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Acura TL vs Lexus IS 250 vs Acura TSX



  • meateatermeateater Posts: 123
    I thought about the TL and I just couldn't see spending that much more for a car with worse fuel economy considering the TSX offers so much.

    Actually the TL gets 32 mpg highway, and about 22 city. Not bad considering the TL will absolutely smoke the TSX. Not even a comparison. Even a Sonata LX and a V6 Camry will paste the TSX. But then again, the TSX offers so much... And if you have to consider the added cost of premium fuel into your car buying decision, you can't afford these cars.

    The TSX needs a turbo.
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    I've had my 2006 TSX for about 6 months now and I could not be happier. The car is great looking, quick, sporty, comfortable, roomy (I was surprised at the amount of stuff I could put in the trunk with the seats folded) and very luxurious. I got a great deal on it, while those IS 250's were selling at full sticker. This car is a keeper no matter how many new TSX's Acura decides to put out in the future. No regrets here, it is one of the best cars I've owned. :shades:
  • shackl4d23shackl4d23 Posts: 4
    To Ontop and others -

    That statement I made about the smartest thing you can do is purchase a car less than 1 year old with less than 10k in miles is not my statement. That comes from the General Managers at many dealerships I work with. I think these guys would know a little more about the car business than I do and you do. One GM I know in particular, thinks buying a new car is the biggest waste of money there is.

    An by the way, I did say cars less than 1 year old and 10k miles. For 90% of the cars meeting these qualifications, the reason the original customer got out of the car is because they could not affor the car payment after a few months or the gas for a big SUV. Not because something is wrong with the car.
  • doggiebusdoggiebus Posts: 11
    No I actually picked the IS because of many reasons. Go on what ever comparison site you like. The Lexus will beat the Acura in over all comparison.
  • tdgtdg Posts: 6
    doggiebus and others...

    I appreciate the feedback. I don't get too religious about car manufacturers, considering almost all the parts that go into any car are actually made by third parties, many of which distribute across 'party lines.' My brother works for GM, but he already hates me for buying my last Dodge, so I think I can get away with not buying a Cadillac.

    So it seems like this comes down to the buyer's needs (as I suppose it would). I think I've made up my mind on the TSX - mostly for the reason most people don't even consider it in the same class (FWD). We get some bad weather in the winter, and I don't feel like springing for the AWD versions of all the other cars in the class. If I did that, I'd buy a loaded Subaru Legacy sedan... hmmm, now there's a thought.

    Thanks again.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Actually, your numbers are a little off...20City/29Hwy for the TL, 22/31 for the TSX; the 22/32 you state is closer to that of the TSX, or my car, and Accord EX I-4 (I get 30 MPG regularly, EPA estimates 24/34).

    I don't think anyone here is claiming the TSX to be a drag-racer...It's a handler. It's purpose isn't to win in the straight-line; it's excellent at handling a twisty road. Drive one, and you'll know (assuming you haven't already).
  • moto7moto7 Posts: 13
    I sold a Saab turbo 9000, which was a great car, but for a new car, I did not like the new saab design or reputed reliability rating. The car that I chose was the 2005 TL. Can't compare the IS 250, but the TSX is not in the same class as the TL. TSX - fun, smaller, good value, but the TL is just as sporty with more luxury, power and just down right FUN to drive. Mileage is 30mpg hwy (but don't like the premium gas requirement). Ride is stiff and is little bumpy but the handling is more important to me. Sound system is top notch.
  • jeffw330jeffw330 Posts: 13
    Three great cars! Of them, I have driven the IS250 AWD and TSX, and can only imagine what the TL is like. Both the TSX and IS250 lack blistering acceleration, but handle corners well and have good amounts of pep for most driving. Passing cars and getting onto freeway exits seemed to require downshifting, but once at speed, moving into higher gear made for pleasant cruising. The TSX is way less expensive than the IS 250 models I have seen because the Lexus (here) normally comes with the premium package or other stuff.

