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Thread: Test Drive: 2005 Acura RSX Type S

  1. #1
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    Default Test Drive: 2005 Acura RSX Type S

    An Unbiased Review By Skyline_Addict.

    This time, I decided to take an 05' Acura RSX-S for a spin (owned by A2VR6). Asian_Caucasian also did so, so you might be hearing from him as well.

    While styling issues with the new RSXs are often debated, I believe that Honda has made subtle but effective styling cues to the new RSX. A2VR6's RSX came with clean yet presentable flushmount spoiler and beautiful 5 spoke 17" rims. The tailights, in my opinion look much better than previous and the overall aura of the car is that of both greater luxury as well as sportiness.

    The interior is nothing you wouldn't expect from Acura - luxurious, well organized and well utilized for space. Leather wrapped bucket seats accompanied by a number of convenience features which would come standard in a middle to upper class sedan. While space is a luxury in the hatch-back, the car can still comfortably hold 4 full-grown adults with barely enough headroom in the back to spare.



    Honda retains it's reputation for having some of the best gearboxes to work with, in my books. The clutch pedal was surprisingly less resistant than most Honda's I've driven, but nevertheless one of the most responsive as well. Naturally, the car was a sinch to drive, making the driving experience less focused on driving and more immersed in enjoyability. Engagement points were easy to feel and commenced with extreme smoothness and precision. Close gear ratios on the 6 speed manual enables more exact driving - the transmission is definetely one of the stronger points of the car.


    The car is front wheel drive - but this does not prevent great handling and superb performance. While the wheelbase is short, it also enables responsive handling which is smooth and road hugging. The 210 horsepower i-VTEC engine is anything but slow, while VTEC engagement is undeniably apparant - VTEC is amazingly evident as the engine starts to scream to the point that it's ear piercing and you feel the car really start to take off. It is a very agressive sounding engine when driven so, but can be kept very quiet when driving it without too much of a lead foot and keeping revs under 4000 rpm.


    click for larger version
    » Click image for larger version

    All in all, the RSX-S is a great sports car which doesn't sacrafice luxury. While many deteste a sports car which is also luxurious, the RSX-S doesn't fail to bring an exhilarating driving experience along with it. Buying the 2005 RSX-S could never be a bad choice. It is a great car in many if not all of it's aspects. The quality is incredible.

    Skyline_Addict
    beyond.ca

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    New respect for hondas after driving the RSX-S. The tranny is really smooth, pickup is fast and VTEC is damn loud. Pretty quick car and impressive handling.
    Lol, sorry for stalling the car haha, still a n00b at stick.

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    Once again, feel free to leave any comments/experiences you have had with the car.

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    Awesome review man, enjoyed readin this one and the other one you wrote about the Mazda, keep it up , maybe a car mag will see and hire you

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    when i first saw pics of the new rsx, i hated it, but it grew on me once i actually started seeing them in person...seems like these days car's stylings are grown into (at least by me), to me, now, the rsx is way claner than the last one. but my question if you guys know the difference bwteen this new one and the old one?
    Mercs

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    ^^that would be awesome, test driving cars for a living!
    anyways, i just do it for the love of cars...something I believe I should share with others!

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    Great writeup! I love almost everything about the car. I must say tho, it is a little overpriced for what it is. There are faster cars for the money out there (cobalt SS, SRT-4 , and arguably the WRX) and they probably will have cheaper insurance rates. What really sold me on the car was the tranny and the engine, even though the K20 doesnt make much torque on paper, in real life it is more than adequate. That being said, the RSX-S is a great package but the competition is catching up.

