I own a 2002 RSX-S.
Eating headlight bulbs is a weird random occurance for your car. The dealer should check this out for you - you may be sending too high of a voltage to the headlights. I have never heard this complaint and I regularly browse forums dedicated to the RSX.
Engine is VERY smooth, gearbox is very smooth for a car in this class.
The turning radius is not impressive for a small car, but it definitely doesn't suck. It is average, and is plentiful when used properly.
You call the ride "rough," but I call it "firm" and "grounded." Most people prefer this kind of feel in a sporty car. I have been in cars with much harsher suspension, and I have been in cars where it feels like you're floating, and I love the feel of the RSX.
It can be annoying to readjust the driver's seat when you move it forward to get to the back seat. But you learn to use the passenger's side, which is the side the car was designed to use. On the passenger's side you need only adjust the recline of the seat. You get used to it.
My head has never been "jackhammered" againt the headrest. Interesting term though.
Put your gas cap on the ground. Or on top of the gas machine thing. That wasn't so hard, was it?
Yes it would be nice if LSD was an option, and maybe it will be soon. When your 2002 came out, I don't think there were any cars in it's class with LSD. Limited Slip is still trickling down from luxury cars.
Electronic Stability Control? On a $20k car? Ridiculous.
I have never had trouble telling the difference between 60 and 70mph, and my speedometer even goes to 160. I have never even had trouble telling the difference between 60 and 61.
About the plastic thing in the back seat: I don't know if it has a use, either. But it does help point out that the RSX is a 4-seater. I would never even try to fit 3 kids in the back (especially with only two seatbelts!), let alone 3 small adults. I don't let anybody that I like ride in the back seat.
Lack of protection of lower part of radiator?? That's quite a large "what-if?" Never heard anyone complain about that either. If you're concerned about it, you might consider blocking the radiator with an intercooler, like I did.
Here are some valid complaints for everyone: The doors ding easily, the paint on the hood chips easily if you regularly commute to work on the highway, there's been some kind of a service recall that fixes a problem where the second gear sometimes grinds a little bit when you shift into it, but it's up to dealer discretion so you probably have to live with it. On some cars it's very noticeable, other cars are fine.
The brakes are nice and firm, and instant.
Headlights light up the road very well.
Beautiful car. Great price.
I think the previous person had some valid comments, but I'd like to respond to a few of them.
If you go to clubrsx.com and do a search for Sylvania Silverstars, you will see that a lot of people are experiencing extremely short bulb life in their RSX's. Other people have used these bulbs in vehicles other than the RSX with no problems. I should add these aren't the only bulbs that people have written blow out quickly in the RSX. I know my first headlight blew about 6 weeks after I bought my RSX, and I drive two different cars. I'm glad to hear someone hasn't had any headlight problems.
My point about the gas cap, is with my sister's 16 year old Acura Integra, you can dock the cap to the inside of the gas cap lid - don't you think that's more elegant than putting your gas cap on the ground? Do you really want dirt getting on your gas cap so when you replace it, it can work itself into your gas tank and into your engine?
You can get the new Honda Civic SI with a limited slip differential, but still not the RSX in '06.
I know I'm not the only one concerned about the lack of radiator protection due to the complete absence of a lower grille. Again, if you go to clubrsx.com and do a search, you will see more than one person has posted step-by-step photos and pictures of them fabricating a lower grille out of metal mesh or plastic gutter guard.
The writer is correct when he states Acura has issued a service bulletin about transmission gear grind and popout. However, this only applies to the 6-speed manual in the Type S. If you have a 5 speed manual or automatic, you are fine.
I've driven lots of cars, and yes the suspension is "firm" and "sporty." I've driven a 2005 BMW 3 series, an 2005 RX-7, a 2005 Scion tC, and a Sentra SER, and in my opinion these had a significantly more comfortable ride than the RSX. Though, I don't think the Scion tC can match the RSX's handling.
I don't want to trash the RSX. It's a good car, and I'm happy with my choice - if I had to, I'd buy it again. But, like anything mechanical, it has compromises - it's not perfect.
I have an 05 RSX. and besides the nice look of the car I am disappointed with the performance. I came from driving a Z twin turbo, so I was not expecting the same performance, however, it feels so sluggish to me and when I take off (if I can) it jerks to the side a little. Its so bad, I am considering getting a new car. Maybe I should have gotten a type S, but I wanted auto for LA traffic. But I have to use the sequential shift so much to get ANY performance, I might as well have gotten it.
The Type-S is a must if you want performance. If you went from a twin turbo to the Base model RSX it makes the contrast even bigger. I have an 03 Type-S and I love it! It is a big difference from the base model, but still needs high revs for power. My one gripe about it is that I get the check engine light on a lot because of the gas cap. It's like I never get that thing on tight enough!
I also have problems with the headlights. I have had 2 (low beams) go out within a month of each other, both on the driver's side. I can't see how this is normal. While the replacement bulbs are less than $10, it is a major pain to change them with the setup of this car.