    Best prices I could find in Oregon (no NAV) are TSX - $26,700, IS250 RWD + Premium package $34,900, IS250 AWD base $33,000. Our product mix up here for the Lexus line seems to be IS250AWD or IS350.

    The Lexus seems to be more refined and have a better fit and finish than the TSX, however, not by the margin that the price differences would suggest.

    As an aside, for being straight out of college, if you want to save a few $$, the Honda Accord EXv6 can be had for $24, 400 and runs on regular unleaded. Not as cool or luxurious as the other three, but not a homely car by any means.
  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473
    That's nothing more than your opinion there, doggiebus. That and a buck will get you a cup of 7-11 coffee.
  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473
    Actually the TL gets 32 mpg highway, and about 22 city. Not bad considering the TL will absolutely smoke the TSX. Not even a comparison. Even a Sonata LX and a V6 Camry will paste the TSX. But then again, the TSX offers so much... And if you have to consider the added cost of premium fuel into your car buying decision, you can't afford these cars.

    The TSX needs a turbo.

    You're right, the Camry, Sonata and TL will smoke the TSX in a straight line. So what? If you think the Sonata and Camry will give you anywhere near the driving experience the TSX will, you're sadly mistaken.
  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473
    If handling is more important to you, than you'd have gone with the TSX. I think stop light acceleration is more important to you.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,097
    I think it's safe to day, johnny, that a person weighs a number of important factors when deciding which vehicle one ends up buying. And none of them are incorrect for that buyer.

    I bought a TL because it is pretty... :blush:

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • boikoboiko Posts: 82
    I drive a Nissan Z myself, but I'm in the market for a new car and the cars mentioned here are all on my list.

    So in light of all the talk going back and forth between owners of these various cars. I thought I would list (just for the heck of it..) their relative performance numbers as they appear in the May 2006 issue of Car and Driver magazine. Oh, and yes, I have driven all these cars mentioned..and yes I do know that performance is just one aspect of car selection.

    We all know that these numbers are in no way written in stone...but will give you a rough idea as to each cars performance relative to each other...coming from a single auto mag.

    Each of these cars have their own strengths and weaknesses, but IMO as a group they are all very good cars.

    Acura TSX Issue-2/06
    0-60: 7.2 sec
    Roadholding g's: .80
    EPA City: 21
    70-0: 177'
    Top Speed: Not Listed

    Acura TL Issue-10/05
    0-60: 5.9 sec
    Roadholding g's: .91
    EPA City: 20
    70-0: 170'
    Top Speed: 152 MPH

    Lexus IS250 RWD 6-Spd Manual Issue-4/06
    0-60: 7.1 sec
    Roadholding g's: (sorry not listed..)
    EPA City: 20
    70-0: 170'
    Top Speed: 142 MPH

    Lexus IS350 Issue-10/05
    0-60: 5.1 sec
    Roadholding g's: .85
    EPA City: 19
    70-0: 167'
    Top Speed: 142 MPH
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    20City/29Hwy for the TL

    Nothing like owning a TL to attest to it's gas mileage. I get 32mpg (as good as a 4 cyl Accord is previously owned) highway and 19-22 city.

    When the Accord/TSX/TL lineup gets redone in 2 years Honda will obviously raise the bar again, and their cars will shine on. The Sports4 concept is a beauty!
  • dr_gdr_g Posts: 21
    Although the TL is EPA rated at 21/29 I get much different numbers. Driving around in horrible LA traffic I get about 20 mpg with a warm engine, and that rapidly drops to about 12mpg if I get a little pedal happy. On the highway the TL is quite another story getting about 38mpg at 60 cruising and 32mpg at 90mph. If you drive at 75mph and throw a few runs to 90 or 100 you still get about about 33mpg.

    So a TL would be a bad choice for putting around the city but on the open highway the 258HP engine is remarkably efficient.

    Having broke in my TL now, I can say it's definitely not going to compete with smaller cars that handle well. Where Road & Track got that ridiculous 0.91 lateral g rating I don't know - not even a fully modified A-Spec could do that. Proving once again you should believe something just because it's in print.

