In the good old days of wood paneled station wagons and trips to Wally Word, the automotive enthusiast could not fathom a time when a wagon would be even remotely considered to be cool. Fortunately, the wagon has been resurrected to be cool once again not only by the American and German automakers, but by the Japanese at Acura as well. The all-new Acura TSX Sport Wagon is a car that embodies balanced performance, sexy styling, and utility all wrapped up in a luxury-sports sedan platform.
Honda gave Americans the Crosstour in the hopes of filling a void for utilitarian sedans. Unfortunately, some of us still begged for that stylish European Honda Accord Tourer Wagon, which has now been brought to our shores in the form of the new Acura TSX Sport Wagon.
The all-new 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon, as you can guess, is essentially a TSX with extra utility room. But the TSX Sport Wagon is a bit more than just a regular TSX with a gigantic trunk that adds extra weight; it is engineered to have that same tenacity in the performance and luxury departments as the TSX sedan, despite its larger cargo capacity.
The new TSX Sport Wagon drives just like the regular TSX sedan with no compromise due to the larger rear end. Its 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine puts out 201 horsepower and provides good EPA fuel economy numbers rated at 22mpg city and 30mpg highway. The 201 horsepower and 170 pounds-feet of torque engine strains at times when you demand power. The 5-speed automatic transmission is very competent in most driving situations providing smooth, direct shifts. It does, however, have a manual sport mode that allows you to utilize the steering wheel paddle shifters and basically rev the engine into the redline all the way to fuel cut.
The V6 found in the TSX sedan is not offered in the TSX Sport Wagon currently. Although the 2.4-liter cylinder is not a bad engine, the TSX Sport Wagon could use a bit more oomph when you have it loaded full of “stuff” along with 5 breathing bodies. It is quite possible Acura may offer a more tenacious powertrain for the TSX Sport Wagon in the future. For now the economical 2.4-liter is surprisingly adequate.
Steering response from the electric steering rack is predictable but does not give you a good representation of road surfaces and the feedback that you may expect from a sporty car. Visibility towards the rear does take a little time to become accustomed to because of the low slopping roof-line of the wagon part of the TSX. The suspension is tuned well, keeping body roll in check when taking moderate turns.
Acura is not only testing the waters for offering a sport wagon in the American market, but they have put the new TSX Sport Wagon up against BMW and Audi wagon offerings. Estimated to produce 4000 units this year, Acura may be attempting to get some feedback from the market before the research yields higher production numbers. So far, the Acura TSX Sport Wagon is off to a good start. Having a price starting at only $30,960 could be a major factor that wins over many young buyers.
During my time with the Acura TSX Sport Wagon I was able to put it to the test by loading and unloading several card tables and chairs. Surprisingly I was able to make only one trip to carry 6 folding chairs and two tables without putting the rear seats down. The power rear liftgate, part of the tech-package option, is also a nice touch considering how low the TSX Sport Wagon’s rear bumper is for loading and unloading items. Just a push of the button lowers and completely closes the rear left gate for easy access.
The inside of the Acura TSX Sport Wagon provides the right blend of luxury and sport. The front heated leather buckets provide excellent lateral support and are comfortable enough to prevent fatigue during long road trips. The dashboard is virtually the same as a TSX sedan, nicely integrating the audio and hvac controls down the center console in the fashion that Acura and Honda owners are accustomed to. The navigation LCD screen, slightly set apart from other center-console controls, is bright and easy to read. Having the tech package offers up one of the best navigation systems on the market with voice activation, XM Navtraffic and XM Weather.
The center armrest storage area provides an adjustable a/c vent to keep items cool. It won’t keep ice frozen for longer than a hour but it does provide occupants with enough cool ventilation to keep a sandwich fresh for wherever you end up on a full tank of gas.
When you consider the cargo capacity of the TSX Sport Wagon, it surpasses offerings from BMW and Audi and even the Acura RDX’s total space with the seats down. With that amount of utility for a price starting around $30,000, young buyers would consider the TSX Sport Wagon to be a sensible competitor especially when compared to the price of similarly equipped wagons from Audi and BMW.
Copyright: 2011 AutomotiveAddicts.com