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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday, I took my 99 Integra in for its 90,000 mile service at the dealership. I know, I know, my car's got a lot of miles. I drive a lot, what can I say? Since it's a fairly major service, I was given a loaner car to drive for the day. Imagine my surprise when it was a brand-new Taffeta White 2003 Acura RSX. It was the base model with the automatic. It was really the first time I got to drive an RSX for any length of time and I wanted to share my thoughts.

First, and foremost, the new car is much stiffer than the Integra. The body feels incredibly rigid. Second, the power. The base model's engine has incredible power, far ahead of the G3 non-VTEC models. Third, the 5-speed automatic is superb. I'm not the biggest fan of automatics, but I had no problems zipping around town with the shifter in manual. It was a genuine pleasure. The brakes are far better and the ride is a lot more controlled. The seats were an absolute dream. I could not believe how comfortable they were. Major improvement. I love the integrated headrests, just slick looking! The cupholders are (hooray!) legitimate, FINALLY! They even held a 24 oz beer...just kidding, but I'm sure they would. I liked the center console being so high up, compared to the G3. Gave the car a more ****pit-type feel.

Some things didn't impress me as much. First were the red gauges. They are incredibly hard to see at night, even on their brightest setting. During the day, they take on a silver background and there is an overall lack of contrast. White with black lettering would have been a lot easier to see. Also, the wiper operation is totally different. For the RSX (but no other model I've seen), Honda has gone to a more Toyota-like approach, where you click the entire stalk down a few notches to turn it on (like clicking the blinker sort of), as opposed to twisting the end of it. Twisting the end of the stalk now turns on the rear-wiper. It was raining all day and I found myself constantly turning on the rear-wiper instead of the front wipers. Another strike against it was that the seat's height adjustment is not as good as the G3. It only moves up and down. The front and back of the seat-bottom move together, not separately. A major annoyance. Hopefully the Type-S has a better arrangement, I didn't notice when I drove one. The biggest problem I had by far was the lack of a center armrest. I don't know about you guys, but I use mine constantly. When I got into the RSX, my right elbow kind of fell into the rear of the flat console...like an old Civic DX (without the armrest). Very cheap. The back seat, well, is about the same as the G3 coupe, which is to say useless. No surprises there. Also, the car does not come with a real cigarette lighter outlet. To get one, you have to get the optional smoker's package, which includes a cigarette lighter and an ashtray. I don't smoke, but those accessory ports wear out a lot quicker than a real lighter outlet and I prefer having a real one. Also, the tiny steering wheel is just too small. When turning, you have to bring your hands entirely too close together and it gets old very fast. The interior was a big disappointment, overall.

I never noticed these problems during my test-drives of the Type S and base model before, but living with it for a day really changed my perspective on the car. I know the G3's ****pit was very outdated, even by 1990's standards, but the G4 is a serious step-back in a lot of ways.

All in all, the RSX was a nice car for the day, but I'm sticking with my G3 Integra for the time being. Honda needs to do some serious work in the interior department before I'll be ready to make the switch. Perhaps the TSX sedan in 2004...

Let me know your thoughts on it!
 

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I have yet to drive the RSX, but I do agree with the armrest. I sat in it and fell in the middle.lol I like the guages when they are off (have yet to see them on) Next time I go to Acura for my services I will see if I can grab a loaner. They are good to me there and always give me one upon request.
 

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I've driven a base model 5spd. at night. I didn't have a problem w/ the gauges. I'm not a big fan of orange, but they weren't hard to read. It had a little more power than my 4D LS, and it held the corners slightly WORSE than my 4D LS. My car handles great, so I guess slightly worse isn't bad.
 

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I had a loaner RSX base model for two days. You thought the base model had good power? I didn't think it was much better than my LS.

The clutch-less shifting is totally lame and I think just a feature to make people with automatics feel better about themselves. The delay in when you tell it to shift gears and when it actually does is unacceptable and caused me to hit the revlimiter a couple times.

Handling blew chunks but of course I'm comparing this to a Type R so I can't really say anything about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
SurferX on Dec/04/02 said:
I had a loaner RSX base model for two days. You thought the base model had good power? I didn't think it was much better than my LS.

Let's compare apples to apples here. I drive a stock, G3 LS sedan with an automatic. Believe me, the base RSX I drove had far better handling and power than my Integra. The entire structure of the car feels about 100% more rigid than any G3 I've driven, including the Type R. VTEC helps tremendously, particularly on the high-end.

Quote: The clutch-less shifting is totally lame and I think just a feature to make people with automatics feel better about themselves. The delay in when you tell it to shift gears and when it actually does is unacceptable and caused me to hit the revlimiter a couple times.

I can drive a manual. I chose an automatic for a variety of reasons, but the fact that I commute in bumper-to-bumper traffic makes me want to shift a whole lot less. When I had a manual, I wanted an automatic. Now that I've got an automatic, I want a manual. It's a constant internal conflict. I definitely see the clutchless shifting as an improvement over the previous Integra's automatic. Not to mention the addition of a fifth gear that the G3 automatics seriously needed.

Quote: Handling blew chunks but of course I'm comparing this to a Type R so I can't really say anything about it.
The only things holding back the handling were the awful (worse than the XGT-V4) Michelin tires mounted on it. Having driven the Type R, I can tell you that your car is far ahead of the RSX and it is really not fair to compare them.

Apples to apples, man.
 

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My LS was stock most of the time I had it. I did a couple timed acceleration runs and it didn't do much differently than my LS did. The car was a definite dog, especially for having a larger motor with more torque and 160-hp I expected it to be much better. I drove around above 5k most of the time because I could beat the hell out of it and not worry about going very fast.

