Acura TSX 2009 Unleashed! (Updated with dyno result)

acura tsx headerAs Acura most successful and most selling product, the new 2009 TSX has a lot of ground to cover. Acura didn’t mess with success and designs the new TSX with similar cues as the out going generation. To satisfy the demands of its customers, Acura made the new TSX bigger and with a revised engine, producing slightly lower horsepower but more improved torque. More pictures and witty comments after the click.

Without further a due, let me introduce to you, Acura TSX 2009… The latest Acura offering for entry level luxury automobile in America. As you might guess, the overall look of the car is no different than that of the Accord Euro 2008 (American Honda/Acura model year always 1 year ahead), or is it? Now let’s look at some pictures shall we, all pictures here are taken from Honda World website, as launched in the New York International Auto Show.

More aggressive stance and bigger body
Almost looks like it’s going when standing still

Amazing isn’t it, it looks so much like the last generation TSX but with bigger body overall. The car has grown (exponentially) sideways, adding a full 3 inches or about 7,5 cm, quite large indeed. The overall grow has given the car about 180 lbs or about 81 Kg of mass and that is a bit of bad news for the enthusiast. Although the last TSX was praised for its cat like handling, the new TSX newly found weight slightly negate what is good about the past TSX. The added weight seems what drives Honda to retuned the 2.4L engine under the new TSX hood. Unlike the past generation TSX it has 205 BHP engine, this new TSX only makes do with 201 BHP. What the hell? Yup, what the hell. It seems that Acura has retuned the engine for lower horsepower this time around, but do not fret, with lower horsepower comes higher torque. Yup, this new TSX has fatter torque, 172 lb-ft, up from 164 lb-ft before. Remember, the extra weight will have to be pushed with extra torque, and 200 BHP is just enough, after all, TSX is the mainstream model, you don’t find much excitement on it. You want excitement and everything, pay more, Acura has the RDX for it (or the TL for the sedan lovers).

The new corporate “shield” grill

Now, this car is totally based off the Accord Euro 2008. However, unlike the lucky European, the TSX came with more or less a different kind of creature comfort. For one thing, the TSX didn’t have the ADAS driving aid system the Accord Euro 2008 is famous for, the TSX doesn’t even have parking sensors (probably Americans are better drivers than the European drivers). However… The TSX technology package (that’s the expensive trim) features a 10 speaker DVD-audio ELS system, praised by the automotive world as one of the best in car audio system out there… Well, it’s a 10 speaker system, anything less than great is laughable. The TSX also has navigation function that combines GPS, traffic report, and even GPS based climate control, it automatically cools and heats the air around particular area inside the car based on the position of sun and local temperature… Now that’s a “cool” idea.

The silver accentuates modernism

Well, as I live on the opposite side of the world, I couldn’t say much about how the car feels in the real world, but here’s some excerpt from those who has driven it.

From Car and Driver: “We have always been fond of the TSX’s balance of power, comfort, and fun, so we were thrilled (and relieved) that for once, such a balance has been retained in spite of Honda’s thorough reworking of pretty much everything around that honey of an engine.

From Temple of VTEC: “In most measurable categories it is a better car than the outgoing model, it’s just not quite what I was hoping for. If you’ve had your eye on a TL, but would feel better about driving a more efficient and more affordable 4-cylinder, this could be your car.

Well, actually the car got a mixed review all over the automotive publication in America. Some say its great, some say it has lost its charm because of the added weight and the decrease of horsepower. But in my opinion, 200 BHP is more than enough for a daily driver, and with the shift from horsepower to increased torque, I’d prefer the latter. The larger interior space of the TSX also lends itself that the car has become what people in the segment that Acura aim aspires to… Comfort. For cheap thrills, I’d buy a modified used 240SX, but I guess Acura targets those who have overcome their adolescent days and becoming more responsible, a family man.


It seems the folks at Temple Of VTEC has done a dyno test to the 2009 TSX. As they have complaint about the reduce in horsepower, it is found out that the slight increase in torque is spread out equally on the powerband. This results in a much more “moving” drive… Not fast, but still it will make you grin a little silly.

As you can see clearly, the whole “grunt” of the engine’s power is increased below 6000 RPM. This means you don’t have to shift down all the time to overtake in highway. Acura definitely did this because the demographics of TSX drivers are not as spirited as those who drives a Civic SI, who in turn prefers revving their engine to the max. I guess Acura does have a reason for everything…


Temple Of VTEC TSX first drive

Temple Of VTEC TSX 6MT dyno result

Car and Driver TSX first drive

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