The 2014 Acura TSX has officially been unveiled and in the two years since it received a facelift, the model sure looks like it’s need of another one.
That’s not a knock on the TSX per se, just an observation based on the improvements its competitors have had since then. There are still some pretty interesting qualities to one of Acura’s sportier models, including the rather spacious interior cabin and the refined handling characteristics, but if the Japanese brand has any intention to keep up with the times, it’s pretty important that it starts with arguably the first thing customers will notice when in the market for a new car.
The TSX SE model is back, though, and that’s a huge plus, especially for those looking for a cheap yet performance-inclined midsize sedan . The return of the two powertrain options also gives the TSX a little performance variety, much needed considering that it’s segment has some pretty strong competitors that offer equal amounts of horses with more features catered to enticing buyers to splurge money for their respective models.
But Acura opted to keep still with the 2014 model. It should be enough to get the TSX its fair share of looks, but not enough to put it over the top as one of the most desired models of its class.
The 2014 TSX doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence as far as cutting edge design is concerned. It’s in dire need of some cosmetic changes that’s further exacerbated by the constant upheaval going on in its surroundings.
Still, it could’ve been worse, and there are a few elements that we do appreciate, including the addition of xenon high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights and a glass moonroof. The latter, in particular, offers a nice sporty touch to the whole TSX package.
Large rims (17 inches for the standard trim and 18 inches for the TSX V-6) for its segment also improves the sedan’s stance while under-body spoilers on the front, side and rear of the TSX Special Edition likewise increase its visual appeal.
Overall, though, the design of the TSX is still pretty stale, relative to what we’ve been seeing from other brands.
Time for a cosmetic change, Acura.
Standard Exterior Features
- Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights (with Auto on/off feature) and integrated Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
- Front bumper-integrated halogen fog lights
- Dual exhaust outlets with polished tips
- Folding side mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators and heaters
- Driver-side rearview mirror Reverse gear tilt down function
- Speed-sensing windshield wipers with mist feature
- Heat-rejecting window glass along with auto-timer defroster for rear glass
- Electronic trunk release
- Sport-minded front spoiler (TSX Sedan SE)
- Sport-minded rear bumper fascia (TSX Sedan SE)
- Sport-minded lower side sills (TSX Sedan SE)
- "Sport Edition" badge on trunklid (TSX Sedan SE)
If only Acura paid as much attention to its exterior design the way it did in the interior, then we’d be talking about a real head-turner of a midsized sedan.
The standard leather with contrast-color stitching in the cabin will immediately drive up its comfort and posh ambiance. Seat function was also addressed, thanks to a standard eight-way power driver’s seat with adjustable lumbar support and a passenger seat with its own four-way power adjustment capabilities.
Interior space was also addressed to allow comfortable seating for as many as five passengers while the center console was designed with the kind of streamlined attention-to-detail that won’t take time getting used to. The buttons are neatly placed without too many complications.
Technology on the cabin also wasn’t compromised, as evidenced by the available Technology Package, which includes an LED backlit full VGA navigation screen, a rearview camera, a Song By Voice (SBV) user interface, and a hard disk drive that can hold as much as 15 gigabytes worth of downloadable music.
To enjoy that audio experience, the TSX was also given the Acura/ELS Surround Premium 10-speaker Sound System, designed and developed by Acura with help from Grammy award-winning recording engineer and producer Elliot Scheiner.
