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Honda Accord vs Acura TSX



  • I've never bought cars strictly based on resale value, so why start now. I actually like the fact that TSX's are not a dime a dozen like Accords. There is a certain exclusivity factor (albeit minor) when not every person on the road is driving the same car you are. Call me the black sheep, but my sheep has a spoiler :)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Call me the black sheep, but my sheep has a spoiler

    Oh speedracer, you are so baaaaad.

    Haha, a lot of people feel this way about wanting to drive something outside the "norm". Nothing wrong with that, it is your dollar after all!
  • Hi all. I'm a brand new and v. happy owner of a 2006 arctic blue Acura TSX (AT w/navi). I test drove both the TSX and Accord EX (4 and V6). I liked the Accord very much, but I couldn't love it like I love my TSX. Here's what I think makes the TSX well worth the extra $$$ over the Honda (which in the case of the V6 is barely any extra $$ at all):

    1. Body style. OK, so the Accord did spiff itself up a little with that lip/spoiler thingie on the trunk, but overall the car just looks ordinary -- probably just because there are just so doggone many of them on the road! No question that the most common sedan on the roads in my part of the world (Pacific NW) is the Accord followed closely by the Camry. To me the TSX looks a little sportier, a little more luxe, and definitely a little unique in the sea of Accords & Camrys. (And this is coming from someone who has driven an Accord for the past 6 years!)

    2. Interior feel. The Accord's interior is better than its exterior, but the interior is not as eye-catching and inviting as the TSX's. I love the TSX's cool blue instrumentation lighting and the blue overhead penlight that shines down onto the center console in the dark. It makes me feel more stylish or hip or in my 20's or something.

    3. I bought an AT and no question the TSX's sportronic AT beats the Honda's AT (which doesn't have the sport shift feature at all). This is one of the biggest pluses for me, actually; I drive an AT for practicality but in my heart I long for a MT -- the sportronic at least gives me a little taste of a MT!

    4. Drive/Handling. IMO the TSX is a far better driving experience than the Accord. The TSX feels much more responsive/intuitive than the Accord. I think the Accord's seats and suspension are a tad softer but I like the firmer feeling of the TSX's seat/suspension.

    5. Bluetooth, Homelink, memory driver seating (linked to the key remote -- TOO cool!), and the extra power seating for driver and front seat passenger on the TSX (OK, I know Homelink comes on the V6 but not the V4 Accord -- and the Accord doesn't have Bluetooth and the other seating functionality at all).

    6. I adore my iPod and appreciate the no-cost port in the TSX (vs. the $400 iPod hookup in the Accord). I know the Honda's iPod port has more functionality but I don't think it's worth $400.

    7. Acura Roadside Assistance, great peace of mind!

    Other observations: I've seen a comments about the TSX having a smaller rear door and much smaller back seating area than the Accord, and while I don't dispute that, personally I don't notice it (I'm 5'2" and both the TSX and Accord's back seats are plenty spacious for me.) My husband is not super tall and he doesn't have a problem with the back seat, either. Since we have no kids or regular backseat passengers, this was a non-factor for us.

    Car insurance is $9 more per month for the TSX than the Accord, which to me is not a big deal. The extra cost for premium fuel for the TSX will probably cost me no more than an extra $10 per month over a regular unleaded fueled Accord (I only put about 1,000 miles on my vehicle each month). However, for people who are very cost-conscious, these factors could make the Accord a better deal.

    Dealerships in my area are willing to give much better discounts on the Accord than on the Acura. The price difference between a 4 cylinder Accord EX AT w/Navi and an Acura AT w/Navi is about $4,000. I believe with the Accord EX V6 the price difference is about $1,500 or so. I did think long and hard about this aspect of the two vehicles. I am planning to own my TSX 8 - 10 years, and when I thought of the price difference over that amount of time (less than $50 a month) it seemed truly an insignificant considering how I felt about both cars (like the Accord vs. love the TSX).

    Bottom line is both the Accord and TSX are great vehicles. For me the TSX was an irresistable combination of luxury, sportiness, great functionality and uniqueness. Happy trails! :shades:
  • Hi... I'm trying to decide on the Accord EXV6 or the 2006 Acura TSX... My concern is that the TSX is a 4 cylindar.... I have been driving the Accord EX V6 Coupe for three years... I love the car. Now I was looking into a four door and love the look and feel of the TSX... again my concern is "Will it have the pick up when I need it to"

    Any input is greatly appreciated...

  • ^^The TSX has ample acceleration. Do a search. You'll find a plethora of info on this topic. :D
  • Hondata has a reflash for MT 2005 and 2006 TSXs that adds 32 horsepower and 28 ft-lbs of torque. Cost $595

    See :

    With that upgrade you should have plenty of pick-up.

