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2002 Acura RSX Hatchback

3dr Sport Cpe Manual

Starting at | Starting at 27 MPG City - 33 MPG Highway

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  • $19,950 original MSRP
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2002 Acura RSX Hatchback

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2002 Acura RSX Hatchback

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2002 Acura RSX

Source: MSN Autos

The racy new RSX coupe from Honda's upscale Acura division has arrived as an early 2002 model—and it's about time.

The RSX replaces the automaker's eight-year-old Integra, which came as a coupe and sedan. The life of sporty cars is generally several years shorter than that of the Integra.

Now that it's here, the front-drive RSX seems worth the wait. It has been revamped so much that it seems as if from a different automaker, although the new model has Acura's traditionally high quality.

Roomier
The RSX has essentially the same dimensions of the front-drive Integra. But this two-door hatchback has a cab-forward design and minimal front and rear overhangs for better interior space utilization. There's more headroom up front, and a revised rear suspension helps provide a flat floor back there.

Styling isn't especially distinctive, but the RSX does look racier than its predecessor coupe with its broad stance, sharply raked hood and compound-curved window glass, which is thinner than the Integra glass to save weight.

It remains to be seen if trend-setting California hot rodders will embrace the RSX as they have the Integra, which they extensively modify. If so, they'll cause further embarrassment to American automakers on the youth market front.

Pricing is competitive. The standard RSX has a $19,950 base price, while the faster Type-S costs $23,170.

Horsepower Differences
The big difference between the two models is horsepower. The standard RSX has a 160-horsepower 4-cylinder, while the Type-S produces 200 horsepower because it has a beefier, more sophisticated version of the high-revving RSX 2.0-liter engine.

Both versions look the same, which makes one wonder why Acura didn't set the Type-S off visually with more than small items such as "S" badging. The hotter version has such things as a stiffer suspension and more equipment, including an in-dash CD changer.

Well Equipped
The equipment level is impressively high, with such things as automatic climate control, a power sunroof, remote keyless entry and power windows, door locks and mirrors.

In fact, the only significant options for the base model are $1,000 leather upholstery, which is standard in the Type-S, and a $900 5-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission that can be shifted like a clutchless manual. The transmission for the standard RSX is a 5-speed manual.

The racier Type-S comes only with a new close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission with short throws and optimally spaced gears that make it fun to shift.

And you must shift gears a lot to get the best acceleration from either model because, after all, the engine is small and the equipment-loaded RSX is fairly heavy. It weights 2,694 to 2,769 pounds.

High Revs Needed
Acceleration is rather sluggish at low engine speeds. But the engine comes to life when the tachometer needle hits about 3000 rpm because it has dual overhead camshafts, 16 valves, a free-flow exhaust system and complicated valve timing and control systems.

How fast? The Type-S hits 60 mph from a standing start in 6.7 seconds, with the regular manual-transmission model taking about a second longer to reach that speed. The automatic slows acceleration a bit.

A downshift is needed with the manual from top to third gear for the best 65-75 mph passing. And quick moves in freeway traffic can't be made in top gear.

Surprisingly, Acura didn't give the Type-S larger wheels and tires, which is virtually standard procedure with a higher-performance version of a car. Not that the 55-series tires on 16-inch wheels are small, but larger ones would be appropriate for the Type-S.

Good Fuel Economy
Fuel economy is pretty good: in the low 20-mpg range in the city and in the low 30s on the highway, although the engine revs at a high 3400 rpm at 75 mph in sixth gear.

The RSX is based on Honda's Global Compact Platform also used by the Honda Civic. That results in the RSX losing its race-style double-wishbone front suspension, which is replaced by a damper strut setup.

However, the new front suspension does allow more interior room, and there is a new highly compact double-wishbone suspension at the rear.

Fine Roadability
Despite the front-strut setup, RSX has sharp handling, although it's awfully nose-heavy; pop the hood and you'll see that the engine is set so far forward in its surgically neat compartment that it almost seems to reach the front bumper.

The power steering is quick and precise, although rather heavy. A supple suspension and fairly long (for a subcompact coupe) 101.2-inch wheelbase smooth out the ride, although the Type-S naturally rides a bit harder with its firmer suspension. The Type-S also has a front tower bar and rear performance rod for more agile handling.

The brake pedal has a nice linear feel and stopping distances are short with the all-disc brake setup and standard anti-lock system. The standard RSX has larger brakes than the Integra, and the Type-S has bigger front brakes than the standard RSX.

Stronger Structure
A stiffer body structure and good amount of sound insulation results in a quiet interior. The dashboard curves toward the driver and comfortable front bucket seats hug you in corners and contain integrated side airbags. The thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel provides good grip.

But there is no center armrest and the rear roofline hinders visibility; it's a good idea to use the rearview mirrors a lot.

Unusual Gauges
The stylish metallic-face gauges with a backlit design can be quickly read after a driver gets used to the "zero-angle" pointers that, like needles in race car gauges, point straight down to the 6 o'clock position when the engine is off. For instance, the 60-mph reading seems out of place at the speedometer's "9'o'clock" position instead of near the "12 o'clock" position.

The easily reached controls work smoothly and sound system and climate controls are large enough to be used while wearing gloves. The combination tray-cupholder on the front console is cleverly designed and there are shallow door pockets to store small items.

Tight Rear Seat
The rear-seat area is tight and hard to enter or leave. But there's decent room for a medium-height adult behind the right-front passenger. And cupholders are molded into rear armrests.

The cargo area is large, but has a high opening that won't be appreciated when heavy objects need to be put in and taken out. The 50/50 split-folding rear seatbacks fold forward easily and greatly increase the cargo area. A nice touch is the hatch's interior grip, which allows it to be closed quickly without getting hands dirty on outside sheet metal.

While overdue, the RSX has the styling, performance and comfort to satisfy many sports coupe buyers. It makes the decent Integra suddenly seem old-fashioned.

Printable Version

2002 Acura RSX Hatchback

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear n/a

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

Intermittent Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2002 Acura RSX Hatchback

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Drivetrain 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance 4 Years/50,000 Miles

Acura Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

12 months/12,000 miles limited warranty from purchased date or expiration of new car warranty date. Additional 7 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty from in-service date.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 6 years / 80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 150
Return/Exchange Program 3 day exchange
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible No

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2002 Acura RSX Hatchback

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