2012 Acura TSX Review
2012 Acura TSX Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Impressive number of standard and technology features
- spacious interior
- sporty handling with V6 sedan and wagon
- excellent build and materials quality.
- Button-happy center console
- unimpressive braking performance
- slightly underpowered four-cylinder.
The 2012 Acura TSX sedan gets a new Special Edition package with sporty styling touches. The TSX Sport Wagon receives additional cargo-area storage space courtesy of a compact tire repair kit.
Though not quite as compelling as a couple other rivals, the 2012 Acura TSX is nonetheless a smart choice for an entry-level luxury sedan or wagon.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2012 Acura TSX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $4.09 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Avg. Midsize Car
Somewhere between sensible and luxurious, the 2012 Acura TSX has found a home. With a sprinkling of sporty athleticism thrown in for good measure, the TSX is the epitome of the multi-talented entry-level luxury car.
Within the Acura TSX lineup, buyers can choose varying degrees of performance and utility. The base models run with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which we've found to be merely adequate. Fortunately, there's also a higher-output 3.5-liter V6 that we prefer in this large sedan. Prospective owners may select the standard sedan or opt for the more utilitarian TSX Sport Wagon, which boasts cargo capabilities that rival a crossover SUV.
Occupying this middle ground between common and special has its drawbacks. While the Acura TSX models are certainly pleasant to drive, they're not as sporty as some other choices, nor are they as opulent as models that make luxury more of a priority. When compared to the established Audi A4 and the segment-leading BMW 3 Series, the TSX's shortcomings become readily apparent, though it's worth noting that these German competitors will end up costing you more. The Volvo S60 might be another possibility given its more expressive Swedish flair.
However, if you find yourself shopping for a car that's both sensible and luxurious, we see no reason why the 2012 Acura TSX shouldn't be at the top of your list.
Performance & mpg
The 2012 Acura TSX is available with a choice of two engines. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder makes 201 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque (172 lb-ft when equipped with the manual transmission), while the 3.5-liter V6 generates 280 hp and 254 lb-ft (sedan only). A five-speed automatic transmission with sport shift paddles is standard on all models, although a six-speed manual is available for the four-cylinder sedan only.
In Edmunds testing, a manual four-cylinder TSX sedan loped to 60 mph from a standstill in an unremarkable 7.7 seconds. The automatic sedan and Sport Wagon both crossed the lights about a second slower. The V6, on the other hand, posted a competitive 0-60 time of 6.4 seconds.
EPA fuel economy estimates for the four-cylinder automatic TSX sedan are 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 26 combined; the manual version drops to 21/29/24. The wagon achieves 22/30/25, while the V6 comes in at 19/28/23.
Standard safety equipment on the 2012 TSX includes antilock brakes with brake assist, stability control, traction control, active head restraints, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, both the four- and six-cylinder versions of the TSX stopped from 60 mph in 133 feet; comparable sport sedans that we've tested have braking distances that are 10-15 feet shorter. The Sport Wagon came to a halt in 127 feet.
In crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the TSX earned a top rating of "Good" in both frontal-offset and side-impact tests. In government testing, the TSX sedan and wagon were both awarded a top score of five stars for rollover protection.
The 2012 Acura TSX rides calmly and quietly at highway speeds. Power from the four-cylinder engine is adequate, though compared to other entry-level luxury cars, it leaves the TSX with a somewhat uninspired driving character. The V6 and Sport Wagon are more spirited thanks to their sport-tuned suspensions, and -- in the case of the V6 -- gutsier acceleration. Both transmissions work well; the manual is easy to work thanks to a short-travel clutch and linear throttle tip-in, while the automatic provides pleasantly smooth shifts.
While the 2012 Acura TSX's interior is on par with other entry-level sport sedans as far as design and quality are concerned, there are a few sticking points to take into account. The cockpit has an overabundance of knobs and buttons, which can be daunting at first. With some time and familiarity, though, most operations can become intuitive, thanks to a logical layout of controls. The optional navigation system, on the other hand, is fairly easy to use from the get-go, with voice commands, real-time traffic, weather forecasting and a large LCD screen with a secondary control knob. We also think the accompanying Acura/ELS surround-sound audio is worth the extra cost.
Interior space will likely be more than adequate for most needs, offering considerably more room than the competing Lexus IS 250. The 12.6-cubic-foot trunk capacity is on the small side for the sedan, while the Sport Wagon's 61-cubic-foot capacity is one of the most accommodating in this class.
2012 Acura TSX models
The 2012 Acura TSX is a compact entry-level luxury sedan available in base, wagon and V6 sedan trim levels. New for 2012 is a Special Edition package that is offered only on the four-cylinder sedan.
The base TSX and TSX Sport Wagon standard equipment list includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlights, foglights, heated outside mirrors, a sunroof, keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-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. In addition to more horsepower and displacement, the V6 adds a firmer suspension, 18-inch wheels and a road-noise-cancelling feature for the sound system.
The TSX Special Edition package (base sedan only) adds a more aggressive front spoiler, a new rear bumper fascia and unique side sills and wheel treatments. Within the cabin, upgrades include faux-suede seat inserts, red interior stitching, red cabin illumination, aluminum pedals, bright silver trim elements and a black headliner.
