2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Review and Test Drive
I first saw the new 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon, built on the same platform as Acura’s TSX sedan, at the 2010 New York Auto Show. In introducing the car, John Mendel, Acura’s executive vice president of sales, pointedly said that the TSX Sport Wagon was for drivers “seeking a vehicle with utility.”
It’s unfortunate, of course, that you don’t see that many station wagons out on the road these days. This is in no small extent due to the somewhat irrational (in my opinion) love of SUVs despite their poor fuel economy and truck-like handling. Acura, of course, hopes to change this, but America’s love affair with SUVs (which followed America’s love affair with the minivan) is hard to break.
I might see how the Sport Wagon, when viewed from the side, is vaguely “European-inspired,” as Acura is wont to say, but the front, with its ever-present Transformers-like grill, won’t fool anyone.
INSIDE THE ACURA TSX SPORT WAGON
The first thing you notice about the Sport Wagon is how roomy it is. It seats five comfortably and has ample room for whatever the five people might wish to take with them, including a removable side panel that allows golf clubs to fit and under-floor bins for additional storage. The result is up to 60.5 sq. feet of useable cargo space.
Acura does a very good job with electronics, and navigation, phone, and stereo are easy to use. However, there are still too many switches and buttons (I didn’t count, unlike my colleague Jonathan Spira, who has counted over 50 in some Acuras).
Acura still (inexplicably) keeps the cockpit controller on the center stack, even when other Japanese automakers (i.e. Lexus) have copied the Germans and moved it to the center console.
The navigation system now stores map data on a hard disk, which speeds things up, and the system responded quickly to a missed turn by recalculating almost immediately. The maps display at a higher resolution but they are still 2-D and no perspective view is available. Traffic information worked reasonably well and Acura integrates Zagat restaurant ratings and a list of scenic drives into the system as well.
The car had no problem downloading my mobile’s contact list and I was able to speak the name of a contact without having to train the system. Song By Voice allows you to do the same thing with an iPod.
The Tech package’s ELS sound system, 360 watts and eight speakers, produced rich and clear sound and made everything from jazz to classical to pop sound good.
Click here to continue to Page 2 – Driving the 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon
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