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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I've never driven a Jetta GLI so I can't comment on it. I think it's (a lot) smaller than the TSX and doesn't have as many amenities and has a less refined driveline though - not a near-luxury segment car. I do really like last years cockpit lighting and layout though - very upscale for an economy car.

    The TSX weighs less than any version of the A4 Audi makes. It's also lighter than the G25 and IS250. And Honda's I-4 makes similar power to both of those competitors V-6 motors.

    The TSX is also the epitome of a smooth refined driveline. The switchgear/cockpit ergonomics and quality is maybe a notch below Audi but certainly as good as or better than Infiniti, Lexus, and BMW.

    Plus, if you do own a 2004 6MT TSX, then you know the joy of revving that Honda I-4 up to 7400 RPM - only BMW's legendary I-6 is as satisfying to wind up.

    And talk about keeping pace - the TSX has soldiered on with the same specs for 8 years and Infiniti comes out with a brand new car that offers a mere 17 more HP and weighs almost 200 lbs more?!?! Acura must be doing something right to inspire Infiniti and Lexus to build such close competitors.

    Every car in this segment has an Achilles heel. The TSX is the least expensive car here, and it offers a lot of ELLPS for the money. But if you want more than 200HP, then obviously it's not the right choice.
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,294
    Govt mpg mandates have a lot to do with why Infiniti and soon BMW are taking down hp. I dont think it has anything to do with acura inspiration. Now I know the tsx offers little more then you can get in a standard accord except an extra year on the warantee and an acura badge, sure it has nice leather innards but the ergonomics are subject to personal taste. , As edmunds stated in the article the gli slightly beats it as a sport car. I know the sweet vtexh and it's great action manual (whicjlh I hope stays)- but the tsx has only gotten fatter over the years - with no power boost - 90% of them are automatics and it's currently sitting in a stale stable. I'm looking for a recent article that mentions this car as being a sports sedan, one published in the last 3 years.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "Now I know the tsx offers little more then you can get in a standard accord except an extra year on the warantee and an acura badge."

    You forgot to mention that the TSX is physically smaller inside and out and has a 4" shorter wheelbase. It has a higher compression engine with a higher redline and 10 more HP. The TSX also has a beefier rear sway bar, high performance tires, sport suspension, sport seats, and a 6-speed MT.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "2 car and driver articles -- again the acura in the middle of the pack vs cars that are not considered lux cars."

    Some TSX quotes from your first link...

    "Such a treat to drive this car after herding some of the others around the course. So much more certainty, so much more precision." "This is a case of all the parts working together—quick responses, crisp steering, excellent brakes, minimal body roll, and it's all so easy." "Just brimming with confidence. Even on a long, dull interstate, you can feel the athletic tension of the chassis, all ready to burn up some twisties. Bravo!"

    "As much as we love this car's precision, refinement, and athletic nature, every story we've published about it has made some sort of apology for its relatively modest power... But in this comparison, the power shortage was costly."

    Your second link features the V-6 TSX, which is a nose-heavy, numb-steering pig. Not the car I'm talking about. They said it themselves...

    "The TSX V-6 is a smart cookie that just needs to lighten up a little. Which is code for, “Stick with the manual-transmission, four-cylinder TSX."

    So it looks like Car & Driver agrees with me. The 4 cylinder TSX with 6MT is the jewel of the Acura lineup and a superb ELLPS.
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,294
    edited October 2011
    beefier rear sway bar and all season highperformance tires-ok in other words things you can get at your local autozone.. sport suspension well thats subjective and no where on the acura website does it say sports suspension.

    the car and driver articles you mention did not bash the TSX but they did say the other cars were better given its middle of the pack results. 2 vws and an accord were considered better cars for the price, ELLPS hahaha. I agree that with you that its the jewel of the acura brand-- but that brand includes the RL and ZDX :confuse:
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Well, if you really believe that, then you can't be taken seriously here.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    So you seriously believe that the Accord and Sonata are ELLPS's?
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited October 2011
    You know, I remember the discussion when the TSX first came out in 2003. Back then, it was the Mazda6 owners who challenged that the TSX wasn't a "luxury" car and the Mazda6 was superior because it had "similar amenities" and a more powerful V6 (a recurring theme...).

