In August 2015 - Just 1 year ago, I purchased a 2004 Acura TSX with 88,000 miles on it. I purchased this car from Paragon Acura in Queens NY, & it has been an absolute nightmare ever since.
In 1 year I have replaced/repaired:
Serpentine Belt & Tensioner 2 Rear Wheel Hubs 3 Motor Mounts 1 Transmission Mount Seat Belt Sensor 8 Brake Pads & 4 Rotors - warped at time of purchase Alignments - bad at time of purchase
I've also preformed scheduled maintenance on this car, including:
Oil Changes Cabin Filter Air Intake Filter Spark Plugs 4 Brand New Tires
I've replaced other broken or worn things that I simply cannot think of at the moment.
5 Months ago my car started trembling in gear while idling. I've taken it to 3 shops & an Acura dealer. NO ONE CAN FIND THE PROBLEM! Acura wants to tear my engine apart to the tune of $600 (just in labor), with NO guarantee that they'll find the problem. I paid $130 dollars for them to turn around & say sorry we don't know what's wrong with it, here's your car back. The only good thing about that whole dilemma was getting to drive a brand new TLX for 4 days.
The most recent issue I am having is the dreaded Center Stack Lights/HVAC - NOT working. I'm saddened that Acura would NOT call a recall on this, instead just extended the warranty (100K miles, or 7 years) & post a bulletin that NO ONE was notified about. I'm out of the warranty period by about 7K miles, or 5 years. Total BS.
My first car was a 1997 Honda Civic DX & it did me justice, I purchased the 04 TSX thinking - "Hmm, my Civic lasted me so well, & the TSX is a LUXURY version of Honda, so this should be an even better experience." Unfortunately, I was SO wrong. Acura DOES NOT stand behind the cars they produce. I called Acura to ask about the radio & what I can do. I talked with a man who was more concerned that his shift was over at 5, than with helping me.
I have read countless forums in the last month about the center stack lights/HVAC lights not working, caused by a faulty PCB (Printed Circuit Board) which has been discontinued, I'd assume because people were repairing it themselves for cheaper. This seems to be an issue A LOT of owners are faced with. It really is a shame that Honda & Acura owners represent this brand with so much dedication, however, they don't support their fans. This is a money devouring car, & there is NO recall for an issue Acura knows is present & persistent. STAY AWAY FROM ACURA.
My '04 Acura TSX, 6 speed manual was the best car I ever owned. Granted, I take great care of my vehicles. Always change oil every 3 - 4K miles, service it, garage it and don't beat the car. The manual transmission is snappy and fun to drive. The only major repairs besides tires, battery and regular service was a new clutch at 102K miles. Also needed new rear struts around 93K. Besides that, this car was the lowest to maintain, even better than my 1994 Accord. I used 87 octane gasoline, not the premium that Acura recommended. I test drove the 2016 Acura ILX and it doesn't compare to the 04 TSX.
Bought my 04 TSX 6spd man in June '15 with 60,000 miles and it still feels like new. All of the cars controls have a responsive, precise feel to them. Lateral cornering grip is fantastic and the car goes exactly where you point it with minimal understeer. The steering is precise and the manual transmission feels like it came out of a sports car, with very short throws and a buttery snick snick feel to it. It's not a very fast or sexy sounding powertrain, but the power is sufficient. The interior is beautiful with quality expensive looking materials. Styling is very handsome inside and out and has aged extremely gracefully over the last 10 years. Tinting the windows and installing a lip spoiler completed the exterior, and ipod aux cable is a quick install. This cars practicality, reliability and fun to drive characteristics are unmatched in this price range.
Just in case you are shopping for an early model year TSX, I wanted to confirm that these cars, even after 10+ years, are still fantastic. There's a reason you still see so many on the road, they are bulletproof reliable and drive great, even after all these years. Mine is an April 2004 build, and I'll admit it's been babied with just now 79K on it, but I still feel good getting in it and heading off to work. If you find one with a good maintenance history, you ought to have several more years of use with it. I've done nothing but the normal stuff, like fluid flushes, brakes, battery, etc... It really is amazing how well built of a car this was from Honda. All in all, for the price they are now used, I can't think of a better choice.