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#1

in 2011 Upscale Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $18,914 - $21,726
Original MSRP: $29,610 - $38,250
MPG: 21 City / 29 Hwy
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2011 Acura TSX Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2011 Acura TSX starts to lose points in the performance arena. It isn’t a bad car by any means, but reviewers gripe about understeer and a lack of power, especially with the TSX’s four-cylinder engine. The V6 engine, however, is definitely the press favorite. It’s powerful, and the extra weight increases steering precision. 

  • "The 4-cylinder sounds loud and unrefined, particularly as its speed rises. The V6 has a great performance sound and is nearly silent at cruise." -- Consumer Guide
  • "In keeping with a potentially bothersome Honda and occasionally Acura tradition, there was noticeable road noise at highway speeds - especially over Southern Cali's grooved concrete freeways." -- Edmunds
  • "The electric power-steering is just a tad on the light side, and, despite the minor revisions to the brake system, the pedal became slightly mushy during a particularly spirited downhill canyon run." -- Road and Track

Acceleration and Power

The 2011 Acura TSX sedan is quick and fun to drive, especially with the V6 engine. While the V6 is fun to drive, reviewers complain that it’s only available with an automatic transmission. 

The TSX's base four-cylinder engine makes 201 horsepower, which most reviewers say doesn't provide a lot of oomph. The other option is a new 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 280 horsepower.

The EPA hasn’t released fuel economy data for the 2011 TSX, but information for the 2010 sedan is available. The 2010 TSX with the four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission nets 21/30 mpg city/highway. The manual transmission yeilds 20/28 mpg. Meanwhile, the new V6 engine gets a rating of 18/27 mpg.

  • "Light shifter and clutch action make this premium compact very easy to drive. V6 models make easy work of passing and merging and are helped by a responsive automatic transmission." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Bend the TSX into a tight corner or a gentle sweeper and this sedan generates serious smiles. And that's really what separates a good sport sedan from an average one. Did you enjoy the last 17 hairpin turns, or did it seem like work? The Acura TSX V6 is quite fun to drive hard." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "The car is certainly quick -- around 6.5 seconds to 60 mph -- but you really have to wring the tachometer to get it moving. ... Fine for a Civic, OK for an Accord, but lacking in that gratifying quality of effortlessness that luxury cars have, even entry-luxury cars." -- Los Angeles Times

Handling and Braking

Most reviewers feel that the 2011 Acura TSX handles well, especially with the additional weight the V6 engine provides. One common complaint is understeer, which makes driving on winding roads difficult. The brakes, on the other hand, perform well. They deliver short and controlled stops.

  • "On our drive through some of the best roads in the Santa Monica Mountains we noticed the steering feels a bit heavier and a touch quicker than the four-cylinder TSX too. And that, along with the additional weight makes the car feel more substantial." -- Popular Mechanics (V6 engine) 
  • "The electronic steering system offers light effort at low speeds but firms up nicely on the highway or twisty mountain roads. The brakes deliver short, controlled stops." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The driver must be responsible for managing the V-6 model's extra thrust-and 200-plus pounds of additional beef, most of which takes up residence over the front wheels. With its 62/38-percent front-to-rear weight distribution, this is a recipe for eminent understeer. And sure enough, our preview drive on some of the most challenging mountain roads through Malibu, California-with almost no runoff room and few guardrails-provided us with more than a few intestine-twisting moments." -- Car and Driver
  • "The Kryptonite in the garage is an efficiency-enhancing electromechanical power steering (EPS) system that ranges from a shortcoming to a deal-breaker, depending on which KBB editor you ask." -- Kelley Blue Book