Acura TSX vs Honda Accord vs Volkswagen Passat

canaanmancanaanman Member Posts: 21
I am considering all three of these vehicles and trying to make a final decision. I appreciate any comments and suggestions.


  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Thanks for creating this! :)

    I adjusted your title slightly - let's not limit the discussion itself to the Accord coupe and the Passat 2.0. Certainly we can work with you on those specific vehicles, but let's make the focus a little broader so it will benefit others as well.

    And just for future reference - when you create a discussion, it's very important to categorize the vehicles you wish to discuss. That's what makes the discussion show up when people do searches with the Browse by Vehicle option on the left. I added them for you.

    Anyway, thanks again! Good luck.
  • tdgtdg Member Posts: 6

    I have decided to buy the TSX, though my considerations were with other vehicles. However, I can tell you why I did not consider the other two mentioned in your title.

    First, I don't want a coupe. Two-door cars are not for me: the doors are heavier and longer, leaving you more prone to bumping cars in the narrower spots in parking garages.

    Secondly, I find the styling and amenities much more sophisticated in the TSX than the Accord, and I am a much bigger fan of the 205 hp I4 engine than the 6 in the Accord.

    As far as the Passat is concerned, I'm bored with the styling frankly. It doesn't have that sporty stance that I enjoy with the TSX. Anyway, I hope my thoughts lend some light to your decision-making process. I think more than anything your decision will come down to what 'kind' of car you want... a family-type sedan, reliable tried & true sorta sport car, or an entry-level luxury sedan. I think value rides with the Accord and TSX (which is based on the European Accord).
  • sapparosapparo Member Posts: 68
    Passat looks like a bloated puffer fish ready to burst. The other 2 are on the 10 best list many years counting. Nuf said about who's better quality. VW is in dire sraights in the US, Honda/Acura is rolling in cash and more innovative. TSX is more refined, edgier looking than Accord and has better warranty and ownership perks. And TSX is built 100% in Japan and has the best 4 cylinder in the world.
  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    Ever driven a new Passat?
  • krzysskrzyss Member Posts: 849
    sapparo just knows!

  • jthornerjthorner Member Posts: 2
    I looked carefully at the Passat, Volvo S60, Honda Accord and 2007 Toyota Camry before choosing my TSX. The Passat has lots of questionable features which seem prone to VW-like failures, such as the electric activated parking brake and high-tech keyless-key. Also, the VW navigation system was much clusier to use the the Acura's. The VW seats were also less comforable due to a strange protrusion at the front edge of the seat bottoms which my daughter found very uncomfortable.

    The Passat with similar equipment was more expensive than the TSX, at least in terms of real-world pricing. Styling wise I like the TSX better, and as far as reliability goes, VW's recent track record is poor.

    The Accord is a good second alternative, but lacks the handling finesse of the TSX.

  • canaanmancanaanman Member Posts: 21
    Thanks for your reply. I am finding that many who try both the VW and TSX choose the TSX. I agree with you, once you build up the VW to match the TSX, it is more expensive. I thought VW had worked out their electrical problems, but reading your post it must still be an issue. My wife doesn't like the Camry styling even though the reliability is there, but we haven't driven the hybrid yet. Forget the Volvo S60, way too expensive and too much Ford influence now. I have a Civic now, so I know the Honda brand. I plan to take a day and drive both the Accord Coupe V6 and then the TSX to make a choice.
  • econoboxjockeyeconoboxjockey Member Posts: 17
    Good luck with your test drives. I drove both and bought the Accord sedan with the 6-speed manual. The TSX has a taughter suspension, but the Accord V6 has quite an enormous power advantage. Factor in more rear-seat room (an important criteria in my case), a couple of thousand dollars in savings (it seems odd that the more powerful car with the larger engine is $2-3K really pay for the Acura label, so it seems), and the fact that the nearest Acura dealer is two hours from my home (as opposed to the Honda dealer two miles away), and the decision really pretty much made itself.

