Front-wheel drive sports coupes were once rife on our nation’s highways and byways, but their popularity has been usurped by crossovers. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Acura RSX represents one of the breed’s best, but will its price have you wishing it had stayed forgotten?
Hey boys and girls, what time is it? Did you say, “Van Time?” You didn’t? Oh, okay.
Not everybody is into the van lifestyle. As first espoused by Chris Farley’s immortal SNL character Matt Foley, living in a van down by the river—bucolic-sounding as that might be—is really an acquired aesthetic. It’s also one that demands careful application of available funds and that’s a likely reason why yesterday’s camper-lite 2008 Ford E150 panel van failed to resonate with many of you. Fully 76 percent of you felt less than charitable about its $20,000 price, earning the van a substantial Crack Pipe loss.
The Acura name is a made-up word but as it’s derived from the real words “accurate” and “accuracy,” it at the very least sounds substantial and aspirational. It also sounds a little Japanese, befitting its nation of origin.
Acura used to be all about the names; they had some pretty good ones too. Who here wouldn’t want to drive a Legend? Or maybe commute with Vigor? Of course, when market research showed that those model names were generating better consumer retention than was the Acura brand, things had to change. That meant the end to names and the adoption of alphabetic gobbledygook that had begun with the NSX and today makes it nearly impossible to discern one model from the next in the brand’s line up.
One of the early recipients of this name change was the marque’s small sporty line, which went from Integra to RSX with the turn of the new Century. Still called the Honda Integra in other markets, it went by that far less emotive RSX when it debuted here in the U.S. as an Acura in 2002.
You know what, no matter what you called it, the littlest Acura was still a damn good car. And, this 2006 RSX Type-S is one of the damn-goodest of those.
The Type-S sat at the top of the RSX’s U.S. regular model lineup and featured substantial differences from its simple sister. You can think of it as the GTI to the base RSX’s Golf. Most notable of the updates was a 200 horsepower K20A2 i-VTEC four. That offered 40 more ponies than its little buddy. A close-ratio six-speed stick was added in 2005 and the car could be optioned with handsome 17-inch alloy wheels.
This one comes in an elegant Magnesium Metallic over an ebony leather interior. The bodywork looks well maintained in the pictures and the headlamps, which typically go cloudy on these cars over time, appear remarkably clear and serviceable. The wheels are all good save one, which does exhibit evidence of some curb rash. I guess you can’t win ‘em all.
There are a modest 112,500 miles on the clock and the interior, amazingly enough, shows little evidence of those. The leather sport seats appear intact and there’s no appreciable wear evident on the steering wheel or “titanium” gear knob.
The ad notes that this is a two-owner car and that it comes with extensive maintenance records. There’s nothing particularly noteworthy about the work that has been done to it—a new battery, K&N filter, Mobil 1 at every oil change, etc.—but then there also don’t seem to be any red flags.
This was the last year for the RSX, as Honda really didn’t know what they wanted out of Acura at the time, and the sports coupe market had dwindled to a mere trickle by then. The change from Integra to RSX, eschewing years of model name equity probably didn’t help all that much either.
The thing of it is, these are still amazingly fun cars to drive and pretty nice ones to live with as well. That’s got to appeal to someone, right?
To push that appeal over the top, this RSX would have to come with a killer price tag as its cherry on the top. We’ll just have to decide if it does.
That asking is $9,000 and that’s a lot of moolah for a nearly 15-year old Acura. Outside of the rarest of the rare—the NSX and Type-Rs—Acura doesn’t really have much of a following. Hell, I don’t think it has much of one inside Honda either. That’s too bad since they build pretty nice cars when they want to, no matter how bad they are at naming them.
Let’s name this RSX either a Nice Price or a Crack Pipe based on its clean title, excellent description in the ad, and that $9,000 asking. What do you think, could it reasonably be worth that much? Or, is this a Type-S that’s just the expensive type.
H/T to Christopher Lahti for the hookup!
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