I like the new TSX--I really do. But I absolutely loved the old one. And from its Saturn-looking face, to its cluttered center stack, to its much less VTEC-y engine response, to its dumbed-down steering feel, this new Acura just doesn't have the neat character of the original TSX.
And I'm not just spouting off based on faded, rose-colored memories of the previous TSX. I drove an old one (a 100,000-mile, 2004 model, no less) back-to-back with the brand-new model, and I relished the original's simplicity of driving experience and design alike.
Still, the new TSX remains a fabulous entry-level luxury car (about $33,000 for our navigation-equipped example). It's a nice-riding, quiet, 28-mpg (EPA and observed) highway cruiser that's also fun to drive in the city and on back roads, primarily because of the fantastic manual gearbox that my colleagues have already mentioned. The USB/iPod integration is excellent, too, and once you get used to the myriad buttons on the dash, the entire navigation/entertainment system is easy to use.
A couple of weird things happened over my weekend with the car, however: I swear that the driver's seatback kept readjusting itself when I turned off the car, and for some reason, the backup camera didn't kick on one morning. Granted, our test car was a preproduction example.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor