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Acura TL vs Lexus IS 250 vs Acura TSX



  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    Between the two of you, who do you think comes off as the more discerning automotive enthusiast

    This is a blog bro.

    You can say anything you want. I don't take 20 minutes deciding what to write and how to write it.

    I do know that a TSX is slow compared to a TL, or even an Accord V6 for that matter.

    That's enough right there to pass on the $28K TSX.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    "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 "

    Comparing a TL to a "rental Buick or Olds is stretching it :surprise:
    FYI, the TSX is a whopping 215 pds lighter than the TL.

    "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 TL is 2.8 inches wider than the TL. I guess that really makes a difference for ya :P
    FYI, the TSX has a higher ground clearance than the TL (.3) and is .6 taller than the TL. Be careful when entering those parking garages, ya might scratch your roof ;)

    "The instrumentation cluster of the TSX was light years ahead of the TL’s in ease-of-use and outright appearance."

    IMHO, the TSX and the TL's instrument cluster share many, many similarities. How is it light years ahead?

    Nonetheless, glad to hear you are happy with your Acura. ;)

    Hope I spent enough time writing this response, I don't want to be criticized for grammatical and spelling errors....
  • meateatermeateater Posts: 123
    Yup - I don't see paying more for a TSX than an Accord EXV6. Shoot even with Nav the Accord is probably less money.

    Interesting (and confusing) overlap in the Honda/Acura lineup.
  • Since there have already been so many comments comparing these two, I'll avoid repeating a lot of what other people have said and just go straight to my conclusion.

    I drove these two cars back to back this afternoon.
    The cars may appear similar on paper and in cost, but the driving experience is completely different. Note that I do not mean that they *drive* completely differently, but rather, the *experience* of driving them is very different.

    Here's what I mean: sure, the motor in the TL feels a bit smoother and quieter and torquer when you get above 4000rpm (what do you expect? it has bigger displacement and two more cylinders), but you don't need to drive the cars to know that. Here's what you DO need to drive the cars in order to know: if you're comparing TL MT to TSX MT, the clutch and shifter combo in the TSX is a country mile better than the setup in the TL.

    The clutch in the TL has virtually zero resistance. It is like pushing on a limp noodle. To make matters worse, the clutch in the TL feels like it has a grand total of around 4 inches of travel, and engages around 1.5 inches from the floor (again, i'm just talking about how it felt, i did not go down there with a ruler to check). I kid you not, it is the worst clutch I have driven in my life.

    Is it possible someone could learn to drive it smoothly (or more importantly, enjoyably) after more time in the car? Sure. Do I want to be that someone who throws down $31k on a car in the hope that I might learn to like driving it? Uh, no.

    I am not saying that the clutch in the TSX should receive a trophy or anything. (If you want see how a well implemented clutch should feel, check out the one on a Porsche.) But at least it has decent travel and engagement. Heck, it's positively wonderful compared to the one on the TL, which makes you want to rip it out of the floor.

    Furthermore, the shift linkage on the TSX has the best feel of any shifter I have driven to date. At the risk of sounding absurd, the linkage on the TSX reminds me of the feel and sound of pulling a well-oiled bolt on a rifle. It has a shorter throw, smoother action, and (in my mind) a better feel than the shifter on a 911, M3, S2000 or A3. Note that the shifter on the TL is not bad at all, and in truth it is not so very different than the one in the TSX. It just doesn't feel quite as good.

    So here's what I'm saying: the TL has more torque, power, and feels more luxurious than the TSX inside. The TL also has a little quieter ride and a bit less road noise. But if you're comparing MT to MT, there is really no comparison. Forget about the 0-60 times and skidpad numbers. Forget about the $5k separating them. The clutch in the TL to my mind is a non-starter. It's THAT bad.

    Having said that, comparing AT to AT is a totally different proposition...
  • Thanks for the compliment on my brief write-up. And to everyone else: as I mentioned in my post, that was MY experience - I totally understand and expect yours to be different (I don't think I've been cloned yet). I was not exaggerating one bit on any statement I made.

    Yes, the TL reminded me of driving Buicks and Oldsmobiles (no, I don't think it's the same - the TL is far better).

    Yes, the those 3" of width make a real-world difference between being able to get out of the car or not in a tight parking spot, or losing a side-miror navigating between parked/moving cars and large buses or between horribly placed ad designed garage pillars (the wide turn-circle of the TSX causes problems once in awhile as it is).

