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Honda Modifies 2009 TSX to Reduce Power and Emissions and Increase Fuel Economy

For the upcoming second-generation 2009 Acura TSX sports sedan, Honda has modified the 2.4-liter engine with a resultant slight reduction in horsepower, an increase in torque, and a slight increase in fuel economy. The vehicle is also cleaner, meeting the Tier 2-Bin 5 and CARB LEV II Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standards for the first time in TSX history.

An all-aluminum DOHC i-VTEC in-line 4-cylinder 2.4-liter engine features a pair of firsts for the TSX model: dual balance shafts and a direct ignition system. Producing 201 hp (150 kW) and 172 lb-ft (233 Nm) of torque (with manual transmission), the new engine produces its usable power across a much wider rpm range, while the 5% more torque further strengthens the engine’s pulling power at middle rpm levels. This allows the 2009 TSX to be more responsive off the line and out of corners, and stronger in the middle of the rpm range where the engine operates most of the time.

This newfound performance and flexibility is due in part to a higher compression ratio, revised valve timing, and improved intake and exhaust gas flow. A new rear-mounted exhaust manifold layout, a close-coupled catalytic converter design, and a Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system substantially reduce emissions levels. Estimated fuel economy is 21/30/24 mpg (city/highway/combined, 5 AT) and 20/28/23 mpg (city/highway/combined, 6 MT).

By comparison, the 2008 TSX, with a 205 hp 2.4-liter engine, has fuel economy ratings of 20/28/23 (city/highway/combined, 5AT) and 19/28/22 (city/highway/combined, 6MT).

(A hat-tip to Bob!)



It's rare for lower power engines to be introduced. Hopefully more companies will feel that they can successfully market engines with improved economy even if they have lower power.

It's rare for lower power engines to be introduced.
What does lower power really mean. What percentage of Americans knows the difference between torque and horsepower? What percentage could tell the difference between torque and horsepower by driving experience?
Charles S

I believe that many Americans do look at horsepower when comparing vehicles; that is just what US car buyers do. However, I also believe that more and more people are weighing fuel usage as part of the decision process. I personally believe that people will still chose horsepower over fuel economy, especially when it comes to luxury performance like the TSX. It's a good start, but I don't think it's going to be a national trend.


My neighbor said he chose a minivan by comparing HP number between the brands and models. The decision was simple for him. Whichever minivan had the most HP was the one he bought. THIS is the problem the world is facing.


People are always going to want more power from their vehicles, but this can be an opportunity for hybrids. Marketing can't stop people from wanting power, but it can change their perception of power from horsepower to torque. That's where hybrids and diesels can have an advantage, throw in high gas mileage and it will sell.

Smaller cars with next to no power are undesirable for a lot of people, myself included. Going down that road isn't as good a plan as using new technology to solve the fuel/pollution problems while keeping power at an acceptable level.


A more useful way to measure cars would be "journey time" or "legal journey time" rather than power.

You would find very little correlation with power.

And yet, journey time is what really matters.

The deepness of the engine note is something the stereo could supply.

You would just have to get over the HP number.


Time from zero to sixty MPH provides a nice composite of torque and horsepower in the driving range. The lower the time, the more the "power." I expect the new engine is actually more "powerful" if measured by this metric.


Performance may be a better metric. People want cars with zip. Unless they are towing, they just want it to have pep. If you can give them a clean hybrid that weighs less and goes real well, they might just be interested.



Lower power as in this engine has LOWER power than the previous engine.

Not lower power as in "this engine, compared to the field of cars in which this vehicle competes, is a lower power engine".


Van,'d probably be better off using 1/4 mile times and speeds for comparison.

In any case, I personally look at fuel consumption first, safety ratings second, braking & handling third, then power and finally reliability. I really don't look at standard equipment as anything other than a way to squeeze more dollars out of me by the dealership.

Jesse 67

Good move by honda, with this renewed hp race many vehicles are ending up with high hp at high rpms (turbos aside) where joe blow in his minivan will rarely venture. Changes like this that improve engine response will make a vehicle feel faster and the corresponding increase in efficiency at lower rpms gets you better fuel economy to boot. I'm sure that very few of the people who bought their vehicles based on hp actually use that power even occasionally. When is the last time you had your car engine at its max hp rpm? On most vehicles with 4valves per cylinder, dual overhead cams etc the sound from the engine at 5000+ rpm is enough to make most people back off, not to mention the gas it uses.


Yesterday, after work when I merged onto the highway. People on the highway were not inclined to let me on so I had to use full throttle to get into the one space open enough to safely merge into.

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