Flash Drive: 2009 Acura TSX
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2009 to 2014.
By Staff of MSN Autos
The TSX is updated for 2009, but Acura hasn’t lost its successful formula of building premium features into a fun-to-drive small sedan. Exterior styling brings the TSX in line with the rest of the Acura lineup, but is not hugely different from the outgoing model. Inside are comfortable front seats, easy-to-use controls and the ELS sound system is one of the best available in this class of car. Unfortunately rear-seat passengers will find the space rather cramped. Power comes on smoothly at high rpm, and the short-throw shifter adds to the fun, but those high revs will cost you in fuel economy – my spirited driving brought my average down to 23 mpg. To make sure the fun doesn’t have to stop, the TSX is available with real-time traffic data so you can avoid the traffic snarls. The TSX is a great choice for those who need a compact car but don’t want to give up luxury amenities and performance. – Perry Stern
The 2009 TSX offers a great blend of luxury, technology and sportiness. The 2.4-liter generates decent thrust throughout the power band, and pushing the car’s limits exposes capable handing and a raw engine note. Inside the car, there is respectable head- and legroom, and the interior is surrounded by nice leather and quality plastics. The technology package provides the driver with a great navigation system that can be controlled by voice or a control knob. However, if it is sunny the glare can diminish the visibility of the screen. Other great technology features include voice dialing using Bluetooth, real-time weather and a USB audio interface for MP3 and iPod players. Stickered at $32K, the TSX provides one of the best "bangs for the buck" in its segment. – Joe Chulick
Acura probably built the TSX for one of those infamous “target demographic” groups: a young adult trading up from a used sport compact car, perhaps. The TSX is certainly sporty with a charismatic 4-cylinder engine and a pleasantly mechanical 6-speed manual transmission. The TSX is also respectable, with four doors and impressive luxury that sets it far apart from most sport-compact cars, and enough interior space for friends or a new family to sit comfortably. Yet somehow the TSX doesn’t have much character. It feels almost antiseptic. Maybe it is the too-light clutch. Maybe it is the over-assisted power steering. Whatever it is, the result is a car that seems built entirely to a formula and designed totally around a demographic. The TSX is not a charismatic car, and feels as flat as the fictional young demographic adult that I can imagine driving it. – Paul Hagger
The Acura TSX has always been a crisp, nimble sport sedan and the second generation retains those traits while adding a little more room and more aggressive styling. The steering is quick and direct, although a little light on feel, making the TSX sporty and fun to drive. Still powered by a high-revving 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, the variable-valve timing delivers high-end horsepower, but also enough mid-range torque to allow the driver to skip a gear or two with the close-ratio 6-speed gearbox during the daily commute, and still achieve 28 mpg. The short shifter and small knob add to the sporty but high-tech feel. Under quick acceleration some torque steer will remind you this is a front-driver. The new design is wider, giving occupants a little more shoulder room, but rear-seat legroom is still tight. The interior has a clean, crisp feel with leather seats and metallic trim intended to rival the European competition. – Mike Meredith