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Acura TSX vs Acura TL



  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,302
    Yup, that's the reason. The TSX buzzs a whole lot higher on the highway. Probably about 700 RPM=/- difference at cruising speeds.

    It would be nice if Acura used the 6 speed box more efficiently, with a deeper 6th gear for more relaxed (and efficient) cruising. If I really need to pass or pull a hill, I can drop down to 5th.

    Gearing is also the reason the AT TSX gets 2-3 more mpg on the highway.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • A limiting factor on the TSX 0-60 times is that the 2-3 shift occurs just before 60 and you lose that precious several tenth's of a second.
    Stickguy is so right on the 6th gear being too
    low. I think the 6 spd should be geared to cruise and get around 35mpg.
    Honda does pride itself on being "green" yet won't raise the 6th gear ratio. That has puzzled me to no end.
    Does the IS300 pull through 60 in 2nd gear? Owners please fill me in. Thanks.
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    Don't get me wrong. I respect the TSX. I drove the TSX before buying a TL. The TSX seemed like a toy power-wise compared to the TL. With all the spirited options out there I couldn't see buying an underpowered car that I had to constantly red-line to get power.

    You make it sound like a TL is flat-footed and plods through the turns. Both these cars are FWDs based on the Accord. Their handling dynamics aren't a whole lot different, but I felt even with the added weight of the V6, the TL more than makes up for it with sheer power. Its not like my daliy drive is comprised of total slalom to and from work and appointments and I need a lighter higher revving ride like a TSX.

    Its hard to really jam a car during a test drive so my TSX trial may have been less than optimum, but first impressions mean a lot to me, and the first impression I got driving the TL after the TSX was WOW - I want this one.
  • ljwalters1ljwalters1 Posts: 294
    The TL is a grown-up TSX. Yes, the TSX has some good features that are lacking in the TL (turn-signal in the side mirrors and fold down back seats), but nothing really major. The TL is faster, more powerful, bigger and IMO better looking. :shades: Both come with loads of features and nice interiors. Obviously, the TSX and TL aren't really competing with each other, and that's the real problem. The TL can hold its own against the competition - the TSX can't and it comes down to torque.

    I have a TL, and I know the #s say it's poor on low-end torque. Frankly, the #s lie, but I'm not car saavy to be able to explain why. Maybe it's that the hp makes up for it, or the overall torque make enough at low RPMs. I bet a lot has to do with the quick pick-up of the clutch. One inch off the floor and you're in gear. Because of this, the TL can hold its own with the G35, BMW 3 series and will hold its own with the IS. I'm not saying it's faster or sportier than those cars, but it's close enough that the TLs refinements and value come into play.

    The TSX can't overcome that lack of torque. :sick: Again, I don't know why, but it can't. For that reason, I'd take a VW Passat or Volvo S40 T5 over the TSX. All priced about the same, the Passat is slightly faster (the new one I hear is a lot faster), but has lower end torque to beat the TSX off the line and keep city driving fun, and is a bit more luxurious. The Volvo I mention is not more luxurious, but is so much quicker that I don't think it matters.

    The TL market are people that want a compromise between a useful, good-looking , quick and luxurious car. The TSX market is for those who want a luxurious car that's not slow and has a fancy nameplate on the hood.

    Now that should get this forum rollin'!!! ;)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    ..that I would see is the 4 cylinder vs. 6 cylinder engine. Besides the initial performance advantage, if you are planning on keeping the car for 100,000+ miles, I believe the TL 3.2 liter 6 cylinder will last longer.

    This is mostly my gut opinion. I know Honda 4 cylinders have a decent reputation. But in 1995, I ponied up an extra $3,000 for a no-option Maxima SE over a well optioned Altima GXE. After 154,000 miles, the Maxima engine is as smooth and quick as the day I drove it off the lot. My service manager indicated that the extra money I spent in 1995 was a good investment - that the 4 cylinder Nissan engines just can't match their 6 clinder ones for long term durability.

