Acura needed to fill a void in the line-up when the Integra sedan and coupe became the sporty RSX hatchback. For fear of sending buyers looking elsewhere for an entry level luxury sport sedan, they scoured the Honda/Acura line-up looking for a suitable platform and opted for the slightly smaller European/Japanese Accord.

Acura says that the TSX is designed to compete with sport se" />

Issue: Nov 2003


Cars Worth Noting - 2004 Acura TSX



2004 Acura TSX

by John Peter

Acura needed to fill a void in the line-up when the Integra sedan and coupe became the sporty RSX hatchback. For fear of sending buyers looking elsewhere for an entry level luxury sport sedan, they scoured the Honda/Acura line-up looking for a suitable platform and opted for the slightly smaller European/Japanese Accord.

Acura says that the TSX is designed to compete with sport sedans like the BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS300 and Audi A4.

The TSX has all of the necessary attributes to make it a great sport sedan. The 200 hp 2.4L i-VTEC 4-cylinder loves to sing in any gear. The close-ratio 6-speed manual is smoothshifting and accurate and the car rides on what Acura calls, a race-tuned four-wheel independent double-wishbone suspension, with fourwheel discs providing the stopping power.

What the TSX doesnt have that the others do is rear-wheel drive a very important attribute to most sport sedan buyers.

The front-drive TSX carries its own in the handling department, as nimble and accurate as any well-built, well-designed Japanese car, but it isnt a BMW 3 Series or Audi A4. Acura engineers worked hard at eliminating weight from the front end, incorporating things like a magnesium-alloy transmission case that saves 6.6 pounds.

This front-drive muscle car seems like it would appeal more to the west coast tuners than it would to the BMW crowd. The Integra, that it replaces, was much sought-after by the west coast tuner crowd for its unique styling which may be the only other thing the TSX is lacking. Adding a new fascia and grille to the plain-Jane Accord wont give it the pizzazz that draws kids to the RSX. As good as TSX may be it might just have trouble finding a place to fit in.

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