- The Washington Times - Friday, March 7, 2003

It seems as though the entry-level luxury performance sedan market has been dominated by the European makes for a long time. Acura adds another vehicle into the fray with the TSX sports sedan. This all-new four-door sedan has all the right features to be an excellent contender in this competitive market.
Based on the same platform as the European Accord, the TSX helps Acura in its quest for a new performance-orientated vehicle. This is a vehicle that Acura hopes will attract young buyers into the Acura family and keep them there.
Although this platform is narrower than the one used on the Accord available in the United States, there doesn't seem be a measurable loss of passenger room. Even the minor reduction in interior space doesn't matter because the styling, performance and handling are the emphasized features on the TSX.
The Acura family resemblance is evident, but designers have integrated highlight lines and curves in the body that give the TSX a distinctive appearance. On both sides of the trademark Acura grille are sculptured highlights that run the entire length of the hood. Along the side of the vehicle a high belt line takes your eyes to the rear of the car, ending at the large taillight assemblies and trunk.
Sit behind the wheel of the TSX and any loss of interior space goes unnoticed. The passenger compartment is comfortable and accommodating. As with all test vehicles, I found my comfortable driving position and moved to the rear seat to test the room available for my passengers. There is plenty of space for two to rest quite comfortably and three if they are good friends. Particular attention was paid to the foot and leg room here.
The front bucket seats are comfortable and sporty, incorporating bolsters on both cushion and seat back to hold riders in place. The gauges in the instrument panel are good looking during the day, and glisten at night with a blue backlight effect. Helping to illuminate the center console and adding additional mood lighting, blue LEDs shine softly from above.
Only two options are offered in the TSX, a five-speed automatic transmission and a voice or manually operated navigation system. The voice recognition mode, which accepts 130 voice commands, is activated by pushing a small button on the steering wheel. It is a bit of a challenge to learn the list of commands, but once mastered it is easy to "find the nearest ATM" or "find the nearest gas station." Another convenience feature is having the ability to lower or raise the windows with the keyless remote system or a double twist of the key in the driver's door lock.
Equipped with a 2.4-liter I-VETC four-cylinder engine that is controlled via a drive-by-wire throttle control, the TSX engine produces 200 horsepower and 166 foot-pounds of torque. The electronic throttle system allows computer controls to make minute adjustments to the throttle as the driver applies pressure to the pedal. The system is seamless even during the most demanding drives.
A new six-speed manual transmission was developed specifically for the TSX, and offers a solid shifter feel through all six gear changes. A five-speed automatic transmission offers a manual mode that gives the choice of gear selection back to the driver and is simple to operate.
Acura's Vehicle Stability Assist system (VSA) assists in keeping the vehicle stable in emergency situations. Through applying minute braking input at the appropriate wheel, while reducing throttle input, the VSA system assists in keeping the vehicle under control.
With the TSX, Acura adds yet another asset to its extensive lineup. This new sedan gives buyers more of the features they want without having to purge through a long list of options. Acura designers have concentrated on features that make driving more exciting but safer, and certainly much more comfortable.

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