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Acura TSX - Ride Quality

geot1geot1 Posts: 4
edited April 2014 in Acura
I have had my TSX for about 6 weeks and 1800 miles. The ergonomics of the car are for the most part excellent. I enjoy the looks, handling, accelleration, navi etc. I do have one major issue - the ride. I feel every bump, every shallow pothole on the highway or city street - in short everything that is not pristine highway or backroad. It almost feels like I'm bottoming out at times except the car doesn't touch the road.

What kind of ride is everyone else experiencing? Any problem with struts? Is this what "firm" means?
I've driven many cars and haven't experienced this bad a ride since the Honda wagon first came out with 12 inch wheels.


  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    I'd check the tire pressure first and ensure that it is within specs. If it is, then Yep - that's the firm ride you are feeling IMHO.
  • geot1geot1 Posts: 4
    Had dealer check and he adjusted the pressure lower - but without much of a change. I'm just surprised I haven't seen more comments on this. In fact I've seen the opposite. Reviewers talk about how well it handles curves (I agree) and that it manages city steets equally well.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    Of course it is firm. The ride in an Accord is kind of firm and the TSX is even tighter. Add the sportier tires to the mix and this should be a surprise to no one.
    Replacing the tires with something else might help a little.
    A Camry will have a much smoother ride.
  • I hate the ride. It is stiff, busy, and you too feel every bump. My experience is identical to your own, and that is one major complaint.

    A big part of the problem is the tires. You've got low profile tires with stiff sidewalls.

    I did a lot of experimenting with tire pressure. I've now got the front tires at about 35 psi and the back at about 32 - 33 psi. That is a little more than ACURA recommends, and one would think that would lead to a harsher ride. But, it has worked out better for me thsi way.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    If I had to classify the TSX handling, I would call it "taut". Is it too stiff? Hmmm... that depends. For a luxury sedan? Probably; definitely not like a Lincoln Mark IV. For a sport sedan? No way. I like it just right.

    If you want to feel a stiff ride, go test drive a Toyota Matrix. In contrast to that, the TSX feels like Jell-O.
  • geot1geot1 Posts: 4
    Thanks uncledavid for the advice. I will try adjusting the tire pressure.
    If I had one major recommendation for Acura it would be to add a third option (after manual/auto and navi). That is a sport vs non sport suspension much like BMW does. I realize a limited production car like this may not be going after a wider audience - but this will only enhance its image and appeal.
    If the tires are a big factor - is it possible to put bigger profile tires on these wheels?
  • qddaveqddave Posts: 164
    Wouldn't you realize the stiffness of the ride on the test drive? If you didn't like the ride quality, why buy the car? Or was it lower on your priority list. No offence, just wondering.
  • you can put a higher profile tire on the car but you'll have to use a smaller wheel like a 16" otherwise you could damage the car/suspension as the diameter would be too great for the space in the wheel well.
  • Xporx4 - I partially agree. I do think the ride is taut. But, taut and stiff are not necessarily the same. A BMW 325i is taut, but absorbs bumps nicely. The TSX lets too much into the cabin. That said, I can't say that I see ride quality as a major issue. It is a potential weakness of the TSX, but not a big deal to me.

    Geot1 - You could not fit higher profile tires on the current rim. To maintain the height and offset, you'd have to get new rims, and move to a 16 inch tire. I think the size you would want would be 205/60 16. The folks at could tell you for sure. This would not be an inexpensive change (figure on spending about $1000 for four new tires and rims).
  • boz10boz10 Posts: 14
    If you refer to Honda's web site in the UK, the standard size tire is 205/55/16. This size should work as the euro accord is basically a TSX. BTW this is the size tire I'm using this winter as I am putting snows on.
  • geot1geot1 Posts: 4
    I did not notice ride roughness on the test drive. Roads around the dealer probably did not represent the wide range of roads you find commuting 26 miles to work. My mistake.
    These's a lot I like about the car and that's why I'm trying to make the ride as comfortable as possible for everyday use.
    I appreciate all the feedback from the board
  • I think your experience is a lot like mine. It is hard to judge ride comfort on a test drive. I assumed it would be no problem because the media reports were so positive. But, I find the ride to be kind of stiff and busy. I love the car otherwise (looks, acceleration, handling, interior refinement).

    For what it is worth, it took me a little while to get used to the ride. Now, I don't even notice it.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    Ride was one of the shortcoming Consumer Reports mentioned in their test of the TSX.
  • mrgold35mrgold35 Posts: 73
    I like the ride quality of the TSX. My other car is a 97 Accord and this car feels sloppy compared to the TSX. 95 mph in the TSX feels like 75 in the Accord. I feel connected to the road and feel more confident while driving. I'm alway looking a the speedo and realizing I'm going 10-15 mph over the speed limit because the car feels so smooth.
  • iranbtiranbt Posts: 1
    While test-driving the TSX I did notice the firm ride and how it transmitted every bump into the cabin. At the same time I noticed how much confidence I gained as a result of this firmness. In my fiance's Camry(more comfortable than my couch at home) I'm always afraid of going more than the speed-limit while driving on curvy roads at night. A firm ride will eliminate that fear completely. I rather feel confident and involved rather than sleepy and worried.

