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First Drive: 2010 Acura TSX V-6

Filling a gap.

by on Aug.03, 2009

The 2010 Acura TSX V-6 fills a gap between the base sedan and the TL, which recently moved upscale.

The 2010 Acura TSX V-6 fills a gap between the base sedan and the TL, which recently moved upscale.

While virtually every luxury automaker has adopted some alphanumeric variation, Acura seems to have gone particularly out of its way to challenge potential buyers to keep up with its product line-up.  It’s too bad so many folks find it difficult to distinguish a TL from an RL and an RDX from a TSX, because they may simply turn to another brand entirely.  But these days, Acura has plenty of reasons to check out its offerings.

Indeed, the upcoming launch of the 2010 Acura TSX V-6 is all the more reason for sorting through the brand’s confusing nomenclature.  The base model in the Japanese brand’s line-up, the I-4-powered TSX has been a solid and appealing offering, affordable, well-equipped and reasonably sporty.  But Acura had a yawning gap in its line-up, after moving the latest version of its larger and more expensive TL up-market, a breach it is about to fill by adding a second version of its base model, the 2010 TSX V-6.

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While some makers might have gone out of their way to ensure you could spot the new model at a distance, Acura has taken a surprisingly conservative approach with its styling, doing little more than making the lower air intake functional and bolting on a V-6 badge.  It’s what you can’t see that makes the real difference, it turns out.

The heart of the new sedan is a 3.5-liter V-6 – shared with the larger, front-drive version of the TL – making 280 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque.  Significantly, you’ve got more torque, right off the line, than the old inline-four made at peak, and when you add in the extra 70 horsepower, the difference in performance is significant, the TSX V-6 turning 0 – 60 times of about 7 seconds, a full two seconds faster than with the base engine.

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