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Discussion Starter #1

As Acura looks to keep its TSX lineup fresh, the automaker has added a new variant for the 2012 model year known as the Special Edition, complete with changes inside and out.

While Acura has yet to release actual images of the car, we do have quite a bit of information regarding the changes that will be applied to an otherwise standard 2012 TSX sedan in order to justify the “Special Edition” badging – and price premium.

At 1st glance one will notice a unique and ”more aggressive front spoiler, a new rear bumper fascia, unique side sills and an exclusive “Special Edition” badge on the trunklid,” as well as a polished finish with a dark grey background for the 17�7.5-inch 5-spoke aluminum wheels to round out the exterior cosmetic changes.

Step inside the Special Edition TSX and you will enjoy perforated black Lux Suede inserts with red backing, as well as red stitching on the seats, steering wheel and the shift knob. The injection of red continues with red lighting for the instrument cluster gauges, overhead lighting and footwell lighting.

Acura also added aluminum pedal covers with a race-inspired look to the driver’s footwell. Rounding out the Special Edition’s interior upgrades is the use of bright silver plating for the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and the swapping of the standard grey headliner to a black headliner.

But now comes the potentially bad news for those looking for a hot looking and fast-moving TSX, “The Acura TSX has long been known for its high-revving 4-cylinder engines and sporty driving nature,” said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. “With the new Special Edition, the TSX becomes even more youthful and sporty in character, furthering its appeal to performance-minded buyers.”

In other words, the TSX Special Edition will only be available with the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine good for 201 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque with the 6-speed manual, or the same horsepower and 2 fewer lb-ft of torque with the 5-speed automatic transmission.

The 2012 Acura TSX Special Edition will make its formal debut on September 22 at the Orange County International Auto Show.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
AutoBlog


Acura has decided to spice up its entry-level TSX sedan, and this, the 2012 Special Edition, is the end result. No, there isn't any more power on tap, but some styling tweaks do give the TSX a sportier look. A more aggressive front spoiler and rear fascia lend an air of extra sportiness, and compliment the updated side sill. New 17-inch alloy wheels now feature a polished finish with a dark gray background.

Inside, Acura has pumped up the interior with black suede inserts on the seats that's contrasted by red stitching. More of the red color makes its way to the steering wheel and shift knob, as well as the lighting of the gauges, footwell and cabin. That footwell area also see the addition of aluminum pedal covers.

The automaker says that the TSX Special Edition was designed to "evoke the fun-to-drive 4-cylinder Acuras of the past," so the 2.4-liter inline-4is the only engine available. Both a 5-speed automatic and 6-speed manual transmission are available.

The 2012 Acura TSX Special Edition will make its debut at the Orange County Auto Show on September 22nd. That's approximately the same time it will arrive on dealer showrooms.


Acura Announces Special Edition Model for TSX Sports Sedan
Exterior and Interior Upgrades Make for an Even Sportier TSX

TORRANCE, Calif.– Continuing the celebration of its 25th anniversary, Acura today announced the availability of a new version of the popular TSX sports sedan for the 2012 model year. Designed to evoke the fun-to-drive 4-cylinder Acuras of the past, the TSX Special Edition will add even more sportiness to the TSX lineup thanks to numerous exterior and interior upgrades for Acura's entry-level sedan.

"The Acura TSX has long been known for its high-revving 4-cylinder engines and sporty driving nature," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. "With the new Special Edition, the TSX becomes even more youthful and sporty in character, furthering its appeal to performance-minded buyers."

The 2012 TSX Special Edition package consists of numerous upgrades to the exterior including a more aggressive front spoiler, a new rear bumper fascia, unique side sills and an exclusive "Special Edition" badge on the trunklid. Finally, the TSX's 17x7.5-inch, 5-spoke aluminum wheels will feature a polished finish with dark grey background, unique to the Special Edition model.

Inside, the TSX Special Edition makes use of sport-minded appointments including exclusive seating surfaces with perforated black Lux Suede® inserts with red backing. Unique red stitching, used for the seats, steering wheel and the shift knob, combines with red lighting for the instrument cluster gauges, overhead lighting and footwell lighting. Adding more appeal to the driver's footwell are aluminum pedal covers with a race-inspired look. Rounding out the Special Edition's interior upgrades is the use of bright silver plating for the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters along with black headliner material (standard TSX have grey headliner material).