    Again I say the IS250 is not worth getting unless you just love the IS cabin & styling. The real value lies in IS350 which is a lot more car for minimally more - of course not everybody is looking for tire-melting power. If you just want economy get a TSX which should still keep you happy inside and have you sitting on a padded wallet not having bought a TL or IS.

    For me the TL was a good compromise of a good value and enough luxury. I still have my old Contour SVT which I can take for rides up Malibu Canyon if I feel like really driving a car - something neither of these 3 cars can do :P
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    I still have my old Contour SVT which I can take for rides up Malibu Canyon if I feel like really driving a car - something neither of these 3 cars can do

    This is silly....

    Proving once again you should believe something just because it's in print.

    I don't believe your print....
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    There isn't any reason to make this personal. Please.
  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473
    For me the TL was a good compromise of a good value and enough luxury. I still have my old Contour SVT which I can take for rides up Malibu Canyon if I feel like really driving a car - something neither of these 3 cars can do

    Really? I bet my TSX would drive just fine up Malibu Canyon. In fact, I'm positive it'd be downright exhilarating. :shades:
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    And I'd be right there with ya in my TL (probably would pass ya just to let ya know I got some hp under the hood).

    A Contour ??????
  • minizx3minizx3 Posts: 32
    Hi all

    This is my first post on this board..I am a former TSX owner and now a IS250 owner. I really loved the TSX as many here do as well, but my problem was with Acura's service department. I was never treated well by them. My husband owns an Accord, I know Acura and Honda same company, BUT the Honda dealership/service team is great. The Lexus dealership/service team is out of this world. I get my car washed and vacuumed every week-end for grumbling..I needed touch up paint, got it in two days. When I took my car in for an oil change at Acura, they do a complimentary car car and windows were 10X more dirty then they were when I got there, my mainentance required light was still on and when I asked them to turn it off, they said "I'm not familiar with your car, did you think you can figure it out on your own by reading the manual"..they are not familiar with my car!???! Aren't they the dealership??! There are more stories I can tell, but it's not worth it...I'm done with them.

    As far as the "car" differences are concerned..yea the IS is smaller, but I feel the seats are so much more comfortable in the IS and the handling is better. I like that the CD has a random for all 6 CDs...and I can't tell you the looks I get :shades: ...there are not too many in my area!
  • dr_gdr_g Posts: 21
    Yep a Contour - rather a Contour SVT. When you have 170+ whp and 3000 lb curb weight you can get up to speed faster than a TSX and the suspension is so solid it would run circles around the 3 cars discussed in this thread. Of course the car has long since been discontinued since Ford marketed it stupidly - I saw so many rentals and grandmas driving the car it made me sick :cry: . Still, based off the Mondea platform, it was a nice car in it's day.

    The TL hauls gluteus for my needs. Add a AEM CAI, a UR pulley, a Comptech RSB, and Tein basic setup and it will probably leave the TSX and IS250 in the dust in the canyons - of course it costs considerably more for that performance.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I test drove all three several times -

    The TSX was a complete let down - not at all what I expected. Needed to floor it to get it to move - ride was harsh - handling was poor - sloppy in the corners - after driving two different TSX's - we did not even bother driving the TL (big mistake) - decided the IS was the car!

    Problem was I could not find an IS (wanted the 250 - would have taken the 350) with anywhere near the options we wanted. Did not want black interior or nav - hate the wood trim. I like to walk in - drive the car - write a check and drive off - I worked with two dealerships - for more than a month - and all they ever had was cars coming in 3 weeks - and they were not what we wanted!

    Went back and drove a TL - wife loved it (this is her car - so she decides) - the dealer had 20 in stock the exact way we wanted - paid less than invoice with no haggle.

    The TL is not as nice as the IS - it is really just an Accord - this is a fact - the TSX is also an Accord - the 2002 European Accord - also a fact. I would have picked the 2006 Civic EX coupe or Accord EX coupe over the TSX - wife killed the 2 door idea - the 4 door looks like a car an old person would drive (which I am).