    Yes, after driving the TSX, the TL's cluster seemed dated (also contributing to the Buick/Olds statement)

    I think the TL is a great car and went into Acura fully expecting that I'd leave with one, but it turned out that it just was not for me. I totally understand that most people would not be happy with the power delivery of the TSX - however, I am 100% satisfied with the TSX.

    (ps - good write-up on the MT TSX. From what I've read from regular people and pro reviewers is that the TSX MT transmission is one of the best available on the market hands-down even compared to more expensive cars)
  • ontopontop Posts: 279
    Not sure why anyone would want to buy a 4 door FWD sedan the size of a TL with a manual transmission.

    I think they make up about 6% of the total sales of TLs.
  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473
    Not sure why anyone would want to buy a 4 door FWD sedan the size of a TL with a manual transmission.

    Regardless of the percentage of TL's sold with the MT, the car is marketed with sporting intentions. IMO, any such car is far more entertaining with a stick then with a gooey slushbox.

    It's kind of a sad state of affairs here in the U.S. The MT is dying a slow death. Too many people more concerned with operating their cell phones than their cars.

    I only hope enough enthusiasts will remain to keep demand for the venerable stick high.
  • boikoboiko Posts: 82
    Other then my 66 Mustang, I've driven MT cars all my life. But even I must now consider AT, given the general increase in traffic and the sometimes better MPG AT's now get.
  • boikoboiko Posts: 82
    The TSX and TL are both very good cars, and I wish you the very best as a TSX owner.

    But are you sure you want to stand by your "TL cluster is dated" comment given the TSX/TL dash screenshots below. I think most people would just scratch their heads on that one..

    Yes, after driving the TSX, the TL's cluster seemed dated (also contributing to the Buick/Olds statement)
  • boikoboiko Posts: 82
    When I look at the 3 dash pics.. I see a strong family resemblance between them, with the Accord on the low-end, TSX mid-range and TL high-end.

    Just a bit more bling as you move up the $$ scale, as Honda intended.
  • stlcarguystlcarguy Posts: 30
    With all due respect. People like us who are on sites like Edmunds and others like it are the ONLY people out there that may cross shop Hondas and Acuras. The vast majority of the massive American market would not think to cross shop an Acura TSX and a Honda Accord. That's why Acura even exists. If Honda thought that they could steal away a 3-series customer by tricking out an Accord don't you think they would have, instead of creating an entire other marque. It's a different shopper that Honda wouldn't have had a crack at otherwise. The Accord is never a bleep on that customer's radar.

    I bought a TSX for a number of reasons. Would an Accord EX V6 match many (not all) of the features I have and whoop me from a stop light, sure, but I don't care.

    Just my take.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Could debate this all day long - but there are good reasons the manual has been on a slow decline.

    To understand you need to look back in history - my first two cars had 2 speed automatics - it took forever to shift from 1-2 - the term slush box would apply. My next car had a 4 speed manual - I then had 4 gears instead of 2 plus I could shift at the blink of an eye. The performance difference was very large.

    Now - welcome to 2006!

    5 speed automatics are everywhere - even cars like the Camry now have 6 speed automatics- some cars have 7 speed autos. If you have driven an auto in the last few years you will know that they shift pretty quick (compared to the old days - very quick). I think most of the improvement is due to electronic controls.

    The difference between the auto and manual in pure performance is much less than it was in the past.

    But the old feeling that manuals are much better performance wise than autos still carries on.

    Most cars with a manual are still capable of being driven faster than the same car with an auto - just a fact - but because it takes a little skill to get this extra performance out of the manual - I would bet that some of the posters who are always saying - GET the manual! Could actually drive an auto faster - of course they would never agree - they are working the clutch so hard and shifting like crazy so the must be going faster!

    Drive what ever makes you happy - I have nothing against a manual - have owned many - but don't try and tell me that a manual is "better" for me - because I know what is best for me.

    BTW - as far as a manual being more fun to drive I agree to a point - but after driving a manual tranny for a few weeks it just becomes second nature - you don't even think about it - it sort of becomes AUTOMATIC.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,096
    As always, no one can tell you that you bought the wrong car/color/tranny... Only you can tell you that! But people will try.

    For me the decline of the manuall tranny began when I became a Route 95/128 commuter. Sorry, that kind of stop and go driving just sucks any fun out of rowing your own. My solution was to buy the wife a 5 speed manual car for me to drive on the weekend. But after 6.5 years she too said, "No mas" as she too commutes. Although mostly back roads, but what Lola wants, Lola gets. Lola wanted an RX300.

