The Acura RSX is a 2-door hatchback that was initially released for the 2002 model year. Serving as Acura's entry-level vehicle, the RSX replaced the Acura Integra within the luxury brand's lineup. The vehicle was discontinued following the 2006 model year. During its production run, the vehicle competed directly with such vehicles as the Nissan 350Z, Mitsubishi Eclipse and Pontiac GTO. In Japan, the RSX is known as the Honda Integra DC5.
Acura RSX Styling
The Acura RSX was built on Honda's FF layout, which has also been used for the Acura EL, Acura CSX, Honda Civic, Honda CR-V and Honda Element. The 2-door exterior design boasted a sporty design and sleek styling. Inside, advanced luxury features delivered a refined environment. Maximum seating capacity for the vehicle was four. However, like most hatchback vehicles, the rear seat was noticeably cramped.
Acura RSX Features
The base Acura RSX came standard with a variety of notable features, including air conditioning with automatic climate control, interior air filter, leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, heated power mirrors, power windows, power locks, split folding rear seat, remote keyless entry, stereo system with CD player, power sunroof, rear wiper with washer and 16-inch alloy wheels. In terms of performance, the base Acura RSX included a 2.0-liter DOHC engine that delivered 155 horsepower and 139 lb-ft. of torque. A 5-speed manual transmission and 5-speed automatic transmission were both available. The manual option delivered EPA-estimated fuel efficiency of 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. The automatic offered 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.
Acura RSX Type-S
The Acura RSX Type-S was the only available trim upgrade for the vehicle. This sportier, more luxurious model added such amenities as leather seating, high-end stereo with 6-disc in-dash CD changer, rear spoiler, sport suspension and 17-inch alloy wheels. The Type-S also boasted more power under the hood. Its 2.0-liter DOHC inline-4 engine was tuned to deliver up to 210 horsepower and 142 lb-ft. of torque. This more aggressive engine was mated to a 6-speed manual transmission that delivered 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
Acura RSX Safety
Standard safety features for the RSX included dual front airbags, front side airbags and 4-wheel antilock disc brakes. In NHTSA government crash tests, the RSX hatchback received a perfect 5-star rating in the categories of driver and passenger front impact. A 4-star rating was awarded in the categories of rollover resistance and driver side impact.
Used Acura RSX
The Acura RSX remains a popular used vehicle option for those seeking an affordable, performance-oriented hatchback. Minor year-to-year changes make any Acura RSX a solid buy. However, the 2005 and 2006 models featured minor performance upgrades that improved suspension, cornering and horsepower (from 200 hp to 210 hp). Known trouble spots associated with used Acura RSX's include a faulty variable valve timing control valve, leaking clutch fluid, unpleasant exhaust odors and steering noise.