If you happened to see the 2009 European spec Honda Accord that made its debut at this month’s Geneva Show (if you didn’t, click here), then you’ll be familiar with the 2009 Acura TSX’s appearance as the only differences between the two cars concern the Acura logos and the new front grille. Even though we liked the ’08 TSX’s design, we’re not so sure that we agree with Acura’s evolutionary approach to the 2009 TSX’s styling.
Compared to its predecessor, the 2009 TSX has slightly grown in dimensions, with body-width increased by 3.0 inches, wheel track dimensions up by 2.6 inches along with a 1.3-inch longer wheelbase and 2.4 inches greater overall length, all of which promise to benefit interior roominess.
There are no surprises under the hood as the new TSX is equipped with a slightly revised version of the 2008 TSX’s 2.4-liter 4-cylinder unit producing 201 Hp and 172 lb-ft of torque (an improvement of 8 lb-ft or five percent over the outgoing model). TSX customers have a choice of a 6-speed manual with new ratios for second through sixth gears or a Sequential SportShift 5-speed auto. According to Acura, the 2009 TSX offers an estimated mileage of 20/28/23 mpg (city/highway/combined) for the manual version and 21/30/24 mpg respectively for the automatic. –Details and image gallery after the jump
Designed and engineered to reaffirm its place as a desirable and affordable entry point for the Acura sedan range, the all-new second-generation 2009 TSX is larger, more agile, more powerful and even "more Acura" than ever before. Carefully crafted to honor the original TSX's vision as a world-class sports sedan, the TSX has significantly evolved to offer more comfort, safety, convenience and driving performance - dramatically raising the standards for Acura's entry-level sedan.
With sharp-edged and athletic styling, a powerful, clean and efficient i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine, a choice of automatic or manual transmission, and the kind of driving character that's an Acura trademark, the 2009 TSX continues as a valuable asset to the Acura division - and to a loyal following of customers. Major advances in handling agility, safety features, emissions reduction, ride smoothness and quietness, and interior comfort and convenience features all contribute to the new TSX's added appeal.
THE ENTRY PREMIUM MARKET
With a price point typically in the high $20,000 to low $30,000 range, the "entry premium" sedan segment represents the gateway to over a dozen automakers. Customers will find the Acura TSX positioned alongside the Audi A4 2.0T, BMW 328i, Infiniti G37, Lexus IS 250, and Mercedes-Benz C300. With the entry to a luxury brand comes high expectations, and the TSX - together with the award-winning Acura dealership experience - is ready to meet all of them. Over 30,000 TSX vehicles are sold per year, and with the new TSX, this number is expected to increase as the entry premium segment is projected to grow by close to 10 percent by 2012. As such, with its wider stance, more agile performance, keen-edge styling along with high quality and comfort credentials, the Acura TSX is ideally situated - and right on time - for the entry-premium buyer.
The 2009 TSX is designed to appeal to young professionals who are previous TSX owners, conquests from other luxury brands such as Audi, BMW and Lexus, as well as to customers whose income and tastes are moving upscale. Demographically, they are expected to typically range in age from 28 to 34 years old and hold a college degree. These customers are nearly split between male and female, and slightly less than half are married. They are image seekers and will appreciate the styling, technical allure and total performance that the TSX offers - while also valuing the outstanding customer treatment that owners have come to enjoy at Acura dealerships. Extremely brand conscious and eclectic in their tastes and interests, they will find the TSX as welcoming for driving colleagues or clients to lunch as it is for weekend snowboarding trips or sightseeing out of town. Whatever the venue or occasion, the new TSX satisfies their passion for performance and high quality equally well.
