Cars & Bids Bargain of the Week: 2008 Acura TSX

Manual 2008 Acura TSX on Cars & Bids article highlights:

  • The 2004-2008 CL9 Acura TSX combined the European Honda Accord’s smaller chassis with sportier suspension, an upgraded K24 four-cylinder, and extra luxuries to make a fun, premium FWD sports sedan
  • There’s a 65,700-mile manual 2008 Acura TSX available this week on Cars & Bids
  • This reliable entry-level luxury sports sedan is currently listed at the below-average price of $11,000

They weren’t always the fastest, but Acura’s best-remembered cars are those that combined high-revving Honda reliability with fun handling. But though they don’t rev as high, the 2023 TLX and Integra have some of their predecessors’ spritely spirits. However, the best versions of both cars are also the priciest. Fortunately, if you can’t or don’t want to spring for those, you could just get their predecessors for a lot less. And one of these affordable ancestors, a manual 2008 Acura TSX, is up for grabs this week on Cars & Bids.

The CL9 Acura TSX gave Americans a luxurious taste of the sporty European Honda Accord

A silver 2008 Acura TSX going around a road corner
2008 Acura TSX front 3/4 | Acura
2004-2008 ‘CL9’ Acura TSX
Engine2.4-liter ‘K24A2’ four-cylinder
Horsepower200 hp (2004-2005)
205 hp (2006-2008)
Torque164 lb-ft
TransmissionsSix-speed manual
Five-speed automatic
Curb weight3257 lbs
0-60 mph time7.2 seconds

Although the Civic Type R is the poster child of forbidden-fruit Hondas, it’s not the only car the company kept from the U.S. For example, we never got the four-door version of the Honda Integra Type R. But some foreign-market models did sneak their way here, just without Honda badges. And the 2004-2008 Acura TSX is one of those sneaky imports.

Like its modern descendant, the TLX, the first-gen Acura TSX, aka the CL9, is based on the Honda Accord. The CL9 TSX isn’t based on the contemporary U.S.-market Accord, though. Instead, it’s based on the European-market Accord, which is shorter and narrower than its U.S. cousin. But that’s not the only thing that separates the 2004-2008 TSX from the equivalent Accord.

Because Acura positioned the first-gen TSX as an Integra sedan replacement, it has sportier suspension and a larger rear sway bar than the Accord. Also, a front strut-tower brace. As a result, it turns in more eagerly, grips harder, and is over nimbler than the Accord. Basically, it handles like a larger, four-door RSX, which is a high compliment. Yet the handling prowess doesn’t come at the expense of ride quality or passenger comfort.

Furthermore, the CL9 TSX has a more powerful version of the Accord’s brilliantly-smooth K24 four-cylinder. And while the automatic’s OK, the six-speed manual is slick and oh-so-satisfying to shift. In addition, because the 2004-2008 TSX is still an Acura, it also has more luxuries than the Accord. Even in 2004, Acura offered things like heated leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and optional navigation.

When it was new, the Acura TSX earned high praise for its affordable blend of luxury and athleticism. And today, it’s still one of the best affordable fun used daily drivers.

You can try winning this manual 2008 model on Cars & Bids

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As a final-year example of the CL9 TSX, the manual 2008 car currently listed on Cars & Bids benefits from Acura’s minor improvements. That means slightly more horsepower and a few more features. And while this car doesn’t have any optional extras, its standard-features list makes up for that.

In addition to the features mentioned earlier, this 2008 Acura TSX has a rear spoiler, power sunroof, and an eight-speaker audio system with a six-disc CD changer and Bluetooth. Also, it has xenon headlights, fog lights, heated side mirrors, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Plus, its heated leather front seats are power-adjustable. And besides four-wheel independent suspension, it has four-wheel disc brakes, too.

Apart from some seat creasing, a few scattered paint chips and a resprayed front bumper, this 2008 Acura TSX’s only flaws are some passenger-side dents and 2017-date-code tires. But apart from the tinted windows, it’s stock. And it has less than 65,700 miles on the clock. Also, it has a clean, accident-free history and plenty of service records.

Speaking of service, the seller flushed the coolant and changed the oil roughly 1100 miles ago. They also changed the clutch master cylinder in 2020. Oh, and did I mention the seller is the original owner?

Will this 2008 Acura TSX be a reliable FWD sports sedan bargain?

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As of this writing, this 2008 Acura TSX is listed at $11,000 with four days left in the auction. For comparison, it originally stickered at the 2022 equivalent of $39,780. And currently, there are no manual CL9 TSXs with similar mileage available on Autotrader. Furthermore, the one that comes closest in terms of odometer reading costs $1500 more. Plus, the cheapest new Acura with a manual, the 2023 Integra A-Spec Technology, starts at $36,895. In short, this 2008 TSX is a true bargain.

Since it’s still a used luxury car, a pre-purchase inspection is recommended. However, it’s worth noting that the CL9 TSX has fewer problems than the 2009 and 2012 models. Also, the K24A2 is one of the most reliable versions of the famously-stout Honda K-Series engines. With regular maintenance, which this car has received, these sports sedans can shift along for hundreds of thousands of miles.

So, if you want to experience how Acura earned its reputation, this 2008 TSX might be your affordable way in.

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