It’s been a number of years since I last drove a Mazda6 – well when I say the 6, I really mean the awesome MazdaSpeed6. For the 2010 model year Mazda re-designed the 6, making it bigger in every dimension and I have to say it’s better looking too. Unfortunately, after spending a week with the Mazda6, it left this writer indifferent. The mid-sized sedan segment of the automotive landscape is the toughest area to do battle, so a car has to not only look good, but it has to excel in order to get noticed. I was really looking forward to driving the Mazda6 GT, but perhaps because it was in non-descript Silver, I never really felt myself looking forward to driving it or excited about having it sitting in the driveway.
The TSX is the entry-level car in Acura’s stable in the U.S (in Canada the CSX is the entry-level Acura). Based on the smaller European Honda Accord, the TSX promises to be sporty, as well as good value for money in the sub-luxury department. Considering the TSX is up against the likes of the BMW 3-series and the Audi A4, it’s competing in a very cut-throat part of the food chain. As is customary of Acura, the TSX is thousands of dollars cheaper than the car/vehicle it’s up against in the marketplace. Acura have a knack of pricing themselves just between two levels of near-luxury or luxury vehicles and the TSX is no different. Sometimes the Acura is a bargain, and sometimes it’s over-reaching. Which one is the TSX? I’ve been waiting a while to drive the TSX and it was worth the wait…sort of. One downside was that I waited so long the all-new 2009 TSX came out shortly after I test drove this one – oh well.
Last fall I had the opportunity to drive the Mazda6 hatchback, and it remained one of my favorite cars – until I drove the MAZDASPEED6! However, it has one big flaw in my opinion. If you’re a regular reader you already know that I prefer the versatility of a hatchback over a sedan, so to me, it’s extremely unfortunate that the MAZDASPEED6 isn’t available in a hatchback version. Nevertheless, the MAZDASPEED6 is an incredible car – think of it as an RX-8 for families.
Based on the present-generation Honda Civic, the Acura CSX is made in Canada for Canadians. Why Honda chose to design and build an entry-level Acura just for the Canadian market doesn’t make much sense to me, but who am I to question one of the most successful automotive companies in the world? Perhaps Acura wanted a car that was priced between the Honda Accord and the up-coming Acura TSX. I first drove the Canada-only Acura CSX back in December 2005. I sampled the 5-speed manual as well as the paddle-shift automatic in the middle of a snow storm, but came away thoroughly impressed by Acura’s entry-level cars. When I found out there was a Type S version available I just had to book one for a week to put it through its paces in the middle of summer.