    Well, there is the difficult to articulate quality of precision, refinement, and craftsmanship that the TSX possesses in spades that more pedestrian cars lack.

    All you have to do is sit behind the wheel of the Sonata and you immediately know it is an economy car. One drive and you instantly feel that lack of chassis and driveline refinement.

    The Accord is another beast altogether. The Accord is arguably "luxurious" enough to compare with the bottom of the ELLPS class. It does lack some features expected here like Xenon headlights, driver memory settings, etc., but more importantly, it lacks a sporting character. It is a big car - softly sprung with flat seats. The precision and refinement are there, but it doesn't have the dynamics of a sport sedan.

    Yes, you could go online and get summer tires, sway bars, springs/struts and make it a handler, but then what you would have is a large, slushbox equipped, harsh riding family car (Last year, I equipped my Volvo with Bilsteins and know first-hand what a disaster that was!).

    So why try to shoehorn the Accord into a category it wasn't designed or suited for when Honda already makes a car that is the epitome of the ELLPS segment? A nimble, fun, refined sedan that has a terrific engine and gearbox with a modicum of luxury?
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,294
    edited March 2008
    i never said that- but I did say the TSX should be moved from this group- it has not "advanced" with the rest of the group and in comparison tests it gets beat by "lesser" cars - in 2003 it was a player but that was 9 years ago.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I agree that it hasn't advanced in horsepower, but I don't think that alone defines this class.
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,294
    HP alone no - but what have they done to improve on the early TSX? more lbs, a v6 that no one buys, a sportwagen, lets not forget about the 5 speed auto.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,131
    I actually like the older TSX a LOT better than the new one - heavy, numb, and bloated like how all Hondas and Acuras have been heading lately.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited October 2011
    I agree. But how is BMW any different?

    The 328i is the same E90 introduced in 2005 (MY2006), only it has 15 more HP and weighs 100 lbs more. It is eclipsed in HP by several cars in this segment, but it soldiered on. Why? Because it sells.

    It is the entry point into BMW luxury and prestige. For Acura, the TSX is the entry point into the ELLPS segment. And it sells - warts and all.
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,294
    edited October 2011
    the current tsx has also gained in weight vs the 2004-2008 model-- how many lbs well 150-- it also lost 4 hp somewhere and gained gained 8 lbs of torque during that time period. So from what you presented BMW is different --yep they added HP and weight, not vice versa. they have also tweeked it a bit since the last refresh-- and are due for another one in 2012 prob a reason why it sells...would love to see a post of something that can merit the agrument besides the fact that you own this car- one time..-a comparo test or a current write up about the sport you talk of.. it was a long time ago when they started this ELLPS blog.. maybe its time for an update with current players-- And it sellls? well it sells better then any other Acura for sure infact its almost half of all acura sales at a total of 32k units for 2010, that is in the us, canada and mexico -- but bmw sold 100k (us only sales) 3 series cars and infiniti also sold 58k of the G series (US ALONE). So i think the warts are showing more then you think.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,325
    There are so many cars out there that aren't fantastic at one thing, they don't look good on paper, but they are great cars to drive. My TSX is one car that falls into that category. It's 201 hp 4 cylinder is not going to win any stoplight or out of a toll booth race. You really have to drive a TSX & a V6 Accord back to back. They "are not" the same car.

    You seem to be a "car guy" and you know that a factory tuned suspension upgrade is so much better than one you can piece together from autozone or any various Internet site. It's like some people who say "why do I need to spend $XX,XXX more for an M3 (or S4) when I can just chip my 335i (or A4 2.0T) for $X,XXX and get just as much or even more power?".

    There's also a company out there that makes a bolt-on supercharger for a V6 Mustang. It makes the V6 good for 475 horsepower. If you were in the market for a Mustang, would you buy a 5.0 GT or a V6 and get it supercharged? I'll take the V8.