- 2.4-liter, DOHC, i-VTEC® in-line 4-cylinder engine
- 201 horsepower at 7,000 rpm
- 172 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm (6 MT); 170 lb-ft of torque at 4,300 rpm (5 AT)
- i-VTEC® "intelligent" valve-control system combines Variable Timing Control (VTC) with VTEC®
- Drive-by-Wire™ Throttle System
- Computer-controlled Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)
- Dual balance shafts
- Direct ignition system
- Lightweight alloy pistons and high-strength connecting rods
- 100,000 mile tune-up interval (may vary with driving conditions)
- Maintenance Minder™ system
- Estimated mileage of 20/28/23 mpg* (city/highway/combined, 6 MT) and 21/30/24 mpg* (city/highway/combined, 5 AT)
- EPA TIER 2 - BIN 5, CARB LEV II ULEV emissions compliance
- Cylinder-head integrated rear-facing exhaust ports, close-coupled catalytic converter and under-floor converter
6-Speed manual transmission
- Close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission
- Compact, highly rigid, lightweight magnesium transmission case and bell housing
- Multi-cone gear synchronizers
- Short shift throws
- Short-stroke clutch pedal
- Compact, low-inertia clutch
Sequential SportShift 5-Speed Automatic Transmission
- Sequential SportShift via steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters
- 5-position straight shift gate
- Advanced Grade Logic Control
- Linear solenoid direct-acting control
- Drive-by-Wire™ cooperative control
- Lockup torque converter
*Based on 2009 EPA mileage estimates. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
BODY & CHASSIS FEATURES
Design & Styling
- Bold new Keen-Edge design featuring signature Acura grille, crisp body lines and distinctive character
- Projector-style HID low beam and halogen high beam headlights with integrated fog lamps
- Thinner A-pillars for increased forward visibility
- Advanced underbody aerodynamics
- Greater body width (3.0 inches wider than first-generation TSX)
- Wider trunk opening
- Lower trunk lift-over height
- Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure
- Frame rails repositioned to inside of floor pan for improved aerodynamics
- New closed-channel cross-braced roof structure
- New A, B & C-pillar separators
- New rear bulkhead safety-cage structure
Wheels & Tires
- New 5-spoke, 17-inch diameter aluminum alloy wheels
- Wider tires (P225/50R17)
Steering, Suspension & Brakes
- New Electric Power Steering (EPS)
- New dual-mode dampers
- Double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension
- 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS
- Driver-oriented cockpit
- New automatic headlight activation
- Large, easy-to-read LED backlit analog instruments
- Multi-Information Display (MID)
- New dash-mounted electronic compass
- Thicker leather-wrapped steering wheel with fingertip controls
- Tilt and telescopic steering column
- 8-way power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support and new 2-position memory
- 4-way power adjustable passenger seat
- Front seat heaters
- Roomy interior with seating for five
- Leather-trimmed seats
- Dual-zone automatic climate control with air-filtration system
- Auto-dimming day/night rearview mirror
- Keyless entry system with window controls and folding key
- Premium 7-speaker sound system with CD, AM/FM/XM®
- Bluetooth Audio®
- Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® cellular telephone interface
- USB port connectivity (for iPod, iPhone, or removable "memory stick" mass storage device)
- Auxiliary jack interface (for MP3 music players)
- HomeLink® remote control system
Technology Package features (optional)
- Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, Zagat® restaurant information, and rearview camera
- AcuraLink® Satellite Communication System
- AcuraLink® Real-time traffic with Traffic Rerouting™ (in available areas)
- AcuraLink® weather (in available areas)
- 10-speaker Acura/ELS® Premium Sound System with multi-format 6-disc DVD-Audio changer, AM/FM tuner, XM® Satellite Radio, Note function for XM® Radio, and Dolby Pro Logic II
- GPS-linked, solar-sensing, dual-zone automatic climate control system
Comfort & Convenience
- Power moonroof with new one-touch operation
- New reverse-gear linked passenger-side door mirror
- New auto up/down front passenger window
- New door-mounted electric trunk release button
- Auto-locking fuel door
- Strategic noise insulation
The 2009 Acura TSX features the following safety technologies as standard equipment:
Active safety systems
- 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist
- Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control (Electronic Stability Control)
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
Passive safety systems
- Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure
- 3-point seatbelts for all seating positions
- Front seatbelt automatic tensioning system with integrated load limiters
- Dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags
- Dual-chamber front-seat side airbags
- Side curtain airbags for all outboard seating positions
- Active front head restraints
- Rear head restraints for all seating positions
- Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system in the rear seat
- Front 5-mph bumper and rear 2.5-mph bumper
ENGINE & POWERTRAIN
Improved performance and cleaner emissions are the hallmarks of the 2009 TSX's all-aluminum DOHC i-VTEC® in-line 4-cylinder engine. Displacing 2.4 liters and producing 201 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque (MT), the new engine produces its useable power across a much wider rpm range, while newfound torque (an improvement of 8 lb-ft or five percent) further strengthens the engine's pulling power at middle rpm levels. This allows the 2009 TSX to be more responsive off the line and out of corners, and stronger in the middle of the rpm range where the engine operates most of the time. In short, the 2009 TSX is more refined and fun to drive than the previous-generation TSX.
The newfound performance and flexibility is credited to a higher compression ratio, revised valve timing, and improvements to both intake and exhaust gas flow. Further credit also goes to the TSX's i-VTEC® "intelligent" valve control system. Featuring Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®) combined with Variable Timing Control™ (VTC™), while maintaining top-of-class power the system provides power characteristics like those of a V6 without sacrificing the light weight or fuel efficiency of an inline four. Likewise, a new rear-mounted exhaust layout, a close-coupled catalytic converter design, and a Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system substantially reduce emissions levels, enabling the 2009 TSX to meet the aggressive EPA TIER 2 - BIN 5, and CARB LEV II Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standards for the first time.
