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well on my way to test drive a 6s 5spd that the dealer just got in, I drove past an Acura dealer and decided to take a look at the new TSX.

First impression as I walked through the door? Nice! I saw it from the rear and its pretty good looking from that view. Walking around it a few things hit me .. the chrome strip on the door handles are ugly! Bleh! .. moving on. The overall lines of the car are nice. Its got a clean classy look and feel to it on the outside.

Pop open the door and BAM! there in the door jamb/kickplate ( not sure of the actual term ) are these polished aluminum kickplates with ACURA right there. GROSS! cheesy! its there for every door! I have no idea why Acura went with that idea. Shiny kickplates are weird enough for me but I don't need a giant ACURA on each one! :D

The rest of the interior is super clean and very luxury feeling. The gauges are my favorite part. Nice color contrast and they light up when you open the door .. and get even brighter as you turn the car on. Sound system is top notch and so are the HVAC controls.

The car inside felt pretty cramped though .. much like an IS300's interior space. Rear leg room is minimal for those who care :)

How does the car drive? Lucky me .. they had a 6spd ready and waiting outside to test drive! After the salesman photocopied my license I was off for a spin in a shiny new TSX. Got plenty of looks from other drivers .. maybe it was the large sticker in the window? Who knows? ... but the car drives so - so at most. Nothing impressed me about the drive. Power is very much on the low end. Driving normally feels fine but when I stepped on it, it took a long time to pick up. And even when it finally started revving up, it never really gave a strong pull. The 4 cylinder engine handicap, if you can call it that, really reared its head here. The car handled decent but not as well as the 6 for sure. 6 speed tranny? Cool and all but big deal. They should really come out with a typeS or what not for this car!

Now if you're in the market for 6i 4 cylinder then you may want to take a look at the TSX. Its a little more expensive but you get what you pay for here. Top notch interior and the whole Honda/Acura resale and reliability history ... plus the HID's! But if you're looking at the 6s then you have nothing to worry about here. Its and easy choice. :)

Whew! Sorry for the essay!

Heading to the Mazda dealer now to try and work on a better deal than the $500 over invoice quote I have so far.
 

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Reading Topic: TSX t

Well I was much more impressed with the TSX than you.
The TSX compares very favorably to the V6 6. The 2.4 litre 4 cylinder is a Honda powerplant and Honda is the king of 4 cylinders. This engine is smooth, very smooth at idle all the way to it's redline. It uses ivtec, which is a more "intelligent" form of Vtec, as it trys to keep power more linear throughout the powerband. Also, the i4 uses twin balance shafts that make for a very smooth and steady idle. Instead of the vtec "hit", you feel a steady pull of power that never really feels
as if it's hitting you"hard", but you notice the engines power in it's effortless gathering of speed. You look at the speedo and realize how fast you are going because the TSX is very very smooth in it's output. Road noise is ultra suppressed.
I LOVE that. The engine emits a nice smooth high rpm whirl more remniscent of a highly tuned motorcycle engine on steroids. In contrast to the V6 6, who's engine takes on a deep throated roar on open throttle. Also, the 6 allows more road noise into the cabin than the TSX. The TSX keeps a good lid on tire roar which the 6 can't quite keep down. Also, one big "noise" issue with the 6S is the tendency of the 17" tires to make a high pitched "ring" on the highway when you hit a broken line of raised ashphalt or concrete.

