The Acura RSX had a production run from model year 2002 to 2006, effectively replacing the outgoing Acura Integra as the company’s entry-level compact while prolonging the badge’s relevance in the youthful tuner-car market. Built on a shared platform with the Honda Civic, the RSX came configured as a hatchback coupe with a front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout. Acura offered the RSX in two trim levels: standard RSX and high-performance Type-S. The 2005 model year brought about the most significant changes to the RSX during its single-generation lifespan.
The 2005 Acura RSX Type-S had true tuner-car looks straight from the factory. The coupe’s wedge-shaped profile featured a wide stance, short overhangs and a steeply angled hood. For 2005, Acura revised the Type-S front and rear bumper covers, side sills, five-sided grille, headlight and taillight treatments, rear spoiler and exhaust outlet. The new styling cues lent a more aggressive, lowered appearance than that of the previous model years.
The steel unit body of the compact RSX measured 67.9 inches wide and 172.4 inches long with a wheelbase of 101.2 inches. Next to the competing 2005 Toyota Celica GTS, the RSX loomed slightly taller and longer, with a marginally shorter wheelbase. The RSX tipped the scales with a curb weight of 2,840 pounds, around 300 pounds heavier than the Celica GTS.
For 2005, the RSX Type-S utilized a newly improved 2.0-liter, dual-overhead-cam, inline four-cylinder engine with a block and heads comprising aluminum and four valves per cylinder. Acura outfitted the four cylinder with its Intelligent Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control system, referred to as i-VTEC. Thanks to reworked intake and exhaust functionality, the engine put out 210 horsepower at 7,800 rpm, a 10-horsepower increase from 2004. Peak torque measured in at 143 foot-pounds at 7,000 rpm, nearing the 8,100 rpm redline.
A close-ratio, six-speed manual was the sole transmission available on the 2005 RSX Type-S. Suspension duties were handled by a four-wheel, independent setup with MacPherson struts up front and coil springs at the rear. Reworked for 2005, the suspension gave the Type-S a lower ride height and stiffer handling than previous model years. At the corners, 17-inch by 7-inch, five-spoke, alloy wheels came wrapped in P215/45R17 Michelin high-performance tires and housed the four-wheel disc brakes. The vented discs up front measured 11.8 inches, while the solid rear units measured 10.2 inches. All RSX models got anti-lock braking, although stability control and traction control were not available on either model.
In straight-line tests, the 2005 RSX Type-S launched from 0 to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds and through the quarter mile in 14.7 seconds. The comparably priced Toyota Celica GTS required 0.3 seconds longer to reach 60 mph and 0.5 seconds longer to traverse the quarter mile. As for the its handling prowess, Motor Trend testers described the independent suspension as “…communicative and inviting, allowing the RSX Type-S to handle like other sports cars wish they could.” The Environmental Protection Agency estimated the fuel economy of the 2005 Acura RSX Type-S at 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
The driver-oriented cockpit of the RSX also got a refresh for the 2005 model year with new metal accent pieces and new gauge faces. Motor Trend opined on the instrumentation, saying “controls are logically designed and ergonomically placed, with all switchgear mounted at steering wheel height for easy access and viewing while driving.” Type-S models got bolstered front seats wrapped in perforated leather, a 50/50 split-folding rear seat, power moonroof, automatic climate control and a Bose seven-speaker stereo system.
In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the 2005 RSX achieved a five-star rating for both driver and passenger safety in frontal impacts. Side impact tests resulted in a four-star rating for front passenger safety. Standard safety equipment included dual-stage front airbags and seatbelt pretensioners. At its introduction, the 2005 Acura RSX Type-S was priced at $23,670. As of 2013, Kelley Blue Book valued the 2005 RSX between $10,400 and $12,100.
- Acura Media Newsroom: 2005 Acura RSX Introduction
- Acura Media Newsroom: 2005 Acura RSX Specifications
- Acura Media Newsroom: 2005 Acura RSX Features
- Zeroto60times.com: Acura 0-60 Times
- Motor Trend: Review: 2005 Acura RSX Type-S
- Motor Trend: Road Test: 2000 Toyota Celica
- Fueleconomy.gov: Compare Side-by-Side
- Cars.com: Compare
- Cars.com: 2005 Acura RSX
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