A change for the better
The cockpit is better organized, but...
The finish of the previous TSX was beyond reproach, and it's still the case now. However, we note a clear improvement with the instrumentation located in the center stack. Despite losing the touch screen, Acura added more buttons and placed them in an orderly fashion; audio controls on top, navigation controls in the middle and climate controls on the bottom. It seems complicated at first glance, but we quickly get used to it.
The people from Acura told us that the new car is stiffer and that the underbody is more aerodynamic; drag has been lowered by 6%. On the road, the TSX is very quiet and comfortable. It's larger than before, and so is the cockpit.
But since the car is lower, getting in and out is slightly more challenging. The windshield which the company has flaunted its pronounced rakishness gives us the feeling that our heads are rubbing on the ceiling. Rear-seat space is still precious, especially for passengers' feet. The trunk is also marginally smaller.
Acura's hopes and dreams
The company plans to sell 4,000 copies of the TSX annually, a number that we feel is quite optimistic. Although the Acura brand is slowly gaining in popularity, a lot of people still don't consider it as prestigious as Mercedes-Benz or BMW. The TSX's rivals are the BMW 323i, the Lexus IS 250 and the Volvo S40.
The addition of a more affordable base model is a good strategy. The TSX now benefits from a version with cloth seats and a tad less equipment, for a reasonable price of $32,900. According to Acura, the base TSX will only represent 15% of total sales, while the mid-level Premium will be the volume seller, with a 70% proportion. The Tech version which includes the navigation system and other gadgets will pick up the remaining 15%.
In a nutshell, the new TSX keeps its great qualities while improving engine output and dashboard ergonomics. It is now in a better situation to please the potential customer who will take it for a spin around the dealership's neighbourhood, and the car is more affordable than ever. For a sporty luxury sedan of compact size, the TSX has taken a step in the right direction.
Photos: Philippe Champoux, Rob Rothwell
Other Reviews Available For The 2009 Acura TSX
Auto journalist & Consumer Ratings
Editor's Review Highlights
2009 Acura TSX Specifications
Similar to 2009 Acura TSX