2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Long Term Road Test - Miscellaneous

2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Long Term Road Test

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Makes My Short List

January 26, 2012

accord tourer f34.jpg

I'm one of those car guys that thinks wagons are cool. I'm not talking Wagon Queen Family Truckster here, but rather Euro-flavored wagons that are more like sport sedans with big trunks.

I like the lower, sleeker styling of a traditional station wagon compared to the bulky and high-riding crossovers that are all the rage. The Jetta TDI SportWagen (6-speed manual, please) has long been my pick due to its generous cargo capacity, ideal handling/ride balance and peppy turbodiesel that sips fuel to the tune of estimates of 30 city and 42 highway. But having driven our recently departed Acura TSX Sport Wagon, I was reminded how close it comes to knocking the Vee-Dub off my top wagon list...

As you've figured out by now, the photo above is of the European market Honda Accord Touring wagon, the twin to the Acura TSX Sport Wagon. Were I to get the Acura, I'd have to replace its grille and bumper with the Honda's. Need I say why? Otherwise, I think the TSX wagon looks fine -- the rising beltline gives it an aggressive, crouching stance that works for me. I prefer its styling to the sedan, actually, especially when viewed from the rear 3/4 angle.

Enough about looks, what really endears me to this Acura is its strengths as a daily driver and its ability to haul stuff without screaming "family car". Sure, it could use more power and it's odd that the V6 isn't available for the wagon, but it's a smooth, willing four that, under our heavy feet and subjected to L.A.'s horrid traffic managed to average about 25 mpg. It's comfortable on long rides, provides 66 cubes worth of cargo capacity and would likely be as reliable as an anvil, if Acura's strong history in that regard is any indicator.

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: 20,000 Miles

January 20, 2012

Milestone Banner.jpgacura_tsx_milestone_1600.jpg

We have 20,000 miles of good road behind us in the Acura TSX Sport Wagon. With most of our long-term test cars, our goal is drive 20,000 miles within our one year. We passed this number last night driving south on the 405 freeway. I couldn't take a picture of the exact click over because I was in a bit of frenzied traffic. But as soon as I exited and stopped at a red light, I snapped this pic.

This TSX wagon, beloved by many on our staff, is scheduled to go back to the manufacturer on Monday. It will be missed. Both Magrath and I have mentioned that we would purchase this vehicle if it was one of the cars that our company had bought. But it was a loaner from Acura and so we have to relinquish the keys.

In the twelve months that we enjoyed the Acura TSX, our only issue was a cracked windshield which we replaced in December. Other than that it was just the usual maintenance.

Any of you thinking of buying an Acura TSX Sport Wagon?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 20,029 miles

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: How Many People Bought it in 2011?

January 06, 2012


Okay, so we've had the discussion here a few times on wheter or not you (or anyone) would or should buy the TSX Wagon. Donna, Frio and I are in agreement that we'd buy one. (I want our long termer when it's done truth be told.) Austria and Montoya are boring and hate useable space and would buy the sedan.

Al gave you the numbers for Jan - August. Acura moved 16,438 TSX sedans with 2,171 of them being wagons. How did the wagon finish out the year? (Hint: better than the Equus)

TSX: 30,935

TSX Wagon: 3,210

That puts the TSX wagon at more than 10 percent of TSX sales which sounds low, but is higher than the manual transmission take rate on far too many cars. The TSX wagon also handily outsold the ZDX (1,564 units this year) and the RL (1,096 units). The TSX Wagon also outsold the G-Class, the entire Maybach lineup, the Subaru Tribeca, the Hyundai Equus, Lancer Evolution (2,118), Lancer Sportback (1,548) and I'm sure more.

In unrelated sales news, both the Kia Borrego and the Kia Rondo also outsold the entire Maybach line by a score of 429/47 (Borrego/Rondo) to 39. This isn't terribly interesting unless you consider that both the Borrego or the Rondo were axed after the 2009 model year.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor, Inside Line

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: A Look Underneath

December 30, 2011


We've started using our new 2-post Rotary Lift more and more. Almost daily in fact. This morning it was our Acura TSX Sport Wagon's turn to reveal to us its underthings.

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Driving Like an Adult

December 27, 2011


I'm probably the least mature editor on staff. While my same-aged (and younger) colleagues here have multiple children and equity in their homes, I spent the holiday weekend in my rental duplex building a plastic model and huffing Testors model paint and glue. But that all changed on the day after Christmas.

