety; check. The next fork in the road--reliability; that left two cars: the Acura TSX and Lexus IS 250. (I should clarify that I understand that neither the TSX or IS 250 meet the true definition of a sports sedan). The IS 250 underwhelms in ride and handling though is an absolutely gorgeous car! The TSX is the practical alternative in this segment and is much better equipped than the IS 250 at substantially less money. It is quick, handles nicely, and has a good balance between ride and handling. Add high quality materials and fit and finish and this car is awesome! The 4CYL lacks the instant power you may want/need when passing on the highway (I am still getting used to the paddle shifters after having a 3.5 V6), but it is not objectionable. Back seat is small, but this isn't an issue for me as 95% of the time I am the sole driver and my kids are grown. My biggest complaint/dissapointment is that I understand the TSX is being replaced by the ILX--too bad."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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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

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