2009 Acura TSX Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2009 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 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 201 hp @ 7000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Acura TSX

  • It's hard not to walk away underwhelmed from the redesigned 2009 Acura TSX. While it improves upon its predecessor in some ways, it goes backward in others.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Immense features list, spacious interior, highly advanced technology features, sporty handling, well-built with nice materials.

  • Cons

    Four-cylinder engine could use more low-end power, button-happy center console, lacks a certain premium feel.

  • What's New for 2009

    The Acura TSX is completely redesigned for 2009. Major changes include a larger size for enhanced interior room, revised exterior styling and new technology-oriented features.

Full 2009 Acura TSX Review

What's New for 2009

The Acura TSX is completely redesigned for 2009. Major changes include a larger size for enhanced interior room, revised exterior styling and new technology-oriented features.


"The last one was better."For some reason, car enthusiasts love throwing this out when it comes to a redesigned model. It's an unusual (and often faulty) way of showing off supposed automotive acumen; an offshoot of the "they don't build 'em like they used to" attitude. Having said that, the 2009 Acura TSX may not be worse than its predecessor, but we're not sure it's improved.

The TSX basics remain. Acura's entry-level model is a front-wheel-drive sedan with a high-revving four-cylinder engine, taut handling, a spacious cabin and class-leading feature content. Some thought Acura would use the turbocharged engine from its RDX, a small SUV, this time around, but instead it chose to just slightly revise the normally aspirated 2.4-liter inline-4 to produce a bit more low- and midrange power -- a decision that could prove to be a potential liability. With 201 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque, output is certainly adequate and now more useful in everyday driving, but shoppers keen on spicy acceleration will find more to like from turbocharged or V6-powered competitors. Given that the fuel economy is also only a hair better than the related (and heavier) Honda Accord's 268-hp V6, it seems Acura missed the opportunity to get a jump on competitor vehicles that provide similar power and fuel economy to the TSX.

There are a few areas where the TSX has gone backwards. The new electric steering isn't as communicative as the old hydraulic system. Styling, while subjective, is not as streamlined as the original "flying wedge" design -- the new TSX has bulges and creases and a chrome grille mustache, all of which try too hard to mask an otherwise mundane sedan. Inside, the TSX's previous touchscreen electronics interface (good) has been replaced with a multipurpose knob with a multitude of buttons (bad). Thankfully, the intuitive voice commands remain.

There are, of course, areas of improvement. The automatic transmission now features automanual control via steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Acura's trademark high-tech features are getting even more sophisticated; the new Technology Package adds weather forecasting, real-time traffic with rerouting and one of the industry's best sound systems. The 2009 TSX also has marginally more interior space.

This "give here, take there, stand pat all over" philosophy adds up to a car that's not particularly memorable. Acura could've saved itself a lot of effort by slapping some paddle shifters and a few additional high-tech doodads onto the old TSX. As it stands, the 2009 TSX isn't significantly better than the old model by comparison to entry-level luxury competitors like the Audi A4, Lexus IS 250, Volvo S40 or heavily optioned family sedans like the Nissan Altima or Honda's own Accord.

Still, while some of these models may be faster, more luxurious, more fuel-efficient, better-handling or less costly than the TSX, few (if any) offer such a solid mix of it all. The problem is, the '08 edition did that too, and car buyers were still looking elsewhere. The 2009 Acura TSX just doesn't raise the bar high enough. In fact, it barely budges it. In other words, "the last one was better."

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Acura TSX is a compact entry-level luxury sedan available in one well-loaded trim level. Standard equipment includes 17-inch wheels, xenon HID headlights, foglights, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt/telescoping steering column, an eight-way power driver seat with memory, a four-way power passenger seat, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a 60/40-split-folding rear seatback. Also standard are Bluetooth and a seven-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, auxiliary audio jack and a USB port. The optional Technology Package adds a rearview camera and a navigation system with voice recognition, real-time traffic and weather forecasting. In addition, that package includes a superb 10-speaker Acura/ELS surround-sound system with an in-dash six-CD/DVD-audio changer.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive TSX is available with one engine, a 2.4-liter inline-4 capable of 201 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque (172 lb-ft with the manual). Available transmissions are a six-speed manual and a five-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel shift paddles -- both are the same price. EPA fuel economy with the automatic is 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined. The manual drops that to 21/28/23, respectively.


Standard safety equipment on the 2009 TSX includes antilock brakes with brake assist, stability control, traction control, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2009 Acura TSX is awash with dashboard buttons, with or without the optional Technology Package. Although the layout is logical, the sheer quantity of little black buttons (upwards of 40) would make a 747 pilot feel at home. Although the interface is a step backward (the old car's touchscreen controls were much simpler to use and more visually appealing), the tech pack's navigation system is the same found in Acura's higher-end products, and features voice commands, real-time traffic, weather forecasting and a large LCD screen with secondary control knob. The accompanying 10-speaker surround-sound system is one of the best factory stereos available and is a solid justification for the pricey tech pack.