    The best car I've owned to date was my 2002 S2000 with it's high strung 9,000 rpm 240 horsepower 4 cylinder engine. But it's a 2,800 lb sports car with a maximaum payload of 400 lbs. For a family sedan, I think 6 cylinders is the minimum requirement.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    I own both a 2005 TL and 2005 TSX. What I would say is that it is unfair to say which is they are two different classed cars. It is like asking is my BMW 750Li better than my TL (you cannot compare as one is a 360hp V-8 for starters).

    Regarding the comment regarding that the TSX cannot compete against its peers...I disagree. Natural peers would be such as the Lexus IS300, Volvo S40 T5, and Audi A4 1.8. I could go indepth with all (but that is for the TSX board)...but common thread is that each competitor's price would easily be $6k+ for a similarily equiped car (making the price similar to the TL and that is a easy decision). Many do not have the same performance orientation, reliability, or available features.

    Regarding torque....I can say that all the above mentioned have lower horsepower than the TSX (IS300 with 215hp...Volvo with 218hp). Yes the Acura has a lower torque than the others, but I can assure you that the TSX is indeed nimble with the excellent Acura powertrain including VTec and drive by wire. It actually feels more nimble than my TL. Doesn't matter what it says on has enough to get steaming along.

    Perhaps pull out the Consumer Report guide on cars and you will see a head to head comparison of the TSX to A4, Subaru Legacy, and Volvo S40. Guess which one came out 'recommended'...the TSX. As stated...the TSX is the best balance between sportiness and roominess.

    So the question is which car do I prefer. I will be honest to say that I reach for the TL keys before the other two. However...I still bought a TSX and I still very much enjoy driving the car (I might like it better than my Big Money Wasted )

    Why did I buy a TSX? We saw it driven around France during a vacation and liked the style. We liked the punchy size...styling...and general utility of the car (trunk is as large as the TL and it gets larger when the rear seats are folded down). Also...didn't want two TLs in the same garage...but still wanted the amenities of an Acura at $6k+ less.

    All an individual choice. TL and TSX each have their reason for existance.
  • mldj98mldj98 Posts: 378
    So you'll take the Passat, Volvo S40 T5 over the TSx huh?
    I hope you wallet is fat...for after two years it will be up on that hoist allot more than the TSX...but don't believe the articles, magazines, expert (so called) opinions...everything I have read has had one car on top...the TSX...

    I don't know about you...but IMO when most people buy cars they buy it as an over all packaged based on their needs...not just one item...Torque for example...if we were to buy cars based on that then there are many cars out there that have more torque then all of the cars we have listed here...hell I would go buy a NSX if I wanted to go 180 mph!!

    I read all of these posts from people saying that this car is .01 faster that this car...
    Now I am heavy on the pedal but when was the last time you ran the 1/4 mile in your TL? or any car for that matter? What do you think would happen if you ran your car everyday like they do in all of these test? It wouldn't last for very long, I don't care what type of car it is or who makes it....

    Now as far as the TL vs TSX as the member posts shouldn't be comparing the 2 as far as the specs go...they are two different models...the models fall into the food chain and in the Acura world the chain starts with the RSX, then the TSX, then the TL and then finally the RL...if all of these models were built to be the same then there would be no food chain...
    How can we compare a 4 to 6 cylinder? It's like comparing the Devil Rays to the Yankees???

    If you want performance out of the TSX push the pedal around 4000 rpm you neck with move back...maybe not as much as the TL (again 4 vs 6)...but compared to what else is out there the TSX holds it's own very well thank you...

    What you have to ask yourself when comparing the 2 is does the TSX satisfy your needs... or does the's not rocket just happens to cost about 5-6K does the added features of the TL make up for the extra $$$?
    Again it's an individual choice as always....what fits your needs and at what price...

    IMO to sum it up...everything you read about the performance test in these cars are a basis to hopefully help make an informed decision...if YOU as a person are going to take this car out on a daily basis and conduct all those manuvers for yourself then by all means...rock on! But for most people to do the daily commute, an occassional road trip, many even a mountain run (if you have one near you), then I think either car is best in EACH individual class...and the real question is this...when you make that formula one ride to the store to get that gallon of milk which car really fits the bill? Either one is going to look sharp in the parking lot....

