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Acura RSX v. Toyota Celica v. Mitsubishi Eclipse



  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I think it just has to be said here that the RSX was restyled way too conservatively, while the current celica really stands out, and people take note when it drives by. There are a couple of Hyundais, for instance, that the RSX can almost be mistaken for. Celica sales are leveling off now that the car is in its third year, but you have to bear in mind that it is more than halfway to its next redesign. The RSX is still brand new. Also, I do not think that it is that surprising that Acura wanted to bring the RSX "more into the fold" of the other Acura models - more conservative and luxurious. Then they can raise the price some more next time. The boy-racer Integra is gone folks, just face it.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • beowulf7beowulf7 Posts: 290
    Moderator (Revka or Shifty), can we include the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse GTS to compare with the 2002 Acura RSX Type S and 2002 Toyota Celica GTS? Or maybe also against 2003 Hyundai Tiburon GT V6? I'm curious as to how this refreshed Eclipse does. Thanks.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Also, feel free to start up a new discussion, with other vehicle variations..., on this board if you'd like. Happy motoring!

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • beowulf7beowulf7 Posts: 290
    Thanks, you're always so responsive! :)
  • beowulf7beowulf7 Posts: 290
    I finally test drove it the other day. It was fast! :) What an enjoyable test drive! The shifter seemed a lot smoother than the 2002 Eclipse GT I drove a couple months ago. However, the car did seem a little heavy when cornering, probably b/c of that heavy engine weight in the front. Very soon I'll drive the RSX-S which should be an interesting comparison.
  • beowulf7beowulf7 Posts: 290
    In the May 2002 issue of Car and Driver, the reviewers ranked these five cars in the following order:

    5.) 2002 VW New Beetle Turbo S

    4.) 2003 Hyundai Tiburon GT V6

    2.) (tie) 2003 Mitsu Eclipse GTS

    2.) (tie) 2002 Toyota Celica GTS

    1.) 2002 Acura RSX Type S

    Good reading. The magazine has tables which C&D left out on their Web site:

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    They basically decided that the RSX edged the celica because of a slightly more useable powerband and a nicer interior. I drove both before buying my celica, and I can say that two of the things that they point out as "lows" for the RSX are very true - that car is very noisy inside, especially if the pavement is bad, and the steering is definitely not as good as the celica's. But the "highs" they list are true my opinion, celica would have come out the winner in this comparo if the price were a couple of thousand $$ lower, and the cam lift changeover point came about 500-1000 rpm below the current 6000 rpm point. This would give it more useable power, and make it a better bargain than the very-conservative RSX. I mean, in the looks department, there is no question which is better. And for regular driving on California's crummy roads, the celica also has a better ride, while still having awesome handling.

    I think it is funny that the celica, an everyman's Toyota, is constantly being compared to the RSX, which is supposed to be a luxury brand. Shouldn't the luxury brand have to compete with other luxury brands?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • beowulf7beowulf7 Posts: 290
    nippononly, I think RSX vs. Celica (vs. Eclipse, Tiburon, etc.) are valid b/c they are all in the same price range and share a similar feature set. I agree that a well-equipped Celica GT-S should be at least $1-2 k lower than RSX-S. I couldn't believe that Celicas still come w/ 15" tires/wheels. And only a single CD player? At least they come w/ fog lights, unlike RSXs.

    Is your Celica MT or AT? I've only been able to drive the AT for Celica GT-S, although I did get to test drive a manny tranny for the base trim (Celica GT). I like the Celica's low weight, which should make it fun to toss around, even for FWD. And yes, its looks are better than the RSX. But the RSX's interior is so much better and few makes hold their resale value better than Acuras.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I hate to drive ATs - actually I did test drive one of the ATs at a time last year when there was very limited availability of the manual, and I thought the button shifting of the AT was cool, but ultimately that was one slow car.

    The celica's weight is one of the key factors that weighed in my decision to choose it over Acura etc - it is really fun and light to toss around - steering is razor sharp and accurate.

    I think the celica is in some ways Toyota's compromise car - some things are $20K+ things, and some are bargain basement stuff off the corolla.

    I have seen a lot of complaints about the interior, however, and on this one point I disagree. This is merely a priorities question as far as I am concerned, and if Toyota was cost-cutting to keep the price down on this car, then I think the interior was an acceptable compromise. Yes, there are some hard plastics, including one or two places that can really get marked up, but at the same time it is very stylish, plenty comfortable enough, and has lots of great storage.

