2008 Acura TSX Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Acura TSX Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Acura TSX Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 205 hp @ 7000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Acura TSX

  • It's hard to find a better value in the entry-level luxury sedan market than the 2008 Acura TSX. Other import-brand models may impress the neighbors more, but this Acura's blend of attractive styling, refinement, high-tech features and fun driving dynamics at a low price is tough to beat.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sharp handling, soundtrack of high-revving engine, excellent highway gas mileage, tremendous value, refined yet high-tech interior.

  • Cons

    Underwhelming engine torque, average braking performance.

  • What's New for 2008

    The Acura TSX soldiers into 2008 with no significant changes.

Full 2008 Acura TSX Review

What's New for 2008

The Acura TSX soldiers into 2008 with no significant changes.


To put it in "Sex and the City" terms, the 2008 Acura TSX may look more like the classy, refined Charlotte, but it can behave more like saucy Samantha -- an always-willing partner on twisty, backcountry roads. The TSX's fully loaded features list and smart electronics would even appeal to the rational, all-business Miranda. It has nothing to do with Carrie, though. She's just nuts.

Although in the final year of its product cycle before next year's redesign, the current TSX has aged as gracefully as the "Sex and the City" women. It still represents one of the best values around, as constant updates through the years have kept the TSX's standard and optional feature lists fresh. Thankfully unchanged is its excellent handling, and the TSX is still more entertaining than other entry-luxury front-drive sedans and even approaches some rear-drive models in this regard.

The TSX's familiar Achilles heel, however, continues to be its engine. The high-revving four-cylinder provides above-average fuel economy for this segment, but those looking for V6-like power delivery may find the VTEC four-cylinder tough to love. In our experience, the slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission suits the engine's demeanor better than the five-speed automatic, though dealers don't order many of these in this automatic age.

Even so, the 2008 Acura TSX exists as a happy medium in a crowded entry-level sport sedan field that stretches from the fully loaded Nissan Altima and VW Jetta GLI to the BMW 3 Series and Lexus IS 250. While there may be models that are faster, more luxurious, more fuel-efficient, better-handling and less costly than the TSX, a scant few (if any) offer such a brilliant mix of it all. Perhaps in a way, this charming little Acura would apply to Carrie -- a woman who, above all else, wants it all.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Acura TSX comes in one body style and one fully loaded trim level. Standard equipment includes 17-inch wheels, xenon headlamps, foglights, leather upholstery with heated front buckets, an eight-way power driver seat with memory, a four-way power passenger seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, Bluetooth connectivity and a premium audio system with in-dash six-CD changer, satellite radio and auxiliary input jack. The lone option is Acura's superb voice-activated touchscreen navigation system that includes Zagat restaurant ratings and voice commands for the audio and climate systems.

Powertrains and Performance

There is only one engine available for the 2008 TSX, a 2.4-liter inline-4 that produces 205 horsepower and 164 pound-feet of torque. Buyers have a no-cost choice between a five-speed automatic with automanual shifting and an excellent six-speed manual. The manual is better suited to the engine's personality, as the more direct control it provides helps to compensate for the lack of low-end power. Although this compact front-driver can feel sluggish off the line, the TSX does the 0-60-mph sprint in less than 7 seconds. Plus, it returns very good gas mileage for 2008 with 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway.


The 2008 Acura TSX boasts a long list of standard safety equipment including antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, side airbags for front passengers, and front and rear side-curtain airbags. In frontal-offset crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the TSX received a "Good" rating, the highest possible; it received an "Acceptable" rating in side-impact testing. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing, the TSX earned a perfect five-star rating on all counts except for rear side impacts, where it received four stars.

Interior Design and Special Features

Even though the TSX debuted back in 2004, it still features one of the nicest interiors in its class. Both attractive and well-made, the cabin toes a line between traditional luxury and a modern, high-tech aesthetic. Controls are straightforward and easy to use, even when equipped with the optional navigation system. When so equipped, some of the climate and audio controls are integrated into the 7-inch touchscreen, but most major functions can be adjusted via redundant controls, thus eliminating the need to sift through numerous on-screen menus. The interior is also plenty roomy, offering almost the same amount of front and rear-seat legroom as the uplevel TL, and lagging only in rear, middle-seat comfort. Trunk space measures 13.2 cubic feet, a bit below average for this type of car.

Driving Impressions

Good luck finding a better-handling front-wheel-drive car in the entry-luxury segment than the 2008 Acura TSX. Steering is quick and sharp and responds to commands better than Lassie. Body roll is kept well under control, too, and the ride is comfortable and compliant enough for those who'll confine their driving activities to commuting and running errands. The brakes are slightly less impressive, as stopping distances are rather long for this class while pedal feel is lacking in progression.