    Driving my little ole 2.2L 4 cylinder, 237 Hp with Invidia exhaust!,

  • I can upgade the 2006 TSX with this factory install????

    This is great... :)
  • Just realized ... you're talking manual.. I was looking at the auto transmission...

    My concern is getting on and off the highway.. will I be able to move ... it's an important factor.. :confuse:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Congrats on the new TSX, but I wanted to clarify just a couple of small details for the readers of this forum.

    You mention in point number 2 that the TSX has the pinlight that shines on the console and the backlit blue gauges that make it feel more hip. The Accord has both of these features (pinlight over console w/WHITE backlit gauges). Maybe the blue was what you were stressing, I dunno. Just thought I'd mention it.

    For the rest of it I generally agree, except for the interior room factor. While I'm young (18 actually), the Accord was the much better car for me for the price of gas ($2.11 right now vs $2.31 for premium in the TSX) and the much larger interior (I'm 6'4"ish).

    Happy driving. You'll probably never see me since I'm one of the 400,000 or so people that will have a 2006 Accord by year's end, but mine is Graphite Pearl in EX trim!

  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    You really need to drive both to decide. I thought the TSX auto was pretty anemic compared to my 3.5 liter Olds Intrigue, which isn't nearly as fast as the Accord V6. The manual was better but in the end, I didn't want to be constantly shifting during my 8 mile commute with at least 12 lights or stop signs.

    I ended up with a Camry SE-V6 only because in 2005, the Accord didn't have stability control. The new Camry is much more stylish and probably worth checking out too.
  • Hi graduate,

    Yes, you are correct about the pinlight, I just think the blue light in the TSX is fun/cool while the white light in the Accord is functional but not fun per se. Also, I have to admit that I test drove the Accord only during the day and the TSX during the day and night, so I really don't know what the interior instrument lighting is like in the Accord during the night. Maybe it's not as important as it seemed to me.

    You'll love your Accord for a long time! I drove a 2000 Accord SE for six years and only had one problem, a faulty transmission at 24K miles (a recall item which Honda promptly replaced w/a new transmission w/a 100K warranty). For all the creature comforts you get at the price you pay I think the Accord is a fantastic deal. Also, the fact that I had driven an Accord for 6 years definitely was at play when I chose the TSX over the Accord.

    Here's another thing: Tonight I took my TSX to the dealer so they could install my metallic trimmed steering wheel; the dealer gave me a loaner car to drive (another brand new TSX) while they work on my car. The loaner TSX doesn't have the Navi and I tell you the Navi makes all the difference in the world!!! If I had to choose between a TSX w/o Navi or the Accord w/Navi, I would definitely choose the Accord w/Navi. Maybe the novelty of the Navi will wear off in time but right now that to me is the best thing going.

    Enjoy your Accord! Remember there's strength in numbers! :)
  • Great summary Zeeta! I went theough the very same process as you did, but I went the other way, Accord EX V6 with Navi. Perhaps the price difference has narrorwed since I bought my car in Dec 2005 (Boston area)

    The price difference for me was $3,000 instead of your experience of $1,500. $3,000 in my pocket and the better power of the V6 tipped the scale for me to the accord.

    Agree totally, that the Navi system is worth the money!
  • The NAV thrill wears off when you pay $185 to upgrade it each year :(
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    "The NAV thrill wears off when you pay $185 to upgrade it each year."

    I suspect most people won't need an annual upgrade. The roads don't change much and who cares if the Pizza Hut isn't there any more?
  • The Hondata ECU reflash is an aftermarket, not factory, upgrade. Speaking from experience, it does provide a nice gain in performance. As stated previously, it is only available for the '06 MT (and '04-05 TSX's in either transmission), but Hondata says they are working towards the '06 AT.

    Keep in mind the numbers quoted above reflect Hondata's testing on a K24 fitted with a CAI and headers. Still, as a stand-alone mod, the reflash is money well spent.

    And, as I stated above the TSX has plenty of power to get on and off the freeway, equipped with either tranny.

    Do you honestly wonder if a 200hp car can safely merge on the freeway? :confuse:
  • There is only one little have to reflash the auto back to the factory approved settings before any engine work will be authorized...yje new reflash voids the warranty. This is standard procedure for all auto companies.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    again my concern is "Will it have the pick up when I need it to"

    Yes, I have no doubt it will have the pickup you NEED it too, but it might not have the pickup you WANT it too.

    Keep in mind, the bestselling cars in America have 39-47 less horsepower than the TSX (Camry and Accord 4-cylinders).

