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Acura TSX

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  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    To move "upmarket" it's gonna be hard without a V8 or better in your flagship. There are rumors Lexus is coming out with the V12 option. They have had it in a larger home market Toyota model for a few years now. With gas still pretty cheap Acura is going nowhere fast against a market where even the Passat has a (slow for the power) V8.
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    The 2005 RL will likely have a 300-hp 3.5L V6 and an AWD system similar to the MDX. Acura is targeting the A6 and 5-Series with the next RL, which will feature some major handling moves.

    I don't think Acura needs a V8 sedan, per se, but a RWD/AWD platform will give the afformentioned driving enthusiasts something to consider.

    Remember, Honda KNOWS that Acura isn't BMW, Lexus, M-B, or Infiniti, and has apparently preferred to take a different (albeit with questionable success) approach to near-lux cars. Different mission, different cars.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    A lot of people like to compare RL to LS430 or E430 or whatever. The fact is, that LS430 costs pretty close to $60K, a premium of about 25% over the RL. If Acura were to compete in that price class, they will have to offer a V8, or an exceptional drive train, possibly with use of a transparent IMA system. That, however, will leave a huge gap between TL (low 30s) and RL (low 50s).

    To address that gap, one or more of the following may have to be addressed
    - V6 will have to be offered as the base engine
    - TL will have to move upward
    - New model between TL and RL

    TL should stay put. It has become the bread and butter car for Acura. This is an interesting point since a decade ago Integra was positioned to do that. Now, TL outsells RSX by 2:1. Clearly, Acura has moved up-market. Much of this was also accomplished by moving the Integra upward as well. First, RS was dropped (around 1998, I think), and then, LS was given up, as the RSX duo cover the bases for GS and GS-R respectively. The repositioning of TL in 1998 helped.

    New model between TL and RL is feasible, but instead of doing that, RL could be the middle trim, and Acura may launch an upscale model on top to go against the premium luxury cars! So, this choice could be a toss up.

    Now, going back to the first point, offering V6 as the base engine. Like I pointed out earlier, if sales numbers are any indication, six cylinder versions rule the scene. If Lexus sells 1250 units of GS300, they manage to move 150 units of GS430. The same will happen if RL was offered with V6 as well as V8 choices. I don't think it will be a smart move to focus on something that will yield next to nothing, for the sake of image, that BTW, may not be guaranteed.

    So, why is a V8 needed?
    - Is it for more power?
    - Is it for more prestige?
    - Or is it something else?

    Let us look at the possibilities. The time for redesigned Acura RL is overdue. It should be revealed as soon as the new TL goes on sale (summer, I would think). One thing that will help is, repositioning of RL. More standard features but sub-40K price tag. This is certainly possible as a large version of TL. 3.5 liter V6 with 260 HP with a load of features will be more than enough to keep it competent. If this can help keep monthly sales of around 1500, I would say, mission accomplished for Acura regardless of what people have to say.

    That brings us to more power. Well, Honda/Acura will have no trouble getting 300 horses from the 3.5 liter V6, the engine that can be lifted directly from Acura DNX prototype (TL/RL are rumored to get the first DOHC iVTEC V6 anyway). So, power issue is resolved to some extent. Some may still argue about power at low engine speed that can come from 4.0 to 4.5-liter V8. Now, Acura MDX has a V6 that delivers about 235 lb.-ft @ 2000 rpm, so the new engine should be capable of doing that. Now, the tiny electric motor, found in Civic Hybrid can generate enough power to help in acceleration and implement idle-stop, while adding 35-40 lb.-ft between 1000 and 2000 rpm. Using one of that can boost the low-end torque (under 2500 rpm) to around 275 lb.-ft, about as much as one can expect a 4.5-liter V8 to deliver at that engine speed. Not a bad idea, is it? And if the price can be kept down low under $45K, who would care about a V8?