    I'll agree with you and fedlawman that the TSX V6 is a nose heavy pig. I personally don't think it needs to be in the Acura lineup. A V6 TSX has a sticker damn near a FWD TL & Honda puts crazy $4000 cash incentives on the V6 TSX to sell it. I have the sane gripes with C&D regarding its
    electric power steering. The original TSX was a smashing success for Acura. I think the 1st year they only expected to sell 15,000 units. How many did they sell that 1st year?

    You have to remember that us enthusiasts are a sliver of a small percentage of the market. I believe the 2 main gripes (from the general buying public) were the small-ish back seat & modest
    power output. They made the car bigger (adding weight) and added a V6 option (whic doesn't sell well & adds weight & torque steer)

    Anything the "tuner crowd" says Acura should use from it's parts bin will ruin the car's driving characteristics & appeal. "Give it SH AWD" adds weight, cost, & complexity. "Give it the 4cyl Turbo from the RDX" adds cost, complexity, & weight. Not to mention torque steer as well.

    Part of the TSX's charm & appeal in this ELLPS segment is it's price point which it gets from being built on an Accord platform (or being an Accord from the rest of the world), it's 201 horsepower 4 cyl engine, 5 speed automatic transmission (you want a 6 or an 8 speed auto, that'll cost you too), low weight, the fact that Acura even OFFERS a slick shifting 6-Speed manual transmission.

    Try walking on to your local BMW, Audi, MB, Lexus dealer and tell me how many 3,C,A4,IS have MSRPs under $40,000. Yes I know you can order your car any way you like it. Acura gets you into the door of this segment.

    Like fedlawman said, drive it against an IS250 & G25 to tell me it isn't competitive and doesn't belong. Ive never driven a G25, but have driven an IS250 AWD (high 90% of sales in the northeast) & it's 201 horsepower V6 accelerates about as fast as a Toyota Yaris. The TSX's base 4cyl is lively & happy to rev all the way to it's 7,000 RPM redline. I can tell you it has a certain Germanic ride quality to it. Very solid and extremely stable on the right side of 80 mph.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,294
    acura does offer a Manual in both the TSX and TL which i think is great.. but less then 10% of total cars sold-- mainly because the real car drivers are not shopping acura -- OR they would sell more to the real sports fans-- pretty simple-- how many of those TSX leases out on LONG ISLAND are leased with manuals, NYC carguy?? If you want a BMW you can order a base 328 or 128 with a manual and it will outperform this TSX in every way. No one is talking about the tuner crowd here or even the IS or the G25, infact if you were watching last posts you would see the jetta and accord are now comps. We are talking about a car that has not changed in over 10 years except get bigger and heavier thus killing its sporty nature which is why it was in the EELPS but no longer should be considered.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    edited October 2011
    acura does offer a Manual in both the TSX and TL which i think is great.. but less then 10% of total cars sold-- mainly because the real car drivers are not shopping acura

    Just what percent of BMWs, A4s, C300s, Gs etc etc are sold with manual trannies? I'm pretty sure it's very close to the percentage you attribute to "non-sports" cars. Just because they are offered doesn't mean that they sell that many. I think I read somewhere that even BMW is only about 10% sticks. I don't think that manual transmission buy rates should be the determining factor as you keep saying over and over and over again. I also know some pretty darn good car drivers that don't drive sticks for a variety of reasons and certainly not because they can't drive well.

    As far as the TSX goes, there has to be a entry point to this category and one person is hardly the authority. Edmunds, when comparing to the GTI, said it wasn't as good a sport car or something like that. But, they did put it in the same category.
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,294
    edited October 2011
    ok but again where is the proof that this car should be here- anything published besides your thoughts would be of great value- the car rags or anything that can substanciate your claim- lets be serious here- the TSX is a great entry level car for someone who is looking for value luxury not sports sorry..

    i love the fact that you guys are defending this once great value but again when compared to its true comp its not really the value it once was. Now if you include acura as a brand behind this car it validates my claim - they are nowhere when it comes to sport. They are behind every other major comp in almost every category and have been happy for years being an OK (middle of the road) company.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    edited October 2011
    A better question would be why do you have such a vendetta against it? Acura, as a brand, may have gone astray of some their sportier past models but that doesn't change the TSX that much at least any more than other brands have grown and gotten heavier. Acura is a luxury or a near luxury brand. TSX is it's entry level offering and it's a sedan. The only questionable operative word in the title of this thread then would be performance which is somewhat subjective. So for you to set the bar is quite assuming it seems.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,056
    edited October 2011
    is this ever going to end?