|Trim||TSX (Sedan)||TSX V-6|
|Head Room, front||37.6 in (955 mm)||37.6 in (955 mm)|
|Leg Room, front||42.4 in (1,078 mm)||42.4 in (1,078 mm)|
|Hip Room, front||55.6 in (1,411 mm)||55.6 in (1,411 mm)|
|Shoulder Room, front||57.8 in (1,468 mm)||57.8 in (1,468 mm)|
|Head Room, rear||37.0 in (941 mm)||37.0 in (941 mm)|
|Leg Room, rear||34.3 in (872 mm)||34.3 in (872 mm)|
|Hip Room, rear||54.2 in (1,377 mm)||54.2 in (1,377 mm)|
|Shoulder Room, rear||56.1 in (1,426 mm)||56.1 in (1,426 mm)|
Standard Interior Features
Seating and Trim
- Leather-wrapped sport-style steering wheel
- Perforated leather trimmed seating surfaces with contrast-color stitching Power-actuated, 8-way adjustable driver seat (with adjustable lumbar support and two-position memory function)
- Power-actuated, 4-way adjustable front passenger seat
- Heated front seats
- Driver and front passenger seat back pockets
- Locking 60/40 split fold-down rear seat with center armrest
- Carpeted floor mats
- Custom seat upholstery with red colored perforated suede inserts (TSX Sedan SE)
- Red stitching for seats and shift knob (TSX Sedan SE)
- Special black colored headliner material (TSX Sedan SE)
- Sport-minded aluminum pedal covers (TSX Sedan SE)
- Steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters with bright silver plating (TSX Sedan SE)
- Unique red lighting for instrument cluster, overhead lighting and footwell lighting (TSX Sedan SE)
Comfort and Convenience
- Dual-zone automatic climate control system with micron air-filtration
- Bluetooth HandsFreeLink cellular telephone interface
- Premium sound system with AM/FM tuner, in-dash CD/MP3/WMA player, Radio Data System (RDS), speed-sensitive volume control, 7-speakers, 8-inch subwoofer and 360-watt amplifier
- XM Radio with Note function music reminder
- USB port and AUX jack connectivity for external music players
- Steering wheel-mounted illuminated controls (cruise control, audio, telephone, multi-information display and available voice recognition)
- Tilt and telescopic steering wheel
- Power-operated glass moonroof with tilt feature and sliding sunshade
- Auto-up/down driver and passenger power windows, power door mirrors and power door locks
- Remote activated, auto-open side windows and moonroof "quick vent" function
- Remote entry system with Acura personalized settings for driver’s seat
- Leather-covered front center console with sliding arm rest
- Door storage compartments
- Front and rear dual beverage holders
- Overhead storage compartment for sunglasses
- Overhead map lights
- Multi-Information Display (MID)
- Dual trip meters
- Maintenance Minder system
- HomeLink remote control system
- Auto-dimming day/night rearview mirror
- Illuminated driver and passenger vanity mirrors
- Two 12-volt power outlets
- Rear window defogger
- Blue LED interior lighting
- Digital clock
- Active Sound Control system (TSX V-6 Sedan)
Technology Package Adds:
- Acura/ELS Surround 415-watt (460-watt with Sport Wagon) Premium Audio System with 10 speakers, DVD-Audio, CD, DTS, AM/FM radio, XM Satellite Radio with Note function music reminder, 15 GB hard disk drive memory (HDD) media storage system, Song By Voice and Dolby Pro Logic II
- Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition and rearview camera
- AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting
- AcuraLink Real-Time Weather
- AcuraLink Satellite Communication System with Automated Appointments
A choice of two engines will be offered for the 2014 TSX. One is the standard 2.4-liter inline-four that produces a tidy 201 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque, good enough to hit 00 mph in a little under eight seconds with a top speed of about 137 mph.
A more powerful 3.5-liter V-6 is also offered, this time with 280 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. With the V-6, expect the TSX’s 60 mph time to improve to the low seven seconds with an estimated top speed of around 143 mph.
