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2009 Acura TSX Tech Review

2009 Acura TSX (select to view enlarged photo)
2009 Acura TSX


By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

Slick, affordable, and great on fuel. Three attributes a woman is looking for in a 4-door sedan and the Acura TSX has it.

Built on Honda's and extremely reliable platform, the 2009 TSX has a whole new design that might make neighbors at first glance assume you brought home a BMW. What I notice most about Acura products is that for a carmaker's more luxurious brand – the Toyota supporting its Lexus, Nissan with the Infiniti – Acura allows for the average brand-conscious consumer to enter the luxury market at a reasonable price.

I drove a 2009 Acura TSX Tech with a 201-horsepower 2.4-liter, i-VTECH engine. Fully loaded with such standard features as a voice-activated navigation system, rearview camera, 10-speaker audio system, driver recognition memory system, 8-way power driver seat with lumbar (4-way for passenger), heated front seats, Bluetooth hands-free calling, power moonroof, and leather trim throughout, total vehicle price came to $32,820.

The headlights are what really caught my eye and everything around me. The projector-style HID low beam and halogen high beam headlights with integrated fog lamps were more like search lights, casting a wide white beam to the sides and front without extreme brightness or glare. I haven't seen headlights this impressive since I drove the Land Cruiser and VW Touareg. It’s the halogen that sets it apart.


Stylish But Comfortable Results:
Expect high styling across the board, both exterior and interior-wise. The TXS has a very large and spacious trunk. I'm not particularly crazy about Acura's communication system, which uses a dial instead of touch-screen commands – although it symbolizes the availability of more technological features, working a dial requires too much attention from the driver.

Reliability & Safety Factor:
Predicted reliability is extremely high. Owner satisfaction rates high, along with safety. Safety features include 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist; Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control (Electronic Stability Control); and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Also, dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags; dual-chamber front-seat side airbags; and Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system in the rear seat are some of the features.

Cost Issues:
Acura claims the TSX is positioned alongside the Audi A4 2.0T, BMW 328i, Infiniti G37, Lexus IS 250, and Mercedes-Benz C300 – sure, luxury names, but the entry-level offerings in that elite lineup. And that's where the Acura sits, and does well in the brand-name game, because its vehicle costs hit a low ceiling. For example, vehicles like the Audi A4 or Lexus IS can start in the low 30k, but skyrocket as high as 80k when you add on the features. The TXS doesn't do that to you.

Activity & Performance Ability:
I thought the engine excelled powerfully, was quite, and ultimately very fun to drive. Handling was agile. Fuel economy was great. Perhaps the turning radius could have been wider.

The Green Concern:
Estimated mileage is 21-mpg city and 30-mpg highway driving, citing an average of 25-mpg. The Lexus IS gets 24-mpg, the Audi A4 23-mpg, and the BMW 328i 23-mpg. Step down in brand, and it's very close with what the Honda Accord gets at 26-mpg overall, but not the Toyota Corolla at 32-mpg overall.

If you are looking for a slight step up from what the Honda Civic or Accord, as well as the Toyota Camary offers in terms of interior, the Acura TSX will do that for you at a reasonable additional cost while remaining within reasonable gas estimations.

Katrina's Car Tips For Women Drivers
2010 and 2009 Model Reviews
2008 Model Reviews

©2008 Katrina Ramser