The second-generation TSX is here. You can buy one now, that is, if you want what Acura thinks you want. This would include more room inside, a car that's longer, wider, taller, and inevitably heavier, but no more powerful than its predecessor-things that are not all that bad if you have a family to tote around or tend to grocery shop only once a month.
With the RSX officially discontinued, Acura means business and intends on catering to its core-people who care more about supple-trimmed, venti-sized cup holders than i-VTEC lift and duration specs. Their plan: To create a lineup of cars that are "more Acura than ever before." Of course, for something to be more Acura than Honda it has to be more luxury-oriented than not. The TSX is. It has an iPod hookup and GPS, but that's so five-years ago, so Acura made sure theirs was more up-to-date. Plug your iPod into the '09 TSX and prepare to see your entire playlist displayed on the navigation screen. Speaking of the navigation screen, cue up an address and get real-time traffic updates, even weather. You really will have no excuse for being late, for forgetting a jacket ever again, or even for not finding the song you want.
Yes, the '09 is powered by nearly the same 2.4L K-series found in the previous TSX, which isn't a bad thing, but power and torque figures are not exactly equal. Acura revisited that whole luxury thing by quieting down the K below 4,000 rpm. A composite intake manifold also replaces the older cast aluminum one, although its shape and configuration is similar and the compression ratio is bumped to 11.0:1 from 10.5:1. The results are 4 fewer horsepower but 8 lb-ft of more torque at 4,500 rpm (201 hp, 172 lb-ft torque), which would ordinarily be a huge improvement were the '09 not-so-much heavier. How much heavier is it? About the weight of a small man, and that's comparing manual trans-equipped models with built-in GPS. But it's not like Acura just added the extra weight to upset you. The '09 has larger antiroll bars, bigger brakes out back, and a sophisticated electric power steering system that's reminiscent of what the NSX had, although nowhere near as intuitive. Automatic models are even portlier. Chances are though, you're among the bottom 10 percent who will actually buy the six-speed manual version and not the automatic. If that's the case, the '09 will please you. Acura shortened the transmission's gear ratios and stuck with the same final drive ratio, which helps with that whole torque shift thing and really does make the new sedan not feel all that heavy. Besides, manual trans models also come with a cool Civic Si shift knob. Now if a neat-looking metallic shift knob is not enough of a reason to go pick up an '09 TSX of your own, we don't know what is.