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    I looked very, very closely at an 02 RSX-S and almost purchased. It was between that and the 01 Celica GTS I purchased. (insert honda-toyota flame war here)...both drove great, with the RSX coming across as easier to drive fast, the gearbox was certainly easier than the GTS, but a number of items pushed me the other way. Basically I was very impressed by the type S, and the appeal of access to nearly unlimited modifications made it a difficult choice. Ultimately, I ended up with the Celica because I prefer the styling and seating position of the GTS, which I know are all personal preference. I found the RSX with its high sills and dash was more like driving in a bathtub, where the Celica with its incredible view out the front and cozier cockpit was more like a jet fighter, and it reminded me of my old MR-2.
    The fact that I am a long-time toyota buyer that was very nearly swayed to the honda side of the market is certainly an indication that the RSX is a special car.
    Gotta love boost

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    Nice review. Thatís almost exactly how I felt about the Type S when I was looking at buying a new car 4 months ago. It held together many aspects of a high classed sporty car in one package that I believe is about as complete as it gets in that price range. When I picked out the 05 Type S I looked at the new Mini Cooper S, the WRX, RX-8 and even the new Mustang. All of those cars had many positive things about them but they also had one or two nagging points that I know would bother me down the road.

    As soon as I drove the Type S I knew the total package was there. It was definitely my type of car. A couple of weeks ago my assertions about the car were confirmed when I took it out on the road course at race city and took it to the limit.

    Pros:
    Interior. Best in itís class bar none.
    Steering Wheel Ė best Iíve held on to
    Seats

    Engine
    Noise (the sound of such a highly tuned NA engine is amazing at 8000 rpm)
    The engine just keeps pulling and pulling to a very nice top speed.
    8300rpm red line is just juicy
    6speed and gear ratios. Always in Vtec makes the ratios perfect for track days

    Handling is excellent. Small tuning improvements on the 05s definitely made a difference.

    Here's a pic of my car since its fairly new and im still excited about it.


    Future mods: Mugen SS, Mugen Airbox
    Future plans: Drive the sucker like it was meant to be driven. See you at the track!

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    Originally posted by mdeleon
    but my question if you guys know the difference bwteen this new one and the old one?
    sure...

    Here are some of the differences between the previous Type S and the 05 Type S.

    RSX/RSX Type-S

    * Revised suspension tuning for increased handling precision and a smoother ride
    o Ride height reduced by 7 mm
    o Optimized damper and spring settings
    o Firmer stabilizer bars (front and rear for Type-S, front for RSX)
    o Bushings at suspension installation points were optimized
    o Inversely wound front coil springs
    * Refined steering system for enhanced feel and quicker response
    o Quicker steering ratio
    o Stiffer steering column
    o Pump flow increased by seven percent
    o Kickback reduction valve
    * Optimized braking system for enhanced stopping power and feel
    o Pedal stroke decreased
    o Master cylinder diameter increased
    o Brake pedal to rigidity increased
    * Larger diameter 17-inch alloy wheels and 215/45R17 all-season high-performance tires
    * Body rigidity increased 15 percent in front and 21 percent in the rear through the application of reinforcements at key areas
    * NVH reduced
    o Engine damper added to front subframe to reduce engine rocking and vibration transmitted from the engine to the cabin
    o Insulation material added at key points on doors and roof to reduce road noise
    o Side-mirror gaps sealed and weather strip added
    * More aggressive exterior styling
    o New front and rear bumper designs
    o Redesigned headlight and taillight assemblies
    o Restyled signature 5-sided Acura grille
    o Redesigned side sill garnish
    o Four new exterior colors: Magnesium Metallic, Vivid Blue Pearl, Jade Green Metallic, Blaze Orange Metallic
    * Freshened interior design
    o Deeply bolstered front seats with thicker cushions
    o New chrome and titanium-look accents
    o Meter faces changed from metallic to white

    RSX Type-S Additional Enhancements

    * Engine intake and exhaust modifications that boost the horsepower of the Type-S model to 210 at 7800 rpm (compared to 200 hp at 7400 rpm on the previous model)
    o High performance camshafts to improve engine breathing
    o Air intake duct enlarged for increased air flow
    o Larger diameter exhaust pipes to increase exhaust flow
    o Catalytic converter optimized to reduce exhaust backpressure
    * 6-speed transmission optimized with a lower final gear ratio for quicker acceleration and carbon synchronizers replacing brass on 5th and 6th gears for a smoother shift feel
    * Larger diameter front strut tower bar
    * Bushings replaced by bearings on strut mount
    * Larger diameter 17-inch alloy wheels and 215/45R17 all-season high-performance tires
    * Deck lid spoiler
    The '05 RSX-S has more potential than the '02-04 RSX-S because of the Type R cams. Hondata was able to squeeze 208.7hp / 148.9ft/lb from a RSX-S with CAI and K-Pro running on a modified 02-04 ECU on the 05. They surmise that they would have gotten even greater gains with the stock PRC snorkel intake (sorry not PRM) ... The results are even more impressive when you look at the dyno curve,

    18 ft-lbs more of torque @ 2000 rpms, 15 ft-lbs @ 5800 and 8000, 16 hp peak gain, and 20hp @ 5800 rpms and 8000 rpms.