    How's that for rollin'!!!
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    Excellent post delmar! The TSX is a huge value. You get a BMW like car for $10,000 less. You get over 200 hp in a small car, and yes it can scoot. The TL is a completely different animal, the comparison is not really fair. Yes the V-tec is a superior engine to all competitors. :P
  • ljwalters1ljwalters1 Posts: 294
    You have a TL, TSX and a 7-Series?!? :confuse: Man, you like your sedans!!! :)

    Regarding V-tech, I know Acura talks about it a lot, but I always figured it was just a technology that allowed you to rev higher than otherwise. Using it allows the torque band to be higher, and I guess allows Acura to get better gas mileage during regular driving when you're not revving the engine that high :confuse:

    Am I close to being right? :blush: If so, I don't really see the big deal to V-tech. I'd rather have low-end torque than high-end torque.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    Yes...I have the 3 cars mentioned. We are not into SUVs or minivans...ever. All wholly owned and the BMW 7 was bought through a car allowance...which might be traded in for a Mercedes SLK (my wife's hope).

    The V-Tech is no BIG deal as I see it as a marketing label. What I do like is how the Acura / Honda engines perform to my needs and expectations. Label or no label. would be great to have low-end torque...agreed. Just that I still find the TSX fills the niche need. Just as some may have a Xterra to haul their scuba gear...the TSX is a great everyday car that gets a lot done and is a great drive. I can drive it to the ball game and easily pop in and out without worries. I can go to HomeDepot..fold down the rear seats and haul all kinds of junk.

    I could go on regarding specific comparisons of the TSX and TL. However...if there is anyone out there interested in specific comps...just let me know.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    The V-tech gets excellent mileage. The TL gets over 30 mpg in freeway driving, that is astounding for a 270 hp, and an over 3,500 pound car.
  • rihoopsrihoops Posts: 91
    $$$$ is the big difference for most people!

    People might want the TL, but they drive the TSX and realize it is a sweet car in its own way.

    Couple that with an 8K difference and people buy the TSX.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I have driven both cars and I believe the 8k difference is worth it. However, the TSX is a great car, and would be greater with more hp.
  • rko2rko2 Posts: 40
    In regard to the comment about a Volvo S40 T5 being quicker than a TSX, I would have to disagree. While it may have more torque than a TSX, the torque is distributed to 4 wheels. I have driven both cars (and own a TSX) with manual transmissions, and the TSX seems quicker off the line. If you are buying a Volvo S40 T5 on the basis of better torque and 4-wheel drive over the TSX, you should be buying a Subaru Legacy 2.5GT, IMO.

    I agree with the other postings, the TSX is the best buy amongst the appropriate competitors. If you really want a manual and a fun car to drive that has practical functionality as well, you can't go wrong.
  • ljwalters1ljwalters1 Posts: 294
    While it may have more torque than a TSX, the torque is distributed to 4 wheels

    How does 4 v 2 affect the torque issue? I'm not disputing the statment, I just don't know enough to understand. :blush:

    Also, the S40 T5 also comes in FWD. That's the version I tested.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    Plus the TSX is a very attractive looking car, the more I see it on the road, the more I like it.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    I don't know enough about it...but I am guessing that there is some torque loss through all the converters perhaps? I may be incorrect...but isn't torque measured not at the wheel level...but what the engine can produce?
  • acraandyacraandy Posts: 8
    My experience driving both the TSX and TL (I sell them) is that the TSX is a bit more nimble feeling. It has more of a sports-car feel. However, the fact that the horses show up so late in the rev takes away from the rush of massive acceleration.
    The TL feels more well-refined and when you step on it, it goes. The 70 extra HP is a definite bonus, even with it's extra weight.

    When it comes to looks, I think the TL is one of the best looking cars on the road (IMHO).