The TSX has a very smooth ride comparing favorably to the 6S. Handling is very good with direct and quick reflex from the chassis when you ask for transition from the steering wheel. It doesn't seem as communicative at the wheel as in the 6, but the TSX's feel is close enough to not be a big issue.
Braking is excellent with no slop in the pedal. The braking feel has great intial bite and smooth progressive slow down. The controls in the TSX are smooth and the whole car feels more of a single piece than the 6 does at times. One of the main reasons for this is the fabulous 6 speed transmission. Honda/Acura make the finest manuals in the business in my opinion. BMW should be envious and sent back to school to learn how manual transmissions should work and feel. The Mazda folks have been there. The TSX manual is superior in feel to the 6S. The Mazda manual has very nice clutch pedal modulation giving great feel, and the shifter is decent with a good crisp "detent" when the gear is found. The TSX gives that little bit extra that makes shifting more fun than necessary.
Smooth take offs are easily done in the TSX as the clutch take up is progressive and ultra smooth. The power provided by the engine is delivered in such a smooth manner that it helps the shift feel smoother than driver probably is. The shift lever has an excellent "notch" and finds it's gear swiftly and without doubt. The mechanism isn't as "racy" as the RSX-S's manual, which is my favorite, but it comes very close. I feel that Acura made the shift a bit less "notch heavy" in keeping with it's luxury sport sedan demeanor in contrast to the RSX-S coupes more sport oritented nature. Mechanically the TSX feels crisp and smooth with no undue
motions in the chassis along with an engine and transmission who's relationship is one of soul-mate status.

The 6 is sportier in feel and communicates better to the driver. Body motions are as controlled as the TSX except for some "judder" that occurs in the 6 over certain rippled pavement and in mid-corner bumps. However, it's nothing that really takes away from the 6's excellent composure when the road turns twisty and you set the 6 into it's river dance on the switchbacks.

In the cabin of the TSX, the arrangement is both interesting and elegant due to it's simplicity. The TSX interior is built
with excellent feeling materials. Interior design and execution is a step above the 6 and in some areas maybe 2 steps such as the seats. The seat contour in the Acura is excellent providing side gripping bolsters that do not intrude into your lower back as they can in the 6S seats at times. The seat back is wide enough to sit back into and your back can lay flat into the seat while the bottom cushion holds you bum secure and gentle. The seating position is decidedly "European" as you sit upright in control yet relaxed and comfortable. The relationship between wheel, seat, gauges, and pedals is right on. I have a bit of trouble with the 6. When I adjust the wheel and seat to the pedals, I don't have the best line of sight to the gauges as I feel too tall in the saddle. The 6 seats don't let me seat deep enough into them. Also, I find that after about 20 minutes in the seat I feel a tension on my lower back and start to squirm to adjust. That might get better if I spent more time in the seats and allow them to mold to my shape.

The Acura's rear seats seem roomy enough to me and would be fine for a long trip with 2 rear passengers as long as they are not long of leg and/or big of head. The 6 beats the TSX in rear passenger comfort. But, the rear seats in the TSX have a better contour allowing the passenger to seat flat in them whereas the 6 is ever so slightly canted inward. Not a big deal really.

Overall, the TSX offers a fully loaded package of amenities so that the buyer doesn't have to pick this to get that or have to take that to get this. This is both good and bad. You have to take everything or nothing with the Acura philosophy. It certainly simplifies the choices while at the same time severly limiting your choices as there aren't any accept for the navigation system.

In reivews, which I've read, it seems that the TSX will be as quick as the V6 6S to 60 and maybe a bit quicker. More testing will tell. From my butt-o-meter, the TSX feels as fast as the V6 6, but it does this without the heavier "punch" of torque from the V6. The i4 intelligent Vtec revs quickly and freely and that's what makes up the time to speed. This i4 generates a torque curve so flat you could have a picnic on it. Before 2000rpm there is something like 80-90% of it's torque available. And that torque rises slightly to peak but runs for thousands of rpm before the next shift. This is why it's fast without feeling that way. Also, with 6 nicely spaced gears, you have a shift that puts you right into the meaty part of the power band again and again and again. The 6 needs a 6 speed to keep it in it's power band a bit better as well.

The TSX is a worthy opponent to the 6. It feels light on it's feet as does the 6. The American Accord feels bigger and heavier in comparison the TSX and Mazda 6. Both the TSX and 6 are more SPORT natured sedan types.
As far as overall sport sedan, the 6 edges out the TSX. Acura created a very nicely sorted and smooth sport sedan that lacks a bit of flavor. Mazda 6 has a character all it's own as it decided to be the athelete of the sport sedan segment. Where the TSX is very good vanilla ice cream, the 6 is
vanilla and chocolate mixed. :)

Tome
 

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Reading Topic: TSX test drive

Nice writeup Tome! Since everyone knows how a 6 is to drive, your review which concentrate on the TSX allows the 6 members to compare much easier.