    This is the main reason I refused to buy the TL despite the amazing deal I was offered. The TL felt too soft for my taste, and people say the TL is sporty! If TL is a sporty car to the general public, then I understand why I always get stuck behind people who have absolutely no idea about their surroundings and the road-conditions. This is why you see mass accidents in the US a lot more than you'd see them in Europe or Japan. Cars are becoming less and less involved with the road as time passes, and one thing to be concerned about is, "At what point should we stop hiding the physical aspects of driving?"
  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473
    Interesting take on U.S drivers and being involved with the driving.

    I agree that, while firm, the TSX ride is nowhere near harsh, and that firmness inspires confidence on the road. The car feels planted. You get used to the firmness after driving the car for awhile.
  • Agreed about the ride quality - it makes for a better driver's experience. It may make for a worse rider's experience though.

    My theory is that most folks in the US want to be riders rather than drivers, even when they're behind the wheel. Lots of cars in the US advertise features that blur the distinction between your car and your living room, and the emphasis is on comfort and convenience (and safety.) This doesn't really encourage folks to embrace the act of driving. Infact it sort of suggests that you can spend less time "worrying" about driving and more time relaxing, enjoying time with other people in the car.

    I guess I don't really mind that point of view although when you're out on the road and see so many people driving inattentively it makes me angry. It's one thing to be chatting on a cell phone and watching TV at home; it's something else to be doing that riding on a metal object with lots of kinetic energy.
  • seazseaz Posts: 3
    I can confirm that the ride quality in the TSX leaves something to be desired. True, it is a sporty sedan and it's supposed to be stiff, but it feels stiff in an unrefined way. I've got an '04 TSX 6sp and when I test drove it seemed fine. It rides very nice on the freeway and newly paved roads, but when I'm driving around on the city streets it's awful. After driving it two years I'm used to it for the most part, but every pot hole and every manhole cover in downtown still makes me brace for impact cringe when I run over it. I've driven BMWs and Audis and I can just say that the suspensions on the German cars, while stiff, are much more well controlled and refined. I just have to remind myself that the TSX is a relatively inexpensive car when compared to the BMW, and so it is what it is. Overall still a good value. (I'm not a fan of the TL. That is softer, but to me clumsy.)
  • LOL!
  • Is your car a 04/05 or 06? I've had a 05 loaner while my 06 was in the shop for a few days and I've noticed the side bolsters are narrower compared to the 06. I'm 6'3" and 315 lbs and I really noticed the differenced between the two model years.

    If your car is a 06, it still takes time to break in the car. Along with the engine, brakes and trans, you are also breaking in the suspension, tires, body and seats. I have 5,000 miles on my TSX now and the seats are more comfortable now. It would seem at your height/weight, the seats are made for someone in your range. The only three things that might explain the back pain are:
    - pre existing minor back injury
    - your sitting position putting stress on your back (leaning to the side, lumbar of seat not touching lower back, slouching in seat, etc..)
    - not using the lumbar support

    I’ve admit, the TSX’s seats are not BMW 5 series comfortable but they are very supportive and offer a wide range of adjustments to find a good comfort level.
  • What color is it? Does it have navi?

    Heck, maybe I'll buy it!
  • We own both an 03 Accord EX-V6 and an 04 TL, neither with Navi, and both bought new. It took a long time to get used to the harsh ride in the TL and we had the dealer change the tires to Michelin's. Even now, the Accord has the better ride but the TL handles like a dream. We test drove an 06 TSX and quickly noticed the harsh ride and also the firm seats, not nearly as nice as the TL. We did not buy the TSX but will take another look at it this fall when the 07 models are out.

    We also thought both V6 cars easily outperfomed the 4 in the TSX. The V6 in both our cars is a very smooth and powerful engine and we had to push the TSX to get it to perform, although for routine driving it was OK. Sad to see that Acura tunes the TSX to require premium fuel, which the Accord V6 does not require. We use 89 mid premium in the TL with good results.

    These three vehicles are all different so it is for us only a personal preference - all are very well made. We are long time Honda owners and can report excellent service with all our cars from them.
  • The TSX does not have a harsh ride. If you think it does, then you do not know what a harsh riding vehicle feels like.

    You like soft-riding vehicles with what you perceive to be good performance, i.e. a car that goes fast in a straight line. That is the reality of your limited perception.

    Enthusiasts will appreciate the TSX's virtues, whereas folks like yourself, who view automobiles as nothing more than appliances and with no passion whatsoever, will not.

