For years, Acura has marketed the TSX as a counterpoint to long-standing sport-sedan champs like the BMW 3-Series and Audi A4. Handling has always been a good selling point, though reviewers differ.
The 2009 Acura TSX is offered with only one engine, which Edmunds says is a "2.4-liter inline-4 capable of 201 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque." Comments on the engine range from "sufficient if not overabundant" power from Car and Driver to "surprisingly good low- and mid-range punch" from ConsumerGuide. However, reviewers at Autoblog aren't so kind, claiming that the Acura "TSX revs painfully slow," although it should be noted that their opinion is definitely in the minority.
The one performance decision that prospective Acura TSX buyers will have to make is how they would like power delivered to the road. This 2009 Acura offers "a six-speed manual and a five-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel shift paddles," according to Edmunds, and the manual in particular is a joy. Car and Driver found the 6-speed "delightfully precise." The manual is so good, in fact, that Automobile terms it the "industry standard," thanks largely to its "absolutely precise" gear changes and "perfectly weighted" clutch pedal movement. In terms of the available five-speed automatic, Cars.com writes that it "delivers smooth shifts and doesn't make you wait long when you floor the gas pedal before it kicks down," and the paddles "produce fairly quick shifts."
With some fun-to-drive performance cars, fuel economy is sacrificed in favor of performance. Fortunately, the 2009 Acura TSX offers decent fuel numbers with its respectable engine figures. The EPA estimates that manual Acura TSXs will return 20/28 mpg, while the automatic boasts 21/30 mpg, numbers that Car and Driver finds to be "quite favorable."
Handling gets the most positive comments. ConsumerGuide finds that the Acura TSX "carves corners with grippy assurance and little body lean." Steering is a bit of a sore point, as Cars.com writes that one of their biggest issues with the new "TSX is its steering feel and feedback." ConsumerGuide calls the brakes "drama-free" and Car and Driver refers to them as "talented."