    Now, to address the often-raised issues, there are a few ways that makes sense, and as I have already pointed out, the option of AWD. This will shut up a lot of critics, much like it helps Audi. A more powerful variant of RL should definitely use that.

    I don't think increasing number of cylinders is the only option. I say, whatever it takes to help the baseline, in this case, sales. It may not be a bad idea, after all, to be different from the crowd, something that can help establish a different kind of image, better for the long term.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    More than 6 cylinders can even be "disastrous". Look at the 1994 530i V8 & the recent VW W8. & Look at where the new M45 V8 sedan from Infiniti is competing with? People calls its looks "Crown-Victoria like". & its TV commercial shows how it belongs to the '60's muscle cars, sedans & coupes, albeit w/ some "intelligence".

    BMW's 3.0 L6 is already mighty & smooth. Why need more? In-line 6 is better than anything else. The shorter-block Nissan 3.5 V6 isn't bad either!

    Light-weight engines rule, at least for fwd. TSX's got the best 4-cyl in the world, 'cause its smooth & quiet almost like a 6-cyl w/o the annoying inconsistent-output like the non-normally-aspirated engines.

    This engine can fit into Civics & other light-weight cars!
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "Nobody needs more than 6 cylinders"

    You've never driven a 540i, GS430, or Corvette, have you...

    "TSX's got the best 4-cyl in the world, 'cause its smooth & quiet almost like a 6-cyl w/o the annoying inconsistent-output like the non-normally-aspirated engines"

    You've never driven a Saab either...
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Powerful rwd "dragsters" like the 6-cyl normally aspirated M3 works, too. But I'm already having fun pushing the light-weight 4-cyl Miata doing power oversteer.

    I drove a Saab 900 (w/ air-cooled)turbo before. It was a pain in the butt. When I up-shifted to 2nd gear, the boost was already gone!

    So I lost faith in the turbo/stick combination. Even when I drove the light-pressure '98 Audi A4 1.8T auto, that "soft-response" bothers me. Sure, no lag, but there's still that pressure-building period of about 1/2 sec. Even the Kompressor in the Mercedes 2.3 was annoying to average female drivers. That's why the best-designed driver's cars - BMW - don't bother to force-induce air into their gasoline engines.

    When having fun cornering, every throttle precision counts. It's not worth greedy turbo charging for the extra accelerating power. Only in high altitude areas, might you find this turbo's trade off worthwhile.
  • I would be interested to see a profile of what Acura buyers' other choices were; what cars are actually Acura's competition?

    It seems to me (and this is PURELY speculation--somebody set me straight if you know better) that Acura builds cars for those people who want a "luxury car" but can't afford one. Those who opt for Acura get great reliability and a lot of the features. They give up leader-of-the-pack performance, but also ditch the leader-of-the-pack pricetag. Keep reading if you want to know my reasoning--it's a long post but it makes sense if you have time to read it all.

    I say that the TSX is going after the low-end entry-level sport sedans like 325i, C 240, A4 1.8T, etc.

    The TL seems to fit with the Lexus ES 300, Infiniti I 35, Cadilac CTS, and Lincoln LS V6 which are not among the top "entry-level lux" cars.

    The MDX is obviously going after the Lexus, BMW, MB, and VW SUVs. This is the only Acura that is a real leader in its class (as far as I know--I don't know the RSX or NSX's niches well enough to comment on them).

    What about the CL? It must be competition for the 330i coupe, the MB coupe, or the Infiniti G35 coupe, all of which are conspicuously RWD.

    The RL doesn't seem to be competing with anybody. I have not seen it used in a comparison test in any of the magazines for years. I suppose it would fit with the 5 series and E class. It certainly isn't up there with the 7, S class, or LS 430.

    Having said all that, what strikes me most about the Acura lineup is that their cars aren't "top cars" compared to the other "luxury" marques (minus the MDX--again, I don't know enough about the RSX or NSX to comment).

