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Acura RSX vs Honda Civic - Driving Impressions



  • zenzikorazenzikora Posts: 64
    Someone on a diff. board was asking about RSX being faster than civic according to salesman. The torque for the RSX is 141 ft-lbs and peaks at a fairly low 4000rpm, the Civic Si peak torque is only 132, and peaks at 5000. So that may be why the dealer was saying that. Unless you really meant the Ex, which has only 127 HP, since the Si doesn't come in AT.
    Haven't driven the Si, but the RSX had plenty of torque for me, and the last 5spd I drove was a V6 with 180 torque.
  • redwolf813redwolf813 Posts: 3
    I've been giving serious consideration to an RSX for my wife..this would replace her 97 Saturn which is a total dog. I have compared the RSX to a Civic coupe and the numbers, torque, horsepower and so on are far and away better for the Acura, tho it carries one less passenger which isn't really an issue. I received a quote of $19.100 for a 2003 5 speed with leather which I think is a great number. I was wondering if anyone has experienced any significant problems with the 2003 RSX. I'm talking about things that would have an effect on reliability or safety over a 5 year period. Any comments positive or negative would be greatly appreciated.
  • dnm120dnm120 Posts: 1
    I've had a base 5-speed RSX (red) for over a year and a half (21K miles) now and have had no significant problems to speak of.
    Some have complained about 2nd gear being notchy, which I noticed when I first got the car, though replacing the stock shifter with a short shifter seems to have solved the problem (and created a smaller one: a clinking noise shifting into even gears...presumably the angle of the cables on the shorter shifter, nothing you can do about it).
    I had the (overhead) map light replaced because the driver's side light was sticking. Still does it, though only in cold weather.
    The trunk cover creaks from time to time, again temperature related.
    The paint job could be better: I've touched up a multitude of chips, and the poor windshield suffers from all the gravel, stones, etc. No cracks yet, but all the minor pitting looks horrible when the sun is in your face.
    The standard Michelin tires are pretty awful, but I figure I should get 20-30K out of them before finding some quieter (loud over concrete) and with more grip.
    The ride can be a bit harsh over railroad tracks and the like, esp. the back, with the mini-wishbones, but the ride is more than acceptable, esp. with the wonderful Recaro-type seats.
    At first I thought rear visibility was poor, but then I test drove a Celica, which is far worse, esp. as you can't buy the thing sans spoiler.
    I passed on the spoiler, since I don't think it adds much and, after all, you can buy and install it later if you change your mind.
    I paid 19.5K in August 2001, which was a good price at the time.
    19.1K with leather sounds good, though I really don't like the leather at all. I went with cloth, which I still think looks and feels top notch, while the leather strikes me as below par(I had a chance to drive an automatic with leather as a loaner: in my opinion the titanium leather looks and feels cheap. Maybe the black is better, though I doubt it.).
    Oh, and the stock speakers are dreadful. I replaced them with Polks and the head unit (also not the best) sounds a lot cleaner, though it still has no power and bass (i.e. you have to crank it up to "5" or "6" to get anything...and I'm not a bass freak).
    I've done a fair amount of highway driving with the RSX and it's certainly not the quietest at 80 mph, though I can live with that (you can always add sound insulation sheeting to the doors, etc.).
    All in all, I still love the car, which I keep adding bits and pieces to (CAI coming soon, followed by an ECU reprogram, though the 160HP engine is certainly smooth and powerful enough for everyday driving.
    As far as reliability and safety go, I doubt you can do better in its class for the price. The only time a "check engine" light came on it turned out to be a computer glitch (no small feat being on the road from Atlanta back to NJ; stopped at the Acura dealer in Greenville, SC, and was out of there in half an hour, problem solved.)
    I've been pretty lucky so far, esp. considering I bought the car a little over a month after it came out.
    Hope this helps.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    I like mine. Supposed to be very similar to the RSX, but hatchback.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    You could probably get an Si for $16-17k if you look carefully (and less for a leftover 2002). And it shares the same engine as the RSX, has better seats and shifter (in my opinion), and the rear seating and cargo space is better.
  • volcom378volcom378 Posts: 16
    I have been looking to purchase a RSx for about 3 months now(financial issues) and on the way to the Acura dealership i decided to stop by the Honda dealership. I test drove the SI and loved it! it is quieter than the RSX (i drove the Type-S) and the shifter is like butter (MHO). I decided the second i was on the freeway doing almost 100 (really cool sales person told me to take it to the max! gnarly) i was going to get this car. I got quoted for a brand new (comes in a week) black 03 SI with some protection package, wheel locks, mud flaps, fog lights, 16 in' rims and some other stuff for 17,500. I cant wait, if anyone lives in San Diego i recommend Pacific Honda. They are great at lowering the price and adding extras. Very happy, and i will agree with everyone else, i love the seats!
  • mattpdxmattpdx Posts: 41

    They lowered the price because they're trying to get rid of the '03 Si Civics...they're freshening the styling for '04 and it won't be so
    "guppy-ugly" unless you're really in love with the looks of the current model or it's about price, go for it. But if you want a HOT lookin' Si for a couple thou more in a few months, wait.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    that they are going to raise SI's price by $2K, or do you mean that they will give less discounts once the looks are improved?

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

  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    Congratulations on your new Si. I like the shifter placement and action better in the Si also. It's an outstanding car.

    I haven't heard anything about an 04 freshening. Although no matter how the car looked, I don't think it's worth MSRP ($19,500) without some more power.
  • mattpdxmattpdx Posts: 41

    Of course it will be more...the new styling is going to be way hotter than the current version (they'll redo the headlamps and front well as maybe rear).

    I honestly like the looks of the Si as it is right now...the thing that I do NOT like is the hard plastic is the same look as the Civic Coupe's but it has hard plastic instead of soft-touch (which i VERY much prefer). It also has a weird lower tray area just above the knees. I'm 6'4 and that bothered me when test drove the '02 Si. Anyways, they probably won't be as generous with the price for the '04...but like I said, if it isn't about $$$ then go for the '04 instead.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    do you have any links that discuss the redesign?
  • mattpdxmattpdx Posts: 41

    Go to Google and type in "College Hills Honda" and it should pull up their website. On that site is an update page. They've been reliable so far and that's where I'm getting this info.

  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    Now if only there was a bigger picture!
  • volcom378volcom378 Posts: 16
    I know this is a random place to put thisbut has anyone seen those cars that are ads? i found out they pay you to do it and they need odd cars that arent to common so i decided to use my SI, anyone know anyonw who has done this or themselves done it? if so i need to know if its worth it. thanks in advance
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    every SI hatch since they began has had the tray in the passenger seat - great for storing stuff, but does often interfere with foot/knee space for the passenger!

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

This discussion has been closed.