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Acura RSX vs Honda Civic - Driving Impressions



  • hamproofhamproof Posts: 241
    though I didn't drive it. So I can't say if the RSX sitting position is better or worse. But I think it all depends on how tall/short and thin/fat you are. At 5' 9", 160lbs, I can fit in just about any type of cars but sitting in an S2000 and driving it was a bit difficult coz' I was so low that I had a hard time looking outside the car. But S2000 is meant to be a sports car. It is a feature so is the RSX.

    But most racer wannabe or racer boy will love low sitting positions. Gives us a feeling of sportiness rather than sitting high like in a minivan or SUV. Also, lower the CG like a poster mentioned. So, anonymous might be the exception here or she's just too short or something else.
  • I might be short but even my 6'6 boyfriend thinks the RSX sits a little deep. It's not the low height that we mind. It's the higher cowl height of the RSX vs. the SI and even previous gen. Integras. Just a matter of personal preference, has nothing to do with my height.
  • hamproofhamproof Posts: 241
    RSX has a seat in it or is he just sitting on the car frame?? :)I bet his head is sticking out of your SI w/ the moonroof in there coz' the moonroof lessens the head clearance.
  • He actually has plenty of headroom in the SI. He drives a 00 SI everyday so my car is fairly roomy compared to it. But neither offer the stretch-out room of his Lexus LS.

    It has nothing to do really with where the seat is in the RSX ... the dash just seems to high. We prefer the Honda dashes of the late 80's and early 90's, or even as recent as the 98-02 Accords and 96-00 Civics, which have a low cowl height and plenty of glass. Most people won't even notice it or even care. But we are fickle.
  • hamproofhamproof Posts: 241
    stature (5'6" maybe - if you consider that short) complains about the RSX sitting position is low and your bf. who is 6'6" is also complaining it is too low. Assuming you are 5'6", your husband, I mean bf, will be a whole foot taller than you. And for you to say both of you can find a good seating position in the SI but not the RSX makes it unbelievable and show your bias or just plain trying to rationale the SI over the RSX.

    But whatever. Maybe both of you like to slide your car all the way back and tilted at 160degrees with your left arm and right arm (passenger) hanging out on the door? :P
  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    At least on the driver's side. I liked the cockpit feel. On the passenger side, though, it did feel like I was sitting a little low, but I was the PASSENGER!
  • I'm unbelievable? How's that Escort treating you?

    Like I said, it's a matter of personal preference. My boyfriend thinks the cowl height of the RSX is too high compared to the Integra and previous Civics. It's also higher than the SI. We're not the only ones who prefer lower dashes. In one review of the new Accord they mentioned that Honda's cowl height kept going up and up from it's near perfect height with the 86-89 Accord. There's nothing at all wrong with the RSX ... I like the car. It's just not for me.
  • "(5'6" maybe - if you consider that short) complains about the RSX sitting position is low and your bf. who is 6'6" is also complaining it is too low. Assuming you are 5'6", your husband, I mean bf, will be a whole foot taller than you"

    Whether a seat is all the way forward or all the way against the back seat, when it's low, it's low. Two people can have similar upper body sizes but have quite different heights because of the length of their legs. And a high beltline is a high beltline no matter how tall someone's upper body is anyway, which was all she was talking about, right?

  • hamproofhamproof Posts: 241
    I cannot see how someone who is 6'6" complaining that the RSX seats are too low. If that's the case, I must not be able to see out and over the dash then!

    But I'm able to. So, I assume I've a long neck. I guess some of us are blessed with perfectly proportion body like anony and bf.

    Maybe Acura can ask Shaq. to be the spokesperson. The car would be a perfect fit for him since everyone else is complaning the sitting position is too low.
  • common sense and comprehension do still exist on these boards.

