College students, new drivers, and others who are looking for a practical, reliable vehicle should begin their search with the 2004 Acura TSX. The sedan (the wagon wasn't released until 2011) is equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine attached to a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic transmission.
Acura made slight adjustments each year. In 2005, it added satellite radio, a four-way power passenger seat, and added controls for the stereo and cruise control to the steering wheel. If you want to chat with friends and family using a hands-free device or listen to your MP3 player, check out the 2006 model or newer. Additional improvements for the 2006 model include redesigned wheels, fog lights, slight changes to the body, and engine tweaks that added five hp. This model was the last one in the first generation with major improvements; it wasn't until the 2009 model that the TSX was revamped once again.
Drivers looking for a more feature-rich and spacious car should consider a second-generation TSX. The 2009 model is wider, has a longer wheelbase, and weighs up to 150 pounds more than the previous models. Standard features include xenon headlights for better vision, a tire pressure monitoring system that helps keep drivers safe and maximize fuel economy, traction control, dual-zone air conditioning, leather seating, and more. To satisfy drivers who wanted more power, a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 280 hp was added as an option for the 2010 V6 model. A standard five-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and 18-inch alloy wheels give this model an aggressive appearance. Additional options were offered for those who wanted the latest features such as a navigation system or a 415-watt, 10-speaker sound system.
If you're looking for a vehicle that handles like a sedan but has plenty of storage space, the Acura TSX Sport wagon offers 61 cubic feet of cargo space with the back seats folded down and 31 cubic feet with the seats up. The 2011 wagon is equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine attached to a five-speed automatic transmission, and comes standard with heated leather seats, a sunroof, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and a USB port.
The current Acura TSX comes with the same standard options as the 2011 model, and comes in four additional trim levels for those looking for an upgraded sound system or navigation system. The 2014 TSX offers many exterior and interior options and color patterns to let you make the car look just the way you like it. It offers a surround sound system, music voice command system, as well as navigation system functionality and controls, AcuraLink real-time traffic and AcuraLink real-time weather systems.
According to testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2009-2014 TSX sedans are safer than the 2004-2008 models. The TSX wagon is as safe as the newer sedans. Safety-conscious drivers should focus their search on second-generation vehicles to ensure they're getting the safest TSX available.
Standard safety features on the 2014 TSX include two front airbags, two side curtain airbags, and two front-side airbags. The body is specially constructed to evenly distribute the force received in a front crash, which decreases the chance of injury for every passenger in the car. Stability control is also included to reduce the risk of understeer or oversteer by automatically reducing the engine's torque.