    I don't think there's a "wrong" choice between the TSX and the Accord V6. Two outstanding automobiles in my book. Which one is "better" is just a matter of personal preference. However, if you "prefer" superior handling feel (and it's all about the feel, as the two cars put up remarkably similar subjective handling numbers), expect to pay a premium for it. Yes, there's an extra year of warranty and a few electronic gizmos thrown in, and the TSX is a more "exclusive" ride, but it comes at a pretty steep price, especially given you lose 40 hp and 50 torque.

    If economy is a factor, both manual transmission cars get the same projected EPA mileage. I figure it's likely the TSX could be "babied" up beyond the 30 mpg highway figure a lot easier than the Accord's six, but Car and Driver got 24 out of each car in their recent five-way comparison test (February 2006 issue).

    This is a good decision to be facing, because you can't be wrong whatever you decide. :shades:
  • canaanmancanaanman Member Posts: 21
    Thank you econoboxjockey. I will bring your post with me when I test drive. I guess I am favoring the TSX even though it is more expensive just to get good performance and a four door car that doesn't look bland.
  • sardonic_ninnysardonic_ninny Member Posts: 25
    isnt the TSX built on the Civic Si frame?
    Or was that the Rsx?
    they're practically the same car, but I miss the RSX' with its nice head and taillights before they cut the cute little teardrops from the bottom of them.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    The TSX is it's own car I is also the European/Japanese Accord. On a sidenote, the RSX is going away...its sales have dropped noticeably with the intro of the lower priced-yet-equal performance Civic Si.

    RIP RSX.
  • johnny420johnny420 Member Posts: 473
    The TSX is built on the same chassis as the USDM Accord and the TL. Different tuning obviously.
  • sardonic_ninnysardonic_ninny Member Posts: 25
    yah, its all about tuning.. =[
    I just assumed it was the same frame.
    Maybe not Civic Si
    but I saw a Civic, and I saw a TSX parked right next to eachother
    and they were so nearly identical in width and length and windshield rake, etc etc, that I just assumed they had the same frame
  • robr2robr2 BostonMember Posts: 8,863
    Just to be anal retentive - it's based on the same platform. Unibodies don't have frames.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    :) Haha, call it "detail-oriented", and consider yourself proud. :D
  • sardonic_ninnysardonic_ninny Member Posts: 25
    But dont unibodies have a solid wrap around front end?

    Maybe not, Im just confused now.
  • janljanl Member Posts: 3
    Would anybody suggest a preparation or an efficient way to clean aluminum wheels on my 2003 Accord EX V6 from the black brake dust? The typical detergent and/or soft brush scrubbing doesn't do much and even after extensive efforts these wheels look dirty...
  • robr2robr2 BostonMember Posts: 8,863
    The brake dust may have etched the clear coat and won't come off easily.

    Try getting some automotive clay and lubricant and try that.
  • johnny420johnny420 Member Posts: 473
    Agree. Detailers clay works great on stubborn wheels. Just make sure the wheels you use it on are clear coated. Use a piece of clay near the end of its useable life (useable life on paint, that is)...I wouldn't use a nice new piece.
  • hjchjc Member Posts: 9
    Ummm.. I'm sure you don't mean household detergent, right? lol
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Member Posts: 3,118
    I rinse my wheels with water, then liberally spray them with P21S or similar cleanser (Griots, Poorboys, etc.). I let the cleaner soak for about 3 minutes, then I use a wet brush and scrub the wheels clean. One final rinse with water and my wheels are clean.
  • janljanl Member Posts: 3
    On my '03 Accord V6 gear shifter panel iluminating light stopped working. Couldn't find any info on it in the user manual. How do I replace this bulb? Honda dealer where I service my car tells me to forget it since my dashboard shows the gear info, but I'd like to fix it and not for a price they quote me. Help.
  • bvdj84bvdj84 Member Posts: 1,724
    Washing your car and wheels frequently will prevent this from happening. Also keep in mind that now that you have used cleaners on the rim, make sure you put something that will repel and keep grime, water off them. The cleaners essentially have taken all of the layer of wax or repellent off the wheels. Even putting coat of wax on the wheels will help alot, then that way the brake dust will not stick. Think of your rim like the way of your cars paint. Try not to be abrasive, you will scratch or make them dull. Once clean, Wax or some kind of treatment, and then try not to physically touch them from then on, each touch potientially leaves marks on clear coat, just like the paint. Clay bar and waxes will help alot getting it off. Wash rims frequently.