|Engine Type||2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder||3.5-liter 60-degree V-angle, 6-cylinder|
|Horsepower||201 hp at 7,000 rpm||280 hp at 6,200 rpm|
|Torque||172 lb-ft at 4,300 rpm (6MT); 170 lb-ft at 4,300 rpm (5AT)||254 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm|
|Redline||7,100 rpm||6,800 rpm|
|Bore & Stroke||3.42 in x 3.89 in (87 mm x 99 mm)||3.50 in x 3.66 in (89 mm x 93 mm)|
|Displacement||143.6 cu in (2354 cc)||211.8 cu in (3471 cc)|
|Induction System||Lightweight composite intake manifold with Programmed multi-point Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) and Drive-By-Wire™ throttle system||Dual-stage intake manifold with PGM-FI multi-point fuel injection and Drive-By-Wire™ throttle system|
|Valvetrain||Intelligent Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC®), 4-valves-per-cylinder, DOHC, chain-driven camshafts and Variable Timing Control™ (VTC™)||Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®), 4-valves-per-cylinder, SOHC, belt-driven camshafts|
|Engine Block||Aluminum block with cast-iron cylinder liners||Aluminum block with cast-iron cylinder liners|
|Cylinder Head||Aluminum head with pent-roof combustion chambers and 4 valves per cylinder||Aluminum heads with pent-roof combustion chambers and 4 valves per cylinder|
|Emission Control||EPA TIER 2 – BIN 5; CARB LEV II ULEV||EPA TIER 2 – BIN 5; CARB LEV II ULEV|
|Ignition System||Electronic Direct||Electronic Direct|
|Alternator||12 volt – 105 ampere||12 volt – 130 ampere|
|Battery||12 volt - 45Ah||12 volt 72Ah|
|Fuel Type||Premium Unleaded (recommended)||Premium Unleaded (required)|
The 2014 Acura’s standard safety equipment includes Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control, ABS, dual-stage/multiple-threshold front airbags, front-side airbags, side curtain airbags for all outboard seating positions, front seatbelts with automatic tensioning system and load limiters, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and Daytime Running Lights (DRL).
Taken together, it was enough to propel the 2013 model as a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Good to know that all of those features remained in the 2014 model.
Safety and Security Features
- Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE) body structure
- Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control
- Collapsible steering column
- Driver and front passenger dual-stage, multiple-threshold front air bags, and front side airbags with passenger side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS)
- Two row side curtain air bags
- Adjustable-height front seat head restraints with active head restraint system
- Driver and front passenger seatbelts with automatic tensioning system and load-limiters
- 3-point seatbelts for all five seating positions
- Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) child seat mounting system for outboard rear seats Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with individual location indicators
- Theft-deterrent system with electronic immobilizer
Excluding the two trim options for the TSX Sport Wagon, the sedan trim lineup of the TSX will have five different price points, ranging from the standard TSX’s $30,635 price tag all the way to $39,275 for the TSX V-6 with Technology Package.
|TSX Special Edition||$31,635|
|TSX Special Edition with 6-Speed Manual||$31,635|
|TSX with Technology Package||$33,735|
|TSX V-6 with Technology Package||$39,275|
If there was a model that effectively told the TSX to raise its game, its the new Mercedes CLA-Class. Let’s face it, the German compact sedan is on its way to becoming a major force in its segment and it’s likely that it’ll do so at the expense of models like the TSX.
It’s got comparable performance credentials thanks to its 2.0-liter inline-four engine that knocks out 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Add that to a reasonably price tag in the vicinity of $30,000 and the cache of being a Mercedes and you have a car that’s going to be a hugely competitive model to all of the cars in its market.
Gallery Mercedes CLA-Class
Another new model that’s going to give the TSX some fits is the 2014 Lexus IS. In addition to sporting the brand’s new design language (that inverted trapezoidal upper grille and the slanted lower grille are as distinctively Lexus as they get), the new IS will also feature a versatile choice of engine options, including a pair of V-6 offerings.
Again, it’s another new model that has the looks, performance, and technological know-how that should be a cause for concern for Acura.
