Sunday, March 11, 2012

Used Car Review: 2005 Acura RSX Type-S

I've been looking into buying a new car and getting out of my boring family sedan.  One car that I've been eyeing for a very long time is the new 2014 Scion FR-S and its twin, the Subaru BRZ.  They're not available to test drive and buying new is killer when it comes to depreciation.  Ideally, I'd like to buy a used example of a later year of the car (like buying a used 2016 model in 2019). 

But 7 years is a long time to wait while driving my automatic family sedan, so I decided it might be a good idea just to get a used car that is similar to the FR-S/BRZ and drive it out while waiting for more information about reliability and residual value for the FR-S/BRZ.  I compiled a list of candidates for the job and came down to just a few models.  One of those was the 2005-2006 Acura RSX Type-S. 

The Acura RSX Type-S (also called the Honda Integra DC5) is a front-wheel drive coupe with about 210 horsepower, powered by the famous inline-4 cylinder K-series motors, the K20.  At around 2840 lbs, the power and weight seemed to match well with the upcoming FR-S/BRZ on paper, except for the front wheel driveness.  The fuel economy estimates are also very similar.  So, how was this 6-year old car that was widely regarded as the best sport-compact available in the US (at the time of its release)?

I test drove a 2005 RSX Type-S in Jade Green Metallic, the color seen above.  While there are about 10 exterior color choices, there's only 2 colors of interiors:  ebony (black) and titanium (beige).  Type-S models only have leather interiors.  Each exterior color has a corresponding interior color.  The Jade Green Metallic exterior color can only have a titanium interior. 

You've probably read plenty of reviews of this car so I'm going to keep it concise: 

Pros:  very refined interior that is screwed together well with little to no rattles.  Power delivery is smooth.  Transmission is easy to shift and gears are close for maximum fun.  Great amount of cargo space and cabin room (for front passengers)

Cons:  somewhat numb and heavy steering (relative to something like a Miata).  Doesn't communicate road feel as well as I'd like.  High road noise. 

The RSX Type-S is a great car.  Its a compromise when it comes to its sportiness though.  If you just want a sporty car with great refinement and utility, its awesome.  But for me, it just falls through when it comes to being completely dialed in and connected to the drive. 

The seller was asking $12,800 and the car needed an alignment and he had a small fender bender in the front bumper.  It seemed otherwise mechanically sound.  It was 100% stock.  I'm aiming for $10,000

What do you, the readers, think?

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