    I'll say it one last time ... the dash of the RSX is higher than previous Integras, Civics, and Accords. If you sit in a 90-93 Integra or even a 96-00 Civic you will see what I mean. My SI also has a higher beltline than the old Hondas but the RSX is even higher than the Civic. Just sit in a RSX and SI back-to-back and maybe you will see what I am talking about.
  • hamproofhamproof Posts: 241
    low seating position?? Initially you claimed the seats were too low. Then you changed your story to a high dash. Whatever your reasons are, you cannot convince me or anyone w/ an ounce of common sense that a 6'6" frame complains that the seating position is too low and causes the person not to be able to see over the dash. Come on. Get real!
  • I never said he couldn't see over the dash. I said that he felt the dash was too high. We both prefer to feel like we are sitting "on top" of the car instead of feeling like we are in a bucket. As I said, if you sit in a 01 Integra/96-00 Civic/90-93 Accord/even a 02 SI and then sit in the RSX you will see the difference. The RSX just has a higher cowl height. And in case you aren't sure what that is it's the height of the dash in relation to the seats and the rest of the car.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    sitting low in the car and having snug, grabby seats is a characteristic of a sport coupe, so that you when go slamming around corners at high speeds, you will feel like the car has you in its grip, and you won't slide around. This is very nice for very energetic driving, but if you also have to commute in the car or something, it can be a bit of a drag.

    The Civic OTOH is designed to be first and foremost a commute car/urban tripper. Therefore it follows the trend of other recent urban cars - rising beltlines and driving positions, and lower cowls. The Si/SiR is merely a modification of the mainstream civic, using a speedier engine and better suspension. So it has these characteristics.

    I remember one of the things I really wound up disliking about my '02 celica was the hugely high beltline, in relation to the low sport coupe seating position. The combo was so extreme that I could not rest my arm on the window ledge AT ALL when I opened the window all the way.

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

  • hey hamproof. What does it matter if anony thinks the seats are too low. Why debate her personal preference??? That's just pointless, or do you have nothing better to do. RSX was my dream car before I got the Si. Definitely glad I made the right decision. Drove for about two hours total all highway last night - first time on highways, and my gf kept making fun of my perpetual smile. Still in love with this car, and will be in love for a long time. One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet in this forum is the longevity of having these cars. They're both fairly new, fairly close models. Which one do you guys think will last longer? Thanks.

    P.S. hamboy, if the seats are low, doesn't that make the dash high? And vice versa if the seats are too high, doesn't that make the dash too low? Lol talk about common sense and comprehension.

    "Initially you claimed the seats were too low. Then you changed your story to a high dash."
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    Thought you'd want to know, Ham no longer posts here. Dunno whether he got disgusted or banned. Though he was apt to get into arguments with Anony, I liked him.
  • jimc93sijimc93si Posts: 34
    I test drove the RSX base and I noticed it felt weird when I went to put my elbow on the opened window. The seat was too low, and I'm 6'3. The 2000 Integra I tested had adjustable seat height knob, but they wanted more for that than a new CivicSI. Why would they take away adjustable seats and save a few bucks and lose the sale altogether? Unbelievable.
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    The RSX's seating height is actually an inch or so higher than the previous Integras.

    I find that the view over the dash is actually too low for me. I don't need to see the road immediately in front of the car...although it's a nice feature that I've grown accustomed to.

    The thing I had to get used to in the RSX was the height of the doors compared to my previous vehicle. I used to be able to rest my arm on the window sill while driving....I can't do that anymore without my shoulder getting dislocated or my arm falling asleep.
    I could crank the seat height up more but then my view over the dash would be too exposed for my liking.
    Either that or I would truly experience the rush of wind through my hair...granted that the sunroof was open.
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    Why would they take away adjustable seats and save a few bucks and lose the sale altogether? Unbelievable.

    The RSX has adjustable seats.
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    The driver's seat is height-adjustable, but the cowl is still too high.
  • zenzikorazenzikora Posts: 64
    I am only 5'3", and I had no trouble seeing or driving the RSX. I suppose it's a matter of preference. I thought it had a great driving position
  • 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: 12,726
    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?

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

  • 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.
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