Anyone remotely familiar with the import market should be instantly familiar with the car that was known as the Integra. Produced from 1986 until 2001, the Acura Integra was one of the most revered and respected Japanese cars to ever grace American shores. However, most are unaware that the Integra still lives on today, or did, at least until 2006. While it may not be called the Integra anymore, the completely redesigned RSX offers everything that made the Integra such a superb vehicle, and expands on it greatly. Acura has truly created a masterpiece with the RSX, and the 2005 Type S is perhaps the perfect example to point out what exactly makes this particular model such a beauty for drivers, and such a smart buy for almost anyone.
For starters, it’s important to understand that the Type S is nothing if not a drivers’ car. In addition to the 210 horse power 2.0 liter engine, and iVTEC system, the Type S also comes standard with a 6 speed manual transmission, six CD changer, leather interior, sunroof, and a road hugging double wishbone rear suspension. However, a car can come with all the technical specifications in the world, but they mean nothing if all that technology just doesn’t work the right way. Thankfully, though, RSX owners will never have to deal with a problem like that.
Even the exterior of the vehicle is inspiring, a curvy and smooth body, perfectly proportioned with the two door body and a higher back end than the Integra, and a front end that looks as aggressive as the car really is. While the design choice of making the top of the back end completely flat may get questions from some, the overall design of the car is truly beautiful. The body takes the Integra to an entirely new level, going beyond the category of import sports car and straddling the line between luxury and sport that Acura has embodied for over twenty years.
The interior can only be described as something along the lines of space age, the car puts the CD player and atmosphere controls very close and handy for the driver, the steering wheel is a joy to turn during rough corners and comfortable to grip even during long drives on the highway. The power seats provide perfect comfort to the driver, and the seats are also stylish leather, forming into a bucket seat that holds the driver and passengers in perfect place to enjoy all of the RSX’s 210 horsepower and 8,100 RPM redline. Even though the car is officially a two door coupe, one can find plenty of room in the RSX for a number of passengers, and luggage can even be stored without too much pain. Although the RSX might not be the ideal vehicle for a road trip in terms of overall comfort, it definitely has enough space to be an ideal everyday car.
While the RSX may have great interior and exterior styling, the car truly excels in the area of driving. However, potential buyers should be warned in advance that the RSX has an 8,100 RPM redline for a reason. The RSX is not a car that is meant to be driven cautiously, and doing so will result in a car that seems underpowered, remember that most of the power in the car’s engine lies in the upper RPM ranges, starting around five thousand and moving forward from that point.
Keeping the previous statement in mind, the RSX Type S truly does drive like a dream. The car revs effortlessly, hitting the high RPMS in seconds, and throwing the shifter at the incredibly high redline is a feeling good enough to justify the price of the car by itself. The six speed manual transmission is honestly one of the smoothest shifting pieces of machinery to be found in any vehicle. The clutch engages with only a tap, and it only takes a brush of the finger to send the car flying into the next gear. As would be expected of any Acura vehicle, the handling is amazing as well. While the suspension may not be the best tuned thing in the world for bumps and daily driving, it is superb at handling any corner thrown at it. Dedicated sports car drivers, however, may notice that the balance to the car feels slightly off, which leads to a very slight tendency to under steer.
However, even under the hardest of driving conditions, this is a rare problem, and certainly not one that should discourage potential buyers. The 2005 also has a slightly wider stance than the previous models, and comes standard with larger tires, making a difference, although small, in terms of overall handling. However, the most enjoyable thing by far when it comes to the RSX is the feeling of winding out the gears. Surprisingly, the 8,000 mark comes up very quickly, and for a small, 2.0 liter engine, the RSX has some incredible pick up in the higher RPMS. The 210 horsepower that the car comes with stock is no exaggeration, and it’s definitely a fast vehicle, although it does take a little bit of getting used to drive the car in order to get the absolute most out of it.
Above all else, though, the RSX is reasonable as well as fun. The car gets around 30 miles to the gallon, depending on how it’s being driven, and it is perfectly capable of driving under normal circumstances and even through adverse conditions (although different tires are definitely recommended if you plan to take the car out in winter). The RSX is one of the most exceptional cars to be produced by Acura to date, and it is a worthy follow up to the revered Integra line, a car that both enthusiasts and casual drivers looking for a little fun in their vehicles should find incredibly attractive.