    Just some tips, Good Luck!!
  • sammya_mdsammya_md Member Posts: 69
    I am probably in the minority here, because I choose the passat 2.0T....the TSX does nothing for my stylish wise, and you can't get any go out of the engine till you get upto the VTEC. If you are going to pay that much for a car, I would rather go another grand or 2 more and get a MB 230...yes no fancy sunroof etc, but you get german engineering and a more fun car to drive

    back to the passat 2.0t a manual (who would want anything else), it is extremely quick..handles great and is unique....combine that with great incentives you cuold get now and a passat configured like a tsx feature wise would prob be cheaper..not to mention roomier and better on gas

    the v6 accord while reliable is just bland styling wise not to mention way way too common for me
  • blaneblane Member Posts: 2,017

    You mentioned the Passat and Mercedes 230 as being desireable due to their German engineering . That's all well and good, but the reliability problems that VW and Mercedes owners have widely reported in the past several years must also be considered. Your VW may have been satisfactory so far. But the statistics speak very loudly and I choose to read them carefully and spend my money as wisely as I can. No German cars for me until they improve their quality and reliability.

    You wrote "in a manual (who would want anything else)". Apparently, even though most of the vehicles that I've owned have been manuals, the statistics (There's that word again.) are clear. Only about 5% of US buyers want manual transmission automobiles.

    Style is in the eyes of the beholder. But I find the looks of the Passat to be quite "bland".
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    Style is in the eyes of the beholder. But I find the looks of the Passat to be quite "bland".

    I'm actually with ya on that one blane. The previous Passat looked like a more expensive car than it actually was. The current one is the other way around.

    And, "German Engineering" is all I need to hear to know that I don't want that car. I need to spend time IN my car, not looking at it on a rack at the shop. I haven't driven, MB, but I have driven VW and Audi, and there was less responsive handling than I expected in both of these car brands (The Audi was an A4). I'm going into a field of work in which I'll likely not make a lot of money for starters, and I don't need to spend all my dough on repairs, something my friend with the VW has done ($2,200 by 40k miles).
  • sammya_mdsammya_md Member Posts: 69
    I realize no one in the US wants a manual, or few people. I love them, but see why people don't want to fuss with them. I was joking saying who wouldn't want one.

    People have bad experiences with all types of cars. I am just saying the difference in the ride between a camry and the passat I got were completely different. I went straight to the VW dealership afterwards.

    We'll see how the reliability is for the new passat generation in a few years, but I will continue to enjoy my car.

    That's the thing about cars, everyone has their own opinions. I'm attempting to share mine and the reasons for going VW
  • awaretekawaretek Member Posts: 14
    Help me please to make a decision. I am a normally conservative 55 year old man moving to the LA area and I want to buy a new car, for a very short commute to work and long exploration drives on weekends. I want a fun car, and I want to keep it for many years. I am not good at self maintenance at all. I will use dealer maintenance. I have read horror stories on this forum about VW maintenance and reliability. Still, I am considering a VW against an Acura.

    I am down to a decision between an Acura TXS with Nav and a Passat 2.0 Turbo with Nav as my new car.

    On paper, by my own criteria the Acura wins hands down: better reliability ratings, a little cheaper, built-in bluetooth, just as luxurious, I even like the slightly smaller size. Also, the Acura will need less maintenance, with oil change every 10,000 miles (vs 5000) and no tune up for 100,000 miles, and thus total cost of ownership will be lower for Acura.

    On the side of the Passat, I come up with only 3 tangible positives to list: Parking Assist (which I like), a smaller turning circle and a slightly more responsive engine from a dead stop.

