The Acura TSX (Touring Sportscar eXperimental) debuted in April 2003 as a 2004 model. It remains the smallest and entry level sedan of the luxury brand. As the replacement for the Integra, the TSX and its new sibling wagon edition are built in Sayama, Saitama, Japan.
The Weekly Driver Test Drive
It seems fewer sedans are readily available with manual transmissions, which is the dominating reason my weekly test drive of the Acura TSX was so enjoyable. The standard engine remains the 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder with 201 horsepower.
But with the six-speed manual transmission rather than the 5-speed automatic, the TSX moves into the unique category of sports car sedan. With the smooth-shifting manual transmission, it’s hard to categorize the vehicle as an entry level car.
It’s quick and has surprisingly spry handling. It’s no Corvette, but accelerate hard on a freeway entrance or when in a tight passing situation and the TSX is ready to perform.
Besides its status as a strong-performing entry level sedan, the TSX, like all Acura styles, has a strong list of standard features: 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, foglights, sunroof, keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, eight-way power driver seat with memory, four-way power passenger seat, leather upholstery, heated front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror and a 60/40-split-folding rear seatback.
Add a strong technology standard list — Bluetooth satellite radio, USB port — and it’s hard to think of a $30,000 with as much to offer without additional charges.
Superior handling. The car “owns” the road, maneuvering through traffic and in tight situation with confidence, if not a little swagger.
Quick acceleration make the TSX a close match for odd term sports car sedan.
Light shifting makes the TSX easy (and fun) to drive.
Large, intuitive gauges.
Exterior color: Crystal black pearl.
Steering wheel. It’s sporty and responsive.
Tight rear seats.
It’s not the quietest car on the road, for sure.
Facts & Figures: 2o11 Acura TSX
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 7.7 seconds.
Airbags: Driver and front passenger front, side and side curtain.
Antilock brakes: Standards.
First aid kit: Not available.
Fuel economy: 21 mpg (city), 29 mpg (highway)
Government Safety Ratings: Rollover (five stars); Frontal crash (not tested); Side crash (not tested).
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $29,610.00
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.acura.com
Price As tested: $30,470.00
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 4 years/50,000 miles; Powertrain, 6 years/70,000 miles; Roadside maintenance, 4 years/50,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited miles.
What Others Say:
“The 2011 Acura TSX rides calmly and quietly at highway speeds thanks to thicker glass and improved acoustic insulation. Power from the four-cylinder engine is adequate, though compared to other entry-level luxury cars it leaves the TSX with a somewhat uninspired driving character.” —- Edmunds.com.
“In four cylinder trim, the TSX has long been favored by for its sublime driving dynamics – due in part to its relatively light weight, trim dimensions and slick 6-speed manual.” —- MotorTrend.
“The 2011 Acura TSX is one of the entry level sedans that comes with sportier feel and is equipped with some notable features which are not seen on other models in the market.” —- BestLuxuryCars.com
What The Wife Says:
“I’m not a fan of manual transmissions, but the Acura TSX makes shifting surprisingly easy.”
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
“Smooth shifting, a comfortable interior and excellent handling all add up quickly. The Acura TSX is an entry level sedan that warrants major attention at a good price point.”
Article Last Updated: March 21, 2011.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.