Acura CSX: Part 1 – The Test Drive

August 1, 2006

Well the time has come to put my old 1999 Acura 1.6 EL to rest and get something new (I know some of you have been telling me this for years). When I say rest I mean I’m selling it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a good car, but for the past couple of years I’ve been longing for something bigger and newer (Acura TSX). So maybe the time has finally come to look at getting something new. It also helps that there is an incentive, a summer sale of 3.8% on a lease, ending July 31, 2006. I better hurry before it’s over.

 

This all really started with me talking to my friend Craig the week prior, about my car and the maintenance it was getting done, etc, when he told me he was interested in the new CSX from Acura. I was shocked as he loves his 1997 Accord. He said the new CSX has got more power then his Accord and is incredible efficient on fuel at an estimate of $150 a month in savings (based on his driving distance for work) over his current Accord. He said overall the new CSX was an awesome little car (although it’s much bigger then what I currently have) with more horsepower then my EL and his 1997 Accord, better fuel mileage, and just overall more efficient and very advanced (no hydraulics, which means no more timing belt, pumps, etc…yeh).

 

So when I was in the Acura dealership on Saturday picking up my car from it’s minor service (oil change, spark plugs, belt adjustments, gasket leak fix, etc), I decided to take a look at the CSX. I went over and talked to Scott Norman, the original sales associate who leased and then sold me my current 1999 EL. You know it’s nice that he is still there and even remembered me, that is real service. I don’t think its everyday you can walk in to a car dealer and still see someone from 8 years ago, and to top it off, remembers you. So we caught up and then I mentioned that I liked the look of the new CSX, etc. He proceeded like a typical sales person to tell me more of what I didn’t already know from the internet (which in my opinion is great, tell me what I don’t know, people should be investigating the car before going to the dealer, but alas this isn’t always the case). He then handed me the keys to take one for a spin. So off I went.

 

I got in the car and noticed it wasn’t a demo car but in fact one of the other sales associates, talk about trust. The first thing you notice about the CSX (AKA the New 2006 Honda Civic) is the dual consoles for the driver. The upper console is much the same as Heads Up Display (HUD) found in military aircraft and even now in the some of the newer high end commercial aircraft (Boeing 777, 787, Airbus A380, Gulf 5, etc). In the CSX/Civic, the upper console isn’t exactly embedded in the windscreen or projected on a film of glass, but is rather placed high and far back on the dash, right in your line of sight with the road. Here you have the important information, speed, gas, temperature and turn indicators. The lower console has your information on RPM (tachometer), and other indicators for maintenance, mileage, trip, etc.

 

Here is a picture of the look of the dash and the twin consoles. Notice how the upper console is directly in line with your line of sight on the road. When I test drove it I loved this concept and I hope other car manufacturers go this route too.

 

 

 

 

The other nice thing I noticed and I’m sure you have too by now, is the sweet Navigation system (GPS), center of the dash. It’s amazing and includes voice activation for directions, climate control and entertainment. Speaking of entertainment, it has an awesome 6 speaker system that supports MP3, WMA and an auxiliary line input which is sweet for any owner of an iPOD or as I have, a Creative ZEN Vision M (in my opinion better then those iPODS, but that’s another discussion altogether)

 

 

So far I’m sold on this car, the real question now is whether or not I go with the manual 5 speed transmission or the automatic 5 speed with F1 inspired paddle shifters, mounted directly behind the spokes of the wheel. I ended up taking out the manual transmission car for a test drive because this is what I enjoy the most and I had my reservations on the paddle shifters, even though they’ve been given rave reviews and are an adrenaline rush to use. Some even say this is the future direction of the manual transmission. The test drive was great and everything I expected. The gear box was short and compact, allowing you to shift with your fingers if you wanted. I only went for a 20 minute drive as I couldn’t stay all day and I more or less just wanted a feel for the car. At this point I wasn’t committed to buying anything. When I got back I ended up having a quick conversation with Scott and running through some numbers on potential lease payments, etc. I then collected the keys to my car, paid for the service and walked off to my silver EL. When I got into my car and started to drive, this is where things started to get rolling (no pun intended) on getting a new car. I just finished an awesome drive in a brand new 2006 CSX and my adrenaline was still flowing. Getting into my car was like a bad hangover…it just didn’t feel right anymore.

 

I drove home and called Craig to let him know what I thought of the car and how it performed. You see the funny thing about Craig is he is known to buy cars without ever testing one out or even seeing it (which he did with his Accord). He was very intrigued at what I had to say and what I thought about the car, the interior, etc. I told him to call Scott and see what he could do for him, maybe give us a deal if we were both to lease something.

 

At this point in time it was late afternoon on Saturday and the dealer had closed. It was also closed on Sunday. So Craig and I were left to ponder what we would do. The summer sale was ending July 31 and who knew what the new rate would be, or if the sale would be extended. Craig decided he was going to pursue the car and talk to a dealer on Monday. I on the other hand needed more information, my gut feeling was telling me to GO FOR IT, but I still had to worry about what I would be doing with my current car. 

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