- Refined and responsive four-cylinder
- Very strong, smooth V-6
- Overall handling and responsiveness
- Fetching Wagon body style
- Quiet, well-controlled ride
- Tight back seat
- Odd beak
- No spare tire (Wagon)
- Lackluster gas mileage
For nearly all compact-sedan shoppers except serious enthusiasts or green-car fanatics, the 2013 Acura TSX strikes an agreeable compromise between sport-sedan attitude and premium-car practicality.
The Acura TSX is, for lack of a better term, a 'tweener,' in multiple ways, and while that might make it hard to cross-shop against other premium sedans, that's also what adds to its appeal as a sporty sedan that stands out in the market.
It doesn't quite fit in as compact in the U.S., yet it's not mid-size either; it's more sprightly and less conservative compared to some other entry-luxury models, yet it's not quite a full-fledged sport sedan. Altogether, the TSX hits the right mark for the type who want the premium look, a more nimble driving feel, and some added comfort and practicality that you may end up giving up with traditional sport sedans like the BMW 3-Series or Infiniti G37.
Today's TSX still is a derivative of Europe's Honda Accord. That means it's a sleeker machine than the U.S. Accord, fully in line with the other Acura sedans. It's especially good-looking as a wagon. There is a big, not-missable caveat: the TSX's big, toothy chrome grille. Dubbed the "bionic beaver," it's an odd miscue on a car so otherwise smartly styled, so understated. The cabin doesn't make any of those mistakes, it's just traditionally handsome and well-designed.
Not a sports sedan, not softly sprung like a traditional sedan, the TSX sits somewhere to the left of that equation. The front-driver feels alert and eager, thanks to a choice of two engines. The base one offers 201 hp from a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder arrangement, while a 3.5-liter V-6 gives moneyed buyers a way to get to 280 hp. The 4-cylinder comes with either a 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual, while wagons only get the 4-cylinder and automatic. A European feel pervades that model in particular, but all TSXs have sweet ride and handling, taut without feeling punishing.
The TSX sits a half-class smaller than the TL four-door, but the interior room isn't much different. Drivers get a great seating position and excellent seats. All passengers have a fair amount of room and there's reasonable cargo space, though the TSX is resolutely in the compact-car spectrum. Sedans have pretty good trunk space, and for anyone that needs more, the Sport Wagon solves the problem with more space and a low flat floor that does come with one sacrifice, a gone-fishing spare tire (there is a repair kit).
The TSX has been an IIHS Top Safety Pick. We think it needs more advanced safety touches like blind-spot monitors. All versions come with Bluetooth, satellite radio, and a USB port, as well as heated leather front seats. A Tech package bundles more features, such as surround-sound premium audio.