Well, it had to happen - a grown-up version of the TSX has finally hit the streets and if you have the loot to spend, it wants you to want it. A word of caution: this is not for the people who want to do heavy modifications; that's what the 4-cylinder version is for. But let's say you're the long-time Honda enthusiast, are lucky enough to have a decent paying job, keep a fixed-up Civic or Integra at home for the weekend runs and are looking for a new car - this is the car for you. It is, in a subtle way, a car that kicks much ass (in more ways than one), thanks to the 3.5L V-6 it comes with over the 2.4L K-series found in the lower model TSX. That means a lot of torque (an increase of 82lb-ft) and power (roughly 80hp) so don't be afraid to get on the gas and go. Though you're not given the choice of a manual transmission, the V-6 TSX provides a sophisticated driving experience with the 5-speed Sequential SportShift automatic, which does give you manual control from the paddle shifters mounted at the steering wheel.
This particular model we tested came with the optional Technology Package, which at nearly $3k more than the base model V-6, is essentially a super bangin', 10-speaker and DVD audio system that was tuned and designed by a six-time Grammy award-winning sound engineer - so you know what that means: fine acoustics, and in our case, bass for days (who needs a Phazon when you have this?). Being a XM listener, I find that it's hard to enjoy a lot of factory head units that come pre-outfitted with XM because the controls are usually wack, but here its butter-smooth and quick. It also comes with a new note function that records the song's information so I can look it up later, instead of having to text myself the song name to remind me (if I even remember to do that). Other highlights of the Tech Package is the navi system that can be voice-operated and can create alternative routes during peak traffic situations with the AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting. Acura also finishes it off by including a rear view camera so you can back out of questionable areas with confidence.
Other than the V-6 engine and increase in engine performance, there's not much difference between the two variants of the TSX. The Technology Package is an option for both and while not completely necessary, is highly encouraged. Perhaps when we're finally ready to grow up, the V-6 TSX is one Honda/Acura we won't mind adding to our family of cars.
That New Car Smell
2010 Acura TSX V-6
The sticker $37,950 (as tested with optional Technology package)
Engine 3.5L SOHC VTEC V-6
The power 280hp at 6,200rpm; 254lb-ft at 5,000rpm
Scale tipping 3,680lbs
Layout Front-engine, Front-wheel drive
Gearbox 5-speed automatic With Sequential SportShift and Grade Logic Control
Suspension Front independent double-wishbone with coil springs; rear independent multi-link with coil springs
Wheels & tires 18x8 cast-aluminum alloys; Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 235/45R18 tires
Brakes Power assisted, 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist
At the pump 18 city/27 highway/21 combined mpg
The pack Lexus IS 250/350, Infiniti G37 sedan, Honda Accord V-6
Deep thoughts When you have enough toys and need a grown-up's car, get this. Too bad it's not offered in RWD or AWD like its competition...