The young man pictured above is my nephew Dino. Yes, he is named after Enzo Ferrari's first son. For his ChrismaHannukah present, rather than opting for some toy that he'd break (ok, it'd be me that would likely break it) inside of two weeks, I took him to the gun range.

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: 2012 Model Is An IIHS Top Safety Pick

December 15, 2011

acura tsx sport wagon aa.jpg

Turns out the Acura TSX Sport Wagon doesn't just look great; it's also one of the safest vehicles in its category. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) just gave the 2012 TSX wagon its Top Safety Pick award; this award recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting occupants in front, side, rollover, and rear crashes. The TSX wagon earned the highest-possible score of "Good" in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash tests conducted by the IIHS.

The 2012 model is a carryover from the 2011 model, but gets additional cargo-area storage space thanks to a compact tire repair kit. The 2012 wagon also gets a new Special Edition package that offers some sporty styling upgrades.

Acura's 2012 TL sedan (only TL models built after September 2011 qualify), TSX sedan and MDX crossover were also recognized as being Top Safety Picks in their respective categories.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Oregon Pictorial

December 06, 2011


To keep myself entertained for the 1,900-mile roundtrip to and from Oregon while in the 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon's passenger seat, I took photos. Unfortunately/fortunately the pictures were taken with my ever-present iPhone 4S which is fine in well-lit, non-moving situations but can sometimes make for blurry photos.

Anyway, if you're really bored, and feel like looking at vacation photos, here's the Acura TSX in the Northwest.

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: The TSX Wagon Stands Alone

November 25, 2011


Those of you not lucky enough to live in the LA area will, most likely, miss the 2011 LA Auto Show . You'll also miss Acura's shunning of the Acura TSX Sport Wagon. We know it's not the biggest seller in the fleet, but it deserves better than being placed right behind the big Acura wall.

From this angle it looks like it's off to the side, but it's not. From the main aisle you just can't see the Sport Wagon. Sure, if you're cheating the main aisle and making a b-line to Infiniti down the back wall you'll see it, otherwise, you'll need to spend a lot of time at Acura to check this one out.

They did have a BMC Racing TSX on display, but thanks to the small fortune in racing cycles, they had it fenced off.

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Long Haul-iday

November 22, 2011


Northward ho! I'll be trekking to Corvallis, OR in our longterm 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon during the holiday break. That's something like 1,800 miles round trip. Almost exclusively freeway (unfortunately), though the roads do get rather nice up around Shasta, CA.

Anything in particular you'd like to know about the TSX on such a trip? I'll keep your requests in mind might even report back. That is, provided I can keep the ax-wielding fowl at bay.

--Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: 15K Milestone

November 03, 2011

Milestone Banner.jpg IMG_0765.JPG

The TSX hit 15,000 miles on the way back from the SEMA show.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Ding. Dong.

October 26, 2011


This is a ding/paint chip that's along the leading edge of the TSX's rear driver's side door. I have no idea how this much paint can be lost in one hit. Then again, I have no idea how this happened. But it sure is awful.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Transported

October 24, 2011


There's been a lot of Acura in my life lately. I've been driving my own car, a 2001 Acura TL, which recently hit the 130,000 mile mark. I drove the Acura MDX along a stretch of PCH on Friday as part of a charity event. I revived some pleasant memories of a 1989 Legend I once co-owned, thanks to a post over on our Readers Rides blog. And I drove the TSX Sport Wagon over the weekend.

All these Acuras are very different cars, obviously, with creature comforts from the rudimentary (22 years is an eternity in car years) to the luxurious (the MDX's interior serves up wood accents, lots of technology and leather seats that are cooled as well as heated --something that I discovered by accident).

The Sport Wagon has necessary, thoughtful and helpful features, but doesn't go overboard. It's a car that's spirited without being skittish and responsive without being aggressive. Plus, Acura's recent automotive rhinoplasty looks good on the car. Would that the designers could do a nip-and-tuck on the center stack. (An old-school black and white snapshot seems like an appropriate way to render it):

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Form Factor

October 18, 2011


I'm not crazy about our longterm 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon's front-end styling (hence the rear shot above), but there's no denying that its form factor just makes sense. Swiveling it into a compact parking spot at a crowded Trader Joe's last night punctuated this impression. Wagons rule.

And this one drives quite nicely. Ride, steering, and routine handling are tidy. It picks up well from low revs. The cabin looks and feels solid. It even has some of that new-car smell still. Yeah, the autobox is unexceptional -- give me a manual any day -- but at least there are paddles on the wheel. So, yeah, I like driving this car.

--Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Driving in Foggy Weather

October 17, 2011


It's difficult to photograph fog. And fog can be challenging to drive in if the weather is thicker than in this photo.

Here are some (paraphrased) tips for driving in foggy conditions from the California Department of Motor Vehicles:

1. Don't

2. If you must, use your regular headlights, not highbeams. They create glare.

3. Never drive with just your parking or fog lights.

4. Drive slowly and leave enough following distance so that you can stop your car in the amount of space you can see ahead.

5. Avoid passing and switching lanes.

6. Lower your window slightly so you can listen for traffic that you may not see.

7. If you must pull off to the side of the road, turn off your lights and do not rest your foot on the brake. Other drivers may follow your lights, thinking you are moving and then BAM.

Have any tips to add?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 13,942 miles

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Real Sport, Part II

October 04, 2011


I received some pretty good advice from the commenters on my sportier TSX Photoshop yesterday. Here's yet another version with your changes (and a few more) implemented. This time around, I killed the roof rails (good call), darkened the wheels, removed the caliper paint, darkened the taillights, shrunk the side mirror, gave it body-colored door handles and blacked out the chrome trim. Now THIS is a sport wagon. Your thoughts?

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Real Sport Imagined

October 03, 2011


I've stated before that one of my automotive pet peeves is when a car adopts the "sport" name when it really isn't all that sporty. Rather than moan about it this time, I Photoshopped what I thought a real TSX Sport Wagon could be.

I think a sport suspension package is in order to give the Acura some real credibility, so I lowered it quite a bit. The side skirts and front spoiler are already options. I then increased the wheel sizes and painted the brake calipers and badge red. I also blacked-out the grille. In the end, I was left with a riced-out version that looks more like a Honda. Perhaps I should've left well enough alone?

What do you think?

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: I'd Get The Sedan, Like Most People

September 27, 2011

Acura TSX Sport Wagon.JPG

After I started working here I learned that enthusiasts are supposed to love wagons. That was news to me -- I thought they were for Mommies and Mr. Moms.

Many people say they like wagons. Because they're so practical? Then how come these people never buy one?

If you want style and performance, get the sedan version of whatever car you're interested in.
And if you want more space, get an SUV/crossover. Or God forbid, a minivan!

But most people don't get a wagon. Like the 5-cylinder engine -- which was supposed to have "the power of a 6!", and "the economy of a 4!" but ended up with the opposite performance characteristics -- the modern station wagon is more theory than reality.

Consider the sales figures for the Acura TSX Sport Wagon.

My colleague Ivan Drury, Manager of Pricing and Industry Analysis at Edmunds.com , sent me the Acura sales figures for 2011.

Model 2011 YTD
MDX 28,759
RDX 9,326
RL 936
TL 20,373
TSX 16,438
TSX Sport Wagon 2,171
ZDX 1,133
Grand Total 79,136

Two stats can be derived from these figures:

  1. TSX Sport Wagon comprises only 11.7% of all TSX sales
  2. TSX Sport Wagon comprises only 2.7% of all Acura

It's great to have many choices available in vehicles. Acura also offers the RDX which outsells the TSX wagon by a large margin.

However, with wagons, enthusiasts talk a good game, but almost never put their wallet where their mouth is.

If I were to get a TSX, I'd get the sedan. Like most people.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 13,200 miles

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Touring Iconic Los Angeles

September 26, 2011


This weekend we drove the Acura TSX wagon up to L.A.'s historic Griffith Observatory. For those of you who haven't heard of it, here's a bit from the observatory's Web site:

"Griffith Observatory's unique architecture and setting, compelling programmatic offerings, and cinematic exposure have made it one of the most famous and visited landmarks in southern California. Tens of millions have come to walk the inside of the building, view the live planetarium shows, or simply gaze out towards the coast and the heavens. This cultural and scientific icon owes its existence to the dream of one man, Griffith Jenkins Griffith, and to the dedicated scientists and public servants who worked to fulfill his vision of making astronomy and observation accessible to all."

Trivia question: How many movies can you name in which the Griffith Observatory appeared?

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 13,145 miles

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Cruising Through 2012

September 23, 2011


This afternoon I pulled up IL's Buyer's Guide and clicked on "Acura: What's New for 2012," smartly written by my pal, Josh Jacquot. I figured I'd check to see what (besides the compact spare tire which Ed Hellwig already reported was coming in his post about under floor storage) 2012 TSX wagon buyers would be enjoying that wasn't present on our 2011 model.