Acura TSX customers have a choice of two transmissions as standard equipment - a 6-speed close-ratio manual with new (more performance oriented) ratios for second through sixth gears or a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic with a new lock-up assembly. The manual transmission features a short-throw shifter with a precise, light action that makes it highly rewarding to use, and its magnesium case - a rarity in the industry - helps reduce vehicle mass to improve all-around performance and efficiency. The Sequential SportShift automatic permits fully automatic operation with intelligent features such as Grade Logic Control and Shift Hold Control, which make driving the TSX on hilly or winding roads more enjoyable. If the driver so desires, the automatic can also be operated manually by new steering wheel mounted F1®-style paddle shifters.
BODY & CHASSIS
The 2009 TSX dramatically advances the design themes of its predecessor with a broad new stance that's a clear indication of its sporting intentions. With body-width increased three inches and wheel track dimensions up by 2.6 inches over the outgoing model, the TSX fully looks the part of a leading-edge sports sedan. Besides adding a more muscular dimension to the TSX's appearance, the wider stance serves double-duty in increasing handling agility as well as adding to interior comfort and roominess.
Besides its greater width and wider track, other important key body and chassis advances for the 2009 TSX include a 1.3-inch longer wheelbase and 2.4 inches greater overall length, which combine to benefit both ride quality and interior roominess. A higher roll center helps keep reduce body roll during cornering for a more sporty driving experience. The TSX marks Acura's first use of new Showa dual-mode suspension dampers, which provide superior suspension damping characteristics at both lower and higher damper speeds. Electric Power Steering (EPS) is now standard on the TSX (previously utilized on the NSX sports car), and TSX now has enlarged rear disc brakes (11.1-in. vs. 10.2-in. on the previous generation).
Improved body design and construction techniques such as a new cross-braced roof structure and a stronger rear bulkhead yield a more rigid and vibration-resistant structure. Aerodynamic tailoring includes the first use of inside frame rails on an Acura, comprehensive aerodynamic tailoring underneath the car, and the use of A, B and C-pillar separators - all of which significantly improve the TSX's quietness over rough roads and at high speed. The TSX's slippery aerodynamics also help fuel economy as well as high-speed stability - all while lowering emissions.
Functionality and refinement, luxury and style converge in the interior of the 2009 Acura TSX. Featuring a blend of sweeping, contemporary shapes, a high level of standard comfort and convenience features, widespread use of premium materials and an available Technology Package, the TSX 5-passenger sports sedan offers an upscale modern interior customers have come to expect from Acura.
First impressions are powerful, and an initial look inside the TSX reveals much about its character. From the precision crafted metal door sills to the satin-metal finish accents, from new leather-covered seats to the steering-wheel mounted controls, and from the premium 7-speaker sound system to the dual-zone automatic climate control, the TSX represents a merger of intelligent design and innovation. Bluetooth® connectivity is standard and includes a HandsFreeLink® cellular telephone interface that makes communications easier and safer while en route. The TSX's Keen-Edgedesign blends perfectly with its range of electronic features in a way that makes the driving experience more satisfying.
Adding to the already impressive list of TSX standard equipment is the available Technology Package, which bristles with leading-edge electronics that make driving that much more efficient and enjoyable. The Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink® Real-time traffic and AcuraLink® weather, and the highly useful AcuraLink® Satellite Communication System are the centerpieces of the Technology Package. The navigation system features Real-time traffic covering 76 major metropolitan markets, and offers Traffic Rerouting™ to help navigate around slow-downs. For 2009, the TSX receives a dash-mounted electronic compass for added directional information while driving. Also new is a 10-speaker premium sound system tuned by legendary recording engineer and producer Elliot Scheiner. The 10-speaker Acura/ELS Surround® Premium Audio System includes a new Note function for XM® Radio that makes it easy to identify songs to recall at a later date. With push of a button, the Note feature can capture 10 seconds each of up to 30 songs, along with text indicating song title, artist name, and XM® channel.
Providing an array of advanced safety features is among the highest priorities of the 2009 Acura TSX. Leading the way is the TSX's new Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. Appearing for the first time in a TSX model, ACE™ improves the dispersal of frontal crash energy via load-bearing frame structures that better match the TSX with other vehicles of different sizes and with different bumper heights. Simply put, ACE™ maximizes the effectiveness of the TSX's front crumple zones, better dispersing crash forces before they reach the passenger compartment.
Contributing to the safety performance of the 2009 TSX is a broad range of passive safety features, including six airbags (dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags, new dual-chamber front seat side airbags, and side curtain airbags for outboard seating positions). Three-point seatbelts and head restraints are provided in all seating positions, and the TSX driver and front passenger are further protected by front seatbelt load limiters with integrated automatic tensioning system, plus new active front head restraints, used for the first time on the TSX. The rear seat features a Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system that allows for the secure and quick affixing of up to two child seats.
Exterior features designed to further improve safety include daytime running lights (DRL), a reverse-gear-linked passenger-side downward tilting door mirror, pedestrian injury mitigation such as a deformable hood panel, hood hinges, and windshield-wiper pivots, a front 5-mph bumper and rear 2.5-mph bumper.