The 2010 Acura TSX might not immediately catch your eye, especially in a crowded field with more distinctive cars such as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Volvo S40 or Lexus IS 250. Then again, none of these brands can deliver the same combination of value, reliability and low price, important factors when purchasing a used car. In fact, when new the TSX’s base price started just under $30,000, putting a used model in line with the price of a similarly aged Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. Although the base car came with a rather tepid 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, the 2010 TSX offered an available V6 that provided significantly better acceleration. Designed to be a driver’s car, the TSX loves to run through twisting roads, which is good, but unlike many of its performance-sedan rivals, the TSX’s ride is quite civilized, and its cabin is well-isolated from outside noise. If you’re looking for a small performance sedan that won’t eat you alive with expensive repairs and regular maintenance, the TSX deserves to make your short list. See the 2010 Acura TSX models for sale near you
What We Like
Strong value; agile handling; good highway fuel economy; available manual transmission; luxurious and roomy interior; powerful V6 option
What We Don’t
2.4-liter engine could use more low-end torque; somewhat demure styling; poor city fuel economy; base model’s electric power steering feels a bit too light at highway speeds
Fuel Economy & Engine Specs
The TSX is powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine making 201 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque (172 lb-ft with the manual transmission). With the 6-speed manual transmission, the TSX returns 20 miles per gallon in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg combined. When fitted with the 5-speed automatic, those numbers increase slightly to 21 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined.
The TSX V6 is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 good for 280 hp and 254 lb-ft of torque. Available only with an automatic transmission, this engine returns a respectable 18 mpg city/27 mpg hwy and 21 mpg combined.
Standard Features & Options
The TSX is offered as a single model with one optional engine and one package upgrade.
The Acura TSX includes a 6-speed manual transmission, leather seating, an 8-way power driver’s seat with a memory feature, Bluetooth and iPod integration, a 7-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system, fog lights, a leather-wrapped tilt-telescopic steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, a power moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, HID headlights, a rear-seat armrest, metal or wood interior trim, auto up/down driver and passenger windows, keyless entry with power-window control, a multi-informational display, auto-off headlights, heated side mirrors, heated front seats and a 4-way power passenger seat. Standard safety features include front, front-side impact and side-curtain airbags. A 5-speed automatic is the only stand-alone factory option.
The TSX V6 adds an automatic transmission, 18-in wheels, a sport suspension and revised steering and brake calibrations.
The optional Technology package adds a 415-watt, 10-speaker audio system with a 6-disc CD/DVD changer, voice-activated navigation with real-time traffic and rerouting and a rearview camera.
Dealer-installed items include 18-in wheels, a perforated-leather steering wheel, backup sensors, a rear-wing spoiler and a front sport bumper kit.
Like all Acura products, the TSX holds good resale values, although not as strong as its Honda counterpart, the Civic Si. Due to low demand, the manual models usually go for a lot less than the automatics, so if you don’t mind rowing your own gearbox, there are bargains to be had. The V6 trim fetches top dollar. To get a good idea of the TSX’s price range, we suggest checking the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued no recalls for the 2010 Acura TSX.
Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you. You can also check the NHTSA website; simply enter your vehicle identification number for a list of performed recall repairs.
Safety Ratings & Warranties
The 2010 TSX aced its government crash tests, earning a perfect 5-star rating in NHTSA’s front, side-impact and rollover crash tests. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the TSX its highest score of Good in all but the small front-overlap test, which received only a Marginal rating.
The 2010 TSX left the factory with a 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. If you buy your TSX through a certified pre-owned (CPO) Acura dealer, you’ll get a 12-month/12,000-mile certified warranty, plus a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty effective from the date the vehicle entered service. CPO cars include a 182-point inspection, plus 24-hour roadside assistance, computerized trip-routing map services, emergency fuel delivery and Acura’s Concierge Service. Acura CPO cars can be no older than 6 years and have a maximum of 80,000 miles.
Other Cars to Consider
2010 Volvo S40 — The S40 isn’t very exciting to look at, but its interior rivals the TSX’s for luxury, although it doesn’t offer quite as many electronic goodies. AWD is also an option for the S40, as is a more powerful turbocharged engine option.
2010 Lexus IS 250 — The IS will cost more than the TSX, but it has a more polished look both inside and out. Plus, it offers a standard V6 engine with a larger V6 and V8 as options. Like the Audi and Volvo, the IS offers the option of AWD.
When it comes to choosing a TSX, it really comes down to this: Do you prefer to shift for yourself or let the car do it for you? Many used TSXs include the Technology package, which is worth it for the sound system alone. Those who crave power should seek out the V6 trims, but hardcore driving enthusiasts will need to search hard for the 4-cylinder manual model. Although rare, it’s a more enjoyable driving experience and helps make the most of the 2.4-liter engine’s power.