2011 Acura TSX Wagon: Navigation-Audio System Likes, Dislikes
May 25, 2011
I spent a lot of quality time with our 2011 Acura TSX's slick hard-drive navigation system on my recent road trip. That's right, I said slick. The big center control dial may look chunky-clunky, but functionality is excellent. It's easy to grab on the fly (which you can mercifully still do in Acuras), and it's perfectly damped so that you almost always get exactly the selections you want. Yep, function over form. I'll take that compromise any day.
I also like how Bluetooth streaming audio works in this car. I've noticed that other cars require you to "opt in" manually to streaming audio, even if your phone is already paired. But in our TSX wagon, if your smartphone is paired, and it's playing audio (in this case, All Things Considered via 89.3 KPCC's live stream... you can't hear this program live on satellite radio), all you have to do is toggle the aux button to Bluetooth Audio, and you're in business: Melissa Block and Robert Siegel are coming through in surround sound.
Of course, that's not to say the setup is perfect.
Although I like the high-mounted location of the navigation screen, it's almost unreadable for about 20-30 minutes when you're driving down Interstate 5 as the sun's getting low in the western sky:
I've also found that the display brightness is spastic for the hour leading up to sunset and the hour after. The display continually goes dark as the light changes, and takes a long time to adjust on its own. Acura engineers evidently knew this would be a problem, because there's a manual day/night override button on the center stack. I found myself hitting it about a dozen times during a two-hour slog through traffic, so that I could keep following the destination guidance on the map screen.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 7,064 miles