Acura Automobiles: 2012 Acura TSX


The 2012 TSX reflects Acura’s advanced design direction. Forceful and muscular but at the same time sleek and elegant, the revised styling clearly sets the tone for the TSX’s driving dynamics- agile and invigorating for performance oriented drivers, yet quiet and comfortable for those with luxury intentions.


The 2012 Acura TSX’s body design represents the latest direction in Acura styling. The TSX was styled in Acura’s Wako design studio (located just outside Tokyo, Japan) and is assembled at the Sayama Factory in Japan.

Advanced aerodynamic treatments such as inside frame rails, new (larger) underbody air deflectors, a redesigned chin spoiler and a chiseled aerodynamic body shape help the TSX move with a minimum of drag- thereby reducing fuel consumption and lowering emissions output, while simultaneously enhancing interior quietness and high-speed dynamic stability.

The TSX’s dynamic styling is designed to appeal to a wide range of customers. These customers lead an active lifestyle, and often participate in outdoor activities. Thus, they want a vehicle that reflects their passion for performance and athleticism while also supporting their active social lifestyle with roomy, comfortable seating for five. Of special note, now with 66.2 cubic feet of cargo area (up 5.7 cubic feet as compared to the 2011 model), the TSX Sport Wagon offers exceptional utility for owners who lead an active lifestyle. With the added cargo space, for 2012 the TSX Sport Wagon is now the leader in rear cargo area as compared to the competitors in its class.

New for 2012 is the TSX Special Edition package that consists of exterior including a more aggressive front spoiler, a new rear bumper fascia, unique side sills and an exclusive “Special Edition” badge on the trunklid. In addition, the TSX’s 17×7.5-inch, 5-spoke aluminum wheels feature a polished finish with dark grey background, unique to the Special Edition model.


The TSX features Acura’s signature design language known as Keen Edge Styling. In keeping with this styling language, Acura designers infused crisp, dynamic design elements into the exterior design of the TSX. Additionally, the TSX’s aerodynamic design evokes both emotion and tension with a decisively sporty flair- as if a solid piece of billet material was shaped with a sharp knife.

Sharp contour lines run alongside the body and connect the front and rear of the new car together in a strong, windswept line that promises both agility and performance. Bold wheel arches that frame the refinished five-spoke, 17-inch aluminum wheels (TSX I-4) or split five-spoke, 18-inch aluminum wheels (TSX V-6) emphasize strength and muscularity. Chrome door handles and chrome trim surrounding the side windows adds a look of substance and quality.

In back, updated taillights compliment large turn signals at the outside edges of the trunk lid. Although similar in look, the TSX Sport Wagon uses unique taillights. Twin reflectors are low-mounted on the rear fascia near the 3.2-inch diameter exhaust finishers.


The body width for the 2012 TSX is a full three inches wider than the previous-generation TSX. This increase, along with the 2.6-inch wider track and the 1.4-inch longer wheelbase, considerably improves interior roominess. There is a dynamic upside to the wider track: enhanced handling agility and stability. The seating position is also 0.4-inch lower than in the previous generation TSX, offering increased headroom and helping to create a sportier driving experience.


To improve the field of view for the driver, the TSX has exceptionally thin A-pillars which permit a broader field of forward view without compromising structural strength. At 4.2 inches wide in their interior dimension, the A-pillars are an inch narrower than the previous TSX A-pillars. The use of thin A-pillars allows for best in class outward frontal field of view.


The TSX uses a strengthened roof section designed to significantly reduce flexing and vibration, resulting in less noise in the passenger compartment. Whereas the roof section on the previous TSX used open-channel stiffeners, the 2012 TSX’s roof section uses two closed-channel crossbeams that help create a structure that is highly resistant to flexing and vibration.

The installation method of the roof structure is unique as well. With the previous TSX, the roof panel and its open-channel stiffeners were welded onto the rest of the unit body as a unit. With the 2012 TSX, the roof frame assembly is first welded in place without the roof panel, allowing full access to the ideal welding locations. The roof panel itself is then attached. This process creates stronger joints and a stiffer overall roof and body structure- 35 percent greater rigidity in front and 20 percent greater rigidity in back. The end result for the TSX owner is markedly decreased noise and vibration inside the car.

In addition, the TSX Sport Wagon incorporates a unique high-rigidity rear body structure with a special hoop-style cross section. This robust build design is lightweight yet provides excellent body strength (for impressive handling performance) along with good crash safety.


The TSX uses an internal frame rail system for reduced aerodynamic turbulence and drag. In addition by positioning the stamped steel frame rails above the floor of the passenger compartment (instead of below it) the bottom of the vehicle can be made much flatter resulting in a quieter ride at highway speeds.


Careful attention to airflow management helps increase fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and improve stability at higher speeds and in strong crosswinds. Visible elements of the TSX’s aerodynamically efficient body design include flush mounted headlights, hidden windshield wipers and flush mounted side and rear glass.

Underbody aerodynamic aids include:

  • A short, wide wickerbill underneath the front fascia helps separate the airflow and allows it to move underneath the engine and transmission with less drag.
  • A large aluminum and plastic undercover further improves airflow beneath the engine and transmission.
  • Exceptionally long underbody covers smooth under-car airflow while simultaneously helping to dampen road and wind noise within the interior.
  • A pair of deep air “strakes” are located in front of the front tires to help air flow efficiently around the tires.
  • A pair of covers located in front of the rear suspension subframe help improve airflow.


The TSX make use of extensive insulation features to reduce the interior sound level. Four separate strategies are employed:

  • A thorough insulation package including melt sheet is applied to lower unit body areas.
  • The floor carpet provides sound absorption and insulation to markedly reduce road noise in the passenger compartment.
  • Floating front and rear suspension subframes are rubber mounted to reduce road and suspension noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
  • A, B and C-pillar separators are also used.


In vehicles, generally the A-, B- and C-pillars that extend vertically from the floor of the vehicle to the roofline are hollow, which can transmit road and wind noise into the passenger compartment. The TSX pillars are sealed internally, dramatically reducing the transmission of noise and vibration.


Acura has always put much emphasis on building an interior that is exceptionally quiet, and for 2012 the TSX cabin is exceptionally serene thanks to items such as an acoustic glass front windshield, thick side glass and plentiful use of sound-deadening insulation.

A comprehensive series of features dramatically reduces audible wind noise inside the TSX – especially at higher speeds or in windy conditions.

Wind noise reduction measures include:

  • Inside frame rail system positions structural frame rails above the floor rather than below it. This smoothes the bottom of the vehicle for reduced air turbulence.
  • A series of underbody covers controls airflow underneath the car and around the front and rear tires.
  • A windshield that makes use of acoustic glass.
  • Windshield wipers and arms positioned below the hood line.
  • Thick side window glass
  • Flush-mounted side window and moonroof moldings reduce air turbulence.
  • Exterior mirror housings are aerodynamically shaped to reduce turbulence.


Special acoustic glass is used on the 2012 TSX windshield to help reduce noise entering the cabin. Tuned specifically to attenuate wind-noise frequencies, the unique windshield uses two layers of 2 mm safety glass with an in-between layer of a transparent elastic acoustic membrane for a total thickness of 4.7 mm. The acoustic windshield (in conjunction with 4 mm thick side windows) helps position the TSX at the top of its class in wind-noise performance.


The TSX features 4.0 mm thick glass for the side windows (previous thickness was 3.1 mm) and all exterior window glass on the TSX has a special UV-resistant coating that helps reduce interior temperatures, lessens glare, and helps protect the leather and other surfaces inside the vehicle from fading.


The 2012 TSX uses projector-style Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) low beam headlights and 60-watt halogen high beams. In addition, the rear taillights incorporate a bright array of incandescent bulbs that illuminate in conjunction with a Center High Mounted Stop Light (CHMSL). Front bumper-integrated fog lamps are standard equipment on the TSX.


A range of seven exterior colors (including a choice of four pearl and three metallic colors) are designed to compliment the TSX sedan’s sporty styling. Body colors are applied with a waterborne paint process to reduce environmental impact and waste.


