2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon
Base price: $30,960 – $34,610
As tested: $35,470
MPG: 22 city/30 highway
- Surprisingly roomy
- Peppy engine, smooth transmission
- Comfortable, easy and enjoyable to drive
- No manual transmission or all-wheel drive
- Very small rear seat
- Needs a new face
By Jim Prueter
New TSX Sport Wagon is quick, roomy and fun to drive
The brass at Acura, Honda’s upscale division, thinks there’s a sufficient number of U.S. consumers who are searching for an alternative to the ubiquitous SUVs and crossovers, yet still want room for kids, gear, pets, and stuff. Their answer comes in the form of the TSX Sport Wagon, which they began importing from Europe last December after giving it an Acura makeover.
For 2011 the Sport Wagon joins the TSX four-door sedan and is powered by a 201-horsepower in-line 4-cylinder engine and a 5-speed sequential sportshift automatic transmission. A 280-horsepower V6 is offered only in the sedan and a choice of either automatic or manual transmission. All TSX models are front-wheel drive.
The Sport Wagon has a base price of $30,960 and is well equipped, including heated perforated leather seats, memory settings, power moon roof, USB port, Bluetooth and 360-watt stereo, 8-way driver’s power seat, 4-way power passenger seat, xenon HID headlamps, 17-inch alloy wheels, and keyless entry that also has a button for raising and lowering the tailgate.
There’s only one option, a tech package for an extra $3,650 that includes voice recognition navigation with rearview camera and Zagat Survey restaurant ratings and reviews, real-time traffic and weather reports, 15-gigabytes of music storage, 460-watt premium 10-speaker audio system, in-dash CD, DVD-audio, MP3, and steering wheel controls for the voice recognition.
We found the 201-horsepower 4-cylinder to be excellent with satisfying power and not leaving us wishing for the V6. The 5-speed automatic transmission shifted smoothly and along with the 4-cylinder seemed a perfect match for the Sport Wagon. The only thing missing seemed to be the availability of a manual transmission.
The Sport Wagon is built on the exact same platform as the TSX sedan but is 3.5 inches longer. Interior dimensions are also identical to the sedan including legroom, headroom, and shoulder room — but the wagon significantly improves the cargo space with over 25 cubic feet behind the rear seat and over 60 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. There’s space under the floor to hide a small purse, camera or other valuables.
Outside, all TSX models got a mild facelift for 2011. New underbody panels are intended to improve aerodynamics and fuel economy while reducing interior noise levels with a smoother airflow underneath the car. A new grille tones down the goofy grin that’s found across the Acura family of vehicles. Still, we think it’s ridiculous looking and wish Acura would rethink the look.
Standard safety gear includes vehicle stability control with traction control, 4-wheel antilock braking system with electronic brake distribution, brake assist, dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, front side airbags with passenger-side occupant position detection system, side curtain airbags, active front head restraints, LATCH child-seat mounting system, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
The 2011 TSX received the highest possible Good rating for frontal offset crash tests and side-impact crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It has not been crash tested by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration as of this writing.
Overall we found the new Sport Wagon to be quick, quiet, comfortable, and economical to operate with a surprising amount of cargo volume. The TSX comes very well equipped with easy-to-use controls for audio, climate control, navigation and all tech equipment. For those who don’t want to drive a crossover or SUV yet need practical room with four doors, the TSX Sport Wagon is an affordable alternative that drives and handles with no disappointments.