The TSX Special Edition package makes use of Acura's acclaimed K24 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and will be available with either the close-ratio 6-speed manual or Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmissions. The TSX Special Edition will go on sale in late September and will make its public debut at the Orange County International Auto Show on September 22nd.​

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Price


Honda's Acura is boosting the price of its 2012 TSX sports sedan and Sport Wagon by $200 across the lineup. The near-luxury brand is also adding a sport edition.

The latest TSX sports sedan will start at $29,810.

"With a sub-$30,000 starting point, the Acura TSX represents a great value for customers entering the luxury market,"
said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales.

The 2012 TSX Special Edition package will include features like a more aggressive front spoiler, rear bumper fascia and side sills. There will be 5-spoke aluminum wheels with a dark gray finish and a "Special Edition" badge on the trunklid.

Inside, the TSX Special Edition will have perforated black fake suede inserts and red backing, with red stitching and red lighting inside as well. It will come with a 6-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. The price is $30,810.

The TSX V-6 is priced at $35,350. The TSX Sport Wagon starts at $31,160 and an available Technology Package is priced at $3,650, including a power rear tailgate. Destination and Handling charges for all TSX models are unchanged at $885.

The TSX and TSX Sport Wagon go on sale today with the new Special Edition model available at the end of the month.
 

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I spoke to my dealer about this car and he is confused as to why Acura has eliminated many of the TSX options such as the Tech package. He feels strongly that this makes little sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
MotorTrend


The 2012 Acura TSX Special Edition is like a Starbucks holiday cup. Technically speaking, what's inside is the same variety available all year round, but it's wrapped in a new package for the sole purpose of celebrating a specific occasion. For the 3390-pound TSX, that occasion happens to be Acura's 25th birthday.


Walk up to the TSX Special Edition and you'll likely mistake its "specialness" for optional equipment. Indeed, the SE's standard-issue underbody spoilers can already be spec'd out as (pricey) options through your local Acura dealer, but the tinted gray 17x7.5-inch wheels can't be had on anything but the SE. Nor can the small badges, nor, most notably, the cabin's unique accoutrements -- an SE highlight.


An attractive all-black headliner now replaces the light gray variety, which gives the space a rolling jazz club vibe. Lux Suede and supple Ebony leather with red stitching offer plenty of comfort to the backends of up to 5 passengers. Front riders are welcomed by red-accented gauges and interior lighting, and the driver's feet dance confidently on anti-slip metal pedals.


Powertrain and chassis modifications are nonexistent with the SE, which means the same quick-revving 201-horse 2.4-liter K24Z3 engine with 172 lb-ft and a crisp 6-speed manual delegate power to the front rubber. (Important note: If you want a 6-speed manual in your 2012 TSX, you can only get it with the 4-cylinder SE trim.) That also means the control arm front/multi-link rear suspension continues to employ Acura's progressive dual-mode dampers that adeptly mitigate pitch, yaw, and roll under all driving situations.


As expected, the TSX is fun when the road turns curvy. Although boosted with electronic gadgetry, its steering is firm in-hand and lacks noticeable dead spots. The TSX feels light on its 225/50R-17 feet; when tossed into bends, mild leaning follows the responsive turn-in, which is then shadowed by a quick rebound to its original set.


Torque can be hard to find at the bottom half of the 7100 rpm spectrum, so calling on lower gears during a hasty canyon charge usually is the norm. Be they calm rows or under-pressure yanks, the short-throw 6-speed gearbox consistently proves its mettle -- it's as smooth and clearly gated as they come, with engagements met by assured metallic clicks.


Get the 1st 3 shifts correct from a standstill and you'll see the bright red speedometer needle hit 60 mph in 7 seconds flat. Relatively speaking, that isn't too shabby. Neither is the 15.4-second quarter-mile pass at 90.4 mph. Its 122-foot stop from 60 mph isn't stellar by any means, but it does improve upon the last 6-speed-equipped TSX we tested by 8 feet.


Away from fast-paced jaunts on mountain roads, passengers will enjoy the Special Edition's encapsulating cabin. As I mentioned before, it feels like a cozy mini jazz club on wheels, mostly due to the classy all-black motif and soft seating arrangements. Unlike the TL's dash, which is littered with buttons, the TSX's is simple and easy to navigate. Speaking of finding your way, there is no Technology Package available for the Special Edition, which means if getting lost is the norm, you'll have to rely on a smartphone (or gas station attendant) to get around.