The TSX features a power sliding moonroof that is flush mounted to reduce wind noise. A pop-up wind deflector reduces turbulence and noise when the moonroof is open. In addition, an inner panel further reduces noise from entering the passenger compartment when the moonroof is closed.

For ease of operation, a one-touch switch is mounted on the ceiling just ahead of the moonroof. The switch controls open/close as well as tilt functions. The moonroof also features an auto-reverse feature for safety and may be operated after the ignition is turned off (until the driver’s door is opened).


The 2012 TSX is equipped with both driver- and front passenger-side power operated auto-function up/down windows. With a light touch of the window switch, the side windows will either lower all the way or rise all the way. An auto-reverse feature reduces the likelihood of injury in the event that a passenger’s hand or arm is extended out the window while it is closing.


The TSX’s passenger-side exterior rearview mirror features a power-activated Reverse gear tilt-down feature. When Reverse gear is engaged, the passenger side mirror automatically tilts downward to provide an improved view of curbs or painted lines. If desired, the tilt-down feature can be disabled. The exterior mirrors are also heated to improve rear visibility in foggy or icy conditions, and feature a special tint to reduce glare. The mirror housings are designed for good aerodynamics and incorporate turn indicators at the outer edges of the housings.


The TSX’s fuel-filler door locks and unlocks automatically along with the doors. By eliminating the need to reach for the traditional floor-mounted cable release, the system simplifies the process of refueling the car. As long as the driver’s door is unlocked, opening the fuel-filler door is as simple as gently pushing on the rear edge of the door to release its latch. Latching the door requires a gentle push.


To provide a more finished interior appearance, an attractive metal garnish covers the inside edges of front and rear door ends except for the door latch (and the child safety locks on the rear doors). This improves the visual appeal of the doors when they are open.


The TSX sedan features a wide and usable trunk that makes loading bulky or heavy items easy. Widely spaced trunk lid hinges provide greater clearance, and when closed, the hinges disappear into slots in the finished trunk lining that do not intrude on cargo space. Plus, the hidden hinge design improves trunk aesthetics and gives a more high-quality feel. The fully lined and illuminated trunk can accommodate a wide range of cargo, including four golf bags or four Pullman-style suitcases.

Trunk Opener

The TSX sedan’s trunk latch may be released with the remote transmitter built into the folding ignition key, via a pushbutton on the trunk lid rear fascia (when the doors are unlocked) or by pushing a button located on the driver’s inside door panel. An emergency cable release is available in case the TSX battery should ever run down.

TSX Sport Wagon rear cargo area

The TSX Sport Sedan features an even greater level of utility than with the TSX sedan. Besides offering a generous 60.5 cu-ft of rear cargo area (with rear seats folded down), the wagon’s rear opening height of approximately 28-inches allows for the stowage of bulky items such as large boxes, furniture, bicycles, four full-size golf bags and even surfboards. In addition, the Sport wagon features four hidden compartments for out-of-sight storage. With a low lift-over height of about 24-inches, loading heavy items is simplified.


A line of Acura Genuine Accessories was developed simultaneously with the TSX to provide personalization for the Acura client. Like all Acura Genuine Accessories, the TSX accessories are covered by a 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty if installed at the time of original vehicle purchase.

Exterior Accessories

  • 18-inch diameter 10-spoke chrome-look aluminum wheels (with integrated TPMS sensors)
  • Wheel locks
  • Sport Package including front bumper, side sills and rear bumper (available painted in factory TSX colors) and 18-inch diameter 10-spoke chrome-look aluminum wheels (with integrated TPMS sensors)
  • Sport underbody kit
  • Rear bumper appliqué (provides scratch protection when loading trunk cargo)
  • Rear deck lid spoiler (available painted in factory TSX colors)
  • Wing spoiler (available painted in factory TSX colors)
  • Front and rear splash guards (available painted in factory TSX colors)
  • Body side protection molding (available painted in factory TSX colors)
  • Door edge film
  • Car cover
  • Nosemask
  • Moon roof visor
  • Door visor (not legal in all states)
  • Back-up sensors (audible sensors aid backing up)
  • Engine block heater (V-6 only)
  • Remote engine starter

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