Paul M., New York

We can see how this would be a tough call. Honda has added standard features to lower-level versions of the Accord for 2013, so even an LX comes with Bluetooth, a USB interface, Pandora internet radio compatibility and a backup camera for a starting price of $22,470, including the $790 destination charge. The 2012 TSX four-cylinder starts at $30,905 (including $895 for destination) and, as befitting of a near-luxury sedan, comes with standard leather, heated power front seats, a moonroof, xenon headlights and a potent stereo.

2013_accord_ex-l

An Accord EX-L with leather, heated front seats, moonroof, and other luxury amenities found on the Acura plus a navigation system is priced right on top of the TSX — $30,785. If you want navigation in a TSX, you will have to cough up another $3,100 for the Technology Package, which includes an upgraded stereo.

For that extra $3,000, you’re left with less interior and cargo room compared with the Accord, but you gain somewhat higher-quality interior furnishings and additional comfort and convenience features. Acura also provides longer warranty coverage, four years or 50,000 miles basic coverage (with roadside assistance) and six years or 70,000 miles for the powertrain. Honda’s warranty is for three years or 36,000 miles, and roadside assistance costs extra as part of a service contract. In addition, you might expect more TLC from an Acura dealer as part of the luxury-brand treatment.

2012_tsx

However, the TSX is based on the previous-generation European Accord, so it lacks some improvements incorporated into the 2013 Accord, such as direct injection for the four-cylinder engine (and higher fuel economy) and reduced interior noise levels that we noted in our review of the new models. Acura recommends premium gas for the TSX’s four-cylinder and requires premium for the V-6, so that is a penalty that will keep hurting for as long as you own it.

Newer isn’t always better, and with any redesign there is uncertainty about quality and durability, but an Accord EX-L with navigation has most of what a TSX offers at a lower price. Higher fuel economy, lower noise levels and improved interior design make the Accord a more attractive proposition, though we could see ourselves still flipping a coin on the way to the dealership.

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Answered by Rick Popely on November 21, 2012 in Acura , Honda , Honda Accord , What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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