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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
the addition of the 3.5-liter Acura V6 wakes the TSX right up
one of the best-handling front-wheel-drive cars on sale
Steering, as in most Acura models, is wickedly accurate
Excellent body control and a willingness to play
the automatic shifts smoothly, though sometimes it plays a game of hide-and-seek when pressing on with authority
The 2012 Acura TSX isn't quite as performance-focused as some finely honed sport sedans like the Infiniti G37 or BMW 3-Series, but it does offer a sportier personality, as well as a more engaging experience behind the wheel, compared to most other luxury sedans its size.
A 201-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine remains the base offering on the TSX sedan (and the only one in the Sport Wagon). And we think most shoppers will be happy with it; the four is spunky and more than adequate with either the six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission (Sport Wagon shoppers also have to stick with the automatic).
The available 280-hp V-6 adds some serious punch, and the capable chassis makes the most of its power and torque, despite front-wheel drive--but the four is plenty strong for these models' size and weight. What's more, the TSX V-6 weighs more in front, which means its handling response isn't quite as crisp.
Steering and ride are very European in feel, tuned to be on the taut side though not punishing. 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.
The Acura TSX handles well for a front-wheel-drive sedan, and while the four-cylinder has enough gusto the V-6 adds some extra punch.