2011 Acura TSX Wagon: Report from the Road
May 17, 2011
I'm now in Half Moon Bay, California, with our Acura TSX wagon. I read all your comments, and will be doing a max-mpg run on the drive back to LA (or at least part of it). Per my usual strategy, I left late for the drive north and hooked up our Escort radar detector, so I won't be collecting any pertinent mileage data until I refuel and slow up on the pace. Impressively, the TSX still has over a quarter of a tank remaining after about 370 miles, but then again, that's easy with the wagon's oversized 18.5-gallon tank.
I also saw the requests for the nighttime instrument panel shot (consider it done) and commentary on wind and road noise. The plan is to try to make a video that gives you a rough idea of the noise level in the cabin. Of course, I've already formed an opinion on that.
And I'm of the opinion that wind noise and road noise levels are moderate in this car. The cabin is not mausoleum-quiet at 70 mph (and you'll want to use the speed-compensated volume adjustment, for sure), but it's not all that much louder at 8_ mph on a, hm, closed course. This certainly wouldn't be a reason to avoid this car, and if you want to play the numbers game, we measured the 70-mph cruise decibel level at 65 in a recent TSX wagon tester -- the current-gen BMW 335i came in at 67.4 decibels and that never stopped anyone from buying a 3 Series.
I'm liking the ride quality in the TSX wagon. It's a tad stiff over seams and rough patches, but overall it's compliant and relaxed for the trip up Interstate 5, which everyone says puts them to sleep but which I happen to like because it's so familiar. My favorite part is the San Jose cutover on Highway 152 (near where the photo was taken). It's still green and pretty since the winter rains haven't stopped yet, and I like to set the cruise and sail through the sweeping turns.
The TSX felt steady and secure through these turns (and the steering had good weight and precision to it), but you can tell there's no athleticism hiding in this suspension calibration... it's not going to get more exciting than this if I detour on Skyline Blvd (Hwy 35) on the return trip. Which is probably OK. It's not like Subaru had any success selling Legacy GT wagons here. For wagons that are big enough to have baby seats in them, less sporting is probably more better.
One yellow flag for me so far is seat comfort. My back hurt for about half of the six-hour trip. The driver seat-back cushion is a little squooshy -- I wish it was firmer. Also, I wish the seat-bottom cushion was extendable so I could have a little more thigh support.
Finally, good call on checking road conditions on Highway 1. Lots of closures still from Monterey southward, according the Cal Trans website, but I think I can still do Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 6,521 miles