The Acura CSX is a really well-made car with an interesting history. It’s based on the chassis of the Honda Civic, which was one of the more popular models in Canada. This led to Acura designing the CSX as a more dressed up and luxurious option to the Civic. It’s clear that this was a great move on the company as the CSX ended up being one of the company’s best selling vehicles in the country for many years.
The CSX features a 2.0L 4-cylinder four-stroke engine (with their proven i-VTECH variable technology), rated at 155 horsepower. This is about 15 more horsepower compared to your standard Civic at the time. This arrangement is a great showcase for the company’s well-known ability to squeeze maximum power and refinement out of a smaller engine. And in this case the engine seems to be an almost perfect match for the very capable suspension. With a front-engine, front-wheel drive and said great suspension, the CSX handles beautifully in a straight line, around corners and comes paired with really good stopping power.
This model is available with either a five speed automatic or manual transmission and they are both finely tuned to have buttery-smooth gear shifts. The automatic version also has steering-wheel mounted shift paddles that perform extremely well. Overall, the CSX is an absolute blast to drive. It will eat up most corners you can throw at it, while being refined enough for a daily city car (especially with the outstanding fuel economy).
The interior continues the line of upscale upgrades to the Civic formula with a ton of leather, heated front seats, great climate control, audio controls from the steering wheel and even stability control plus tire-pressure monitoring. All of this comes with your standard factory option. If you choose their iTech upgrade you also get an upgraded stereo and a voice-activated navigation system.
In terms of how spacious the car is, it manages to hit the same targets as its predecessors. The cabin is roomy with plenty of space for both your legs and head. The trunk is about as average as it gets for this type of car (and we mean that in a good way).
On the exterior we can find a few more updates to the original Civic this car was based on. With a slightly longer nose, larger headlamps, creased hood, restyled trunk with jeweled tail lamps and a full width lower intake to finish off the elegant design. It’s worth mentioning that the windshield on the CSX is very large since the A-pillar was moved forward, increasing the slope, in order to make a better roofline and increase cabin space.
When it comes to safety, there isn't as much testing literature as usual. Since this was a Canada-only production, a lot of the usual US testing results aren’t available. Still, being based on the civic, you can expect similar safety measures. One thing to note is that on top of the usual features (like airbags and ABS), the CSX also rocks Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure. ACE is a fully safety oriented body design that even takes care of pedestrians’ safety. The CSX’s hood and fender areas are designed to deform if contacted by the head of an adult or child.
In the end, the brilliant minds at Acura show us once again why they are famous for their philosophies. One more car for their line-up that offers entry-level luxury, is fun to drive and packed to the brim with everything you might expect from a more expensive purchase. The CSX still has the goods after all these years and the same is true for Acura themselves.