Value judgment

<p>In today’s cost-conscious climate, many upscale automakers have added a more affordable model to their lineups and, in that respect, Acura is no different.</p>

 

Acura CSX delivers more


 

 

Though you might 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.

 




In today’s cost-conscious climate, many upscale automakers have added a more affordable model to their lineups and, in that respect, Acura is no different.





Consider the CSX. It is based on the Honda Civic, a great starting point, and though there are similarities between the two, there are also many notable differences. The biggest is the CSX’s engine, the same 2.0-litre 4-cylinder unit found in Acura’s sporty RSX coupe. This lightweight, aluminum engine delivers 155 hp — 15 more ponies than the 1.8-litre motor found in the Civic.





Power gets to the pavement through a standard 5-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automatic with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The standard manual gearbox has short shift throws, which makes running through the gears 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.





If you’ve sat in a Civic then the CSX’s interior will seem familiar. Behind the sharply 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 — enhanced by the standard tilt/slide moonroof.





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 60/40-split, fold-down rear bench comfortable, with ample legroom for all three passengers.





The CSX starts at $26,990 (add $1,300 if you opt for an automatic transmission). A mid-range CSX Tech starts at $29,990 and adds an upgraded sound system, navigation system, HID headlamps, fog lights and XM Satellite Radio to the base CSX’s lengthy standard equipment list. A sportier Type S carries a $33,400 sticker and brings extras such as 17-inch wheels shod with 215/45 tires (16-inch alloys on the others), red ambient cabin lighting, navigation system, a 6-speed manual gearbox and a seven speaker 350-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 premium sound system.





Though some rivals have more power than the CSX, they also have steeper price tags. With an even blend of comfort, sport and luxury Acura’s “entry-level” product is a great way to indulge in a taste of the luxury life.















2008 Acura CSX



  • Type: Compact 5-pass. sedan FWD



  • Price: $26,990 – $33,400



  • Engine: 2.0-litre L4 DOHC



  • HP: 155 @ 6,000 rpm



  • Torque: 139 @ 4,500 rpm




Highlights:




  • Powerful performance



  • Slick automatic transmission



  • Lots of standard equipment



 
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