    So why am I even still considering a Passat? I don't know. Help me cure my madness someone, please. For some reason I do like the Passat, but I can't define it (and thus I am afraid it will go away once I buy). Maybe it is the rebel in me, I have never chosen a car that "didn't make sense" before.

    Stop me before its too late! Or else defend the Passat. Please, folks, comments please?

    Ron Stephens
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Member Posts: 811
    if you want praise for the passat you should post in that forum. I do not know anything about that car but I can write that I love my 06 Milano red/eb 6 spd with nav tsx, bought new 11/17/06. it has 33,000+miles, is very comfortable riding car with alot of goodies and gets great gas mileage. I do mostly highway driving.
  • awaretekawaretek Member Posts: 14
    Thank you nj2pa2nc. I am looking for feedback on both sides of the equation. Even though I like the Passat, I also like the Acura. I want to make a good decision. I hope to hear from lovers of both cars.

  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    This discussion is listed under the Passat and the TSX (which is how we list all comparos), so the original poster has indeed posted in the Passat forum. :)

    The poster is looking for feedback, not necessarily "praise", for both cars, so your input is very helpful.
  • dkleinhdkleinh Member Posts: 3
    I recently purchased a 2008 Acura TSX with Navigation. I originally wanted to
    purchase a VW Eos (wanted a convertible) and went so far as to get pricing
    quotes: The Eos isn't exactly a Passat, but I believe it shares some common
    components: 2.0 turbo engine & transmission. The car was fun to drive and I
    liked the engine and DSG transmission, but what killed the purchase was the
    dismal VW reliability ratings and even worse dealer service rating for VW.

    I switched gears and considered Volvo S40, Audi A4 & the TSX. I also think
    the Audi A4 2.0 turbo engine is similar to VW's (same company). Very fun car
    to drive, but from the Audi forums, it seems to spend a lot of time in the
    service dept. Also more expensive when considering features. The TSX
    simply seemed to be a bargain considering all it comes with.

    As a final note, a good friend of mine owns a Passat with 150000+ miles on it -
    mid 1990's, I think - and he told me that he had a lot of reliability issues with
    his car over the years and felt I'd made a good choice with the Acura.

    What you may like about the Passat is the European design that I liked a lot
    about the style/interior of the Eos/Audi/Volvo. But I think the TSX is a
    tremendous value and the style has grown on me and it is very nice to drive.
  • bpitt1bpitt1 Member Posts: 6
    I owned a 2006 Passat 2.0t sedan for 15 months; while I loved driving it, I did not love the amount of time it spent at the dealer for recalls and other issues. I initially considered the TSX, but decided to get the Passat since it was larger and less expensive (although a comparably equipped Passat is more expensive than the TSX), and liked the way it drove vs. the TSX.

    All said, I traded it in on a 2008 Passat Wagon (lease). I'm hoping the 2008 has all the bugs worked out. If I had wanted another sedan, however, I would have gone with the TL or the new Accord, which is a lot of car for the money).

    If you are interested in keeping your car beyond the warranty timeframe, definitely go with the Acura. Resale value is also going to be better on the Acura/ Honda.

    One other perk with Acura service: loaner cars! VW won't give you one unless the car is deemed mechanically dangerous to operate.

    My final opinion... even though I love the way my Passat drives, it sounds like you should go with the Acura (although I'd really suggest you test drive the new accord V6... tons more power than the TSX, more space than the TL , AND takes regular unleaded vs. 91+.) Good luck!
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Member Posts: 690
    Passat vs TSX is comparing apples and oranges:

    Acura is a near luxury / luxury brand. VW is not.

    Acura's competitors: Audi, Volvo, Lexus, Saab, Mercedes, BMW, Infiniti

    VW's competitors: Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc.

    Acura's level of service tends to be better - especially if they want to keep pace with said competitors.
  • bpitt1bpitt1 Member Posts: 6
    That may be, but the guy has asked for opinions comparing the two. (While VW might be in the same ballpark, there isn't a Honda, Toyota or Nissan that handles like the VW does).