Is there a thumbs up icon? If not here is the text version, thumbs up!
 

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Reading Topic: TSX test drive

I will still take the 6 over the TSX, don't ask me why? I just love the styling of the car ossom! It drove pretty good with a nice taut ride which was hard to find just a couple of years back in any jap car in this price range.
 

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Replying to Topic 'TSX test drive'

I also hesitated a lot between 6s and TSX and chose 6s.

Can't get better value for the price, sound system is better, more torque, better look, even if TSX interior is better, the 6s is very nice.

It's the first car I have that makes me go out past 10pm, when kids are asleep, to drive, drive ,drive.

6s GFX MT Black
 

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Reading Topic: TSX test drive

I'm still teetering between the 2.

I love the deep growl of the 6s and the soft but taunt ride. I REALLY have to test drive the TSX a second time, I didn't get a long enough drive or a place to open it up for a real test. I was able to test drive the 6s alone on the open highway so it gave me a better feel. I sat in the 6s for over an hour at the dealer and really liked it, but I keep going back to the TSX interior it's BEAUTIFUL.

I LOVE the body kit on the 6s, I'd like a body kit on the TSX but then the price just gets out of hand. The Kit actually is subjective on the TSX, the white colour didn't need it but the red seemed to need it! I find the 6 REQUIRES the kit, otherwise it just looks like your everyday sedan almost like a Protege 5.

The only other issue is dealerships, the one in Ottawa isn't the greatest, and that could be a problem down the road.
 

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Replying to Topic 'TSX test drive'

QUOTE
Originally posted by M-006
         
In reivews, which I've read, it seems that the TSX will be as quick as the V6 6S to 60 and maybe a bit quicker.  

Tome[/b]
Just wondering what reviews of the TSX have it under 6 seconds? Doesn't the motortrend review of the 6s have it at 6.67?
 

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Replying to Topic 'TSX test drive'

IMO performance wise only (I drove both 6s and TSX same day):

These are two performant cars. From magazines, 6s is most probably a bit faster on 0-60 and 1/4 mile, but not a lot of TSX numbers available to confirm it.

My own experience with TSX let me feels that it was like a 2-stroke motocross vs. the 6s was like a 4-stroke motocross, meaning TSX power is there, engine is smaller, but need to rev it up. So TSX 6speed Manuel + RPM compared to Mazda 5speed Manuel lower RPM, I felt the ride requires less work on a Mazda 6s for almost same performance results.

Cheers!
 

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Reading Topic: TSX test drive

I drove both back to back as well, the 6s seemed downright FAST the TSX seemed low and sluggish, but I didn't get to open it up, I want to re-test. 367 days till the lease is up!
 

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Reading Topic: TSX test drive

Car & Driver lists the Mazda6 as the only competitor to the TSX... all other competitors are too expensive.
 

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Replying to Topic 'TSX test drive'

QUOTE
Originally posted by Wing


         
I LOVE the body kit on the 6s, I'd like a body kit on the TSX but then the price just gets out of hand.  The Kit actually is subjective on the TSX, the white colour didn't need it but the red seemed to need it!  I find the 6 REQUIRES the kit, otherwise it just looks like your everyday sedan almost like a Protege 5.[/b]
ahhh excellent points. The 6 IMHO does look strange w/o the sport package body kit. The TSX is a good looking car w/o the kit still.

The super clean lines of having molded ground effects/body kit like the 6s VS non flush bolted/riveted on body kits such as the TSX has ... is like night and day. I'd take the clean molded ones anyday.

what if the TSX was available with a molded body kit like the 6s? ooooooh my .. decisions decisions!!! :hoho
 

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Reading Topic: Replying to Topic 'TSX test drive'

Come on, our 6 still look good without the body kit. As long as there is the 17" wheel. :D
 

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Reading Topic: Replying to Topic 'TSX test drive'

It looks fine. It looks like a halfway decent sedan.
 
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