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Acura RSX (All years/types)



  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I am curious - do you have the stock MXM4 Michelin tires that everyone else has? If you do and you find them to be quiet, then you may have come out of another sport-oriented car that also had lots of tire noise. I should probably amend my previous comments by saying that for a sport coupe, the noise is not unduly loud. But if you are coming out of a more family-oriented car (like Corolla, especially, but even my Matrix was a lot quieter), the road noise from the tires will be noticeable.

    I have a friend whose Mazda Tribute I ride in all the time, which has Continental tires and a sport-oriented suspension, and the ride is as loud as it is in the RSX, not to mention jittery.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • tommyijrtommyijr Posts: 56
    Why not check out the TSX?
  • ok, I guess I was wrong when I said that the Miata has a rotary engine (that was what I was told). The point I was making was when you drive a miata the engine is quite loud.

    I was asking does the noise from the RSX come from the engine (the more you rev the louder it gets) or elsewhere?

    thanks all !
  • joshsjoshs Posts: 22

    Yeah, my tires are stock. My last car was a Dodge Stratus SE Sedan, but I only had it for a little while. Before that, the other cars I had were (relatively) noisy, so I get your point. I had also been driving a truck with especially noisy tires for a while before I got my RSX, so maybe that's it.

    I do think it's also preference--I know people who complain about the stiffness of the type-S ride, but I prefer it to the anesthetized ride in some cars (like my old Dodge, for example). I want to be a part of my drive, which might be why I picked this car in the first place.

    Your Matrix was quieter, really? I'm not trying to be sharp...just the only person I know who has had a Matrix did not like it at all.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    well then you and I have similar reasons for getting an RSX!. I VERY much wanted to be more a part of my drive too. The Matrix is a good car in many respects, but like a lot of Toyotas are becoming these days, it is more of a "transportation pod" than "performance machine". And yeah, it had more wind noise but a lot less tire roar than the RSX. It also had a little more engine noise.

    These stock tires are universally criticized, it would seem. I was looking up some more stuff on the internet, and from professional reviews to discussions in other RSX forums, they all mention the "crappy tires". I would say they are OK, but I will probably go a different way when it comes time for replacement.

    shorthair, the engine noise is well muted. If you are the type that will take it to redline on a regular basis, it will certainly be more audible at 6000 rpm than at 2000! But it revs so sweetly, the sound is music to my ears. :-)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • troybentroyben Posts: 42
    Because here in Chicago area, you can't touch a TSX for under sticker, around $27K. Only had about $22K to spend. I also have a problem paying sticker, no matter how nice the car is or how badly I want it. I know the TSX is a great car, just wish Acura hadn't up-priced the 4-door Integra replacement so much.
  • joshsjoshs Posts: 22
    Yeah, from everything I've read, Acura under-tires cars. Still, I will probably wait until I need to replace mine before making the switch. I agree as well that the engine noise is more pleasant than intrusive.

    Regarding the Matrix in particular and wind noise in general, I've found that some cars seem to have a 'sweet spot' where the windnoise is minimal, but that it gets stronger at both lower and higher speeds (my Dodge was like this). I'd always associated it with build quality and materials used--I'd be interested in your opinion.
  • joshsjoshs Posts: 22

    I live in Chicago's west suburbs, and a few places tried to talk me "up" out of an RSX and into a TSX by offering the TSX for under sticker. I'm not sure about advertising rules in the forum, so I'll say that between I-355 and 83, there's a handful of Acura dealerships that see the sticker as a starting point only. Still, I don't know if they'd be willing to deal by $5K.

    More important to your point is the disparity in prices between the RSX and the TSX. There is a gap, and I wonder if it's a deliberate attempt to abandon a particular market for image.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    they upsized the old integra 4-door so much because it didn't sell well, and they probably thought buyers buy four-door cars for passengers and stuff, so they might want a bigger car. I think sticker is a little high at $27K for this car. But at $25K, TSX would be priced just about right.

    When RSX gets updated in two years (MY '06), they may well take it more upmarket so as to reduce the price gap between it and TSX.

    josh: not sure I have noticed the "sweet spot" phenomenon with regard to noise. In the Matrix, you have to get up to freeway speeds for noise to intrude. Wind noise is the worst, followed by the tires. Engine noise gets loud at any speed with the engine revving over 3500 rpm.