    While Acura may be a luxury brand, the TSX is an Accord at heart. The Passat feels more like a luxury brand in ride, handling, power than the TSX , but a navi-equipped Passat costs the same or more than the Acura, so the trade-off will always be Acura reliability and service vs. Passat's Germanic driving experience. All said, I think the Acura or Honda will be better for him since he wants to keep the car for the long haul. In my opinion the new Accord is more car for the $ than the TSX and is still reliable, just don't expect free loaners from Honda...
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Member Posts: 811
    when I owned my 05 civic the dealer provided me with free loaner cars when I took the car there for service. Many honda dealers do have free loaner cars.
  • gregd1gregd1 Member Posts: 38
    I was looking at the same.
    The Passat has a lot more back seat room.
    The TSX has:
    Rear Leg Room: 34.2 in.

    And the Passat has:
    Rear Leg Room: 37.7 in.

    That is a huge difference. Between being able to let a full grown adult in the back seat. And only being able to put a bag in the back seat.

    I wish the TSX would add 3 inches to the back seat.
  • greatcarsgreatcars Member Posts: 66
    How different will that feel between the 200 HP on Passat and 207 HP on TSX? The 207 TSX has to be gained at much higher engine speed.
  • greatcarsgreatcars Member Posts: 66
    3.5 inch will make big diffenrence on the sitting. However, the measure is not accurate and also depends on how they measure them. Of course the Passat has more space than the TSX.
  • gregd1gregd1 Member Posts: 38
    Yes, I also wonder how they get the leg room.
    Is the seat all the way forward? Or all the way back? To measure.

    Acura has a great warranty. And great cars. I wish they would add some space in the back seat. Just a little :cry:

    Rear Leg Room: 34.9 in.

    Rear Leg Room: 34.2 in.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZMember Posts: 5,036
    Rear seat legroom in a car like this, for me, is borderline irrelevant. The car needs to have some (no 2+2's), but the amount is not that important. Unless I'm planning to take 3 full-size people to San Diego from Phoenix. . .

    I don't use my car for that. I drive with no one else in it 98%+ of the time. I need the back seat to be useable for that other 2%, but it's not as if I'm hauling them to the East Coast. It's for a few miles.

    In an earlier life, I played a mid/senior manager type and needed to take "clients" to lunch from time to time. Then it's important to have a "worthy" vehicle with a proper back seat.

    I don't do that any more.
    '08 Acura TSX, '17 Subaru Forester
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    The Rear Seat Legroom specification really doesn't tell the full story. Consider the following measurements from for different cars:

    34.2" -- 2008 Acura TSX
    34.9" -- 2008 Acura TL
    37.7" -- 2008 VW Passat VR6
    37.0" -- 1995 VW Passat VR6 (You'll see why I've added this car in a moment)

    By the looks of things the Acura TL only has seven tenths of an inch more rear leg room than the Acura TSX. By the same token, the new Passat looks like it beats the Passat from two generations ago by that same seven tenths of an inch. Right? Nope, wrong.

    Why wrong? Because that measurement is taken with the front seat all of the way back, and as such, a car with greater front seat travel will (theoretically at least) will leave the remaining space in the rear when not used by the front seat occupants. Consider the following:

    - FR ---- RR ---- Tot
    42.4" -- 34.2" -- 76.6" -- 2008 Acura TSX
    42.8" -- 34.9" -- 77.7" -- 2008 Acura TL
    41.4" -- 37.7" -- 79.1" -- 2008 VW Passat VR6
    45.1" -- 37.0" -- 82.1" -- 1995 VW Passat VR6

    Interesting difference huh?. With the two Acuras, the TL ended up extending its legroom advantage from 0.7" to 1.1", not too shabby. On the VW front, we see a reversal of fortunes with the 1995 erasing the 0.7" lead that the 2008 had and blowing by it by another 3.0".

    FWIW, I used to have one of those old Passats, and I've got to tell you, a freaking giant would have been able to find a comfortable seating position in that car, and since I'm only 5'8", when I positioned the front seat all of the way back to the stops, I wasn't able to reach the steering wheel, the stick shift, or any of the three pedals. Conversely, when I positioned the front seat so that I could drive comfortably, there was so much rear seat legroom that even my 6'6" business partner could sit back there and cross his legs comfortably.