Elsewhere inside the TSX, materials are consistent with the rest of Acura's well-built line. However, those looking for a Lexus-like level of opulence will be disappointed, since this Acura is only a smidgen nicer than its otherwise well-constructed Honda cousin and features a sportier, BMW-like aesthetic. Interior room inside this compact sedan is actually quite good, with only a shade less space than the larger TL. The TSX also has considerably more interior space than the Lexus IS 250 and a hair more than the Volvo S40. The trunk measures 12.6 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

One of the main flaws of the previous TSX was excessive road noise. To the new car's credit, the 2009 TSX is equipped with additional sound-deadening materials and newfound structural rigidity, which quiets things down on the freeway. For manual-equipped models, a shorter-travel clutch and less aggressive throttle tip-in produce a car that's easier to drive smoothly around town. Less welcome is the new electric power steering system designed to perform better (read: be lighter) at low parking-lot speeds. The problem is, because the old car wasn't exactly arm-wrenching, the resulting change equates to a less communicative steering system. Still, the TSX is a very enjoyable car to drive on twisting roads, especially if it's equipped with the manual transmission. Body motions are well-controlled and the car stays relatively flat and attached to the tarmac in even the most aggressive turns. In other words, the 2009 Acura TSX is still one of the best-handling front-wheel-drive cars on sale.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Great car to drive, but

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura TSX 4dr Sedan w/Technology Package (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

I love my TSX. It's roomy in the front and handles great. It has a lot of good standard features. It has a lot of pizzaz for a 4 cyl. The main problem I have with it are unexpected expenses. I just had to buy a new tire and rim for the second time after hitting a pothole ($1000!). Stupid low profile tires. Unless you live in a place with few potholes, this can be a big problem. Also, it a little plastic piece around the side mirror broke. I figured it would be under $25 to replace. No such luck. They don't sell just that piece. I had to buy a whole new mirror for over $300.

Bitter sweet

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura TSX 4dr Sedan w/Technology Package (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

The exterior design is very sporty and clean. The chunky 5 spoke rims are hideous. The driver's seat is very comfortable and I love the lumbar adjustment, but I don't get why they don't have it on the passenger seat. The passenger seat is almost unbearable to sit in, compared to the driver's seat. The rear seats have absolutely no leg room and your foot gets caught under the front seat, when getting out of the car. Leather is cheap. The driver's seat is already cracking. The steering wheel has a very cozy feel to it. The car's steering is responsive and the 2.4l provides adequate power. The car is amazing on the highway. I would probably not get another. I'm considering a 2013 nissan Maxima

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

What a waste, honda.

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura TSX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

I don't exactly understand the difference between this car and the Accord, other than this one is more expensive and smaller. Read the magazine reviews, they are all correct, terrible steering, too much roadnoise, SLOW. 201 hp in with a 5 speed auto?? NOT A PREMIUM CAR. Cheap leather on the seats, plastic door handles. The best feature, SAFETY, I crashed mine at about 45 mph and it kept me safe, maybe it was the cars way of apologizing for the utter failure this car was? Totaled and it was the best thing I ever did, sad to say. Acura and Honda need to get it together. I was a loyal fan of them, not after this and my RSX.

Safe car! reliable

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura TSX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

I love the tsx. I have had a lot of items worn but replaced by the warranty. Faulty window switch, bad speakers, worn bushings and cv boots. I had only had it maintained at the dealer, otherwise I would have been in serious debt. Brakes replaced all around and trans flush which were my choice to replace. Service excellent. Back is tight but overall this car is fast, fun and comfortable to drive !! It has 38,000 on it and I plan to run it to the ground. Tires are next, not terrible to maintain oil change n tires only big service besides the warranty replacements.

Great performance and value

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura TSX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

Purchased 2009 Acura TSX, with 21K miles, for my wife. Wanted reliability, performance and attractive design. Got it all ! She couldn't be happier...ergo I'm very pleased.

Great car, with some issues

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Acura TSX 4dr Sedan w/Technology Package (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

When shopping for a new car in '08, I test drove a bunch of different cars in this class. Though I liked the Lexus IS a little better, it was much more expensive. Overall, I've enjoyed this car. Recently, though, I've been having some issues. The bluetooth doesn't pick up the call until I redial, and they haven't been able to figure it out. The tires and rims seem really fragile and are very expensive to replace. I've been getting vibration in the steering wheel and have been told that all my rims are bent! A little black plastic piece surrounding the mirror broke. I thought it good just be popped out and replaced for about $25; surprise, I had to replace the whole mirror at a cost of $350!

Talk About The 2009 TSX

2009 Acura TSX Discussions See all Started By

Automotive news reported that the new TSX will be available with Honda's new diesel....

Which would you buy. 2010 Toyota Camry vs 2009 Nissan Altima vs 2009 Acura TSX?...

very excited about it. Then I drove the Acura TSX with tech package... I really liked it and it's probably my top choice right now, but it's not the cutest car I've ever seen... and let's face it, I'...

Read more about the 2009 Acura TSX

Gas Mileage


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