Given that the Special Edition occupies a trim level only 1 step above the base model, and that it gives buyers a handful of features otherwise unavailable on the garden variety car, 1 could argue the TSX isn't special enough. 1 might ask, Where's the extra power? How about a slight suspension tweak? Couldn't they give it bigger wheels? 1 might even suggest renaming it Anniversary Edition. Still, like 1 of those caffeine-filled libations at your local coffeehouse, the Acura TSX Special Edition maintains its status as a solid selection among a growing pool of European and domestic competition. Is it the best? We'll tell you after we corral them in 1 place and put them to the test.

 

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WindingRoad


It’s probably fair to say that, from the perspective of the typical driving enthusiast, the four-cylinder, manual-transmission equipped TSX is the second-most cohesive product in Acura’s lineup today. We love the TSX Sport Wagon for its form factor (we’re charter members of the Wagon Geeks Support Network, what can we say), but the lack of a manual trans option kills it for many enthusiasts. The bigger TL SH-AWD can be had with a brilliant 6MT, and is a more powerful, graceful vehicle, and clearly our favorite Acura to drive. But even there, the higher starting price of the TL allows for more and interesting competitors, and the combative design makes the TL a non-starter for many.

Power-hungry motorists will point to the 280 horsepower afforded by the V-6-engined TSX, and call BS on our preference for the 4-banger. We’d counter that the 201-horse four rarely left us wanting for acceleration, save for a few times on the freeway when trying to execute a passing maneuver at 70-plus miles per hour and in top gear. Of course, those experiences only taught us to shift down into 5th or even 4th gear, where power reserves were sufficient to pass dreaming commuters.


And of course, Honda’s 6-speed gearbox is a really good reason in its own right to opt for the 2.4-liter over the 3.5 V-6 (which can only be spec’d with the automatic transmission). Typical light, accurate, and quick throws accompany a clutch that’s also light, but easy to fall in love with.

As good at the MT is, it sadly cannot alter the fact that Acura’s small sedan is front-drive only. We’re not your typical “wrong wheel drive” snobs, we can handle different opinions, but there’s no getting around the fact that the TSX is less smooth when accelerating from a stop quickly (even with the 4-cylinder, torque steer is in some small evidence), and a bit less fluid when tackling great roads. We appreciate the fast turn-in of the TSX and the lack of float in the suspension when driving through quickly successive corners, but the nose-heaviness undercuts the car relative to (for instance) the new BMW 328i.


On the positive side, the TSX does offer a pretty high level of road feedback from the wheel and the floorboards*—the car doesn’t feel quite so isolated as many luxury compacts.

In terms of the subjective areas of interior/exterior styling we’ll remain nearly silent, save telling you that our relatively bare bones tester (no Technology Package) felt sufficiently techy, leathery, and soft-touchy in most places to justify its $30K-ish price point.


We’d also be remiss if we didn’t point out the rather excellent performance we experienced in terms of fuel economy. We drove the car from Ann Arbor to Chicago, a trip of about 250 highway-miles, with no less than five fully grown adults in the car. (Before you ask; this wasn’t the original plan. A larger car was taken suddenly from your writer, and he made his flexible friends make do with the accommodations at hand. There wasn’t too much complaining from the back seat, but the people back there were close friends—we’ll leave it at that.) Even with all of that human flesh packed in, the TSX was able to hit its 31 mpg highway rating. Even after cruising in Chicago’s stop-and-go traffic for a few days, and then making the trip home in a slurry of snow and ice, the final average consumption figure was over 29 mpg.


VS: BMW 328i

We’ll be honest, the all-new 3er is a tough matchup for the plucky TSX. The 328i’s turbo 4 is a better powerplant in every respect (power, fuel economy, sound), its handling more subtle and competent, and its luxury features a bit richer and laden with technology. Still, the Acura is good in its own right, and thousands cheaper. And, until we have a chance to drive a 6MT-equipped 328i (our experience has been auto-only as of this writing), we’ll assume the TSX’s gearbox is better.

