If you're in the market for a sporty luxury sedan, there's no shortage of choices. It seems to be a battle of Japan vs. Germany, as a vast majority of the vehicles comprising the segment stem from these two countries. Take a look at the German offerings such as BMW and Audi, and you'll quickly see that maintenance costs can quickly add up as part of a much higher cost of ownership. You want the best value for your hard-earned money, yet still want to treat yourself to the comfort and amenities that luxury sedans have to offer. So what do you choose? The 2012 Acura TSX is proving itself to be a worthy choice, and David McDavid Acura Plano has the details.
When beginning the search for a new vehicle, many luxury sedan buyers instinctively think Lexus. Among the sportiest of Lexus vehicles is the smallest and most affordable model in the range, the IS. But Lexus has a worthy competitor in the 2012 Acura TSX, Acura's entry into the small and sporty luxury sedan segment. With the TSX, it's clear Acura is gunning for the best vehicle in this hotly contested segment, but how can it compete with the benchmark Lexus? The results are shocking to say the least.
Even though you're in the market for a luxury car, that doesn't mean you have to spend your entire life savings to get the perfect car. Instead, you need value, and you'll be happy to know that the 2012 Acura TSX starts at only $29,810 before destination charges. Under 30 grand for a top-quality luxury car? This isn't a joke. By now, you've also probably figured out the Lexus IS 250 RWD starts at a substantially higher price at $33,595 before destination. So what exactly do these prices get you?
For starters, that price of entry gets you a 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty on both cars as well as a 6 year/70,000 mile powertrain warranty. The powertrain options, however, are where the differences become clear. While the IS 250 features a standard 2.5-liter V6 engine option, the Acura TSX breaks the mold and sports a standard i-VTEC 2.4-liter four cylinder engine. Why is this a good thing? Acura hasn't skimped on refinement of its engine, so it's ultra-smooth and still produces an impressive 201 horsepower. Compared to the Lexus IS 250's 204 horsepower, there is no difference behind the wheel except that you're feeding two less cylinders—which ultimately means you'll pay less at the pump.
While on the subject, the TSX bests the IS 250's fuel economy ratings with a figure of 22 miles per gallon city/31 miles per gallon highway. Not bad for a sporty luxury sedan. Keep in mind that the Lexus features standard rear-wheel drive, while the Acura boasts a front-wheel drive system. Why is this important? Rear-wheel drive, as compared to Acura's front-wheel drive, is less efficient, less stable in poor weather, and takes up more space. Advantage: Acura.
Even though you want a healthy dose of sportiness in your new car, you want an equal dose of comfort. Now this is where it really gets interesting. Lexus, long considered the benchmark for luxury vehicles, can't hold a candle to the Acura TSX when it comes to interior roominess. The Acura proudly trumps the Lexus IS in every interior dimension except front legroom, a marginal difference. A large trunk is also of importance for a sedan buyer, and the TSX's 14.0 cubic foot unit is also larger than the IS 250's 13.3 cubic foot trunk.
Then there are the actual features and creature comforts. HID headlamps, vastly improving visibility, and therefore safety, come standard on the Acura TSX, yet are an option on the IS even though the Lexus costs more to begin with. Although both vehicles include leather seating as standard, heating those chairs is a standard equipment affair in the Acura, while Lexus owners should be prepared to shell out even more money. While both vehicles include many of the luxuries you've come to expect such as automatic climate control and Bluetooth® connectivity, the Acura TSX is the clear winner when it comes to overall luxury value.
Both the Acura TSX and Lexus IS 250 are available with more powerful V6 engines (the optional V6 in the IS changes the name to IS 350). Also, both can have either an automatic or manual transmission (even though the automatic costs extra in the IS 250, while standard on the TSX). However, the difference between the two vehicles is a night-and-day contrast. You want a true luxury car, yet you don't want a vehicle expensive enough to take out second mortgage on the house? Move over, Lexus. With a stellar combination of roominess, amenities, power, and efficiency, the 2012 Acura TSX is the vehicle for you. Visit David McDavid Acura of Plano to try one out for yourself.