2010 Acura TSX V6
2010 Acura TSX V6. Click image to enlarge

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Acura Canada

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Review and photos by Paul Williams

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2010 Acura TSX

Pebble Beach, California – The Acura TSX packs a 201-horsepower punch from its four-cylinder engine, but there are many consumers who will always prefer the smoothness and refinement of a V6 under the hood. Targeted at this “performance-oriented luxury buyer,” the new 2010 Acura TSX V6 delivers 280 hp and 254 pound-feet of torque from its 3.5-litre, VTEC engine, which Acura expects will broaden the appeal of this midsize sports sedan.

Additional features of the $39,790 TSX V6 (the I4 TSX starts at $32,990) include a five-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission with paddle shifters, exclusive suspension tuning, larger diameter (18-inch) wheels, and brake system upgrades. A manual transmission is not yet offered.

All TSXs are very well equipped, even in standard trim, featuring an eight-way power driver’s seat, four-way power front passenger seat, automatic headlights, sunroof, automatic climate control, stability control, Bluetooth and heated seats.

2010 Acura TSX V6
2010 Acura TSX V6. Click image to enlarge

Like the four-cylinder TSX, the TSX V6 is available in Premium and Technology trim levels, although for the TSX V6, there is no “base” specification. The standard “Premium” trim level includes perforated leather seats, HID headlights, fog lights. USB input, XM satellite radio and two-position memory for the driver’s seat.

The $4,279 Technology Package adds a navigation system, rear camera and Elliot Scheiner (ELS) 10-speaker audio system, as well as steering-wheel mounted remote controls. Total price for the TSX V6 Navigation: $44,069.

Exterior differences between the four-cylinder and V6 models are limited to the wheels, the trunk-mounted V6 badge, and a slightly revised front fascia for the TSX V6, with functional openings to aid with engine cooling. Inside, the tachometer wears model-specific calibrations corresponding to the performance of the V6 engine.

As mentioned above, the TSX V6 has exclusive suspension upgrades. Specifically, these include firmer front springs and revised damper calibration (due to the increased weight and output of the engine). Additionally, the programming to the steering system is revised for all 2010 TSX models to enhance steering response and “on centre” feel.

2010 Acura TSX V6
2010 Acura TSX V6. Click image to enlarge

TSX V6 brakes are also upgraded in comparison with the four-cylinder model, with larger rear pads, a larger brake master cylinder, revised pedal ratio and a new brake booster.

Exterior styling is pleasing, with the TSX proportions working well and the new “face” of Acura doing its job of identifying the brand. As a sidenote, before driving the TSX V6, along with the new TL six-speed manual, Acura Canada invited journalists for a rare tour of the Acura Design Center in Torrance, California, where stylists are working to further refine the Acura “look,” described as “keen edge.” Designers there acknowledge that the Acura grille is “polarizing,” but are committed to owning a look that won’t be mistaken for other brands. On the TSX, the grille is more restrained, compared with the new Acura ZDX and TL sedan, for example.

The TSX is what you could call a “small” midsize car, but only because the midsize car segment now features vehicles that a few years ago would have been considered “large.” In truth, the cabin environment of the TSX doesn’t feel appreciably different than that of the Acura TL.

2010 Acura TSX V6
2010 Acura TSX V6. Click image to enlarge

The cabin’s fit and finish is immediately impressive; the leather finely trimmed, and the panels and carpeting of a high quality. The seats are very comfortable and supportive, with an excellent range of adjustability in all directions. The “twin-cockpit” design of the driver and front-seat passenger area has become a signature feature for Acura, and is appealing in its appearance and execution.

Although Acura models are moving to a standard smart-key with push-button start, the TSX still uses a conventional key, inserted into the steering column. At idle, the engine is silent in operation.

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