VS: Lexus IS250

The IS250 may have an extra 2-cylinders and 100cc on the TSX, but with only 3 more horsepower it never feels a good deal quicker. Rear-drive handling is smoother than Acura’s front-drive setup, but the rest of the involvement equation favors the TSX, hugely. Where the IS is ultra detached from the feeling of the road, and supremely light in steering effort, the TSX is more connected and a bit more weighty. That the Lexus starts at about $5K more than the Acura doesn’t help much, either.

2012 Acura TSX Special Edition 6MT
Engine: 4-cylinder, 2.4 liters, 16v
Output: 201 hp/172 lb-ft
Curb Weight: 3415 lb
Fuel Economy, City/Hwy: 21/29 mpg
Cargo Volume: 14.0 cu ft
Base Price: $30,810​

 

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Too bad the wheels aren't symmetrical and no SH-AWD option for the TSX =[
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Digital Trends


With so many cars making up the entry-level luxury scene it’s hard to know which 1 is right for you. Thankfully, our review of the 2012 Acura TSX is here to find out if affordable luxury actually exists.

Cars can mean many different things to people. They can serve as a source of freedom, an extension of your personality, or — as is often the case with luxury nameplates – signify your “status” in this crazy mixed up world. But whatever a car may mean to you, ultimately we all want the same thing: to buy the best 1 possible for the money we’re spending.

Enter Acura. The Japanese luxury automaker is looking to draw in 1st-time luxury shoppers with its entry-level offerings, and it begins with the 2012 TSX. And while the Acura nameplate may carry the distinction of being the 1st luxury Japanese automotive brand, it has seen its popularity wax and wane throughout the years, with fellow Japanese brands like Infiniti and Lexus enjoying more influence in the luxury sphere. That being said, the image of Acura as a serious luxury brand is slowly starting to revive and evolve once again, and what better way to draw consumers in than with an eye-catching, entry-level luxury sedan?

With luxury rivals from Europe and Japan vying for dominance, how does the 2012 Acura TSX stack up? Let’s find out.


Less sharp design, but in a good way

There is something about the recent Acura design language that has truly failed to resonate with us. We’re not exactly sure what it is — well that’s not true. In fact, many of the recent Acura designs refuse to utilize a look that is even remotely curvaceous, preferring the harsh lines and rakish angles found in a geometry diagram. Which is why we were pleasantly surprised at the 2012 TSX’s lessened triangular tone.

Don’t get us wrong: there are more angles to work here than a politician at a town hall meeting, but the 2012 TSX is much more bearable, dare we say likeable, than other designs past, current, and we’re guessing future.



A beginner’s guide to luxury

When it comes to the interior of the 2012 TSX, there isn’t much to complain about. From a design perspective Acura have done an excellent job putting together a cabin that encompasses varying degrees of comfort, luxury, and space. While it might not espouse the same feelings of luxury you would find from a comparable Lexus, Audi, or BMW, the Acura TSX features a smartly designed cabin with a great deal of amenities 1 would expect. Honda, and by extension Acura, have garnered a reputation based on build quality for years now and the 2012 TSX happily carries on that tradition. The material quality in the TSX looks and feels great; rich leathers and firm plastics never drag the interior’s luxurious atmosphere down.

And while there’s no doubt the 2012 TSX earns a lot of style points, we do have to call out Acura is with its execution. Both the 3-spoke steering wheel and center console are filled with an excessive amount of buttons, more so the center console. It’s not necessarily a deal breaker, and after out week-long loan we had gotten accustomed to it, but the buttons for controlling the Bluetooth calling features and for selecting the different audio sources are either too thinly positioned or at an awkward angle that simply make placing a call more of chore than it needs to be. We also found the shifter in our review model to be on the dainty side, which isn’t a huge deal but again takes some getting used to. Standard interior features in the 2012 Acura TSX include leather upholstery, 8-way power driver seat with memory, 4-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, a tilt and telescoping steering column, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and 60/40-split-folding rear seat, to name a few. Our TSX Special Edition included little touches like aluminum pedals and red interior stitching that helps lend a greater degree of sportiness and personality to an already excellent cabin.


