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Auto blogMon, 04 Aug 2014 11:57:00 EST
Immediately after landing at Washington's Dulles airport, an Acura representative handed me the keys to a 2014 TSX with fewer than 180 miles on its clock. The four-cylinder engine started and I pointed its signature beak towards a destination in Middleburg, VA. It was a curious move by the Japanese automaker, especially considering that I had flown no less than 2,300 miles to drive the discontinued vehicle's ostensible successor, the all-new 2015 Acura TLX.
Yet spending a solid 40 minutes with a sparkling-new version of the outgoing model that still smelled showroom fresh, allowed me an opportunity to scrutinize the dropped sedan and remind myself why it had never really blown me away - it was good at doing many things, but truly great at doing none.
Time with the TSX also started me thinking about the Acura TL, the second model that the TLX will effectively replace. I have better memories of the slightly larger sedan, especially the SH-AWD 6MT trim - it's a solid driver's car - but it, too, fell short in areas where competitors, including the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS, Lexus IS and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, excelled.
The recall of faulty airbag inflators supplied by Takata has exploded today to grow to seven automakers. In most cases, only models in certain high-humidity regions were affected because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found in its investigation that moisture played a roll in determining whether there would be a problem. However, some companies opted for national campaigns. The exact number of affected models for these campaigns isn't yet known at this time.
BMW is recalling an undisclosed number of 325i, 325Xi, 330i and 330Xi models from the 2001 through 2005 model years and the 2001-2006 model year versions of the 325Ci and 330Ci for the driver side and passenger side inflators. Only vehicles currently registered in Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands are covered under this recall.
Neither Chrysler's filing with NHTSA nor its press release list the specific models affected, but a company spokesperson told Autoblog that at this time it only covers the driver and passenger side inflators for the 2006 Dodge Charger in Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands
Acura made a bold move earlier this year when it decided to axe two fairly popular models in the TL and TSX and replaced them with a single sedan: the TLX. After all, how often have you seen modern automakers consolidating vehicles in the lineup? But early indications have shown that the gamble might have paid off, at least so far, because the TLX has been outselling its predecessors for its first months on sale.
Acura has only released TLX sales numbers so far for August and September, but the results have been promising. In August, the company moved 2,286 of the new sedans, beating last year's figures for the same month from both the TL at 2,227 sold and the TSX at 1,755. Then in September, the newcomer did even better with 3,884 units leaving dealers to surpass the two previous vehicles combined from their 2013 monthly stats.
According to The Truth About Cars, the TLX's September numbers were even more impressive when looking even deeper into Acura sales history. It claims that you would have to go back to March 2011 when the TL sold 3,995 units to have seen it beat the new TLX. And the TSX hasn't surpassed the latest model's figure since December 2010.