    '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 know just what you mean....Boston/NH commuter in 5-sp 300ZX, for many years now. Just waiting to see what Acura has coming in the 07 TL (ie. 300 HP, etc..)

    TL, G35 Coupe, IS,....either way, after many years of driving MT cars..and with the steady increase in traffic each's now time to start thinking AT.
  • TL vs TSX cluster (please remember I compared 2004 models when deciding on a TSX - if the newer TLs have been updated, then great!): it's hard to tell from the pictures that the guages in the (2004) TL are really recessed into separate "holes", whereas the TSX guages are flat. These recessed guages are what reminded me of both older cars as well as American cars. Add in the actual layout and design of the guages, and, to me, the difference is even greater.
  • Just my $.02...

    I wouldn't consider the TSX simply because it is a 4-cyl. That is just my personal preference, but I am looking for a 6 cyl. I see them everywhere, too. The IS250 isn't everywhere I turn. Car handles great (even though I wish it had more hp and came in a MT in the AWD), and I love the way it looks inside and out. It was a no brainer for me, but good luck in your decision!
  • biker4biker4 Posts: 746
    What if that 4 cyl had better performance than the 6 cyl? Getting a car by counting cylinders without looking at the overall picture is rather short sited.

    If you consider the current sales volume (~3500 for TSX and ~5000 for the IS) it seems the TSX is more exclusive than the IS. :shades:
  • taxesquiretaxesquire Posts: 681
    Good point about the cylinders. If all you cared about was sportiness, the 4 cylinder Mazdaspeed 6 will blow all the cars in this discussion out of the water!!!
  • Yeah, but who really want's FORD crap anyway?
    Reliability and ANY FORD product are an oxymoron ..
    pretty ugly
    jumbo shrimp
    free gift

    etc etc etc
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    free gift? Are you sure this is an oxymoron?
  • taxesquiretaxesquire Posts: 681
    If I were buying a car, it'd be between the TL and the Maxdaspeed 6. I think the TL would edge it out based on luxury, but I'm not sure the Mazda wouldn't be more fun.
  • from_flfrom_fl Posts: 113
    I don't like both TL and Mazda 6.
    I don't like TSX, either.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,096
    I don't like Mondays.

    '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.

  • maximafanmaximafan Posts: 592
    I take it this means you like the IS250?
  • Like I said - I just prefer a 6 cyl. I am sure you are short SIGHTED by oher things - color, make, etc. It is called setting a priority.
  • biker4biker4 Posts: 746
    Yep - one of my priorities is a certain level of performance - but I could care less how the maker achieves that (be it 0, 2, 4, 6, 12 cyl). :shades:
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    Well, this thread has taken a downward spiral... ;)

    My wife's Honda Accord had minor rear bumper damage when it was tapped in traffic.
    It was in the dealer for 3 weeks getting repaired (Yeah, 3 weeks, long story)
    She had a Mazda 6 as a rental.

    I took it out, it was kinda fun to drive but I wouldn't want to own one.
    I bet the Speed6 is a blast to drive, but there is no long-term quality there.
    As with any Ford based product... the novelty wears off and then the problems start.

    I loved my 94 Ford Taurus SHO.... loved it.
    Then it started to need what I would consider minor repairs.
    Alternator, starter, wiper motor, AC Compressor...
    They added up WAY to quickly and I had to get rid of that car.... still miss it at times.

    My wife had a Ford Contour SVT.
    Nothing to look at but holy cow, what a fun little car to drive.
    Also a complete POS.

    I'm done with Ford, and that includes the Mazda counterpart.
    The Mazda cars look kinda neat lately, but if your looking for long term quality, look elsewhere.
    If you're comparing long term quality, no Mazda will ever live up to Honda/Acura longevity.

    Oh, and I also despise Mondays as well. :)
  • taxesquiretaxesquire Posts: 681
    was your rental a 4 cyl Mazda6 or a 6 cyl?
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    Our rental was a Mazda6 s 5-Door Sport in, of all colors, Bright Island Blue. :cry:
    It had the 6-Speed Auto trans and I beat the life out of it on the highway. :blush:

    Anywho, like I said, it was fun to beat on, but I wouldn't want one to own, personally.

    Now, the MazdaSpeed6, I have not had the chance to drive, but I bet that's loads of fun to romp on.... I just need to have the best from both worlds... Fun to drive, and something that'll last me a while.
    I dump TONS of miles on my cars each year, and keep them for 5 or 6 years, so I need something that'll last without massive costs in repairs.
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