Everything Acura Fans Should Know About The RSX

Everything Acura Fans Should Know About The RSX
A Blue Acura RSX Parked On The Street

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The short-lived but fondly remembered Acura RSX featured sporty style and performance in an attractive 2-door coupe. Acura is a luxury off-shoot of the Japanese automaker Honda and was introduced in 1986 as the first attempt to connect Americans with Japanese luxury cars. As the Integra ended its run in 2001, Acura introduced the RSX the following year. In its last production year in 2006, the RSX only sold 16,996 units and was discontinued, according to Good Car Bad Car.

However, the sporty coupe from Acura can still fetch prices of just under $23,000 today with collectors. There were plenty of things to like with the RSX, like its upscale interior, zippy acceleration, sticky cornering, and reliable performance. You could equip a 2.0-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine that was capable of 210 hp and a 0-60 time in under seven seconds. But it also had some aspects that detracted from its slick looks and capability, like its elevated price tag and heavier weight. While widely considered a dependable car, the RSX still isn’t among the most reliable Acura models ever made.

It launched at the wrong time

A red Acura RSX on stage at a car show

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One of the most significant developments of the early 2000s was the surge in SUV sales that swept the U.S. The public decided to move away from smaller coupes and instead adopt larger, off-road capable vehicles with expansive cargo space. This left the Acura RSX is a strange bind, because similar sporty coups had been increasingly popular in the decades before. The era of sporty compact cars dominating the industry had come to an unceremonious end.

Fortunately, both nostalgic millennials and curious Generation Zers are taking a renewed interest in the underrated RSX. The RSX Type-S is particularly popular because it offered the more powerful 210-hp engine with higher revving RPMs, as well as features like an enhanced suspension system, more robust sway bars, ventilated disc brakes, and a prominent rear spoiler. The Type-S also featured a manual transmission with an additional sixth gear, which comes in handy at highway speeds. Fans and collectors could argue that it deserves to be mentioned along with the other awesome sports cars of the ’90s.  

It holds up against today’s cars

There are many older vehicles that, while classic for their time, don’t offer anywhere near the features of modern cars. This isn’t the case for the Acura RSX, as it featured a luxurious interior and engine technology ahead of its time. For example, RSX offered perforated leather seats and Bose audio systems on select models. All trims included 50/50 split-folding seats, built-in storage compartments, track-inspired analog gauges, and an automatic climate system. Some of these features are common in today’s cars, showing the RSX was ahead of its time.

This Acura was also the first to introduce the i-VTEC engine, which Honda had developed with intelligent valve control technology with the goal of producing more power from a smaller engine. This new valve control system offered enhanced power with better efficiency. The i-VTEC can continuously adjust various components, like the intake camshaft’s position, to optimize engine output.

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