    I did not even talk price with Lexus - hard to really push for a low price when they are selling before they get to the dealership.
  • waw40waw40 Posts: 39
    After a 4-month wait for a special order from Japan, I got my TSX 2 months ago and I can now, like many other owners before me, confirm that the car is very comfortable and well equipped, handles marvelously, and although not a drag racer, has more than adequate power/torque for highway passing in the 50-90mph range and for highway entering in the 40-70 mph range. To all who consider a TSX, however, I would strongly recommend the MT version, which in comparison with the AT version behaves like a different, much more fun-to-drive vehicle. Of course, if you prefer to pay a few thousand more for a Lexus brand with a cramped back seat that doesn't fold and less nimble handling, you may opt for IS250, which is otherwise a fine car, too. And if you want a larger family sedan above the Accord level, go for a TL.

    TSX has a lot in common with European Accord, Executive version, but whoever maintains that they are the same cars (like it was something negative to resemble a European car)obviously has not driven at least one of those models.
  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473
    Good write-up and congrats on the car. :D
  • For what it's worth, for me:

    The TSX is not as much a mainstream vehicle like the TL. It appeals to far fewer people. Those that truly appreciate it typically appreciate how balanced it is across the board, from performance to design to price. This is a big part of why the TSX has been on C&D's Top 10 and the TL has not. Most Americans want more power than the TSX currently offers, which is where the extremely nice TL fits in, an it throws in some other goodies as well. I did not find the differences the TL offers to warrant the higher price - indeed, I felt there were too many shortcomings in the TL when compared to the TSX. And, no, it was not a matter of whether I could afford the TL - I simply want to feel like I get the most for my money (bang-for-buck etc), and the TL did not cut it for me.

    The TSX vs. TL
    * The TSX is a wonderfully balanced machine, excelling only in one thing: being good in everything (notice I did not say great in everything). This dynamic balance gives it more “soul” than any Honda/Acura I’ve ever driven. The TL gave me a feeling of substance and weight… and age, distantly reminding me in some ways of rental Buicks and Oldsmobiles I’ve been forced to drive from time to time

    * Exterior is more conservatively styled, so will likely age even better than the TL (plan to keep car 10 years). The TL is too wide for regular urban driving, given narrow lanes and even narrower parking stalls and support pillars in garages – there have been several times where I said “Glad I didn’t get the TL – I never could’ve fit in this spot!”)

    * The steering and handling feel in the TSX was much more communicative and dynamic. The TL felt a little floaty in comparison, though it was still good. After getting the TSX in '04 was surprised when I first saw that the TL pulls slightly more g’s on the skidpad (how much more varies based on the review), because the steering did not inspire confidence in me when driving it hard unlike the TSX. Fortunately, I replaced the OEM tires on my TSX with new Yoko Avid V4’s at a mere 2,000 miles and that alone made a substantial improvement in grip

    * I love Honda I4’s, and the power of the TL did not impress me enough to make it a factor at all in my decision. Some people cannot stand “having” to rev an engine, especially those coming from American cars it seems, so the TSX is not a good car for them. Personally, I appreciate how the TSX can be a mild mannered gas-sipping commuter at low rpms and an aggressive canyon-carving, gas-slurping machine when maintaining high rpms. It also takes longer to learn how to optimally drive an I4 than a 6 because you have to learn the rpm curve – this turns a lot of people off, but, again, I like it. Not once in 2 years of varied driving conditions have I ever needed more power in the TSX. If ever I do, I’ll go get an ECU reflash for starters (lots of performance mods available for the TSX if that’s your thing – it’s not mine). I've read reliable reports of people getting over 40+ mpg in the TSX on the highway.

