Used 2005 Acura RSX Type-S

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2005 Acura RSX
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2005 Acura RSX

Pros

  • High-revving Type-S engine, nimble handling, sharp steering, clean interior design, plenty of standard equipment.

Cons

  • Modest torque output, tight rear-seat headroom, forgettable exterior design.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

With an overall feeling of refinement, and exemplary steering, Acura's RSX is a car you can drive to work everyday and still cut loose in it over the weekend.

2005 Highlights

For 2005, the RSX receives a number of changes. Horsepower for the Type-S is bumped up to 210, thanks to new high-performance camshafts, a larger intake duct, large diameter exhaust pipe and a high-flow catalytic converter. The six-speed transmission on the Type-S gets a lower final drive ratio and carbon synchronizers (instead of brass) on fifth and sixth gears for a smoother shift feel. Suspension upgrades on all models include a 7mm lower ride height, revised stabilizer bars and inversely wound springs. The steering and braking systems have been refined for better feel and response, and the Type-S gets a larger diameter front strut tower brace and 17-inch wheels. Front and rear fascias have also been redesigned, along with the side sills, grille, headlamps and taillamps. The Type-S gets a rear spoiler, as well. Inside, you'll find new deeply bolstered seats with thicker cushioning and new trim accents. Overall body rigidity has increased by 15 percent in front and 21 percent in the rear.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2005 Acura RSX.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

RSX S-Type- Not Just for Kids
Matthew M.,03/24/2006
I've owned the RSX S-Type since Dec 1, 04. I took my wife's TSX in for an oil change and test drove the RSX while I was waiting. I went back the next day and bought the RSX. The general manager asked who the car was for. I said for me, do you think I'm too old (55 at the time). I love it. It is by far the most fun car to drive I have ever had and the most sporty. The sport does add a much stiffer suspension than some may like but for handling you can't beat it. It loves the on ramps to the interstate and the faster you drive it the better it sticks. The higher the revs the better and it will fly in the higher rev range. Best car in this class for the money, period.
Can't beat it!
jammin05s,04/06/2006
I love this car. You will truly appreciate the power out of a stock 4 cylinder engine. More than 50 horse power per cylinder!! Performance you can't imagine from a company that did.
Excellent!!
dendron,09/02/2006
What a shame Acura has decided to discontinue this model beyond 2006! The RSX -- especially the Type-S -- is major bang for the buck. Grab one before they're gone. I owned a 2002 Type-S, which I loved, until the refinements of the 2005-06 were introduced... then I had to trade. My 2005 is a noticeable improvement over the earlier varsion. A very nice blend of luxury, economy, and performance for under $25K. Several reviewers have complained about the rough ride. This is primarily due to the crappy Michelin touring (M+S) tires Acura shackles this car with from the factory. An upgrade to a set of oversized General UHP summer tires TOTALLY transformed this car for me. BIG difference!
Fun little car
statusone,05/14/2012
This was my first car ever and I enjoyed the heck out of it. It was vivid blue pearl and I had the type-s so the wheels looked amazing as well. The car was definitely a head turner and everyone seemed to like, people would let me thru in traffic (this doesn't happen in something like a bimmer). It is a Honda so it is reliable as the universe and I had it serviced at Honda (since no Acura dealership was built near me at the time) and I got Honda prices, but Acura prices aren't that bad actually for a luxury car. It isn't as fast as you'd expect a 210 hp car to be. The problem is you have to wind it up to 6500 rpm to get it going and there's very little torque. But a fun drive nevertheless
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Features & Specs

MPG
20 city / 28 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed manual
Gas
210 hp @ 7800 rpm
See all Used 2005 Acura RSX Type-S features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2005 Acura RSX
More About This Model

It's been quite awhile since we drove Acura's little sport coupe, the RSX. Although it seems like just yesterday that the RSX replaced the aging Integra, it was actually more than a few years ago. The new-for-2002 RSX presented a pretty impressive package of performance, handling and comfort. So impressive that it won our 2001-2002 Sport Coupe Comparison Test, whipping some solid competition that included the VW Golf GTI, Toyota Celica GT-S and even the RSX's cousin, the Honda Prelude SH.

That moment of glory was three years ago, eons in the fast-moving automotive industry. Of the six sport coupes that competed in that comparo, three are either gone (Honda Prelude, Mercury Cougar) or soon to be (Toyota Celica). But others have jumped into the segment. Now in its fourth model year, the RSX must contend with fresh competition in the form of the Mini Cooper S, Scion tC, Saturn Ion Red Line and the upcoming BMW 1 Series and Audi A3. Even though the two Germans are going to be four-door hatchbacks, their sporty leanings made them stated targets by the folks at Acura.

