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.
Like clockwork Hyundai introduces a new Elantra every four years. With each new model the appearance changes significantly, as do quality levels and size. The fourth-generation Elantra is no different – it’s bigger than not only the previous generation, but also bigger inside than all of its competition. According to Hyundai its interior space is bigger than the Honda Civic, the Toyota Corolla and even the Acura TL. It’s so roomy the EPA has classified it as a mid-sized car – think Camry, Accord etc. with the price-point of a compact. When I booked the Elantra for a road test I was only interested in the manual transmission, however I was convinced to test the automatic for a week as well. During previous automatic versus manual comparison runs I’ve found the vehicles to be substantially different vehicles, so with that said, this week’s Road Test is another two for one review.
Mitsubishi cars and trucks are probably the most under-rated vehicles in North America. They’ve been with us since the 70’s either as a Mitsubishi, or some form of re-badged Chrysler product. I owned a couple of Dodge (Mitsubishi) Colts back in the early ‘90’s and they were great cars – unbreakable and extremely reliable. They needed only 3 things to keep them going: gas, oil and a key. They were reasonably priced, great on gas, and never once went back to the dealership for anything other than an oil change.
After driving SUV’s over the past several weeks, it was great to finally get into a sporty car. This week’s Road Test is the Mazda6 Sport Hatchback, the 5-door version of the popular sedan. I haven’t seen too many Sports around, but I’ve seen plenty of the sedans. I think the hatchback version is much better looking than the 4 door sedan, and hatchbacks make more sense to me – why get a car with a trunk when you can get all the benefits of a hatch?