2007 Acura TSX. Click image to enlarge
The lights in the centre stack (where the radio and climate controls live) might go out for apparently no reason. If it happens, the cause is probably a bad electronic component located behind the centre stack. At one point, it looks like Honda/Acura extended warranty coverage for this component to seven years/100,000 miles, but again, this was for U.S. customers and I wasn’t able to find evidence that the same was done in Canada. It’s probably worth a check, though, if you end up with an affected car.
An unpleasant sound described as “scraping, rattling, scratching and whooshing” by a TSX owner posting at TSXClub.com would happen every time he revved the car’s engine to 6,000 rpm and engaged the iVTEC motor’s “hot” cam. As it turns out, this is apparently caused by a portion of flexible tubing connecting the exhaust manifold to the rest of the exhaust system.
Consumer Reports’ data suggests that the TSX’s transmissions are solid, but I found a few posts on the Internet that indicate that both automatic and manual gearboxes are less-than-perfect, but nothing I came across was conclusive. There is this minor problem though, that seems to be common in automatic cars.
The TSX fared well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) frontal offset crash test, earning a “good” rating; it only managed “acceptable” in the IIHS’ side impact test, and this after Honda made some changes for the 2005 model year to improve occupant protection in side crashes.
From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the TSX earned five stars for driver and front passenger protection in frontal crashes. Its side impact performance got five stars for front seat occupant protection and four for protecting rear seat riders.
TSX values start at $11,325 for a 2004 with manual transmission, and top out at $23,200 for a 2008 with automatic and navigation. For comparison, a 2004 Honda Accord EX-V6 with the hard-to-find manual-transmission option is worth$10,950, and a 2008 EX-V6 automatic with navigation is worth $22,100. In both cases, the Accord is a bigger car and comes fairly similarly equipped. These cars hold their value quite well, even compared to the class-benchmark BMW 3 Series.
When it was new, the TSX was a well-placed stepping stone for RSX owners looking for a more mature ride. As a used car, however, think of it as an alternative for drivers not yet ready for an Accord and the family-car stigma that goes along with it.
Black Book Pricing (avg. retail) June, 2011:
2004:On certain vehicles, the wiring harness located in the trunk hinge area is not adequately protected and, over time, could be damaged when the trunk is opened and closed. A damaged harness can cause a blown fuse or an open circuit; either results in a loss of licence plate light, back up light and/or tail light function. All affected lights are on the trunk lid. The portion of the light assembly on the rear quarter panel, which includes a tail light, a brake light and a turn signal, are not affected. Correction: Dealers will inspect the rear wire harness. If any damage is found, the harness will be replaced. If no damage is found, the dealer will install corrugated plastic tubing over the harness to prevent damage.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2007088; Units affected: 12,143 (other Acura and Honda models affected)
2005: On certain vehicles, a manufacturing fault with the fuel pump relay could cause the coil wire in the relay to break. If this happens, the fuel pump will not operate and the engine may not start. If the relay fails while driving, the engine may stall without warning and a crash could occur. Correction: Dealers will inspect and, if required, replace the fuel pump relay.
Crash test results
Used vehicle prices vary depending on factors such as general condition, odometer reading, usage history and options fitted. Always have a used vehicle checked by an experienced auto technician before you buy.
For information on vehicle service bulletins issued by the manufacturer, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
For information on consumer complaints about specific models, see www.lemonaidcars.com.