I don't really care why someone chooses auto over manual I am just saying the clutch-less shifting is not done very well. The delay is the worst part, and when I wanted to shift at redline the delay would take me significantly over the redline and bounce off the revlimiter before it finally shifted. I found just leaving it in "D" and flooring it shifted the tranny much better at redline. So I don't see how it had any real value.

The tires I can understand but the loose feeling and body roll is different. The LS I remember being tighter in the way that I drove it.
 

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you get a loaner when you drop your car off??? When i dropped mine off for the 100K mile tune-up they left me sitting there!
 

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i test drove a type s and I thought it was a very fun car to drive. I thought the steering wheel size was great. I liked it a lot more than g3 tegs, but 24,000? I thought that was way too expensive. Too much for not enough performance. I liked the interior.
 

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i drove a type s last weekend and fell in love...
its is rather pricey but u have to remember its a brand new "luxury" car if it had honda badges im sure it would be cheaper
 

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Discussion Starter #10
LT6916 on Dec/04/02 said:
you get a loaner when you drop your car off??? When i dropped mine off for the 100K mile tune-up they left me sitting there!
It is not required that they give you a loaner car, but most nicer dealerships do. I know all of the dealers in Houston give loaner cars. At Sterling McCall Acura, my dealership, they have 2001 Integras, 2002-03 RSX's and 2001-2003 TLs. The few TLs they have go generally to the MDX, NSX, TL, and RL owners. The RSX's are reserved for the Integra, RSX, and CL owners. It depends on availability, but when I bring my dad's RL in, I get a TL. When I bring my Integra in, I get an RSX.

Bummer I can't drive now. :-(
 

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Hey surferx, was that loaner rsx by chance from Tustin Acura..? Because I got a loaner rsx (white) for a week, and I hated it also...I really abused that car for the week too.haha..I couldn't wait to get my gsr back.But I do like the seating position alot better than the g3's..It's more low, snug and comfy and feels more like a ****pit as where my gs-r seats feel too high and felt like I was driving a bus after I got my car back..
 

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Discussion Starter #12
01Night gsr on Dec/04/02 said:
.....felt like I was driving a bus after I got my car back..
I totally agree, man. The position is sweet, as are the seats. The Integra definitely has the nod on the view out, though. The visibility is a lot better. The RSX seems to have a less "panoramic" feel about the forward view. I don't know. When I got back into my Integra it felt totally bus like with all that glass in front of me. Maybe it's an illusion.
 

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I also drove the Type-S while my GSR was in for service. It's a great car, but I came away feeling I wouldn't trade in my GSR anytime soon for a Type-S. Maybe when the Type-R arrives again I would think about it, but you have to remember how amazing the aftermarket is for the B series whereas the K series is a completely new animal, even spinning the opposite way. In addition, the RSX feels tamer with less of that seat of your pants feel when you push it harder, matter of preference I guess. Honda makes great cars, I'd own both if i could.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
cubedgsr on Dec/04/02 said:
...... In addition, the RSX feels tamer with less of that seat of your pants feel when you push it harder, matter of preference I guess. Honda makes great cars, I'd own both if i could.
Agreed on all points. Definitely doesn't have the Integra's EDGE. It's all gone...'corner-rounded' all the edges...took away a lot of the fun.
 

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SurferX on Dec/04/02 said:
I had a loaner RSX base model for two days. You thought the base model had good power? I didn't think it was much better than my LS.

The clutch-less shifting is totally lame and I think just a feature to make people with automatics feel better about themselves. The delay in when you tell it to shift gears and when it actually does is unacceptable and caused me to hit the revlimiter a couple times.

Handling blew chunks but of course I'm comparing this to a Type R so I can't really say anything about it.
Haven't checked this post in a while...

Sorry, I should have clarified. I drove the manual, not the auto stick. And I put it through the ropes while I was at work (Valet, hehehe). Around city blocks and through a parking garage. This equates a little closer to a low-speed auto-x. I didn't test out the top end. It just felt stronger on the low end. The garage is my own personal skidplate/lateral g test track. The RSX didn't hold the corners quite as good as my stock 4D LS. So compared to an ITR I'm sure it sucked.

Here's an interesting tidbit...
Of all the cars I've tested (almost anything short of the exotics), the ones that handle the best flying through a parking garage at 40mph are; G3 Ingegra, RSX, MDX, in that order. And I really try not to be biased!!!
 

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eh i had a 99 ls that got totaled in floods here in maryland from hurican Isebel. I wound up buying a 04 Type S. The interior is awsome. Much better then the integra. Yes i do miss the arm rest but i can get over that. Also The red dash lights I'm not to fond of. But as far as performance and exterior styling I think its far better then the g3's. It took some time for the RSX to grow on me when they 1st came out but I am happy with my Type S. Much more refined. As far as not having the "hold on to your seat" feel try driving a type S to its limits. You'll change your mind real fast!!
 

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i wonder if i will get a loaner car...how often do you guys recommend bringing it to acura. i have a 95 GSR with 95xxx KMS on it. as far as i know, nothing has been done to it, i've owned it since summer. also how much would it be roughly.
 

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I would have to agree with Amunre on the handleing. I was at PIR and there was a RSX type-s behind me. I couldn't pull away from him and he couldn't pass. But I found out he had better tires and no other up-grades at all.
A good driver and good tires with this car are a leathal combo.
I have a 2000 GSR with a coil-over suspension, After market sway bars, lots of poly bushings and Yoko Spec 2 tires.
The RSX can handle, and is very stiff.
I just hate the driving position. The Integra has a much better view especially for auto crossing.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Way to bring this thread of mine back from the dead! I get an RSX each time I bring my 99 Integra in for service and I still don't like it at all. Don't like the way it looks, don't like the interior, don't like much of anything. I'll take the TSX any day.
 
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