    OTOH, in the RSX I find that engine noise pretty much never intrudes (and sounds soooo sweet anyway!), wind noise is just noticeable at speeds over 60, while road noise from the tires begins to be intrusive by about 40 mph on up. Again, the type and age of road surface can make a HUMUNGOUS difference in the amount of noise coming from the tires. We have very little brand new pavement around here - local cities are strapped for cash just like cities all over California this year - but when I hit a stretch of the new stuff the car is almost silent. If our pavement didn't just TOTALLY SUCK so bad, the RSX might be a quiet car!

    In the Matrix, wind noise comes from everywhere, especially the moonroof and the A-pillars. In the RSX, there is a little swirling air noise from the rear edge of the driver's side glass at high speeds, and a little from the outside mirror, and I can't detect any more.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • vibsrvibsr Posts: 47
    shorthairptr, I've been driving my RSX (5-sp manual) for a month. I'm VERY pleased with it. Back in November, I test drove one at night on the freeway and realized that this was "the car". I'm in your age bracket (41) and the family car is a 2001 Camry LE. The Camry is a very pleasant, comfortable, safe, and with that 4-cyl/4AOD drivetrain, one seriously economical (31 MPG) means of making a 750 mile road trip to see my folks. HOWEVER, being the car-crazed individual that I am (ask anybody!), I want some thrill behind the controls. The kind of thrill that is IMPOSSIBLE to get from a Camry. wife is driving the Camry, and I'm in motoring bliss with my RSX.

    If you should buy one, be very careful how you park it. With no bodyside molding option on the accessory sheet, this car is a door-ding magnet of the first order!

    Open windows will make you crank-up your volume at speeds over 35. The reception is excellent, however.

    My only real gripe is that the new-car smell is fading (or am I just getting used to it?).
  • feltfelt Posts: 105
    I have owned my RSX for several weeks now, and I have my first complaint. The headlights are aimed too low. Yesterday I called the dealer and he said there is very little adjustment that can be made.

    I concede in the city, the lights may be fine, but in the north country of NH, where moose abound, the lights, especially the low beam, are aimed only 20-30 yards in front of the vehicle, and it is black beyond. That means that I must drive with the high beams even at times when the low beams should be sufficient.

    The dealer said there is a little adjustment, but not much. I have looked, and see no where to make any adjustment, so I will wait until I can return to the dealer.

    Anyone have a solution? I do not have the additional lower lights in the bumper ... are those driving lights that can be aimed higher?

    Any response would be appreciated.
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    20-30 yards sounds about right for low beams. I have the OEM driving lights and they are on whenever I am driving. You may want to consider getting a set of aftermarket driving lights if you don't want to use the highbeams in moose country. The driving lights in the bumper can be set however you want them....within reason of course. :-)
  • feltfelt Posts: 105
    I have not actually measured it, but whatever the distance is, it is very short. One difficult is the lens focus the light such that beyond the point of illumination, there is no light ... not like in the old days where there was some fringe light.

    I think the lights are plenty bright, and the high beams are very adequate .... but I am uncomfortable driving even 40 mph with the low beams on. I understand the problem with shining into oncoming traffic, but there is absolutely no danger of that right now. When I was discussing the matter with the Dealer's Service Manager ... he admitted he had the same problem. Maybe you will not agree with my humor, but it reminds me of the government toilet guidelines. Toilets can only use 1.5 gal to conserve water. But you must flush it several times to clear the bowl. Low beams are set to protect on-coming cars ... but you must drive with the high beams to see.

    Thank you for the suggestion on driving lights. I wonder if the wiring is already provided? I will look into it.
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    Thank you for the suggestion on driving lights. I wonder if the wiring is already provided? I will look into it.

    I'm not sure about the wiring already being there or not. That was the reason I opted for the oem driving lights....I figured even if they were cheap and broke quickly, the wiring would already be in place for me to add my own.

    I will look into this at some of the other dedicated rsx websites and get back to you if I find anything.

    Here is a link to the installation instructions for the fog lights.

    I don't know how helpful this is, but it gives you an idea on how to do it yourself. I understand that there is a "fog light" kit that can be purchased by Acura which includes everything that you need.
  • feltfelt Posts: 105
    nitromax - I viewed the pdf you sent and I am impressed. It did, however, make me understand the task is more that I want to tackle. But very informative.

    Now, with that said, do you have a similar file that describes how to adjust the headlights? Thought I would ask.