    People who own or have driven the 1st gen TSX seem very pleased with it. One or two people who haven't seem to have a near-psychotic problem with it.

    It's just a car. These days anything with a manual transmission is 80% of the way to being a sports sedan. There aren't many anymore.

    The last time I remember things getting this weird was when there was a board on here called "BMW 5-series or Pontiac Grand Prix GTP," where people who were totally invested their personal opinions went on for years (well, maybe it was months, but it seemed like years). There was a GM fanboi who just kept on and kept on and kept on.

    Oh well. . .
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,294
    edited October 2011
    well the board is to talk about Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans which I feel and have shown by reviews and sales figures that it does not belong here in its current state. Others have given personal thoughts but nothing concrete on why it belongs here- i like facts over subjective comments to prove a point.

    and i'm spent.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,131
    ok but again where is the proof that this car should be here...

    Trying to prove a subjective judgement is silly. And citing car magazines (which are also subjective judgments) isn't much better. The fact that we aren't sure means it should probably be IN the discussion.
  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,294
    ok then why when comparisons are done by the major car mags and even edmunds is the TSX grouped in with lesser cars? your right that is silly
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,131
    edited October 2011
    ok then why when comparisons are done by the major car mags and even edmunds is the TSX grouped in with lesser cars? your right that is silly

    Well post 12200 said that facts are better than subjectivity. And all of this is subjective. Wouldn't the sensible way to approach it be to INCLUDE a vehicle if a high fraction of posters (subjectively) think it should be included? There aren't any "facts" that clearly put this vehicle OUT of the discussion, and for any "facts" one might cite, others could cite similar "facts" about different vehicles that would exclude those, too. :surprise:

    What is silly is that this forum is for just discussions. It's not like anybody has to love any car or buy any particular car. :blush:

    And by the way, I also feel the TSX is bloated and soft - not all that sport or luxury. But I don't see why it can't be discussed.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    There really is no subcategories of this class, such as premium, performance, etc. This category is made up of all the entry-level luxury offerings of the luxury manufacturers which are the vehicles edmunds has listed here, they just titled the thread wrong. It should be just entry-level luxury sedans, which the TSX falls into.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I can agree to that change.

    The problem is that the sport sedan has really been replaced with the "Hot Hatch" segment in Europe and almost none of it has been offered in the U.S.

    Small, nimble, fast, and luxurious. Tons of choices in Europe in the hatchback and B class segment. Almost none over here. We get big and heavy luxury vehicles instead.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,727
    ok but again where is the proof that this car should be here

    It's right up underneath the title, where we put it...

    This discussion is about those listed cars... not whether someone thinks they belong there...

    So...lets get back to it...



    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,325
    A large percentage of any of these cars are leased. You can't go by the manual transmission take rate to decide whether or not any particular car belongs in this category. The take rate for manual transmissions in the USA in general is probably less than 10%.

    People lease for 4 reasons:

    Business reasons where they can take some sort of tax deduction.

    They can afford to & like to be in a new car every 2-3 years.

    Leasing is used as an alternative method of financing that works quite well if you can live within mileage limitations.

    People lease to get a more expensive car at a cheaper payment. Many of these people do not understand leasing and shouldn't be doing it.

    There are tons of leased TSXs, TLs, 328s, 335s, A4s, IS 250s... among others in my area. I WAS nyccarguy a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. I fled the city back in '04 for Westchester County & moved to Stamford, CT last year. Not Long

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

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