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CanadianDriver drives the 2009 TSX

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CanadianDriver
First Drive: 2009 Acura TSX, eh?
2009tsx.jpg
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Kelowna, British Columbia - Acura has never made any pretence about the fact that the TSX is based on the European/Japanese model Honda Accord: in fact, when the first TSX arrived in Canada in mid 2003, Dave Gardner, then National Manager for Acura Canada stated, "We want to stop the migration of Integra, RSX and EL owners to European brands."

It's somewhat ironic then, that the new 2009 TSX, which is also sold in Europe and Japan, appears to have been redesigned with North American customers in mind. For one thing, it's bigger - notably 78 mm (3.0 in.) wider, 66 mm (2.6 in.) longer, with a 35 mm (1.4 in.) increase in wheelbase - presumably to cater to larger, wider North American customers. As well, the ride quality has been improved and the cabin is quieter, two more features attractive to buyers on this continent.

Though the new TSX is larger and heavier, its fuel consumption has improved slightly, according to Acura's published figures: 10.5/7.0 City/Hwy (manual transmission) vs 10.8/7.2 City/Hwy. As well, vehicle emissions have been reduced: a new rear-mounted exhaust layout, close-coupled catalytic converter, and a programmed fuel injection system have substantially reduced emissions levels, enabling the 2009 TSX to meet Tier 2 Bin 5 emission standards, making it an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV).

Once out on the open road though, I found that the '09 TSX is still a very nimble, athletic sedan, but now with an improved ride and a quieter cabin. I hate to use a cliche like "It's grown up", but essentially the new TSX is a more mature automobile, more refined, more comfortable, and more sophisticated. The front seats are really, really comfortable, with terrific lateral support, and the suspension (front double wishbone/rear multi-link) absorbs bumps well at high speed despite the fact that there's almost no lean when cornering. The new Showa dual mode shocks are supposed to improve ride and handling at both low and high speeds, and on a lonely winding road in the Okanagan Valley in B.C.'s central interior, I was able to toss this car around and feel in complete control, without punishing the car or myself.

I had the opportunity to drive both a TSX equipped with the six-speed manual and one with the five-speed automatic "Sportshift" transmissions. The former has quick, short throws and a light clutch with easy take-up that makes spirited driving a real pleasure and city driving easier than it could be. The automatic transmission is very smooth and can be shifted manually with the steering wheel paddles when the shifter is put in the "S" position - or even in "D" if the driver pulls on the paddles. It will automatically return to automatic mode after a few minutes. If you forget to shift down as you slow, the transmission will shift down for you. The only thing I didn't like about it is that the driver can't shift with the floor lever, and using the paddles when making sharp turns is difficult.

The TSX is more about style and efficiency than image and horsepower - like a business suit on wheels, it offers the high quality and attention to detail you'd expect from a custom tailor, without being flamboyant or trendy.
Edited by siegen
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CanadianDriver

First Drive: 2009 Acura TSX, eh?

2009tsx.jpg

Full Article - Photo Gallery

While I'm not a huge Acrua fanatic, cars like this, and the Audi A3/A4 (with the 2.0T) could become more-and-more popular. Efficient 4-cylinder-engined "premium" sedans, etc, with a decent amount of fun thrown in for good measure.

Makes me wonder if BMW will consider bringing some of it's valvetronic L4 engines over here? Or if Benz will re-introduce the L4 SC engines in it's C-Class?

What about a "base" CTS with the 2.0L Turbo cranking out 260hp?

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While I'm not a huge Acrua fanatic, cars like this, and the Audi A3/A4 (with the 2.0T) could become more-and-more popular. Efficient 4-cylinder-engined "premium" sedans, etc, with a decent amount of fun thrown in for good measure.

Makes me wonder if BMW will consider bringing some of it's valvetronic L4 engines over here? Or if Benz will re-introduce the L4 SC engines in it's C-Class?

What about a "base" CTS with the 2.0L Turbo cranking out 260hp?

The Audi A4 is a tempting buy. It looks nice, has a nice and efficient AWD option, and the turbo-4 is economical yet provides a fair bit more torque.

Acura needs a "lite" version of SH-AWD, something that isn't so over-the-top (a small sports sedan that already handles well doesn't necessarily need all the torque vectoring and overdrive mechanisms SH-AWD has). As it is, SH-AWD would add a lot of weight to the TSX, and combined with a V6 it would weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 3700-3800 lbs.

The V6 option coming for the TSX next year (which has been all but confirmed) will be a nice addition, as well as the 2.2L turbo-diesel. My best guess is the V6 will be the 3.2L 260HP V6 from the current TL, likely not tuned any higher. It will not be called the Type S (this has almost been confirmed as well). I am still holding hope that a Type S version comes later with a 3.5L or 3.7L 300HP engine and SH-AWD.

Also, price has been announced for the U.S. TSX (not Canada yet). Click here.

"MSRP pricing starts at $28,960 and tops at $32,060. Destination and Handling for the 2009 TSX remains unchanged at $715." My guess is that a V6 TSX will carry a premium of $2,500-2,900 over the base and tech models. The pricing is only a few hundred more than the current, and it adds considerable refinement and luxury-ness compared to the current model.

TOV has the first dyno test of the new TSX as well (with 6-speed manual). Click. Despite 4hp less for "rated" horsepower, they actually produce very close to the same at the wheels, and once the new engine breaks in (this one only had 122 miles) it will probably produce more. The torque curve is also substantially improved. The 2nd image shows a comparison of both torque/horsepower curves.

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From the front, and in that Color, that Acura is a sweet looking car.

Chris

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from the front, in any color, it looks downright retarted... :P

Ah it'll grow on ya. Have you seen a BMW lately? :AH-HA_wink:

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while the car is bland, its manual option, nice size, and audio system make it a possibility for me.

i.e. its not HIDEOUS like the accord.

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nope... nope.. i think its just as offensive as the accord... jesus honda stylists must be on acid...

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Actually, I like some of the graphics (no I do not mean decals, Virginia) on recent Hondas and Acuras. It is the proportions of their cars that offend me the worst.

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Does NOT look upscale- profile is very generic & homogenous. Headlights are falling out of the fenders just like the accord, I see. Grille/ front fascia has a 1960's futurama/cheese slicer feel to it. Does nuttin' for me.

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Eww. The styling of this and all other recent Acuras is unpleasant and, in hand, unattractive. The last TSX/Euro Accord and current TL had the best styling. Sharp, handsome, with an upscale but unpretentious appearance. The new ones look like someone said, No no no, attractiveness won't do. Let's do what Chrysler has. Make it as gaudy as possible!

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nope... nope.. i think its just as offensive as the accord... jesus honda stylists must be on acid...

just checking, have you seen the 09 pilot photos yet? LOL

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Such a disjointed mess of a design.

Acura is going in a strange direction.

Weird details.

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