Tech troubles


Despite the fact that the 2012 TSX is Acura’s entry-level model, we should be willing to cut it a little slack when it comes to its in-car tech. But with an MSRP of $32,310 we’re simply not. Standard features include a USB audio input for connecting and charging your smartphone, an AUX output for MP3 playback, Bluetooth audio and HandsFreeLink for wireless calling, as well as Acura’s 7-speaker premium sound system and XM Satellite radio with 3 month’s free subscription. An option tech package adds a rearview camera, hard drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic and weather forecasting, in addition to an upgraded 10-speaker Acura/ELS surround sound system.

Sadly our review unit excluded the tech package, and what the TSX is packing isn’t remarkable in any way. In fact, if we are going to be honest –and we are — while the 2012 TSX sports a decent amount of standard tech features, we were left pretty disappointed by them. Pairing your smartphone with HandsFreeLink’s voice feature is dreadfully slow, and only after six voice tutorials were we able to figure out how to actually pair our phone. When we did finally get our phone paired, making calls was easy, but again the voice recognition software suffered under our non-regional diction (really!?).

Once paired streaming music via various apps like Pandora and Spotify is easy, but Acura’s interface is rather limited in the standard TSX model, with no cover art or detailed title information given in the digital display above the instrument panel.


Adequate power, disappointing fuel economy

The 2012 Acura TSX is available in 2 different engine choices: A 2.4-liter 4-cylinder producing 201 horsepower 201 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque when mated to a 6-speed manual (as opposed to 170 with a 5-speed automatic transmission), and a 3.5-liter V6 capable of spitting out 280 horsepower and 245 pound-feet of torque.

Our review unit consisted of the former and offered up a respectable amount of power when pressed out of the gate. Truth be told though, the 2012 Acura TSX offers up nowhere near as thrilling a ride as you’d expect from some of its European counterparts, namely the BMW 3-Series or Audi A4. Instead, the 2012 TSX prefers to operate in a more subdued and calculated manner. It’s not going to excite you like a German sport sedan, and it’s not the most engaging luxury sedan, but it won’t make you regret your decision for choosing Japanese poise over German power… too much. Still, those yearning for more gas-guzzling gravitas will want to opt for the V6.

Unfortunately, where the Acura fails to meet our expectations comes by way of its fuel economy. For the size of the TSX’s engine the EPA-awarded fuel economy is disappointingly low at 21 mpg in city, 29 on the highway, and 24 combined. Factor that this is with premium gasoline and a 6-speed manual and the 2012 TSX ultimately drops the ball. For comparison, a 2012 Audi A4 with quattro all-wheel-drive and a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder with 6-speed manual transmission is capable of pumping out 211 hp, 258 lb-ft of torque, and returning an EPA estimated 21/31/25.


A true street sweeper

While power, or lack thereof, might restrict the 2012 TSX on the track, out on the road it’s a different story. For all its faults the TSX exhibits excellent road manners and cornering, maintaining excellent grip on the road when tasked with keeping ready and rigid. Entering corners at higher than recommended speeds doesn’t pose too much of a problem and the TSX manages to get the most out of its double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear. Enthusiasts will argue that it lacks a certain dynamism other entry-level luxury sedan’s possess, but for the vast majority the TSX provides plenty of pavement pounding pizazz.


Finish Line


When it comes down to it, the 2012 Acura TSX is a 4-star vehicle living in a 5-star world. Overall it’s a very solid choice for people wanting to enter the luxury sphere, but not exactly enamored or impressed with the power and prestige on offer from some of the more established brands like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. At the same time, the 2012 TSX exhibits a calm, distinguished ride character all of its own, and possesses 1 of the most buttery smooth and forgiving clutches we have ever dealt with – period.

Ultimately it comes down to what you value most. If you value your tech and smart features, and want them done right, the TSX has trouble delivering. While we certainly appreciate the amount of standard features packed in, the exclusion of navigation, the convoluted button layout, and the glitchy Bluetooth streaming system remind us that Acura still has a ways to go before it can truly be mentioned in the same breath as Lexus, Infiniti, and the like. However, if an upscale Honda, with improved driving dynamics, more comfort, and increased social recognition is what you’re after then we see no reason why you shouldn’t seriously consider the 2012 Acura TSX.

Highs

Impressive list of standard tech features
Spacious and comfortable interior
Top-shelf build and material quality

Lows

Poor tech execution
Some questionable design choices
Slightly anemic powertrain
Fuel economy is less than stellar​

 
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