2012 Acura TSX Expert Review

3.9 Overall Score
Performance 4.0 Comfort 3.7 Styling 3.7 Value 4.1

Editor's Overview

The comfortable, classy and refined TSX represents a luxury vehicle at a non-luxury price. The TSX's value proposition soars even higher when considering the model's reliability record and laudable fuel economy.

You'll Like The 2012 Acura TSX If...

If you are looking for a well-appointed premium luxury vehicle that delivers ample fuel economy, a simple pricing structure and an envious reliability record, the 2012 Acura TSX is a smart choice.

You May Not Like The 2012 Acura TSX If...

If you live in an area where inclement weather is the norm, the TSX's lack of an available all-wheel drive system (AWD) may constitute a closer look at the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C Class or Audi A4.

What's New

The 2012 Acura TSX sedan adds a new Special Edition Package consisting of several exterior design upgrades, unique red interior illumination, and microfiber seat inserts with red stitching. The TSX Sport Wagon replaces its spare tire with a tire repair kit, greatly increasing its under-floor storage capacity.

Interior Features

With precise fit and finish and a warm, upscale ambiance, the cabin of the TSX is as comfortable as it is attractive. The contemporary layout is awash with high-quality materials and supple leather-trimmed seating surfaces. The available navigation system takes some getting used to, but elsewhere, the control surfaces are intuitive and clearly displayed. The rear seats feature a 60/40 split design for cargo flexibility while the TSX Sport Wagon features a class-leading 66.2 cubic feet of cargo space - comparable to most compact SUVs. Thanks to its larger interior dimensions, the TSX provides generous rear-seat legroom and head room.

Exterior Features

The 2012 Acura TSX's exterior is sleek and stylish, with defined wheel arches, honed body lines and a creased waistline. The face is distinguished by angular projector-beam headlights and Acura's signature, yet controversial, shield-style stain chrome grille. The available 18-inch alloy wheels complement the TSX's athletic design while dual chrome-tipped exhaust outlets for both 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder models convey a sporty sense of symmetry.

Driving Impressions

When it comes to all-around driving fun, we could hardly ask for a better balance of enthusiasm and comfort. We like the optional 6-speed manual's precise shifting action and the 5-speed automatic's aggressive Sport mode, the latter being especially welcome on the automatic-only V6 model. The 2012 Acura TSX encourages a quicker pace when the road begins to meander, and adequately absorbs surface irregularities and external roars when cruising. If there's a fly in the TSX ointment, it can be found with Acura's efficiency-enhancing electromechanical power steering system. A lack of feel that sometimes borders on numbness (depending on which KBB editor you ask), the TSX is no match for competitors such as the Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series when it comes to accurate steering feedback. While most vehicles require subtle steering input when traveling straight down the highway, the TSX seems to require constant, unnatural-feeling corrections.

Pricing Notes

The 4-cylinder TSX starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just over $30,000 and tops out at about $33,500 with the Technology Package. The V6 models start around $36,000 and can reach close to $40,000 when loaded. To get a better idea of what people in your area are paying for their TSXs, check out Kelley Blue Book's Fair Purchase Price in the "What should I pay for my new car?" section on our homepage. Factoring sticker price, equipment levels and residual value, the 2012 Acura TSX may be the smartest buy in the entry-premium arena. It's one of a handful of premium-branded cars that starts at $30,000, it's loaded with the most modern of conveniences, and its projected resale values best those of competitors like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Volvo S40, and even mirror those of its corporate stablemate and industry resale benchmark, the Honda Accord.

Notable Equipment

The 2012 Acura TSX boasts a long list of standard equipment that includes xenon headlights (up to three times brighter than traditional halogen headlights), Bluetooth hands-free phone capability, iPod integration and an auxiliary audio jack for MP3/WMA players, steering-wheel-mounted controls, leather seating with driver-position memory, moonroof and dual-zone climate control. The V6 TSX adds 18-inch alloy wheels, 1-touch ignition key start and Acura's new Active Sound Control system, which works by eliminating exterior sound entering the cabin. All the safety gear is included, such as six airbags and Acura's ACE body structure for enhanced energy dissipation during a crash.

Notable Options

Every bit of optional equipment available on the 2012 Acura TSX is wrapped up into one mouth-watering Technology Package, the highlights of which include a world-class DVD-Audio Surround Sound system and a comprehensive advanced HDD navigation system, both of which are detailed in the "Favorite Features" section of this review.

Favorite Features

Surround Sound System

Audiophiles will have to have this comprehensive premium sound system. Included in the Technology Package, the 5.1 DVD-Audio Surround Sound is so utterly clear and clean, it puts all other stock systems to shame.

Feature-Packed Navigation System

The 2012 Acura TSX offers a sophisticated navigation system with a high-resolution 8-inch display featuring sharp LED backlighting. Gracenote software helps you find music via voice commands, and voice activation for the navigation that allows for voice input of city and street names, Zagat restaurant information, weather conditions and real-time traffic information and rerouting. A rear backup camera is also part of the package.

Under the Hood

The 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is coupled with either a slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automatic that features a manual shifting mode and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. As with so many Honda and Acura vehicles, the TSX's i-VTEC engine is at its best when pushed hardest. Those seeking better low-end performance should look at the 3.5-liter V6. With 280 horsepower on tap it's sure to be a scintillating ride, although without a manual transmission, probably not as much fun as the base car.

2.4-liter inline-4

201 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm

172 (manual), 170 (automatic) lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 mpg (manual), 22/31mpg (automatic)

3.5-liter V6

280 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm

254 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 mpg

Editors' Notes

In a class defined by prestige, opulence and sticker prices exceeding the $60,000 mark, the 2012 Acura TSX will appeal to anyone looking for a luxury midsize sedan or wagon at a non-luxury price. Often overlooked, the TSX offers classy styling and appointments that reflect the high levels of comfort, refinement and convenience that have become hallmarks of the Acura brand. And while not as much fun as something like a BMW 3 Series, the Acura TSX nevertheless offers a supremely comfortable ride and perhaps the best value in the segment.

Road Test Video Reviews

2012 Acura TSX Owner Reviews

54 Reviews
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Overall, a sturdy easy to maintain sizeable car.

2012 Acura TSX

Purchased a 2012 Acura tsx in 2012 with very low mileage, practically brand new. Overall, it has been a very reliable car. negatives would primarily include sensor issues and interior issues. The sensors seem to be highly sensitive. I often need them reset as they trigger with nothing wrong with car. In addition, the interior has not help up as well as I would have hoped. I do have a dog, but the interior leather is peeling on many parts of the front of car at this point. At only 6 years old, I think this is a big problem and should be corrected in future production.

- Nicole K

Acuras are not as reliable anymore

2012 Acura TSX Base

I previously had an Acura 2.2CL which I loved. I had the vehicle for 15 years; however, the Acura I currently have is a big disappointment. The car has given me so many issues, including the windows do not operate appropriately. The seats in the car are already tearing; the cup holder had to be replaced because it did not close. The material around the windows melts and is gooey. I plan to get rid of the car in the next few years.

- Yolanda C

TSX, a very reliable and practical car.

2012 Acura TSX Base

The TSX is a very reliable car. I had one instance of engine problem, but it was covered through factory warranty. The cost of the TSX is very reasonable for what you are getting. The car is not ultra powerful in terms of engine strength, but the car is pretty lightweight that the car gets around pretty quickly. The inside is very sleek and practical. I really enjoy the car overall.

- David S

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