To give the RSX a more sophisticated and leaner look, Acura's designers made a number of minor changes. They ditched the trendy scalloped head- and taillight treatments in favor of cleaner units, beefed up the front and rear fascias, tweaked the side sills and added a low-profile rear spoiler to the Type-S. The changes won't make you say, "Wow, what a difference," but they do make the car look less pudgy than the '04 version.

The interior designers put in their two cents as well by plumping up the seat bolsters and sprinkling some more titanium accents around the cockpit (on the dash vents, within the headrests and around the gearshift boot).

More important than the gingerbread are the hardware changes for this year. Both base and Type-S cars received suspension revisions that include a 7mm-lower ride height, firmer stabilizer bars and revised shock and spring rates. The Type-S now has bigger wheels — 17-inchers versus last year's 16s. The steering and braking systems were tweaked as well — the steering is blessed with a quicker ratio and the brakes benefit from a larger master cylinder and reduced pedal stroke. To minimize NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) levels, body rigidity was increased via reinforcements at key areas and sound insulation was added to the doors and roof to quiet the cabin at cruising speeds.

In the engine room, the Type-S model's 2.0-liter four picks up 10 horsepower (now at 210 ponies) thanks to intake and exhaust mods, including slightly more aggressive cams and a larger diameter exhaust system. And no, the increase in horsepower didn't come at the expense of torque output, which actually goes up a single pound-foot, for a total of 143 lb-ft.

In addition to the typical ride and drive portion of this press event, Acura was kind enough to provide a half day of track time at Waterford Hills Raceway in Clarkston, Mich. A smaller, technical (read "with an abundance of twists and turns") track, Waterford would serve (so the Acura reps hoped) to show off the improvements made to the 2005 model. To help with that goal, they had a couple of 2004 models at the track as well.

Upon belting into an '05 Type-S and taking some familiarization laps, the car felt secure and composed, forgiving this jockey's sometimes sloppy inputs. Once I got into a groove and had a clean line down, I took out the '04 version and immediately noticed a few things — the new car definitely felt superior in the steering and braking areas. Just to make sure my impressions were valid; I took an '04 around the track for another couple of laps. Compared to the crisp turn-in response and nearly unflappable chassis of the new car, the '04 felt a little lazy and nervous when pushed hard through quick transitions. And the difference in braking performance stood out as well; where the pedal on last year's car felt spongy and just adequate in power, the new car's felt firm and strong, yet easy to modulate. These two improvements should effectively address the RSX's two minor downfalls that we noted in that comparison test: below average performances in braking and slalom testing.

Although the seats were revamped for 2005, we didn't notice much difference. Whether we were in the '04 or '05, we tended to slide around in spite of the ample side bolsters. At the risk of receiving angry letters, we imagine this is because the wide seats were evidently designed with the U.S. market in mind, a market where most people tend to be, um, wider than average.

Driving home from the track, we noted minimal wind and road noise while running at 70-75 mph on the freeway and appreciated the absorbent yet controlled ride over the bumps on secondary roads. Someone should buy the suspension guys a round for making the '05 RSX a sharper performer when pressed without taxing the enthusiast drivers (and their passengers) with a bone-jarring ride the other 90 percent of the time.

As far as the increase in power, honestly, it was hard to tell the difference, probably because the power peak on the '05 occurs at 7,800 rpm versus 7,400 rpm on the '04. Certainly the previous Type-S was no slouch in acceleration, posting a quick 6.7-second time for the 0-60 dash and blazing down the quarter in just 15.2 seconds. So even if the 2005 Type-S "only" duplicates these numbers, you won't see us complaining.

One thing we will complain about, however, is the pricing. Granted, both the standard RSX (at around $21,000) and the higher-performance Type-S (at around $23,500) come with many high-end features, such as automatic climate control, a power moonroof, a CD player, cruise control, keyless entry, ABS and side-impact airbags. And the Type-S, in addition to the more powerful engine, adds a Bose audio system (with both cassette deck and six-disc CD changer), perforated leather seating and a six-speed manual gearbox (the only transmission available on the Type-S). In this price range, however, there are more than a few other tantalizing choices, such as the Mini Cooper S and more notably, the Scion tC, that undercut the RSX's sticker by more than a few grand.

Should you buy an RSX, you can rest easy knowing you've made a good decision. You'll enjoy sprightly performance, composed handling and a comfortable ride, and should have trouble-free motoring for many miles. But with Scion's athletic and well-equipped tC starting at under $17,000 with a moonroof, sport suspension with 17-inch wheels and similar luxury features to the RSX, the Acura salesmen are going to have their work cut out if someone comes into the showroom cross-shopping those two cars.

Used 2005 Acura RSX Type-S Overview

The Used 2005 Acura RSX Type-S is offered in the following styles: Type-S 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6M).

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Should I lease or buy a 2005 Acura RSX?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Acura RSX lease specials