Acura family tree branches out with new CSX

The Acura CSX is based on the Honda Civic with notable differences like a more performance-oriented appeal and improved visual presence.


Many luxury carmakers have added more affordable models to their lineups and Acura is no different.

Enter the CSX, a homegrown, Canada-only model built at Honda’s assembly plant in Alliston, northwest of Toronto. It is based on the Honda Civic, a great starting point, and though there are similarities between the two models, there are also many notable differences.

Perhaps the biggest is the CSX’s engine, the same 2.0-litre 4-cylinder mill found in Acura’s sporty RSX coupe. The lightweight, aluminum engine delivers 155 hp — 15 more ponies than the 1.8-litre unit found in the Civic.

Power gets to the pavement through a new 5-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automatic with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The standard manual gearbox has close ratios and a short shift lever, which makes running up and down the notches quick and enjoyable. The automatic does an excellent job, too.

Though you might, at first glance, have difficulty distinguishing the CSX from its Civic cousin, the Acura family genes are evident with the same sleek upper bodylines, trademark grille and round taillamps. The overall package has a more performance-oriented appeal and improved visual presence. It’s not flashy, but it looks upscale.

All CSXs come standard with CD/stereo with MP3 compatibility and power windows, mirrors and locks.

If you’ve sat in a Civic then the CSX’s interior will probably seem familiar. Behind the raked windshield, the gauges are displayed in a bi-level design with a digital speedometer up top and additional readouts for outside temperature, odometer and tachometer below. The cabin is nicely lit throughout with blue and white illumination. Combined with metallic accents and dark upholstery, the cabin feels like a trendy downtown lounge.

Though power operated seats and lumbar adjustment aren’t available, the front seats are comfortable and supportive, with manual height adjustment for the driver’s side. With the standard tilt and telescoping steering wheel it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position.

Back seat riders will find the rear bench comfortable, with ample legroom for all three passengers.

The CSX Touring starts at $25,990, Premium trim at $28,200 and the performance-oriented Type S carries a $33,400 sticker. A navigation system with bilingual voice recognition can be added for a grand total of $31,900.

All CSX’s come standard with automatic climate control, cruise control, leather steering wheel, speed sensitive volume control, CD/stereo with MP3 compatibility and power windows, mirrors and locks.

The Premium model adds niceties like a sunroof, high intensity discharge headlights, heated seats, leather upholstery and an in-dash, 6-disc CD changer.

Honda’s commitment to safety extends throughout the automaker’s fleet and the CSX also benefits with standard 4-channel anti-lock brakes, six airbags and active head restraints to prevent whiplash injuries.

Though some competitors have more power than the CSX, they also have bigger price tags. With an even blend of comfort, sport and luxury backed by Honda’s reputation for reliability, not to mention its low starting price, Acura’s "gateway" product is a great way to get your foot in the luxury door.

2007 Acura CSX

  • Type: Compact 4-door sedan

  • Price: $25,990 - $33,400

  • Engine: 2.0-litre L4 DOHC

  • Horsepower: 155 @ 6000 rpm

  • Torque (lb-ft): 139 @ 4500 rpm

  • Highlights: Powerful performance, slick automatic transmission, comfy cabin, lots of standard equipment.

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