2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Not Sporty? That's OK
June 24, 2011
If you've been following our posts about our TSX Sport Wagon, you've probably come to the realization (as we have) that "Sport" has more to do with marketing than anything else. Erin drove it to Half Moon Bay and found it devoid of personality. Mark had a similar reaction in his post. In each case, their assessments are pretty much spot-on. But I also think the way Acura set up its TSX wagon is the right one.
If you're buying a wagon, there is an underlying assumption that you're buying it for the added versatility. You probably have a family, or dogs, or something in your life that becomes easier to transport if you have a wagon. And if that's the case, then chances are you're doing a lot of daily driving instead back-road burning.
Given that, a suspension that favors handling over ride quality is going to get tiresome. That was actually the main thing that turned me off about our departed A4 Avant -- its ride quality (with the fitted sport suspension, at least) was just too stiff for family duty. The TSX's suspension, though, is just about right. Yes, the limits are modest, but it's still controlled and compliant.
The same goes for power. Would it be super cool if Acura added the TSX's V6, all-wheel drive and manual transmission and call it a Type-S? Definitely. But how many people would buy one? Not enough, I suspect, for Acura to justify the expense. Just like Ed wrote recently, the four-cylinder is adequately powerful, and it provides pretty good fuel economy. As for the rest of the package, the TSX is comfortable, attractively styled and priced thousands less than its main competitors.
No, it doesn't get your adrenaline pumping. Maybe calling it the TSX Bland Wagon would be more accurate. But to attract the biggest share of that small sliver of people who still buy small to midsize wagons, the TSX is ideally positioned.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor