When we tested the all-new 2009 Acura TSX about 18 months ago, we reported it was sharp, roomy, techno-savvy, and a pleasure to drive. The fact that it had 4-cylinder power didn’t faze us a bit.  But to many perspective sport-luxury buyers, a V6 is required. So now Acura has a second TSX designed to please everyone!

The 2010 Acura TSX V6 now sports the hardware it needs to be seriously compared to other sport-luxury compacts such as the benchmark BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, and Lexus IS.

New fittings start with a sophisticated 3.5-liter V6 from the TL, rated at 280 horsepower - a 40% increase over the 4-cylinder - and 254 pound-feet of torque. And it all comes to life with exclusive one-touch start.

The V6 inhales through cold air induction, and exhales through a unique performance exhaust system with dual tips.

Front-wheel power flows from an upgraded 5-speed paddle shift automatic with revised gear ratios to manage the added power. Sadly, unlike the 4-cylinder TSX, there’s no manual tranny.

Still, at the track, our TSX V6 darted from 0 to 60 in a pretty quick 6.7 seconds-comparable to a BMW 328i-and through the quarter mile in 15.2 seconds at 96 miles per hour. The TSX V6 is a strong performer with a nice low grunt and a matching exhaust note.  Shifts were not as crisp as we had hoped, but they still mated well with the new six, and the car feels more complete.

Upgrades were also made to the ABS disc brakes, with a larger brake master cylinder, special rear pads, and a revised pedal ratio. Still, stops of 132 feet on average from 60 to 0 are long. There was a little bit of fade and a lot of dive.

Suspension alterations are more successful. The TSX V6 gets special tuning with uprated front springs and recalibrated dual-mode dampers. The electric steering has also been retuned for sharper response.

Contact with the pavement is by way of taller, wider 18-inch aluminum wheels and higher-performance rubber.

Taken together the new efforts provide the V6 an even more nimble reaction than the already stellar 4-cylinder. But it still comes off softer than German rivals, with considerable push and little steering feedback; yet we never thought the car lacked confidence at the track.

And on the street, that chassis compliance delivers a ride that is very appealing for day-to-day use. It takes corners hard, and makes potholes soft, all at the same time.

Outside, this four-door is defined by the same bold, love it or hate it sheet metal that was introduced for 2009.

Most controversial is the overstated front fascia, where the V6 now touts revised openings for the purpose of better engine cooling.

The only other exterior bit distinguishing the V6 from the 4-cylinder is a discreet badge on the trunk lid.

Inside, the TSX V6 is also virtually identical to the 4-cylinder. But that still means decidedly upscale, spacious, and techno-savvy.  We mentioned the one-touch start, and there’s also a tachometer with a revised redline.

The TSX V6 also has a new, Active Noise Cancellation system for a quieter cabin.

All 2010 TSXs come loaded with leather-appointed power and heated front seats, a moonroof, automatic climate control, and a 7-speaker stereo with auxiliary jacks.

The sole option is a Technology Package that adds voice prompt navigation with real-time traffic and weather, a backup camera, and an upgraded ELS sound system.

The rear seat is a compact car-tight 60/40 folding affair, while seats up, the trunk is adequate enough, measuring 12.6 cubic feet.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the TSX V6 are 18 city/27 highway on premium gas. Our tester achieved a respectable 24.2 miles per gallon in real-world driving.

The Energy Impact Score is a moderate 16.3 barrels of oil consumed per year, with a Carbon Footprint of 8.7 annual tons of CO2 emitted.

The TSX V6 comes in only two ways: standard and with the Technology Package. So prices start at $35,660, and quickly end at $38,760. Even at that level, the TSX is a class bargain.

The addition of a V6 opens up the vitality of the Acura TSX, and puts it squarely in the realm of its peer group. It also closes a void within the Acura brand itself, making the larger TL less of a step. Faster, stronger, and more aggressive…with a V6 the TSX finally lives up to its true potential.


  • Engine: 3.5-Liter V6
  • Horsepower: 280
  • Torque: 254 Lb Feet
  • 0-60 MPH: 6.7 Seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 15.2 Seconds @ 96 MPH
  • 60-0 MPH: 132 Feet
  • EPA: 18 MPG City/ 27 MPG Highway
  • Mixed Loop: 24.2 MPG
  • Energy Impact: 16.3 Barrels Oil/Yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 8.7 Tons/Yr