2011 Acura TSX Wagon: The Old One Was Better
March 03, 2011
That Arctic Blue TSX up there was my own car, so I suppose you can call me biased. Or perhaps you can call me better informed. Either way, I say the old, original TSX was far better than the current car.
To be fair, there are some improvements. The throttle calibration with the manual transmission makes so-equipped cars easier to drive, though that's a moot point with the auto-only wagon (and the fact it's less of an enthusiasts car now). The navigation and Bluetooth software are also improved, while the iPod interface exists. So does the wagon, which stayed across the ponds during the original generation.
Beyond that, the acceleration is worse, the steering is worse, the seats are worse, the styling is worse and the interior is worse. For the latter point, I've included a complaint by numbers after the jump.
1) I doubt this piece used to be metal, but its polished silver finish at least looked like metal and felt a lot more like metal than the new car's trim. The Parchment (tan) interior came with wood trim, if you're into that sort of thing. This stuff looks, feels and definitely is plastic. It looks cheap and doesn't belong in a car that's supposedly a luxury model.
2) The door handles used to be chromed metal. Now they are flimsy-feeling flastic.
3) Nevermind that the TSX's tuning knob has been replaced by a tuning rocker button, but the remaining volume knob is now plastic with a rubber grip ring around it. The old knobs were metal with this really cool ringed vinyl-record-like finish to its top.
4) Speaking of buttons, the new TSX gets the usual array of unnecessary Honda buttons. Category, seek and tune, plus A.SEL and Scan. Then you have all the navigation ones. Most of those used to be in the touchscreen, and with the exception of perhaps the radio presets, I say that was better. It was at least cleaner looking and I thought it was easier to use at a glance.
5) The buttons themselves have a rough texture to them. I guess that helps if you have slippery hands or something, but they don't feel especially nice. I've never felt the need to file my nails on an A.SEL button.
6) Like the Accord and Crosstour, the TSX has Honda's uncomfortable "corrective posture chairs." The old one didn't.
Small things, sure, but details that signify that the TSX has regressed. Is the last TSX still my cup of tea? Well, I don't own it any more. But I certainly like it better than this one -- wagon or no.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 2,722 miles