    The dyno graphs speak for themselves, if and when Hondata ever release a flash for the 05 RSX-S, the car will have an extreme amount of potential especially with a K-Pro like full tuning system and some added goodies like a race header, etc ...

    http://www.hondata.com/dynok20-05rsx.html

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    Originally posted by A2VR6
    Great writeup! I love almost everything about the car. I must say tho, it is a little overpriced for what it is. There are faster cars for the money out there (cobalt SS, SRT-4 , and arguably the WRX) and they probably will have cheaper insurance rates. What really sold me on the car was the tranny and the engine, even though the K20 doesnt make much torque on paper, in real life it is more than adequate. That being said, the RSX-S is a great package but the competition is catching up.
    Kinda of funny because IMO its the best car for the price. But opinion is everything. My idea of a good car is different than other's. To me, if you glue a jet engine on a chevette and run (fly) the 1/4 mile in 4 seconds it does not make it a better car than say a Pagani Zonda. To me a car is a total package not just a 0-60 time.

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    BigMass,


    LOWER IT!

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    Originally posted by BigMass


    Kinda of funny because IMO its the best car for the price. But opinion is everything. My idea of a good car is different than other's. To me, if you glue a jet engine on a chevette and run (fly) the 1/4 mile in 4 seconds it does not make it a better car than say a Pagani Zonda. To me a car is a total package not just a 0-60 time.
    exactly how I feel.

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    Originally posted by BigMass
    When I picked out the 05 Type S I looked at the new Mini Cooper S, the WRX, RX-8 and even the new Mustang.
    holy how did you make your choice with such different types of cars, are any of them even in the same class? lemme see, a fwd, awd, rwd, and a lgihtweight...musta been fun tho.

    nice car, i like the color choice...i think it totally looks better than the old one now...maybe it's cuz i've seen so many opf the old ones done so aggresivley, got nothing against them but ye, the new ones are like schoolgirls...so innocent looking, but a freak when you ride em...muahahaha
    Mercs

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    Originally posted by Skyline_Addict
    BigMass,


    LOWER IT!
    Mugen SS soon

    I could get just lowering springs but patience will pay off in the long run. I dont plan on many mods but the few that i do get will be quality.

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    Originally posted by mdeleon
    holy how did you make your choice with such different types of cars, are any of them even in the same class? lemme see, a fwd, awd, rwd, and a lgihtweight...musta been fun tho.

    nice car, i like the color choice...i think it totally looks better than the old one now...maybe it's cuz i've seen so many opf the old ones done so aggresivley, got nothing against them but ye, the new ones are like schoolgirls...so innocent looking, but a freak when you ride em...muahahaha
    I didnt so much look for a specific "class" of car as more of "the best car in that price range for me"

    I was lucky in that i didnt have any real restrictions in terms what i had to get.

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    Originally posted by BigMass


    Mugen SS soon

    I could get just lowering springs but patience will pay off in the long run. I dont plan on many mods but the few that i do get will be quality.
    ^^^ only the best for your new baby eh?
    Mercs

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    Originally posted by BigMass


    Mugen SS soon

    I could get just lowering springs but patience will pay off in the long run. I dont plan on many mods but the few that i do get will be quality.
    no doubt! good thinking.

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    I've gotta say, the styling of the new RSX has grown on me to the point I prefer it over the old one. Its just so damn clean...

    I went with the Cobalt SS because I could get it for about 6K less, and the performance was better, but there is no way I'd deny that the RSX is much better looking.

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    ^^^ you're opinion, but IMO i dont think the cobalt could out handle a type-s...but hey, i've never driven one so i wouldn't know
    Mercs

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