The optional Technology package adds a rearview camera, a hard-drive-based navigation system, voice recognition, real-time traffic and weather forecasting, a 10-speaker Acura/ELS surround-sound system with single-CD player, digital music storage and, for the wagon, a power liftgate.
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4.25 out of 5 stars
Better than I expected!
2012 Acura TSX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
It's interesting to read reviews from those who traded "down" from a European brand. I did the same, and my monthly lease payment is $120 lower than the Mercedes C300 AWD Sport I traded in. My family actually prefers the Acura for a lot of reasons... the only things I miss are the 6-cylinder refinement and the Mercedes bank vault build quality.
4.63 out of 5 stars
TL owner moving down but not by much...
2012 Acura TSX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
I was tired of getting 17.5 mpg on premium gas around town with my 2009 Acura TL. I looked at BMW, Mercedes and Audi. However, I just couldn't justify the extra money. Everything cost EXTRA. I went back to Acura and they had a Milano Red Limited Edition loaded TSX on the showroom floor. I immediately fell in love with the looks and bought it on the spot. To me it is the most agressive … looking Acura with the body kit. It just looks sexy and strong. Although I am giving up a lot of power vs. the TL, I am also getting about 6 miles a gallon farther down the road. In addition, I hardly ever found a time when I could 'drive' the TL agressively. At this point, I am not missing it much.
5 out of 5 stars
Love This Car
2012 Acura TSX Technology Package 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
I've probably have had 20 new cars and that many used in my life but can't say I've liked any more than this. Love the size, the quality in and out, sound system, handling, gas mileage 25-35. Have had it about 6 months and 6,000 miles-no issues.
4 out of 5 stars
Good, sensible car
2012 Acura TSX Special Edition 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
I have owned a Special Edition 2012 TSX since new. The black on black car looks sharp, inside and out. Coming from a headache-inducing 02 Jetta, I went to Acura based on its reliability reputation (which, I see, has changed for the worse as of late). The car has not disappointed on that end. It was affected by the Tanaka airbag recall, and my dealership took care of it speadily. … There was a piece of trim that was a little loose and, that too, was taken care of to my complete satisfaction. Less impressive is, however, my dealership inability to replicate an intermitent problem that the car has had with its power lock master switch for a while until, of course, it was no longer under warranty. Lesson learned for the future and I will take of this myself. After six and a half years, the heating is presenting an intermittent issue. I'd rather it did not, but I think this number of issues is more than adequate in a car that is over six years old and serves in Chicago. If you are thinking of buying one second hand, go for it. It is extremely comfortable, and well put together. After a long road trip, you will arrive to your destination in quite good shape - the front seats are armchair-like, with just the right amount of firmness and hold (they are nicely heated too, although a mid setting would be great). It is reasonably quiet inside, with muted road noise. The trunk is spacious and you have enough interior storage. I suspect that the Bluetooth is not amongst the sharpest out there, but it does the job. The sound system is quite good and the dual zone climate works very well. The interior (I choose cars from the inside out, as the interior is the part of the car you see most) is very well put together, and has a very clean and rational layout. The only problem I have with it is that the paddle shifters (which, incidentally, I never use) can get in the way of seeing some controls (windshield wiper and light settings). The car has a sporty stance and, indeed, it is powerful enough but it is not a 3 series. Mine is equipped with the 4 cylinder engine (6 cyl. and Honda automatics? No, thanks) and it is responsive in most situations. If you want to take it to the track, this is not the car for you, but you will be just fine in the highway. My favorite part of its driving behavior is its steering. I find it responsive and quick. Summing up: very good all-around car. It will take you to work in comfort and allow you to go on longer trips comfortably. It is quite reliable and fairly economical to run -apart from the general maintenance and the two issues above I will be taking care of soon, it has only needed some brake work (it is, at the end of the day, a Honda). Premium fuel is recommended, but you can run it on regular. Thanks for your time.
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 22 City / 31 Hwy / 26 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.5 gal. capacity
- 5 seats
- Type: front wheel drive
- Transmission: 5-speed shiftable automatic
- Inline 4 cylinder
- Horsepower: 201 hp @ 7,000 rpm
- Torque: 170 lb-ft @ 4,300 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 4 yr./ 50,000 mi.
- Length: 185.6 in. / Height: 56.6 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 72.4 in.
- Curb Weight: 3,470 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 14.0 cu.ft.
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover5 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover9.9%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2012 Acura TSX
Used 2012 Acura TSX Overview
The Used 2012 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), Special Edition 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A), Special Edition 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6M), Technology Package 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A), and 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A). Pre-owned Acura TSX models are available with a 2.4 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 201 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2012 Acura TSX comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed shiftable automatic.
What's a good price on a Used 2012 Acura TSX?
Price comparisons for Used 2012 Acura TSX trim styles:
- The Used 2012 Acura TSX Base is priced between $11,990 and$18,998 with odometer readings between 51498 and127601 miles.
- The Used 2012 Acura TSX Special Edition is priced between $12,406 and$15,990 with odometer readings between 72989 and121385 miles.
- The Used 2012 Acura TSX Technology Package is priced between $9,550 and$18,998 with odometer readings between 67239 and140370 miles.
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Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Acura TSX for sale near. There are currently 29 used and CPO 2012 TSXS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,550 and mileage as low as 37821 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 2012 Acura TSX.
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Should I lease or buy a 2012 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.