    If the top cars in the "entry/near lux" category are the BMW 330i and the Audi A4 3.0, the next few on that list (remember that the list of coupes is quite short) would likely not include Acura EXCEPT in the value category in which the Acura TL and CL would be tops. I'm not saying Acura is inferior, simply that for whatever reason, they aren't generally the best cars in a given class (I guess that must imply that they are inferior?).

    In the next step up, the 5 series, E class, and A6 would be at the top of the heap. Again, Acura might only beat out the American offerings (Caddy and Lincoln) EXCEPT in value (notice a pattern?).
    This is where I get my little "Acura - the luxury car for people who can't afford a luxury car" thesis. I figure that Acura knows this and it is the only reason why Acura is not churning out real contenders. Right now their calling card is price and they can't develop a world-beater for $28k.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    whoever said Infiniti just came out with RWD cars obviously never saw the original Q45, or the J30 and 2nd gen Q45 either.
  • as though it is from another time with a very upright windshield and dated dash (not to mention exterior) design. Honda clearly lost its way with this one, much in the same way Infiniti did trying to chase the Lexus LS. I think the TSX is more true to Acura's niche of doing things a bit differently than countering BMW head-on. If it keeps them independent, great. However, I think some type of AWD system would have done much to counter compaints from the "enthusiast" crowd much like an Audi w/ Quattro or a Subaru WRX.
  • bmw_fanbmw_fan Posts: 15
    Here's the correct link:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/xp/Caranddriver/comparisontests/2002/- - july/200207_comparo_hobson.xml

    "I think you got it the wrong way. TSX is being marketed as a near luxury performance sedan. Neither as a race-car, nor as a premium luxury sedan. So it has what it takes to be just that. OTOH..."

    Robertsmx, do you think fake wood or average feeling leather or having to rev the hell out of the car to get it moving fast is going to cut it in a near luxury performance car? And by the way, can you show me a link to where the CL-S auto got 5.9 seconds from 0-60mph? The fastest I've seen is 6.4 seconds from Motor Trend (source: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupe/112_0108_cl/ )

    musicman12, I've said this in the past and I'm going to say it again, unless Acura gets their act together and learn from the competitors' mistakes, Acura = fake luxury = poor man's idea of luxury.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    improving technique of very short gearing? I think I recall it's near redline at its 128 mph top speed.

    And the CL runs 147 at a lower RPM.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    fedlawman
    You've never driven a 540i, GS430, or Corvette, have you...

    Can't say about BMW 5-series, but apparently, more than 90% of Lexus GS buyers go for six cylinders. I would be surprised if the difference wasn't as much in case of 540. In fact, I rarely see 540, compared to 525 and 530.

    bmw_fan
    do you think fake wood or average feeling leather or having to rev the hell out of the car to get it moving fast is going to cut it in a near luxury performance car?

    Faux wood is a non-issue to me. It is there to provide an accent to the interior, not to add to the smell. In fact, I believe depending on options, faux wood trim is replaced by metallic trim, again to provide an accent. I certainly wouldn't buy TSX to smell the wood.

    Average feeling leather. Well, I wonder if you have looked at TSX yet before you draw conclusions. Based on the reviews, I have heard only great things about the seats, and if the new Accord's leather is the starting point, I can't see why it would have an average feeling leather. That said, it is definitely not vinyl (wannabe leather).

    As far as having to rev the car to move it fast, I don't know of any car that doesn't need to. And that is part of the driving experience. If feather touch acceleration is what you desire, I can't help you with suggestions other than that the driving seat isn't meant for you.

    And by the way, can you show me a link to where the CL-S auto got 5.9 seconds from 0-60mph?
    C&D, July 2002 I believe (shooting this off from memory). I've not looked at the link you provided as I assumed it was referring to that old article.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I think it's time for a change in thread.

    varmint "What Acura needs" Apr 8, 2003 1:52pm
  • How long until we can go to the new cars section of Edmunds and see the TSX?
  • bmw_fanbmw_fan Posts: 15
    "Faux wood is a non-issue to me. It is there to provide an accent to the interior, not to add to the smell. In fact, I believe depending on options, faux wood trim is replaced by metallic trim, again to provide an accent. I certainly wouldn't buy TSX to smell the wood."

