2009 Acura TSX Preview

FAST FACTS
  • Redesigned for 2009 model year

  • Larger in every dimension

  • Continues with 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine

  • Available DVD Audio

  • Available navigation system with real-time traffic and Traffic Rerouting

  • Based on European Honda Accord

  • Front-wheel drive

  • Four-door sedan body style

  • On sale in April

Introduction

Acura introduced the TSX sport sedan in the United States in 2004. Essentially an upgraded version of the European Honda Accord (which is smaller than the U.S. version), the TSX featured a 200-hp, 4-cylinder engine and amenities such as leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated seats and a host of technology features.

The European Honda Accord is redesigned for 2009, and the TSX is following suit. After a successful 5-year run, Acura has unveiled the next-generation TSX. Due to go on sale in April as a 2009 model, the new TSX is larger in every dimension than the car it replaces. It continues with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, and the heaping helping of amenities is enhanced with such available features as DVD Audio, XM Notes, and Traffic Rerouting for the navigation system.

Like the previous model, the 2009 TSX will have 4 doors, seating for 5, and a split-folding rear seat. The new platform is 3 inches wider and 2.4 inches longer overall, the track is 2.6 inches wider, and the wheelbase grows by 1.3 inches. Acura says these characteristics improve ride and handling, while also providing more interior room.

Model LineupThe 2009 Acura TSX will essentially be offered as one model with a manual or automatic transmission. An available Technology package will be treated as another model. Standard features will include leather upholstery; tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls; 7-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with USB music interface port; XM satellite radio; dual-zone automatic climate control; Bluetooth hands-free cell phone link; 8-way power adjustable driver's seat with lumbar adjustment; 4-way power adjustable front passenger seat; heated front seats; power windows and door locks; heated power exterior mirrors; remote keyless entry; automatic headlights; compass; interior air filter; cruise control; split-folding rear seat; sunroof; auto-dimming rearview mirror; universal garage door opener; theft-deterrent system; Xenon headlights; fog lights; and 17-inch alloy wheels. Tire sizes have not been announced.

The Technology package will include a premium sound system and a navigation system. Tuned by sound engineer Elliot Scheiner, the premium sound system will include 10 speakers, DVD Audio playback and XM Notes. The navigation system will come with voice recognition, AcuraLink real-time traffic, Traffic Rerouting, and AcuraLink weather.

Hardware

Like its predecessor, the 2009 Acura TSX will use an all-aluminum, dual-overhead cam, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. Revisions to compression ratio, valve timing, and intake and exhaust gas flow will boost torque from 164 lb.-ft. to 172 lb.-ft. with the available manual transmission (170 lb.-ft. with the automatic transmission). Horsepower falls slightly from 205 to 201, but Acura says the torque curve is broader and fuel economy is improved. The TSX will offer a 6-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automatic transmission with Acura's Sequential SportShift manual shiftgate. The automatic transmission can be shifted manually via the gearshift or, new for 2009, a pair of steering wheel paddles.

Fuel economy estimates for the 2009 Acura TSX are 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway with the automatic transmission and 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway with the manual transmission. Acura also says the TSX will meet Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standards for the first time.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2009 Acura TSX will include dual-stage front air bags; torso-protecting, seat-mounted front side air bags; head-protecting curtain side air bags that cover both seating rows; active head restraints; a tire-pressure monitor; anti-lock brakes with brake assist; traction control; and electronic stability control.

The 2009 Acura TSX hasn't been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but Acura expects it to earn the highest crash ratings from both, including the IIHS's Top Safety Pick designation.

Technology

The Technology package's XM Notes feature captures a 10-second portion of up to 30 songs, plus text information about the song title, artist name, and XM channel. The available navigation system uses satellite communications to provide Zagat ratings for restaurants and hotels; display weather information; and warn drivers of traffic congestion ahead and suggest alternate routes. The system can also be used as an interface when the car needs software updates, the automaker says.

Video of the 2009 Acura TSX
Ratings for the 2008 Acura TSX
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