    I don't know why Toyota does not put in an in-dash changer - other models have them, and as for the 15" wheels, yes, that is also a little puzzling. This is something the new Civic SI is also catching a lot of flack on, and I guess maybe both manufacturers figure people will want to upgrade either way, so why increase cost putting on good rims and tires that are just going to get taken off and replaced? Who knows, this might be the reason. I WILL say that the celica with the 16" rims and the 50 series tires strikes a really good compromise in my book - best stock handling in any car I have ever owned, and still comfortable through the ruts and the potholes.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • sarcasm82sarcasm82 Posts: 1
    I don't think you KNOW your history on the Integra NOR the nissan Z's. First of all, each generation of Z's have ALWAYS been ahead of their time. They have a VERY powerful engine in their car both base and Twin Turbo. Not only are they fast but the cars are also light weight. These cars have been out since 1970. And you were saying that the Integra was waiting for everyone to catch up? Um, the Z has always been ahead, esp the Integra. The Z is like an exotic car. Its not an everyday car like the Integra and the price of it wasn't for young teens looking for the need for speed. I agree that Toyota did over price their Supra. Hell, a 95'supra in the paper costs $25,000 NOW! But that car had personality and style, unlike the Integra. And yeah the new Z is coming out this August and this car is better than ever. Again ahead of its time. The car is topping over 280HP+. The Z is in a different category than the Integra, hands down.
    Of course theres more Honda Civics, they weren't expensive. Don't say its b/c of the style, its b/c of the price they wanted for those cars. And I find the early style celicas to be nice. I own a 92' and its a sharp looking car, not boxy like the Integra.
  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    Hey, that's supposed to be my username. Punk. (^_^)
  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    I like all of the Integra/RSX styling, and all of the Celica styles except for the latest 2000+ model. The 2003 Tiburon laughs at the current Celica generation. The 2000+ Eclipse is also a disappointing porker with a bad interior.

    I agree that the Integra and 300ZX are in different classes, but I like both. The RSX and 350Z, I think, is a little closer, but still, different classes.

    The RSX vs. Celica matchup does not include the porky 2000+ Eclipse. It's too big and bulky.
  • beowulf7beowulf7 Posts: 290
    The Integra was boxy? That's news to me!
  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    The 1990-1993 Integra has a nasty interior compared to my model, the 1994-2001 generation, but the exterior is the epitome of wedge-design, as good as the Probe, Prelude, 240SX, and SVX.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    90's supra overpriced, but Z not? Oh please... The Supra could outdrive that ridiculous overweight piece of roadkill any day of the week and still be home in time for an early dinner.

    The only thing that the Z had in common with the Integra is that it weighed as much as two of them.

    cjmajesty says:
    "Z had to go back to the lab to come back to get it right..... "

    Sounds exactly right to me.
  • uthinxuthinx Posts: 21
    I have been going to

    every month to see the trends in sales figures for 'sporty' cars. The table gives actual sales numbers for the month, year; and the same month the previous year plus year to date for the previous year.

    RSX, WRX and Eclipse are all up. The Celica has been down consistently for at least six months. Maybe the style attracts too narrow a band of buyers and that niche filled quickly. It will be interesting to watch sales numbers of the new Tiburon for the next six months.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    RSX : two model years newer

    WRX and eclipse: one model year newer

    Any questions?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • uthinxuthinx Posts: 21
    Honda Civic, Pontiac Grand Am and Grand Prix, Olds Alero, Dodge Neon among others :sales up. Are these all new designs? Ford Focus and several others steady; others have declining sales. I see no complete trend among the cars directly related to age of design. It seems to be a more complex relationship involving recent tales of reliability and the willingness of dealers/manufacturers to offer special prices and incentives/rebates coupled with new models coming out and the competition they provide as well as the seasonal sports car boost. However, Celica sales have been down steadily after its first year of introduction by my recollection. Did this happen to the Integra? I think not.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    that the celica is just a crappy little car, but i think it is mainly because it is overpriced. Oh well, maybe this will be the last generation for the celica...but I still prefer the look over RSX and eclipse. Maybe for the majority of people it just looks too weird - I have seen lots of posts with negative views of its looks.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    Well, I think the RSX/Celica/WRX sales are generated out of excitement and obviously excitement wears out after the model has been around for a while. This explains why the RSX figures are better right now.

    The Neon sales, on the other hand, are generated out of necessity, i.e. you buy it if you can't afford anything better. And necessity does not wear out (as easily at least!) as excitement.

    By the way I am not putting the RSX down - we have one in our household and I really like it.
This discussion has been closed.