2009 Acura TSX Review

Pros & Cons

  • Immense features list, spacious interior, highly advanced technology features, sporty handling, well-built with nice materials.
  • Four-cylinder engine could use more low-end power, button-happy center console, lacks a certain premium feel.
List Price Range
$6,499 - $10,511

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

"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."

2009 Acura TSX models

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.

2009 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2009 Acura TSX.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

TSX Review for Used Car Seekers - Check Oil Issue
Paul,02/13/2016
4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6M)
Aug 2019 Update: 158k miles and still purring with original clutch. I replaced the suspension one year ago and this vehicle just looks and drives so well for its nearly 11 year age. For a great value and fun drive, find a used TSX with 6-speed manual and enjoy. Just check that the oil consumption recall was fixed or that the model year is after they fixed the issue at the factory. Feb 2017 Update: My TSX is still going strong, but it turns out the oil consumption issue became a problem, consuming more than a quart per 1000 miles. Although it was a tedious process, Acura ended up replacing the piston rings as part of their extended warranty due to this known issue. No more burning oil and my engine has a new life at 116,000 miles. Used car seekers should check if TSXs of this vintage have had the warranty work done, especially on manual transmission models which are more prone to this problem. If the exhaust tips are sooty then the car is burning oil. Original review 2016: I am the original owner a black, 4cyl TSX with 6 speed manual transmission. It now has 96k miles of more than half highway miles. Oddly enough, I'm more pleased with the car as it ages. Why? Because it's still performing very well, despite the expectation for an older car to start acting up. Power is good, handling is still tight, no rattles, the auto climate control is spot on. The 6 speed short shifting manual mated to a smooth clutch that doesn't buck in slow traffic is pleasure to drive. Manual lovers would like this car, and the engine is happy to rev. Fuel economy has been 30 mpg with my type of driving. This is excellent for a car with decent power. The TSX handles pretty well in snow when mated with good all-season or winter tires. I am very happy with Continental PureContact Eco+ DWS. They drive well in snow and the traction control, when needed, works in concert with these to provide good control. I used to have Bridgestone Pole Position, which handled even better in dry and wet conditions but were horrible in snow. Surprisingly, the Continentals actually have improved fuel mileage by at least 1 mpg, as they claim. Rear seats are more suitable for smaller people. The door opening is a little tight getting in, but the seats are very comfortable once in. Child seats are a pain to use because of the bucket shape and the closeness of the latch. Now that my kids are beyond that, we happily use the TSX for our family of 5 over our Odyssey, especially when parking will be tight. My few issues: Bluetooth function for the non-Nav version is clunky so I prefer to use my ear bud for making calls. I have a vent-mounted phone holder to make calls easier and to facilitate using GPS on my phone. 91 octane is tough to find so one usually has to pay for 93 octane. This is the price for getting 200 hp out of a 4 cylinder engine. This model year had brakes that wore prematurely but that is not an issue after I replaced them with non-OEM pads. I had to have the clutch master cylinder (small cylinder located at the clutch pedal) replaced at about 85k miles. Acura granted me a discount for this service when I complained that it was premature. The clutch is still in great shape. Last, but not least, the engine consumes oil. Acura has extended the engine warranty to 8 yrs/125k miles. Their threshold for warranty work (changing piston rings) is burning more than 1 qt per 1000 miles. My engine consumes about 1/2 qt. I wonder if this issue occurs because people followed the maintenance minder for oil changes. I was driving 8k miles or even more before it would call for oil changes. I think following that was a mistake. I'm living with it and it does not seem to be getting worse now that I change oil at 5k miles. I expect my TSX to continue to age well, and plan to pass it down to my kids when it's about 10 yrs old with 150k+ miles.
Great car to drive, lasts well. Still some minor i
yitz1,05/20/2014
Technology Package 4dr Sedan (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. Addendum: Well, 8 years and running. Still rides good, though a bit rough. No real mechanical problems. Tires and rims still fragile and a problem. Repairs still expensive. Addendum (11/16): Still drives great, no mechanical problems. Still looks good for a car that old. Still same minor complaints (especially the tires). Addendum (5/17): Everything above still holds. Addendum (11/17): Ditto
Don't think twice just buy it!
Mark Wilmes,10/23/2015
Technology Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6M)
I bought my TSX used in early 2014. My company moved from the suburbs to downtown so my commute changed from an easy 10 minutes on a turnpike to 20-30 minutes of Indy 500 with crack-ups and rescue vehicles included, and I'm so glad I bought the TSX instead of some larger sedans or SUV's I was looking at. My wife has a 2011 Pilot EXL so the need for another SUV really wasn't there anyway. We've had or still have six Honda's and two Acura's plus Mazdas and Nissans and some Fords. I'm getting over 25 MPG even with all the stops and starts and racing that I'm doing. I use the paddle shifters ALL THE TIME and it's so cool to pass or get around someone and then to accelerate and just get away from them (even within the speed limit, the acceleration is awesome). I did read the reviews about geting the 6 cylinder if you can find one, and I did test drive a 4 cylinder and then a 6 cylinder, back to back and the 6 is spectacular. I wasn't quite ready to pull the trigger, and the color of the 6 cylinder was white and I prefer black. The paddle shifters make the 4 cylinder a blast. This car is very fun to drive. It's easy to find a 4 cylinder in the color combination you want, and when you do, just buy it! I got mine with 64,000 miles on it and I'm at 104,000 after 20 months. I'll probably take it to 135,000 miles and then sell it and get a 2013 or 2014. This car is great for getting around in the parking garage, and my 17-year old son and his buddies think it's pretty slick!
No more Beemer
Love my TSX,08/25/2009
I just made the move from BMW 3 series to Acura and I am very happy with the decision. This Acura drives like a dream and I look forward to starting it up every day. The standard features along with the Tech package give you almost every advanced feature imaginable. The performance is almost comparable to the BMW (steering is a bit remote on the highway compared to a BMW) and is much more reliable (also, less expensive to fix - it is a Honda after all). I researched cars for quite some time before buying and could not find another car that combined luxury, performance, tech features, and style as well as the Acura TSX!

Features & Specs

See all Used 2009 Acura TSX 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
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2009 Acura TSX

Used 2009 Acura TSX Overview

The Used 2009 Acura TSX is offered in the following submodels: TSX Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A), Technology Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A), 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6M), and Technology Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Acura TSX?

Price comparisons for Used 2009 Acura TSX trim styles:

  • The Used 2009 Acura TSX Technology Package is priced between $6,499 and$10,511 with odometer readings between 84599 and180827 miles.

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Which used 2009 Acura TSXES are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Acura TSX for sale near. There are currently 6 used and CPO 2009 TSXES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,499 and mileage as low as 84599 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Acura TSX.

Can't find a used 2009 Acura TSXs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Acura TSX for sale - 3 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $21,021.

Find a used Acura for sale - 11 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $7,682.

Find a used certified pre-owned Acura TSX for sale - 2 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $17,742.

Find a used certified pre-owned Acura for sale - 1 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $23,210.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 Acura TSX?

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.

Check out Acura lease specials
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