The 2012 Acura TSX
is the luxury car of choice for those who prefer high revs and handling over outright power and speed. Against its German rivals, what it loses in rear-wheel-drive and bigger 6- or 8-cylinder engines it makes up in typically Acura traits: a slick available six-speed manual, a VTEC-equipped engine, and precise control.
Acura brought over the European Honda Accord, a version of the badge that is far smaller than what Americans are used to, as their premium entry-level car that still manages to be well-equipped. For 2012, a Special Edition Acura TSX debuts with special badging, five-spoke aluminum wheels, and perforated leather and suede seats.
Base Acura TSX models come with a 201-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, as well as an optional six-speed manual transmission. An optional 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 is also available, with a five-speed automatic transmission. The 2012 Acura TSX can even be had as a wagon, and despite the stigma attached to that body style, Acura's version manages to be a joy to drive.
Body style: sedan, wagon
Engines: 2.4-liter I-4, 3.5-liter V6
Transmissions: six-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: TSX, TSX V6, TSX Special Edition, TSX Sport Wagon, TSX Sport Wagon with Technology Package
The 2012 Acura TSX gets a Special Edition model for the first time, which celebrates Acura's 25th anniversary with special wheels and badges, perforated suede seats with red stitching, drilled aluminum pedals, and a black headliner. The only engine available is the 2.4-liter four-cylinder, with either the five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission.
Since 2011, the Acura TSX Sport Wagon has been a staple of the TSX lineup. With 60.5 cubic feet of room after the rear seats are folded, the wagon provides a sportier alternative to other Acura vehicles such as the RDX.
The new wagon variant manages to avoid the bloated, high-roofline look of yesterday's wagons. As befitting a Sport Wagon, Acura sacrificed some cargo room for a sleek profile. The rest of the 2012 Acura TSX's styling carries a similar shape to the outgoing model, and tones down the extravagance and chrome from Acura's extroverted TL.
Auto climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, automatic headlights, power seats and moonroof are but a few of the standard features on the 2012 Acura TSX. Active noise cancellation keeps V-6 models quieter, and available GPS-linked temperature control automatically adjusts cabin temperature to ensure a pleasant environment whether you're in Dearborn or Death Valley.
Performance & Handling
With the four-cylinder VTEC engine, light weight, trim dimensions and slick six-speed manual, the Acura TSX has long been favored for its sublime driving dynamics. The V-6 adds roughly 280 pounds up front and is saddled with the paddle-shifting five-speed automatic, but it also increases horsepower by 80 to make up for the difference.
Safety features in the 2012 TSX include driver and front passenger dual-stage front, side, and curtain air bags. Front seat passengers also have active head restraints. ABS and stability control come standard.
EPA Fuel Economy
TSX four-cylinder, six-speed manual: 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway
TSX four-cylinder, five-speed automatic: 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway
TSX V-6 five-speed automatic: 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway
- Slick shifting manual
Revvy VTEC engine
High quality interior
You Won't Like
- V-6 Torque steer
- V-6 only available with automatic transmission
- Wagon not available in manual
An inspired entry-level choice
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi A4
- BMW 328i
- Lexus IS 250
- Mercedes-Benz C300
- Infiniti G25