    Both cars are unique looking and have similar features as far as safety and security. It comes down to how you like a car to feel. I would go to the dealer, take a spin in each and let the decision ride on the feel - as long as the price difference and your wallet are in agreement.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    " I think the TL is one of the best looking cars on the road (IMHO)."

    You'd get no argument from me on that! :D
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    Acraandy...welcome to the discussion.

    I own both the 2005 TL and TSX (as I mentioned in previous posts...and I am not a dealer and not in the auto industry) and I totally agree with you. The TSX is more nimble feeling as it has some zip and it does have enough acceleration. I would compare the acceleration to an Audi A4...which isn't too shabby. A different driving experience...but both very fine.

    Ride...I would say that the TSX has a little more visibility...not to say that the TL is driving blind-folded. And in some ways...the ride is a little more comfortable in the TSX as the TL is more sports tuned.

    I highly recommend getting off the net...get out and drive both cars. Only way to determine your choice.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    the ride is a little more comfortable in the TSX as the TL is more sports tuned.

    I muched preferred the TL ride than the TSX, but the TSX ride is just fine, but I don't know what you mean buy sports tuned?
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    What I meant is that the TSX may be a bit more comfortable in certain applications as the TL is more geared towards performance. That is...a bit firmer...but not jarring. The TL sits on lower profile tires and grips tight. Sports tuned...but not bone crushing like other competing cars.

    The TSX is a little bit more absorbing...but still quite of bit of feedback from the road. I wouldn't go for 500 miles in a TSX for an extended drive...but on a day to day could be a little bit more softer ride.

    However...I will be honest....I prefer my TL. I look forward to each drive. At the same time...I still very much enjoy my TSX.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I thought just the opposite. But love both cars.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    Yeah...straighten me out if I ever stray from the TL fan club. :D

    Both the TL and TSX are excellent values and great performers. I recommend all to test drive both to determine your choices. I am fortunate to have both in the stable.
  • taxesquiretaxesquire Posts: 681
    I certainly hope at least 1 of them is a 6MT!!! ;)
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744 AT. My wife and I share all our vehicles and she isn't into pecking through the gears through traffic. And worst of all....she is interested in purchasing a Mercedes SLK with an auto-tranny.

    However...that is another difference with the TSX and TL. The TL auto shift patterns is more 'sports driven'. What I mean is that the 'grade logic' feature has it where it will downshift when rounding a curve...where it is anticipating you to punch the accelerator coming out of the curve...which sets up for a great acceleration blast. Great feature.
  • taxesquiretaxesquire Posts: 681 wife actually taught me to drive a stick, making her a rare breed (unfortuately). She's only driven my TL once, and had a bad experience 'cause she's not used to the clutch engaging so soon. I think it's great, and helps counteract the lack of low-end torque. Guess I'll need to be a gentleman and return the favor by giving her a lesson!
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    " And worst of all....she is interested in purchasing a Mercedes SLK with an auto-tranny."

    Hey, me too! :P I guess I've become lazy in my old age. And most of the time I'm really more interested in cruising in comfort and style, rather than be a hard-charger. :blush:

    And regarding the shift algorithm of the TL, I'm not sure I like it 100%. If you round a city corner fast, and get back on the gas, it almost feels like the tranny would drop down a couple of gears, so you get a momentarily lull, and then, Bang, the revs shout up, and the car surges ahead! Not sure I like that. :sick:
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    The shift algorithm of the TL...very enjoyable for my tastes. I like how it downshifts to grab a hold of the corners a bit more...and have the ability to pop-out of the corners with authority...if need be.

    I say that the car surges ahead not only because of the down-shift...but because you are dealing with newer technology...where you have 'drive-by-wire' accelerator and you are sitting on 270hp. That is...the accelerator is not a mechanical linkage...but like the race cars where it is electronically controlled. So perhaps your foot is heavy and pounding down harder than necessary. Also..perhaps your other cars do not have 270hp and the pick-up of the TL.

    As for the SLK...sure would be nice to have a little more sporty feel to go with the style.
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