    * The interior of the TSX is ergonomic and slick. I felt that the TL interior was bloated, overwrought, and simply too wide for our taste. The instrumentation cluster of the TSX was light years ahead of the TL’s in ease-of-use and outright appearance. The seats of the TL were like lounge chairs: very comfortable for sitting, not supportive enough for sporty driving. The TSX has a split, fold-down rear seat – an absolute necessity given that the TSX is our only car and we have a baby (it’s come in handy for those trips to Home Depot)

    * Did not want or need nav because I spent the money (and more) that the nav option on upgrading the speakers and amp. As far as stock systems go, it was a toss-up for CDs and radio (the TL’s system was only truly impressive for the hard-to-find-the-music-I-listen-to DVD-A discs). Since the TSX system was not “designed” like the TL, it was an easy decision to rip out the speakers.

    PS - the TSX virtually is the Euro Accord, it doesn't merely have a lot in common ;-P. Also, whoever had the Contour, be aware that at least on the skidpad, the TSX and TL are roughly equal (again, every review varies), so "running circles" around them is quite unlikely.
  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    I had a diametrically opposite view of the same cars - the TSX vs the TL.

    The TSX is just too slow! You gotta rev it up to 6-7000 rpms to get any giddyup? Na. Not for me.

    What's the problem with the guages now? A speedo, a tach, another cluster. All in a beautiful blue glow. What's this lightyears ahead business? Kinda silly.

    And how much 'wider' is a TL vs a TSX. 2"? Yea - that makes all the difference in the world.

    Sounds like someone trying to justify their purchase when others just would kick it to the curb.
  • richey02hgrichey02hg Posts: 69
    my POV just comes down to cost right now

    Lexus IS should be at a price in betweeen the TL and TSX and im getting quotes 1k + over the TL

    so for the TL/IS comparison, the TL is just at a better value right now

    for the TL/TSK comparison it basically comes down to do i want to spend 26k on a car or 30k on a car

    or if i want to get an IS, spend 31k on a car that is smaller and not even really in the same class as the TL
  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473
    Excellent, concise write-up, Vito. :)
  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473
    I had a diametrically opposite view of the same cars - the TSX vs the TL.

    The TSX is just too slow! You gotta rev it up to 6-7000 rpms to get any giddyup? Na. Not for me

    Did you even read his post? Vitocorleone's post: well-informed, well-written and objective, with his subjective preferences interlaced. Your post: "diametrically opposite" to his, poorly-written and poorly informed.

    He explained his reasons for choosing the TSX over the TL, all the while giving due props to the excellent TL, and you didn't do a good job of explaining your decision in choosing the TL. You just regurgitated tired arguements about lack of power. Horsepower rules, dude! Rock on!

    If thoroughly enjoying your car and appreciating its attributes is "justifying your purchase," then so be it.

    Between the two of you, who do you think comes off as the more discerning automotive enthusiast?
  • maximafanmaximafan Posts: 592
    Who cares who is the most discerning
    automotive enthusiast here?
    Vito has his opinions about the cars
    mentioned here and so does Leadfoot6. It
    doesn't mean what he has to say is "poorly
    written" and "poorly informed". I happen to
    feel the same way.
    While the TSX is a nice-looking car and has
    a nice interior, it doesn't have enough
    power for me and it's also a smaller car.
    I'm coming from a Maxima here, so I'm not
    interested in going too much smaller than
    that, and the TL fits the bill very nicely.

    These forums are about peoples' personal
    opinions on the various vehicles on this
    website. There's no reason to be so harsh.

    We all have some particular reason why we
    like one car better than another, and
    those things may seem like nit-picking to
    somebody else. But, hey, you know what? The
    the one that's shelling out the cash is the
    one that's got to be happy with their
    ultimate choice.

    I've driven some 4-cylinder autos, and while
    I am impressed with how much zip they have
    these days, I still prefer a 6-cylinder
    because I like the sound or the exhaust of
    a V6( a little throatier) than the buzziness
    and possibly the coarseness or the noisiness
    that you get when revving a 4-cylinder. Does
    that make me poorly informed? Maybe, but I
    don't think so.
    That's just what I like, and that's my
This discussion has been closed.