    Shoot, I drive a 1996 Accord with 130 horsepower (75 less than the TSX) and I rarely have to push it over 3,500 RPM to merge uphill. My 2006 has 166 hp and is fast enough to put me over the speed limit at every on-ramp I encounter.
  • "There is only one little have to reflash the auto back to the factory approved settings before any engine work will be authorized...yje new reflash voids the warranty. This is standard procedure for all auto companies."

    This is ridiculous. I'm not sure where you get your information from, but about the only way an Acura dealership would know you had your ECU reflashed would be if you told them. Why would you do that?

    AFAIK, the only time modifications void the warranty is if the dealership can prove that a particular mod caused whatever problem the car is in for.

    Hondata has a long history of supporting Honda products and they have an excellent reputation. It's unlikely the reflash would cause any problems. Basically it just puts the car in the state of tune it probably should have come from the factory with in the first place.

    I've had zero problems with mine, and most people who've had it done report satisfaction. It makes the car that much more entertaining to drive. :P
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I didn't know you did the reflash. What other mods have you done?
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    I rarely need all 240 horses in my Accord. I sometimes need it when there's a stubborn driver that won't allow me in.

    However, when I have a lot of passengers, I do need it!

    I admit I just love flooring the car, occasionally :blush:
    I love feeling all 240 horses roaring to life! :P
  • Fedlaw, I did the reflash around Christmas (love it) and just yesterday JTso installed the A-Spec suspension for me (he's a terrific, reasonably priced mechanic). The suspension is actually pretty modest compared to the Tein Flex setup that Johnny runs. It rides almost identically to stock, but cornering is definitely flatter and there's less dive under braking. The spring rates are 10% stiffer than stock per Acura. It's perfect for someone like me.

    When Uncle Sam comes up with my tax check, I'm probably going to have Johnny install a CAI and headers to complement the Hondata. He let me drive his car and I can definitely live with the sound. BTW, given that the spring rates for the Flex rig are about 2.75 times stiffer than OEM TSX, the ride is remarkably compliant. Still, it's a bit stiff for me. I like to take the occasional long trip and not feel like I went 10 rounds with Joe Frazier. ;)

    After that, it'll be new rubber, then I'll pretty much be set. All this to offset the creeping BMW bug. Like you, I need at least a little more of a visceral driving experience. There will be a Bimmer in my future, but until then I'll just live vicariously through your classic M3... :D
  • The Accord V6 is most definitely one of the best. Smooth as silk. :shades:
  • Johnny420,

    I agree my 6-speed 240 Hp 2005 Accord Coupe is one of the best. I also didn't realize how long the shift was and how it wasn't quite as smooth as my 2.2 liter Honda I had been driving this weekend.

    The 2.2L 237 Hp engine is the one they really should have put in the TSX ;)

    Honda Great Cars (Double Sixes) :shades: ,

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The 2.2L 237 Hp engine is the one they really should have put in the TSX

    Maybe for a TSX A-spec, or "Type-S model? They'd probably need to tune it for at least 160 lb-ft of torque, given the weight of the car. Maybe 225 hp and 160 lb-ft, redline to 7600-8000 ish?

    Sounds like a screamer!
  • Just wait. '08 is looking more and more like the TSX will get a major engine upgrade, a la RDX turbo 4. :P
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Sounds likely to me, but it won't overtake the TL with 258 hp. Maybe the TL gets a bump to 265 or so, and the TSX gets 230-240?

    I like that spread.
  • Doesn't catch it up to the TL, but, for my money, I'd rather have a sharp handling TSX with ~240-250hp and equivalent torque than a TL any day. Just my preference. I think that car would be phenomenal.

    Yes, I'd guess the TL will get a similar bump and also SH-AWD. TSX probably, too. I think the FWD platform may be getting close to being maxed out with regard to HP.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    It's not the HP that has it topped out, but the torque. The TSX has to keep power low enough to make torque steer COMPLETELY non existent, or it's reign as handling king will end, and all we will have is another fast $30,000 car instead of a decently quick, deceptively fun canyon carver that so many love!
  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473
    Trust me, I love my TSX just as is, but it is not completely devoid of torque steer. You still feel the dreaded wiggle under the right circumstances. Obviously, it's not near as bad as other cars, and most of the time you never notice it.

    deceptively fun canyon carver that so many love!

    This statement I completely agree with. It is a blast to drive!

    The next couple of years should be exciting regarding new models. :D
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I really can't wait to see what happens!!

    You still feel the dreaded wiggle under the right circumstances. Obviously, it's not near as bad as other cars, and most of the time you never notice it.

    I should have thought more about my statement...even my 96 Accord has a little left tug when gunning it from a start (it has skinny 185width 15" tires though, probably more to blame than the 139 lb-ft of torque.)
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