    Have a terrific weekend.
  • If you want more power and a softer ride, you might be in the market for a GM or Ford. They make execellent push rod V-6s and V-8s with more power and the pillow soft rides to make any average car owners drool.
  • We did not mean to offend any owners with our comments about ride quality, only express our personal experience. Our Acura TL is our first departure from Honda Accords and while it has many nice features, its harsh ride is the number one complaint our great Acura Dealer reports.

    As grandparents, we look for not only high quality but a pleasant and comfortable ride in our autos. Both the Accord and the TL meet that standard, but the ride in the TL is almost identical to the TSX we drove. We live in the Midwest where there are poor roads and snow, so taut suspensions are a trade off to good handling. Both our TL and the TSX we drove handled very well, much better than the Accord. But on long drives, we take the Accord due to its comfortable ride.

    In the end, we know not all will have the same feelings. We liked the TSX, however would not expect to drive it so hard as to test the limits of its fine handling. The V-6's in our cars do perform better than the 4 in the TSX and that mirrors the reports in the auto magazines that have tested the TSX.

    Please take these comments in the spirit they are given.
  • henry3henry3 Posts: 22
    I've had my 06 Automatic TSX for almost 5 months now. I think my reflections on the car have changed a bit. I do think that the TSX is a nice car for the money. However, for ride quality I agree the Accord V6's that I test drove and owned once, outperform TSX in this department. As far as built quality, I have come to realization that after driving Audi and BMW (just like another poster here) there is simply no comparison either. TSX does not seem to be most refined car, but I guess does not pretend to be one either. Another thing here is that at first I thought the V4 instead of V6 was ok for me, but I'm nostalgically reminded here and there about the lack of power in this car.
    Now, let me reinforce that I do like this car for what I paid for it. But I think Accord V6 drives nicer but is too much of a family car to my taste, I think BMW/Audi both drive nicer and are refined much better but cost much more.

    Just my thoughts...
  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473
    That's great. First, the TSX has an inline four cylinder engine, not a "V4." Second, there are almost always tradeoffs when it comes to automobile performance. Yes, the Accord has a more compliant ride than the TSX, but it doesn't handle as well.

    You want a more sporting ride, get the TSX, you want a family hauler, get the Accord. You should be aware of that before you purchase either car.

    Your claim that the TSX may not be the most refined car may well be true, but others would argure the opposite, and tell you that BMW's have their own issues when it comes to build quality. They certainly have issues when it comes to long term reliability.

    I would expect any car that costs $5-10K more to have things that a less expensive car doesn't. No revelation there.
  • henry3henry3 Posts: 22
    I think you're just being defensive. The topic here is ride quality, and I simply expressed my opinion, and where approriate I pointed out the price differences on the other cars. As far as V4 or inline four cylinder, well, for a typical person this makes no difference. What makes the difference is the fact that a good V6 vs V4 or whatever you want to call it, gives a feeling of more immediate power, thus improves the ride to some degree, depending on whether you feel you need the extra pull or not, and yes I feel I do.

    As far as sporting ride, well, maybe it would be more sporty if it had the extra pull, but it does not. Sure, the TSX beats many cars in that respect, the new Civic feels sporty to some people, if that's sporty then TSX is sporty as well or more so.

    The fact is that TSX is the cheapest 4 door Acura car on the market here, and as such is a cheap alternative to more deserving cars of the sporty label.

    And yes, I love German cars, I owned BMW and Audi, and they were both better cars as far as ride quality, even the Accord V6 has some advantages over the TSX. German cars might have reliability issues, and they cost more, but we are talking very different things here, not on topic.

    I like my TSX overall and think it's worth the money I paid for it, and let's leave it at that.
  • jammdjammd Posts: 2
    Psorkin, It's been several months since you complained about the bolsters on the seat of your TSX. First, have they broken in yet or is it still a problem? I have a 3 week old TSX and am also 6'1' 180#. My seat bolsters hit me in just the wrong spots on the sides of my butt as well. I have located a shop that modifies seats. I plan on having them remove my seat from the car and take off the leather. We will then have at it with a pair of scissors until we widen things enough for the bolsters fit my butt. I expect it will take about an hour and a half and cost maybe a couple hundred bucks, but it's well worth it. When I first bought my 1986 Legend coupe 20 years ago I did the same thing and the car was perfect for 150K miles. Never regretted it for a minute. I suppose this is the price we have to pay for not having enough padding back there. jammd
  • I can't possibly imagine how you can compare (not YOU personally henry) the Accord with the TSX...those are two different cars all together.
    Obviously the TSX feels tigthter, but that's what you get from a sports car : A sport suspension!! This is a sports/luxury car, best of both worlds in my books!

    The title in this forum shouldn't be ride "quality", because quality is one thing that this car is definately NOT lacking. It does exactly what it should be doing, if you wanted a smoother ride, you should have gone with the TL , the TSX is for me newer, sexier, faster, more luxurious Integra.
This discussion has been closed.