2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon — Review
This 2011 review is representative of model years 2011 to 2013.
By James Tate of MSN Autos
Ever since the Acura TSX first hit the streets in 2004, it has been a steady performer in the entry-level luxury-car market, particularly among buyers 30 and under.
The hot news for 2011: Acura is adding a Sport Wagon variant to the TSX lineup, based on the slightly massaged and face-lifted 2011 sedan.
Offering more cargo room than most competitors, ample storage and a flat load floor, the 2011 TSX Sport Wagon adds welcome versatility to a model that has grown staid. Plus, the Sport Wagon's tapering roof and sharp lines offer a fresh new design perspective.
But does the 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon live up to its "sporty wagon" label? Does it match up to the European models in its segment? Not really.
It is available with only one drivetrain configuration: the standard 4-cylinder TSX engine mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission powering the front wheels.
Like most Acura models, nearly all additional options are bundled into a Technology Package. This pricey add-on comes with a power tailgate, a rearview camera, a hard-drive-based navigation system, voice recognition, real-time traffic and weather forecasting, a 10-speaker HDD-based surround-sound system with single-CD player and digital music storage.
Under the Hood
Also shared with the TSX sedan, the Sport Wagon's 5-speed automatic transmission now features programming to hold a gear during cornering and to allow for manual gear changes without requiring the transmission to be in Sport mode. The double-wishbone front suspension and multilink rear suspension help the wagon stay firmly planted, while the dual-mode dampers and slightly lengthened wheelbase make for a smooth highway ride.
The front leather seats are supportive, heated and power-adjustable, and along with a quiet cabin help make for an overall comfortable environment. The TSX Sport Wagon also has the largest available cargo space in its class, with a large hatch and no fewer than four hidden compartments.
On the Road
There are some definite drawbacks to the driving experience, though, at least for spirited drivers. First, the electrically assisted steering needs more feedback. It's not a case of it being inaccurate or sluggish; it's just electric, which typically means you don't feel much at all. Second, some help in the powertrain department would go a long way — if not the V6 engine of its sedan brother, then a sixth transmission gear would help. But if we understand Acura correctly, those options would simply drive the wagon out of the target customer's price range.
Even though the wagon variant weighs only 132 pounds more than the sedan, the engine and transmission seem to have a more difficult time finding a happy place in the rev range. It's a shame, because the lightweight 4-cylinder engine is smooth as silk and delightfully peppy. The 5-speed automatic transmission, on the other hand, seems to be a poor match for the car, often hunting for the right gear at the hint of a throttle modulation.
Right for You?
In its class, price has always been one of the TSX's strong suits, and the Sport Wagon doesn't disappoint at $30,960, an upcharge of $1,350 over the sedan. Even after ticking the box for the $3,650 Technology Package, essentially the only option, this new wagon remains a good package for the money.