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Friday, April 23, 2010

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By Rodrez

First Impresion: 2010 Acura TSX V6

When the Acura TSX first hit U.S. shores, it was immediately branded as Acura's entry-level sport sedan. As with any new car, reviews blanketed magazines and internet sites and the nit picking began. While most writers praised the new offering, citing its long list of positive attributes, the negative points seemed to echo one another. Many would complain of a lack of torque and what they refer to as "peaky" performance. There's no question that most of the Honda engines introduced over the last fifteen years have revolved around high revving screamers, and that's what makes them so unique. Nevertheless, there's a sea of potential buyers in America who are looking for the low-end grunt they probably grew up with. Add to that a growing number of sport sedan consumers who begin salivating at the very thought of more muscle under the hood and you can understand why the TSX received two more cylinders for its spec sheet.

The facelift

With the 2009 model came a complete redesign. A larger, bulkier, yet very sleek new body style made its way to dealer show rooms. As with many new offerings, Honda fans needed a moment to get used to the new look. At first glance, the silver front grill draws your attention away from the sharp sculptured lines of the exterior. The HID-equipped headlights, much like with the older model, carry an aggressive stare, and flow very well with the front bumper and fenders. The wheel arches and rear bumper take their time growing on you, but once they do, thoughts of aftermarket wheel combinations and a healthy drop aren't far behind.

Love at first seat

When I first arrived to pick up the TSX, it was parked right next to a 2010 Acura TL. The similarities in outward appearance as well as the cabin layout are obvious, as is the increased size of the flagship Acura in comparison to the smaller TSX. As I jumped inside our test car, the very first thing I noticed were the comfortable seats. A slightly sporty feel with the cushiest headrest I've ever leaned into. I can only imagine how comfortable these seats would be on a five hour cruise to Vegas. During the week of testing, I found myself answering emails from my blackberry while parked in the garage, subconsciously not wanting to leave my new leather-wrapped home.

Dimensionally, the interior is much larger than the previous generation. The TSX's dash layout and location of the major user controls are ergonomically superior to its predecessor. Navigation, satellite radio, and traffic updates are all controlled by a main dial and a few surrounding buttons. Under the navigation screen is a small digital strip that relays radio and temperature info to eliminate jumping back and forth between screens.

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