Premium compact car; Built in Japan
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $8,200 – $17,000*

2006 Acura TSX

2004 Acura TSX

2004 Acura TSX

2004 Acura TSX

2004 Acura TSX

  • Build quality
  • Instruments/controls
  • Steering/handling
  • Instruments/controls

TSX offers the same solid quality and high features-per-dollar quotient as Acura’s bigger TL, but ups the fun-to-drive factor in a trimmer, lighter package. An automatic transmission may cost some scoot, but in any form the TSX is a very capable and appealing small sports sedan.


This front-drive newcomer to Honda’s upscale division targeted the Audi A4, Infiniti G35, BMW 3-Series, and other sporty, near-luxury sedans. Based on the European-market Honda Accord, the TSX slotted between Acura’s smaller RSX coupe and its larger TL sedan, in both size and price.

The only engine was a version of Accord’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder, tuned for 200 horsepower versus 160. Two transmission choices were offered: a close-ratio six-speed manual or optional Sequential SportShirt five-speed automatic with manual shift gate.

Acura promoted the “race-bred suspension” of its TSX sedan, which used a drive-by-wire throttle system. Lower air intakes on the wedge-profiled four-door were meant to evoke the image of racing brake ducts.

Antilock four-wheel disc brakes, traction/antiskid control, and 17-inch alloy wheels were standard. So were curtain side airbags, front torso side airbags, perforated leather seating upholstery, a sunroof, automatic dual-zone climate control, and xenon high-intensity-discharge headlamps. The standard 360-watt, eight-speaker audio system included an in-dash six-CD changer. A leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel contained integrated audio and cruise controls. No options were offered, though a second model added a navigation system with voice recognition for some navigation, audio, and climate functions.

Yearly Updates

2005 TSX
Satellite radio was standard in 2005 models, which also got a new power passenger seat and heated power mirrors. Night lighting was added to the standard steering-wheel audio/cruise-control buttons.
2006 TSX
Freshened styling and additional convenience features marked the 2006 TSX. Acura’s HandsFreeLink provided wireless connection to use a cell phone through the audio system. The driver’s seat gained a memory system, and a digital-media auxiliary jack was installed.
2007 TSX
The TSX was essentially unchanged for 2007.
2008 TSX
The 2008 Acura TSX, was basically unchanged from 2007.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Only one engine is available in TSX sedans: a 200-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder, mated to either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. Engine output rose to 205 horsepower in 2006.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/144
Engine HP 203
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 165
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
5-speed automatic

Road Test

A test manual-shift model accelerated to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds. Expect modest power below 3000 rpm, so brisk highway passing or merging requires careful attention to gear selection. The manual-gearbox TSX delights with light, precise shift/clutch action. With automatic, it’s slow from a stop, but alert shifting delivers good highway punch.

Manual-transmission TSXs have averaged 22.6 to 30.2 mpg, depending on driving conditions. An automatic-transmission model averaged 26.4 mpg. Premium fuel is required.

The ride is firm but never jarring, even on badly cratered pavement. Body motions are well controlled.

Impressively agile on challenging mountain roads, the TSX operates with assuring grip and minimal body lean. Quick, responsive steering adds to the pleasure, while the standard antiskid system enhances dynamic security. Powerful brakes have excellent pedal feel.

Quietly refined for a small sports sedan, the TSX isn’t really luxury-class hushed. The revvy, ultra-smooth four-cylinder engine is audible but not unpleasant at high rpm. Tire noise intrudes somewhat on coarse pavement, but isn’t irksome either. Wind rush is minimal.

Instruments and controls are simple and smart, though the available navigation system takes some study. It absorbs some climate and audio functions, which can frustrate simple adjustments. Even worse, voice-recognition frequently misunderstands commands and comprehends only clearly spoken, precisely worded phrases. One test example had misaligned steering-wheel trim, but overall, TSX sedans offer ingot-solid on-road feel, good detail finish, and classy cabin materials–including handsome aluminum dashboard and door trim.

Though cozy feeling up front, the TSX is spacious enough. Firm, supportive seats are bolstered to keep occupants secure in exuberant cornering. The standard tilt/telescopic steering wheel and power driver’s seat help tailor a sound basic driving stance. Visibility is good all-around.

Rear head room is tight for 6-footers, but passengers get surprisingly good leg and toe space, even with front seats fully aft. Short seat cushions are shy on leg support, though. Entry/exit is slightly constricted by narrowish floor passages.

Cargo space is short of bountiful, but good for a compact-size sedan, and most of the space is usable. Trunk lid hinges don’t intrude much and are designed so as not to threaten luggage. Standard split-fold rear seatbacks have an interior keylock and in-trunk releases. Cabin storage is just adequate.


Model Tested: 2005 Acura TSX w/manual

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 6
Fuel Economy - 6
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 8
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 8
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
Cargo Room - 3


Value - 10

Total: 64


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
105.1 183.3 69.4 57.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
13.0 17.1 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.8 37.3 42.4 34.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2004 TSX 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Description: Brake pedal may feel spongy or have excessive travel due to air in the brake lines requiring replacement of the VSA modulator. (2004-06)
Rear axle noise
Description: Clunk from rear, particularly on rough roads, due to rear stabilizer bar links breaking and stronger ones are available. (2004-05)
Steering problems
Description: The steering wheel may vibrate when the brakes are applied due to the brake pads causing uneven wear of the brake discs. (2004-07)
Suspension problems
Description: The rear stabilizer links tended to break. Revised links and stabilizer bars were made available, which should be replaced on both sides. (2004-05)
Description: The windows may squeak due to a problem with the weather-strips. (2004-08)
Description: Moisture may collect in the headlights due to a failed gasket. (2005)
Information stickers/paperwork
Description: A recall to replace the automatic transmission was issued for certain vehicles because of problems with the transmission case. If a new transmission was installed, there will be a punch mark above the first character in the VIN plate under the hood. (2004)
Electrical problem
Description: The wiring harness in the trunk near the hinge, can rub through causing loss of the backup lights, taillights, trunk light and remote trunk release. (2004)
Description: The low tire pressure warning light may come on despite all tires are properly inflated due to faulty sensors in the wheels. (2007-08)
Check-engine light
Description: The check engine light may illuminate and a trouble code for the coolant sensor may be stored, but the problem is most likely a software glitch in the engine control module. (2005-06)

Recall History

2004 TSX
Description: Wiring harness in trunk hinge area could be damaged over time, causing a blown fuse and short circuit that could result in loss of license plate and backup lights, as well as taillight function.
2004-08 vehicles manufactured between September 25, 2002 and February 13, 2008
Description: Prolonged high under-hood temperatures may cause the power steering hose to deteriorate prematurely and may cause the hose to crack and leak power steering oil. Oil leaking onto a hot exhaust pipe will generate smoke and a burning smell, and could potentially result in an under-hood fire. Honda will notify owners and dealers will repair the vehicles free of charge.
2004-2008 TSX
Description: In states that use corrosive de-icers, material may transfer from driver’s feet to the carpet to the engine electronic control unit (ECU), potentially resulting in corrosion and engine stalling.
Description: A coil wire inside the fuel pump relay may break, causing the fuel pump to lose power and the engine not to start. Dealers will inspect and replace the fuel pump relay free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


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