    Of course not! You don't buy real wood in a car to smell it, you buy it because it adds "warmth" to an other wise plasticky interior.

    "Average feeling leather. Well, I wonder if you have looked at TSX yet before you draw conclusions. Based on the reviews, I have heard only great things about the seats, and if the new Accord's leather is the starting point, I can't see why it would have an average feeling leather. That said, it is definitely not vinyl (wannabe leather)."

    I have seen both the 2003 Accord and TSX at the local autoshow recently. The leather isn't that significantly better in my opinion than the Accord's.

    "As far as having to rev the car to move it fast, I don't know of any car that doesn't need to. And that is part of the driving experience. If feather touch acceleration is what you desire, I can't help you with suggestions other than that the driving seat isn't meant for you."

    A car that is heavy and lacks serious torque will require you to rev more often than a torquey car. Drive a 330i or even a 325i and you will know what I mean.

    "C&D, July 2002 I believe (shooting this off from memory). I've not looked at the link you provided as I assumed it was referring to that old article"

    If you read article, the similarly weighted 330Ci outaccelerated the higher hp and torquey CL-S. How can you account for this?
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    I couldn't find a test of a Ci but I did find one of the 330i in July 2002 R@T. The 330i 5 speed pulled a 0-60 in 6.1 but it had a top speed of 128 at 5400 RPM just 1000 rpm shy of redline.

    In the same test the TL-S auto with the same engine and transmssion as a CL-S, did 0-60 in 6.5 but topped out a 150 in 4th(6700 rpm) and 5th(4800 rpm). Also Edmunds has the CL-S weighing about 200 lb. more than the Ci. CL(3446) Ci(3285)
    WAIT!!!! I found that article...Page 76 July 2002 C@D
    0-60
    CL-S 5.9 There's the 5.9.
    Ci 5.8

    Compared numbers for the Ci transmission with the ones for the 330I in the R@T to make sure they are the same and they are. The gearing is actually near the same until 5th gear where the CL has much taller ratios.

    The CL is 100 lb heavier as tested.
    CL-S 3481
    Ci 3357
    That may be the difference.
     
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    You don't buy real wood in a car to smell it, you buy it because it adds "warmth" to an other wise plasticky interior.
    You don't buy real wood here. It is either faux wood accent (read: not real wood) or metallic accent. As long as it the faux trim looks good, it is good, regardless of what you might want to figure out.

    have seen both the 2003 Accord and TSX at the local autoshow recently. The leather isn't that significantly better in my opinion than the Accord's.
    So it is better than Accord's! That is only a compliment, IMO.

    A car that is heavy and lacks serious torque will require you to rev more often than a torquey car. Drive a 330i or even a 325i and you will know what I mean.
    330, I agree with. 325, isn't much torquier than TSX. 175 lb.-ft versus 166 lb.-ft to carry 3259 lb. (base 325) versus 3230 lb. (loaded TSX), also considering that TSX is geared way shorter.

    That said, my Accord weighs around 3200 lb. and comes with only 152 lb.-ft. No need to rev it up beyond 3000 rpm (and it doesn't take much to get there, anyway). The only time I test 5000+ rpm capability is when I need to maximize the horsepower, and TSX has a lot more of it available at that end too.

    If you read article, the similarly weighted 330Ci outaccelerated the higher hp and torquey CL-S. How can you account for this?