Still, our only significant beef with the TSX is its lack of beef, or rather low-end torque -- particularly when compared to the small six-cylinders offered in other entry-level luxury sedans. At low rpm and when taking off from a traffic light, the engine can feel gutless, but once revved past 3,500 rpm toward its 7-grand redline, this VTEC power plant comes to life with an almost turbolike fury. Folks used to historically peaky Honda engines will feel right at home in the TSX, but those accustomed to the buttery smooth torque of a Lexus V6 or Audi/VW turbocharged four-cylinder may be disappointed.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

A precision driving machine

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Acura TSX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

This is my 4th Acura, and 2nd tsx. The tsx is a real drivers car. You have the feeling that you have a precision instrument in your hands. A feeling of tactile feedback from the steering wheel. The sound of the engine has a pleasant resonance. Acceleration off the line is decent, and top end acceleration is excellent. The front seats are exceptionally comfortable, and the car is very reliable. It gets about 25 mpg. It is fun to drive, and it runs like a Swiss watch.

Best car i have ever

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Acura TSX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

Bought this for my wife in late 2007, this car has been a great car, exactly what we were hoping for. The reviews kept pointing toward this car and I am very happy we purchased. The lease ends in a couple months and we are torn between keeping this car and leasing the 2010 RDX. It can't be beat for the price, if you consider quality, features and Luxury Brand. Not the quickest car on the road, but still a lot of fun to drive and feels quicker than numbers indicate. We have the black with parchment and wood interior, a great combo. The MPG are decent if you drive normal, last tank was 26 MPG with 60/40 HWY/CITY. I would highly recommend this car and the Honda products.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I'm in love with my

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Acura TSX 4dr Sedan w/Navigation (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

This is my first Acura, and it was love at first sight. I built my Acura online, and the metallic cool light blue is the most beautiful color of all. This car is classy. It's pure BS about the engine being underpowered - I accelerate faster than anyone around me 100% of the time. Of course, you have to know how to hit the accelerator, and I've lived long enough to do that. There are a few minor things that are less than perfect. The location of controls on the steering wheel could be better. The door does not always stay open in the half-open position. My biggest disappointment is the changes to the design in the 2009/10 models. They've managed to destroy a beautiful thing.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Not bad.

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Acura TSX 4dr Sedan w/Navigation (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

Being retired, I now put far more miles on my bicycle and motorcycle than my car, so it made no sense for me to buy new. After a lot of reading and looking, I narrowed my choices down to about 5 brands/models, and then just searched for the best one available. I like the style, the gizmos, and the comfort. However, the TSX is not nearly as quiet as an Accord I owned in the early 1990ís. I agree with others that the paint is cheap, and the radio just O.K. I love the Nav system, but it does have some voice command brain farts. Mileage isnít awesome (compared with newer cars), but decent - 26/30 for me. It is one of the more comfortable cars I have owned. Great seats.

Great with a few exceptions

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Acura TSX 4dr Sedan w/Navigation (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

I couldn't find another entry level luxury car that came even close to the TSX for features at the price. I handles well, if a little slow off the line. They need to equip it with better tires and a more reliable braking system. The heating on a cold day takes a long time to come up to temperature. See suggested improvement section for comments on tires and brakes which are terrible.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

The japanese alfa romeo sedan

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Acura TSX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6M)

The 2006-2008 TSX has perfect balance of performance, luxury, and economy. My 2 previous cars were an M3 and M5 BMW. I was honestly not expecting to like this car when I first drove it, but I love it. It has the most balanced handling of any front drive car I have ever driven. You can almost throttle steer it through a corner. The engine revs like a Ferrari V8, and the car feels much faster than the numbers indicate. The 2006-2008 cars have a markedly improved performance due to a larger throttle body and intake system, and the updated front/rear fascia and rocker covers make it look substantially sportier. All the controls are perfectly placed, and the fit-and-finish are outstanding.

Talk About The 2008 TSX

2008 Acura TSX Discussions See all Started By

Anyone has a clue when the '08 model will be out. I have seen some indication of redesigning the TSX for '08. Like many I would rather wait befor I switch to new redesigned model and buy a pre-owned '...

So here's how I see it: Honda has the Acura TSX/European Accord to compete with BMW 3 series, Audi A4 and Volvo S40 small sedans; the Acura RL/2008 Accord to compete with the Audi A6, BMW 5 series an...


Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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