    Best Regards,
  • mumin4umumin4u Member Posts: 2
    Hey man I don't blame you one bit for liking the Passat!!! I personally have owned Hondas, Acuras, and VWs. In this day and age of globalization cars are becoming more and more like each other!!! Hondas/Acuras use the fly-by-wire technology that VW and other German automakers have been using for over 20 years!!! Also, more and more components of control systems are being replaced by electronics. German cars are not the only cars to be electronic anymore!!! Everyone is going electronic!!! So the complexity of the parts and service for these types of vehicles will obviously increase. Therefore electrical components failing is a problem with both brands is about the same!!! Keeping that in mind, I would have to say that the real difference between the Acura TSX (although I don't think it's an appropriate comparison--the TL would have been a better comparison) and the Passat is the driving experience. German automakers have focused more on drivetrains that generate more lower end torque vs drivetrains that generate more horsepower. You will notice the Passat has less horsepower than the TSX but the Passat feels as if it grips the ground much better than the TSX (and at a lower RPM)!!! The Passat will have a more refined ride compared to the TSX. If you are a person that likes to impress the ladies with revving you engine high, then the TSX will suit you better. If you are intent on beating the teenager with his GF while taking off from the traffic light, the Passat will suit you better!!! In terms of powertrain, I personally advise you to stay away from Turbocharged applications. I believe there is still a great deal of work needed in order to properly integrate a turbocharger with an electronic engine. In that regards I'd recommend the 3.6 VR6 as great engine!! It is probably one of the most reliable water-cooled engines VW has ever manufactured!!! If you are looking for great fuel economy and a no frills driving experience I'd recommend the TSX. VW will have "reliability" issues simply because VW will take more design risks compared to Honda. Honda is pretty conservative and doesn't usually change their design philosophy except once every blue moon. VW is constantly thinking outside of the box and doing so will carry it's share of risks!!! With design and innovation someone has to take a risk (and the potential falls and rises associated with it)!!! I know this is about at year or so late but hopefully it will shed some light on your desire for the VW German driving experience!!! I know it all too well owning currently owning a GTI and Passat!!! :-)
  • bvdj84bvdj84 Member Posts: 1,724
    Doesn't the 2.0T engine in the passat offer 201 torque, while the TSX has 172.

    In a VW or Honda, most don't always opt for a V6. Though the VW V6 has a huge premium, wouldn't always be practical. Why do you think a bigger car like the passat has a 4cyl engine, turbocharged, but excellent. Others could take pointers with this method. The 4cyl are tuned so well that its plenty powerful to get around with some fun. I love VW's approach, putting the most power within the speeds used most. I love it!
  • amatistaamatista Member Posts: 15
    I thought long and hard on the virtues of each vehicle for months. For me, it came down to reliability and resale. If I had purchased the Passat, I would've also bought the extended warranty for peace of mind. The price of the extended warranty would have off-set the savings the Passat had over the TSX. Thus, for this reason I got the TSX on Friday, and am exceedingly glad that I did.
  • nine11c2nine11c2 Member Posts: 1
    Dude "fly by wire" is a very new, last 3 or 4 years at most.

    Most OTHER components have been electronic for 30 years.

    Cars don't "grip the road" at lower torque.

    I'm not sure you have a clue - or a point.
  • connecticut2connecticut2 Member Posts: 41
    You seem to know quite a bit about the Passats. I, on the other hand, have never owned a German car - I am a transplant from Japanese cars - until now... have just picked up a new Passat - the dealer gave me a great deal on it - and was wondering if it would be OK for me to use low octane gas (87) as opposed to the premium in conjunction with the turbo.

  • billpaulbillpaul Member Posts: 103
    You should always do what your owner's manual says you should do.
  • awaretekawaretek Member Posts: 14
  • bmustafabmustafa Member Posts: 6
    How much did you pay for your TSX?
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