    Not any differently than I already did (read my earlier post). Did you notice couple of things about the article though?
    0-60: 330 is quicker by 0.1s
    QM: CL-S is quicker by 0.2s (turnaround of 0.3s)
    0-100: CL-S is quicker by 0.3s ((turnaround of 0.4s)

    All the horses accounted for? Remember, CL-S also weighs about 3500, one of my dislikes about the car. Now, another interesting perspective is, why did C&D think CL-S engine (and transmission) was better than 330, scoring 10-10 versus 9-9 in their ratings?
  • bmw_fanbmw_fan Posts: 15
    gee35coupe - the 3 series' top speeds are electronically limited, without it it can achieve higher speeds, at the same time, if you were to chip it (eg. Dinan chip), it can achieve a higher non-stock top speed.

    robertsmx - were you reading the same Car and Driver article as I was? The 330Ci beat the CL-S to the quarter mile by 0.2sec. I think you got your cars reversed for the quarter mile. Considering the 330Ci has 35 less hp and 18 less lb-ft of torque, those are impressive performance numbers for the 330Ci. By the way, I never got the impression that the C&D reviewers thought that the CL-S engine and transmission were better than the 330. Are you sure you were reading the same C&D article as I was??
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    as 1000 rpm from it's redline at 128 mph. I understand it could go faster but it's about to hit redline where it won't be capable of more speed without overevving. The CL runs 150 at a lower RPM than the BMW runs 130. That was my point about the taller gearing.

    Since it looks like the gearing in the first few gears are near the same the BMW essentially has an advantage in acceleration since it IS lighter. Again with the near equal gearing and the CL's torque advantage being diminished by the weight it's easy to see the cars trading places a few times in acceleration. Easy to see that is unless you have a point to prove. I mean it's not like the BMW was pulling away.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,456
    The BMW may be geared shorter than the CL, but it is still only 2350 rpm at 60 mph. Isn't the TSX higher than that? I know the RSX is 2625 with the 6 speed. For reference, an Integra is 2,900 a Miata 3,100, v-6 Passat 2350, mini cooper 2800.
  • jay108jay108 Posts: 52
    TSX looks overpriced to me. Rather consider a used TL or a new Accord EX. I imagine dealer discounts of $3000 shortly or this thing won't sell.

    Test drove a Lexus IS300 used; seemed like a glorified Corolla, TSX is a glorified Civic to me.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    bmw_fan
    were you reading the same Car and Driver article as I was?

    I hope so. CL-S ran the distance in 14.4s, compared to 14.6s for 330 (despite of a jump start). As for engine-transmission ratings, look at the table on the last page of the article.

    Dudleyr
    The BMW may be geared shorter than the CL, but it is still only 2350 rpm at 60 mph. Isn't the TSX higher than that?

    TSX may be about 2500 rpm (I have not calculated yet so this is a guess). Acura has geared TSX very aggressively with the 6-speed manual (not with 5-speed auto). In fact, the first gear is among the shortest that I have seen in a production car (overall drive ratio is 15.55:1, identical to the new ITR, compare that to 14.33:1 in Acura RSX/RSX-S, 14.90:1 in Honda S2000, 15.00:1 in BMW M3 and 12.92:1 in Accord V6/6-speed).

    My '98 Accord turns 2200 rpm at 60 mph.
  • Got to sit in a TSX yesterday. Couldnt drive it because dealership was about to close. Looks great in black. Interior is really HOT. Backseat isnt an Accord but it isnt cramped either. Seats were great. Fit and finish possibly better than the Accord. Felt sportier and lower than my Accord, almost as nice as my Prelude (shifter to hand location, steering wheel, lower seating position, etc). Front looks way better than in pictures, seems like the right amount of aggressiveness without making it lose appeal to more conservative buyers. Price was $26,990 with 6-speed and no navigation, but didnt have any dealer add-ons either. Friends thought it was hot as well. Cant wait to drive one.
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    When comparing the TSX to other cars, it seems hard to find a car that is directly comparable. But I just realized that a leather, Monsoon/sunroof-equipped Jetta GLI is EXTREMELY close in spec.

