2011 Acura TSX Performance

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Performance
Acura sees the TSX as its sporty alternative to cars like the Audi A4 and entry-level BMW 3-Series vehicles. For that reason, handling is a big priority—and a big success of its front-drive sedan and wagon.

A 201-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder is the standard powerplant on the TSX sedan and the only engine offered on the Sport Wagon. In the four-door, the standard six-speed manual transmission gives the car a lively edge, and the four-cylinder loves a midrange run through the gears. Honda builds some of the most easy-going, sweet-shifting manuals in existence, and it’s baffling to most car reviewers why the company would omit the six-speed manual from the Sport Wageon lineup.

Even with the paddle-shifted Sequential SportShift five-speed automatic transmission, the four-cylinder winds very smoothly up through the gears, with a noticeable drop-off between fourth and fifth that leads the charge to the Wagon's 22/30 mpg EPA fuel economy rating. Long uphill passes aren't the best idea, but a lightly-laden TSX with the four-cylinder and automatic can handle more than the pedestrian numbers (about 8 seconds to 60 mph) will read.

The Acura TSX's V-6 adds some much-needed punch, but the four-cylinder has enough guts, and handling is admirable for a front-wheel-drive sedan.

The four-cylinder TSX sedan and wagon are fitted with electric power steering, but the sensations coming from the long-telescope steering wheel create one of the better driving simulations out there. Ride comfort is swell, a fine mix of taut control through the suspension and a good amount of give and take from the passive all-season tires.

Last year Honda introduced a 280-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine option to the TSX sedan. The six delivers one of the few things the TSX lacked--power. Handling is still nimble and sporting, with a firm yet absorbent ride.

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