CARZ4GIRLZ: Good, Better & Best – Comparing the Honda Civic, Toyota Camry & Acura TSX Sedans
- SEE ALSO: 2009 Toyota Camry Sedan Specs, Pics and Prices
- SEE ALSO: 2009 Honda Civic Sedan Specs, Pics and Prices
- SEE ALSO: 2009 Acura TSX Specs, Pics and Prices
The Auto Channel
I'll give you three popular sedans in the history of car creation: The Honda Civic, the Toyota Camry, and the Acura TSX. Reliable cars made by makers with high marks – and cars that score well with teens and twenty-somethings. So exactly how does one decide which sedan is better? Or in this case, which one is good, which one is better, and which is the best?
Whether buying new or used, the 4-door sedans mentioned are reasonable buys – what we want to do is look closer at what you get overall for your money when measuring slight price or fuel drops, or even increases.
Sounds like the Civic should be the Best, right? But lets discuss exactly what you get: a smaller 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine; steering wheel audio controls; XM radio; power windows and locks; remote entry to trunk; and safety features that should come standard on all cars, like Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). I also have to say offering a voice-recognizing navigation system as a standard feature is pretty cool and unexpected. But maybe it's better to report in terms of what you don't get (and might miss) on the Civic at this price: 8-way power seating; leather-trimmed seats; dual-zone climate control; heated seats; and a sunroof.
By Consumer Reports standards, owners seem to be just slightly happier with the Civic than the Camry. Fuel costs and the overall price tag are amazing, but the vehicle itself isn't necessarily first-class in its interior or exterior offerings for the cost. Cheaper doesn't mean nicer in this case. Therefore Civic needs to be our 'Better' choice.
Our Acura in question comes fully loaded at that price, with the standard features mentioned on the Civic AND a voice-activated navigation system, rearview camera, 10-speaker audio system, driver recognition memory system, 8-way power driver seat with lumbar (4-way for passenger), heated front seats, Bluetooth hands-free calling, power moonroof, and leather trim throughout. With a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, its not as big as the Camry, but performance with acceleration and handling rates just as high – only getting an average of 25-mpg driving (a 4-plus gallon gain on the Camry). With gasoline price as high as $4 a gallon, the money you are saving each year adds up over the life of the car.
In terms of design, the Acura blows the doors off the Civic and Camry. Upon first glance it looks more like a BMW. That's because the TSX is a step up than your average sedan and has worked itself into the luxury sector: The TSX is compared to the likes of Audi A4 2.0T, BMW 328i, Infiniti G37, Lexus IS 250, and Mercedes-Benz C300. Okay girls … don't tell ME you’re not brand-conscious or looking for a piece of the good life!
Overall, it's an extremely tight race and one hard to call with such a great collection of sedan competitors. You might not agree on the final order – nor the criteria of tilting choices toward the nicer things in life – but sometimes the most expensive car doesn't necessarily equate to the best offer. Being cheaper doesn't mean the best – in this case anyway! As always, search here on The Auto Channel for the sedan pf your dreams!
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