Gallery Lexus IS
Other than an exterior that looks like it belongs in the late-1990s, the TSX is actually a pretty nice midsized sedan. The interior is top quality and the engines offerings are competitive to other models in its segment. It handles well, too, and the return of the world-class Acura/ELS Surround System makes the sound-thumpin an enjoyable experience.
|Driving||B||Still Works Well On Corners|
|Performance||B-||Nice Engine Options|
|Look||D||It Badly Needs A Styling Update|
|Value||C||At This Point, The New Models From Other Brands Are More Interesting|
|Overall||C||It’s Getting Left Behind And Needs Some Catching Up To Do|
- Interior still looks spritely
- V-6 engine is a plus
- Competitively priced
- Needs an exterior facelift
- Plenty of competition
- Not a first-choice model
Gallery Acura TSX Sedan
With engaging, athletic handling, the 2014 Acura TSX Sedan and Sport Wagon continue a well-established sporting streak. And with comfortable space for five passengers coupled with compact exterior dimensions, the TSX also hits the sweet spot for drivers with an enthusiast’s mindset.
The TSX model lineup carries over for 2014, starting with the 4-cylinder TSX Sedan with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $30,6351, including a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission.
An available Technology Package adds a range of desirable features.
The TSX Special Edition Sedan is available with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission, and adds an ebony interior with red stitching, red instrument illumination and other upgrades. The TSX V-6 with Technology Package tops the sedan lineup. The TSX Sport Wagon is powered exclusively by the TSX Sedan’s 4-cylinder engine paired with a Sequential SportShift automatic transmission, and has a MSRP of $31,9851. The Technology Package is the sole available upgrade to the TSX Sport Wagon.
The TSX Sedan goes on-sale today; the TSX Sport Wagon goes on-sale September 27. V
The TSX fully looks the part of a sport sedan, with bold lines and a wide, powerful stance. The 2014 TSX comes well equipped with standard features such as Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights and a glass moonroof. With the TSX Sport Wagon model, sport-sedan styling and added utility join to create a perfect mix for those who lead an active lifestyle.
The 2.4-liter 4-cylinder models (Sedan and Sport Wagon) feature standard 17-inch, 5-spoke aluminum wheels, while split 5-spoke, 18-inch aluminum wheels are standard on the TSX Sedan with 3.5-liter V-6 engine.
The TSX Special Edition Sedan augments the exterior with sport-minded front, side and rear underbody spoilers.
Inside, the TSX blends sport sedan style with inviting comfort, with standard leather seating highlighted by handsome contrasting-color stitching. An 8-way power driver’s seat with adjustable lumbar support and a passenger seat with 4-way power adjustment are standard.
For those who are considering the purchase of a compact SUV - but who value the higher fuel efficiency and dynamic performance of a sports sedan, the TSX Sport Wagon offers a generous 66.2 cubic feet of rear cargo area (with rear seats folded down; 31.5 cu. ft. with the seats up), allowing the Sport Wagon to accommodate bulky items such as large boxes, furniture, bicycles, four full-size golf bags or surfboards.
Acura is known for its powerful, intuitive technology, and the 2014 TSX delivers on this concept. The TSX with the available Technology Package includes an LED backlit full VGA navigation screen, rearview camera, Song By Voice (SBV) user interface, and the ability to download 15-gigabytes of personal music (more than 3,500 songs) to the TSX’s hard disk drive (HDD). Grammy® award-winning recording engineer and producer Elliot Scheiner helped design the Acura/ELS Surround®3 Premium 10-speaker Sound System to reproduce music the way it is heard in the recording studio.
The 2014 TSX Sedan model range offers two powerful engine choices: a responsive 201-horsepower 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder engine4 and a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V-65. Both engines are paired with a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The 4-cylinder TSX Special Edition Sedan offers the alternate choice of a 6-speed close-ratio manual transmission as a no-cost option.
Standard safety equipment on all Acura models includes Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control, ABS, dual-stage/multiple-threshold front airbags, front-side airbags, side curtain airbags for all outboard seating positions, front seatbelts with automatic tensioning system and load limiters, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and Daytime Running Lights (DRL).
The 2013 TSX earned the top-level rating of GOOD in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) moderate overlap frontal barrier crash test, side impact crash test and roof strength test. It was also named a 2013 Top Safety Pick by the IIHS.