It was obvious that the RSX team had a working system. However, the Acura RSX was no longer new after three years on the market.

Since innovation is the lifeblood of the automotive industry, This midterm upgrade is too thorough to be referred to as a simple freshening but isn't quite a significant overhaul either.

Yes, the Acura RSX has the kind of small changes that are typical of most updates—the auto industry's version of plastic surgery, nips and tucks meant to prolong youth.

Examples: The Type-S model's decklid now sports a rear wing, the front fascia has a sharper edge, the headlights are new, etc.

The car looks lower, wider, and more aggressive because the visible areas of the front and rear underbody are bigger, there are new side sills,

The aforementioned, along with minor interior touch-ups on the Acura RSX, can all be categorised as cosmetic. However, there are also a lot of functional updates on the menu.

For instance, the platform people applied some selective stiffening to the body shell; the front spring rates are 10% higher;

Front and rear negative camber have been slightly increased, the rack-and-pinion steering ratio has been somewhat accelerated, and steering feel has been improved.

Even though that wouldn't be enough to noticeably alter performance on its own, the engineers also slightly lowered the final-drive ratio to speed up the Acura RSX.

The result? Acura asserts that the updated RSX performs well comparable to "European sports vehicles."

Given that the Acura RSX competes in a class with compact, $25,000 front-drive sports coupes, we have to ask just which European sports cars are being discussed in the publicity materials.

The Acura RSX still makes it clear that it is a front-drive vehicle. Understeer is still its distinguishing characteristic.