    The TSX gets you slightly better equipment (e.g., power seats and a CD changer), while the Jetta gives you the excellent VR6 six-cyl engine. Both are 200-hp though and have almost identical mileage. I don't doubt that the TSX is a better handler, although the GLI has a little more luxurious and less nervous freeway ride. The TSX gives you the nav option - completely unimportant to me, but to some, this might be a deal-breaker.

    Price? The GLI runs $25.6K, the TSX $27K. This falls right in line with my value assessment of the TSX - it needs to be about at $25.5K (w/dest) to be a great value. Acura overpriced the car a bit - not a lot, but enough to make you hesitate on the value question.

    The GLI is selling slightly above invoice right now ($23K) while the TSX will probably be at MSRP for at least the next six-months, so the actual cost difference at the dealer is probably $3K-$4K.

    The big issue with the Jetta is obviously reliability. But hopefully, they've got the coil pack and window regulator thing fixed so the GLI might be enough over the bar to pass muster. But then again, maybe not.

    Certainly a GLI and a TSX couldn't be more different in personality. One is very German, the other very Japanese.

    - Mark
  • The Jetta is also noticeably smaller inside, especially in the back seat, and the shifter is not as slick. Although the volkswagen interiors are really nice, especially in leather and with the blue guages, the TSX inside is definitely nicer.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    If you care about nothing but a good car, then, there is no point in even looking at the cars, but the price. To go further, one has to understand the difference between what Accord, TSX and TL have to offer against each other. Accord and TL are far more alike than TSX is with them despite of using the same building block.

    Accord and TL are midsize sedans with family sedan proportions. The chassis is tweaked for touring performance, a compromise between handling and ride. The primary difference between the two is that TL has more refinement, more power and more features to go with the extra dollars, Accord EX, if you don't need V6 ($24K), Accord EXV6 if you need V6 ($26K) or TL if you need more than Accord EXV6 ($30K).

    What about TSX? Well, it has sport-tuned suspension with handling and driver involvement taking the priority over ride comfort and smaller dimensions to go with the theme. In other words, less practical than Accord or TL, but more sport oriented.

    If judgment is based on price alone, the very reasoning that goes between choice of Accord EXV6 and TL would apply between Accord EX and TSX. You get more if you pay more.

    That said, TL Type-S should be the slightly larger, more powerful (V6) and slightly better equipped step up from TSX, but it will cost at least $4-5K more if it has to deliver what TSX does but at a larger scale.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    When comparing the TSX to other cars, it seems hard to find a car that is directly comparable.

    If we can figure out the orientation of TSX, it wouldn't be difficult to find out its direct (and indirect) competitors. TSX is a compact sport sedan with near luxury appointments and price tag. It is placed fairly close to well-equipped mainstream sport sedan offerings as well as some other near luxury sport sedan offerings that may or may not be equipped well enough. The most direct competitors are Saab 9-3 and Audi A4/1.8T (with Sport Package) with nearly same pricing (equipped well enough though, the Audi and Saab will be more expensive based on MSRP). The mainstream offering like Mazda6s and near luxury sport sedan offerings like BMW 325, Lexus IS300 and Jaguar X-Type flank the two sides on the pricing scale.

    But I just realized that a leather, Monsoon/sunroof-equipped Jetta GLI is EXTREMELY close in spec.
    Is Jetta GLI equipped with sport package? If it is, then I would consider it a direct competitor to TSX as well.
  • nicdmxnicdmx Posts: 35
    Give me a break.
  • stretchsjestretchsje Posts: 700
    it's a glorified Accord!
  • jaquinojaquino Posts: 90
    Saying the TSX is a "glorified Civic" is a bit of a scretch. The TSX may be termed by some as a "glorified Accord", which in a sense is true because it is the Euro/Japanese Accord with some engine/interior/suspension tweaks.

    But to call it a glorified civic? Hehe, some people really hate the TSX. :)
This discussion has been closed.