    Tonight, even with the high beams on, driving not more than 45 mph, I was upon a moose in a second. It was not a close call because he was moving away from the road ... but it does scare me to come upon them and not having seen them in time to react if he had been in the road.

    Thanks in advance.
  • aubie04aubie04 Posts: 1
    I'm looking for commuter car to replace my oil leaking 91 Accord. Am looking at the usual small cars: Civics, Corollas, Elantras, but just saw this RSX at the local Carmax and was wondering if it would make a good commuter. Wasn't really after a sports car, but being a Honda owner, I like the thought of an Acura. I drive about 90 miles a day, mostly highway. I just test drove an 04 Civic EX and fit ok (I'm 6'4"), how would I fit in this car? Thanks
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    I suspect that a lot of people drive their RSX very hard, and I would not be thrilled about buying a used one.

    I am 6 feet, and fit in our RSX fine, but I don't think there is room for four more inches.

    I sat in a 2-dr Civic, and I thought the seat went way back. It had more room than the 4-dr model. It would probably also be quieter than an RSX.
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    Now, with that said, do you have a similar file that describes how to adjust the headlights? Thought I would ask.

    I found this:

    If you look behind the lights you will see two white gears, the gears on the outermost part of the car are the ones to aim up the low beams. You stick a phillips screwdriver in the slot and turn the gear to the left to raise the beam, or to the right to lower the beam.

    I can't say where I found it because the moderators would not approve...:-)....but this should help you in your quest. There was also mention of needing to remove the bumper, but I doubt that is needed just to adjust headlights. Nevertheless, keep that in mind while looking for the elusive "white gears". :-)

    Another idea would be to buy a helms manual...but that seems kind of extreme for just a headlight adjustment.

    good luck
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    commuter. Good gas mileage, responsive, totally forgiving light clutch, comfortable. I would also be a little cautious about a used one on which I did not know the history.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • feltfelt Posts: 105

    Thank you very much. Tomorrow I will investigate.

    Today/tonight I drove my wife's Toyota for the first time since I got the RSX. It saddened me to realize how MUCH BETTER I can see at night in the Toyota. It is a 2001, and I am wondering if the government has mandated lowering the lights since 2001?? I cannot imagine why Acura would lower the lights so drastically otherwise. The low beams on the Toyota are about equal (coverage, not brightness) as the high beams on the RSX. I could not help but compare that even the Toyota's low beams illuminate the road side signs and reflectors almost a 1/4 mile down the road, and the high beams illuminate the road. The distinct horizontal "line" on the RSX lights where there is no light above completely eliminates the possibility of seeing important reflectors ahead (such as an upcoming turn in the road). Very distressing. Another big difference is the side illumination is much better on the Toyota.

    Please. Do not anyone retort and tell me I should get a Toyota. I really like the RSX in every category except this important one. I suspect if I drove mostly in the city I would not have even noticed this condition.

    If anyone is reading the exchange and wondering why I am so concerned .... these are important issue to me because I live in the far north country of NH. There is little traffic, but the moose occupy the road (licking the salt I am told), and under the best of conditions, they are difficult to see. In the rain, they are impossible to see. I drive about 50 mph at night even in the Toyota, and have had to drive even slower in the RSX. I have had several close calls, and to hit a moose can be fatal. The RSX lights are bright, and provide good illumination immediately in front of the vehicle, but they are too low, and do not project out far enough to make it possible to anticipate obsticales in the road. I think there is sufficient lumens, if I can only raise the beam sufficient enough to see further down the road. Road lights may be another possibility too.

    Again, thank you very much. I will let you know the outcome.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    there is a govenment-mandated minimum distance the lights must project in front of the car. Maybe your car does not meet this minimum, in which case I would think Acura would be duty-bound to make it right.

    But it is also possible that your Toyota's light are mis-aimed high, and you have just become used to this.

    When I came out of the Matrix into this car, I noticed that the lights did not illluminate as far ahead, but part of it is the perspective, I think. This car is lower, so you cannot see as far ahead.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • feltfelt Posts: 105
    Again, thank you for your thoughts. I looked, but did not find any adjustment screws. I telephoned the dealer, and the service manager said there are adjustments, and they would raise the lights. Very understanding. I asked for an appointment ... he said they would adjust them whenever I came in. Then he said we will do whatever is required to make them right. I am not sure what that means, but I appreciate the statement. I am wondering if a change in bulb would help, except they are plenty bright, just too low and too dark at the top.

