Interesting you should ask ... I was out last Saturday on one of my increasingly rare "test drive" days. Went around to about five different dealers sampling some of the latest stuff, including a Mazda dealer to try out a Mazdaspeed Protege. Of course, I saved this visit for last.
I visited a local Acura dealer to see the TSX because I've been a fan of it's styling and quality. I wanted to see it up close and "run the numbers". In all honesty, and I think I speak for majority opinion here (especially now that the new TL is out), the car is hugely overpriced. It starts at $27k without the nav system or any "accessories". I managed to finagle the salesperson into letting me take the demo car for a spin, even though I'm sure he could smell I was not a potential buyer. I'm good at bullshitting salespeople with tempting questions about finance rates, accessory prices, and negotiating to get them to let me behind the wheel. Admittedly, the TSX is very, very nice, but it's impossible to disguise the fact that it is still based from a FWD Accord platform. The engine is smooth and very well-isolated from the cabin; has the same sort of distant, well-tuned exhaust note which doesn't invade into the interior; reminded me of a BMW inline. The engine, of course, is low on power until you really wind it up past 6000rpm, and I didn't drive it that hard. The car drives solidly, feels a lot bigger than it is, but still not like a true mid-sizer. I am sure the TL drives like a much more genuine mid-size luxury sedan.
I had the chance to at least sit in a TL (not drive one) and the interior is amazing. Best interior I've seen yet in any sedan. Top notch quality and exciting design; beats Infiniti's interiors easily (but then, Honda/Acura always had better interiors than Nissan/Infinit), and much more exciting than any Lexus. It feels like a sports car interior, it rakes forward and is wrapped around you, conforming to your shape, like the 350Z or a Corvette. It was made from the ground up to be a real competitor, and the genetic relationship to the Accord is far more disguised. Best of all -- and another serious weakness in the TSX -- it only costs about $5k more than the TSX.
Basically, I find the new Acura lineup odd in that respect: the TSX feels overpriced, and the TL seems like a great deal. I also think the TSX driving feel is just lacking a real character, it just seems a bit sedate. It doesn't remind me of the RSX (which I've also driven). The RSX is an awesome little machine, and I was expecting this to be a sedan version of it. Not so. I wasn't that impressed. I also would have thought the TL would be in the mid-to-high 30's considering what you get. It is a real contender to steal sales from the G35 at that price. Similar power and distinctive styling. I guess it all comes down to personal opinion and whether or not you want front or rear-wheel drive.
I do agree though ... they both bear a strong similarity to the 6! They are also so similar in appearance that it's hard to even tell them apart from one another! Even a well-trained eye will be confused from the front ends ... only once you see the profile and rear can you really tell them apart!
Considering I'm not looking to buy either one, I do not bullshit the Mazda salespeople I've met into thinking I'm looking to buy one. I bullshit the Acura sales guy because I hate the dealership -- used to work for them two years ago, and I personally know how much of an obscene rip-off their markups are for parts, labor, and accessories. They have their heads so far up their asses that they didn't even remember who I was. I didn't figure they would. I wouldn't buy an Acura from them even if I was looking to buy one ... which is why I went there to waste their time.
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