2006 RSX New Car Test Drive
The Acura RSX receives many upgrades for 2005, and while no one change is particularly significant, together they add up to a car that is considerably improved over last year's model.
The previous-generation Integra helped establish the current trend of import tuners. Introduced in 2002, the RSX took the Integra's place as Acura's front-wheel-drive sport coupe. The RSX has lost some of its edge competing against the high-performance Subaru WRX, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, and Dodge SRT-4. All can be had for roughly the same money, and offer significant performance advantages.
What the RSX has to offer is the luxury, refinement and prestige of an Acura.
Build quality and fit and finish are excellent. The RSX looks aggressive, and mild styling revisions for 2005 enhance its crisp, clean lines. Its cabin is nicely trimmed. It's oriented around the driver, with excellent seats and convenient storage. The standard RSX is fun to drive, particularly when equipped with the manual transmission. The Type-S is a lot more fun, with a sweet-sounding engine that revs to 8100 rpm. Updates to the 2005 Acura RSX Type-S help it regain ground in the hotly contested market of young, upwardly mobile enthusiasts.
The 2005 Acura RSX is available in two trim levels. The base model ($20,175) comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 160 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque. It comes with 16-inch wheels and tires, cloth upholstery, a five-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic. Leather is optional ($1,075).
The RSX Type-S ($23,570) raises the bar to 210 horsepower (up from 200 last year) and 143 pound-feet of torque from its version of the same 2.0-liter engine. Type-S comes with leather, a six-speed manual with no automatic option, and 17-inch wheels and tires.
Both RSX models have only a handful of options to clutter the buying process. Power door locks, automatic climate control, an anti-theft system with remote entry, tilt steering wheel and a glass moonroof are standard across the board. It also comes standard with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heat-rejecting window glass and premium audio systems: a six-speaker in-dash CD player on the RSX and a seven-speaker Acura/Bose 6CD in-dash changer on the Type-S.
An additional performance package is available for both models. Called A-Spec, this dealer-installed option includes a four-piece aero kit, a big wing, even stiffer springs, and special wheels with high-performance 17-inch tires. New to the package for 2005 are upgraded brakes, with slotted rotors and better pads.