    Well I have complained long enough. I will not mention it again except to report the problem has been resolved. I really do like the vehicle. It is everything, and more, that I wanted. I am absoluitely delighted with the fuel efficiency, especially with the additional 5 cents a gallon added since yesterday.

    Have a wonderful RSX day.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    now you've got me looking askance at my headlight pattern every night! LOL
    I have noticed it is lower on the left than on the right. I have to go in in a month or so for the first oil change, and I am going to make a second attempt to have the steering wheel centered (last time they did an alignment which changed the wheel but did not center it). So maybe I will ask that they check the headlight aim as well.

    Lots of operation in the 4-6K rpm range now, and still managing 30 mpg - sweet. Gas just jumped up another 13 cents a gallon here - now $2.25 for regular.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • feltfelt Posts: 105
    Well, I said I would not mention it again, except after the problem was fixed. Today I went to the dealer, and it only took about 15 minutes.

    Last night, I parked on flat pavement and measured the light pattern (low beam). It only illuminated 16 yards in front of the vehicle. Beyond the 16 yards, there was virtually no light. Road side signs and reflectors were not illuminated. At 40 mph, I could only see 3 seconds out. Coming home I came upon a hiker along, but off the road (thankfully). I DID NOT SEE HIM. Had he been close to the edge, I would have had 3 seconds to react. By the way, the right beam is always slightly higher than the left.

    As I say, the dealer adjusted the lights today. While I have not driven the RSX in full darkness, it was dusk when I got home. It is going to be greatly IMPROVED. I can see reflectors and sign well out in front of the car. The dealer said they are as high as they can go. I think it will be good.

    Happy RSX'n to all.
  • tast31tast31 Posts: 5
    I know I am comparing apples to oranges, but...
    I am purchasing a new car within the week and cannot decide. I've been on several test drives also. The RSX provides nice pickup and a fast ride, but the lack of options kills me (I have to drive the base-auto, no manual for me). I love the way the RSX looks, but really, hatchbacks are a pain to me b/c every time I open it, I have to use the key. The Accord has a smooth ride, lots of space, and plenty of fun little options I never ever thought I needed (that's how they get you...I don't really NEED any of them), but EVERYONE has a Honda, I don't appreciate the Honda pickup, and there is something about the RSX that keeps pulling me back.

    My driving needs:
    Weekends, mostly city driving, efficient gas mileage, ability to perform quick turns and passes (I will be driving on Atlanta highways, anyone who lives there, you know what I'm talking about).

    Any thoughts from the experts???
  • tast31tast31 Posts: 5
    when I said EVERYONE has a Honda, I meant that in a bad way. I want something that not everyone and their mother drives.
  • tommyijrtommyijr Posts: 56
    Funny thing is, when I got my RSX-s there weren't many around, now I see several a day here in Richmond, which is a testimony to fun and quality. Now, with that said I got rid of the RSX-s and got a '04 6sp TSX, have you check out one of those? Has tons of ammenities, including the power trunk, very quick and responsive. I took my
    RSX-s in for an oil change one day and drove off with the TSX, more my style and a much different ride that the RSX-s. Also, in the 10 months that I have had it I have maybe seen 2 or 3 others on the road here in Richmond, VA. Love that.
  • The reason that you see so many RSX's and so few TSX's is production. The RSX is the most heavily produced Acura. Also, the TSX is new for '04. Oh yea, I hate to burst your bubble. But the TSX isn't too much more than a four door RSX. If you want to drive an amazing sedan ... take the new TL for a test drive.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    just FYI, you don't use a key to open the hatch door on the RSX. It has its own handle just like the side doors and operates on the same central locking system, which is accessed from the keyless remote.

    So I am curious - is there a lot besides NAV that you can get on Accord that you cannot get on RSX base? Also, they are very different in size - maybe size should be the deciding factor?

    acurasalesman: I am curious - the latest numbers I have seen have RSX and TSX now selling in about equal numbers as of the first quarter of this year...wouldn't the reason you see less TSX's on the road simply be that the RSX has been here unchanged from its current form for three years now, while TSX has been here less than one?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • beowulf7beowulf7 Posts: 290
    I hit the 20 kmi. mark on my RSX-S last week. And my car will be turning 2 this upcoming week. :)

    felt, if you're still not satisfied w/ your recently adjusted headlights, maybe you can get foglights. However, I recommend on not getting stock foglights; try aftermarket, such as PIAAs. That's what I have and they're super bright.
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