Turns out, nothin'.

Besides new paint options across the lineup, the only other model receiving updates for 2012 is the TL.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 12,959 miles

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Middle Class is Tops

September 22, 2011


When I parked at the coffee shop this morning, there were no cars on either side of me. I came out a few minutes later to find the VW Golf to my left, the Mazda CX-7 to my right.

Looking at the row of dark cars, it immediately struck me how each represented the next larger class: hatchback, wagon, SUV.

For me, the sweet spot's right in the middle. Especially when you put "sport" in front of "wagon."

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 12,839 miles

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Answer Key

August 23, 2011


A couple of you correctly identifed the spot where Waldo parked our 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon when he visited Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It is, of course, right there at the head of the green arrow, just behind a bit of orange cyclone fencing. @nisslover was the first to post the correct answer.

Here are the locations of the others:

  • Smart Fortwo (light blue)
  • Ford Boss302 Mustang (yellow)
  • Jag E-Type Roadster (white - plus one more at the Jag display)
  • Hummer H2-T (dark blue)
  • VW New Beetle (orange)
  • Chevrolet SSR (black)

How many did you find?

Thanks for playing

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing, holding steady at @ 11,482 miles

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Where's Waldo's Car?

August 22, 2011


Waldo (Wally, if you're from the UK), that lanky guy with a red-and-white striped shirt, Harry Potter spectacles and a toque, borrowed our 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon and parked it somewhere in the infield at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Can you find it?

Also in this picture:

  • Smart Fortwo
  • Ford Boss302 Mustang
  • Jag E-Type Roadster
  • Hummer H2-T
  • VW New Beetle
  • Chevrolet SSR

Can you spot them all?

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 11,482 miles

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Monterey Historics Weekend

August 18, 2011


Today I'm headed north to Monterey, California in our 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon to watch the historic car races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and look at some restored (and over-restored) classic cars at Pebble Beach.

I'm using the old Ridge Route to make my exit over the mountains and away from the LA basin instead of the kinder, gentler (but still steep) grade that is Interstate 5. The Ridge Route doesn't go all the way across anymore -- far from it -- but at least I'll be able to toss the Acura at a few slow and medium speed corners before I wade in amongst the trucks and other traffic and make the slog on up the freeway.

Before I left home I took suspension walkaround photos in my new driveway. I'll tweak them up and post something next week after I get back.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 11,145 miles

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Reflecting Badly

July 26, 2011

Acura TSX Sport Wagon reflection.jpg

Now that Acura is no longer wandering in the automotive-design wilderness, I can be a fan again. I like the TSX Sport Wagon a lot. It's roomy and nicely appointed without being old-world stodgy (unlike a swanky Germanic wagon I drove a few months ago). So what I'm describing here is a minor complaint. I lodge it because it's something I haven't noticed in other cars, and it's distracting.

In late-afternoon sunlight, the driver-side window reflects the vents and instrument panel, turning the view in the outside mirror into what looks like a double-exposure special effect. The picture at the top of this post doesn't do justice to the problem -- the reflection appears smack in the middle of the side mirror. I drove home looking at reflected air vents, and polarized sunglasses didn't make it go away.

Have you had this problem? Is there a solution -- other than just waiting for the sun to set?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @10,113 miles (10K milestone post coming soon)

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: GMR

July 25, 2011

TSX at GMR.jpg

Question: What do Levi Leipheimer, Chris Horner, George Hincapie and the Acura TSX Sport Wagon have in common?

The Answer:

They all climbed up Glendora Mountain Road earlier this year during stage 7 of the Tour of California. Leipheimer won the mountain stage, which ended at the Mount Baldy ski area, while Horner finished second and cemented his TOC victory.

Big George and the TSX have even more of a connection. Hincapie rides for the BMC Racing Team, an American-based outfit riding Swiss-made BMC bicycles. Team BMC uses Acura TSX Sport Wagons as support vehicles for all of its North American racing activities, including the TOC. Hincapie, you might recall, helped some guy named Lance capture seven Tour de France titles.

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Scratched Exterior Door-Handle Cup

July 20, 2011

acura tsx sport wagon door handle cup.jpg

This morning I noticed a scratch by the TSX's door handle, circled in red above. There are actually a couple other scratches in the general area, but they're not deep enough to show up in this photo.

Maybe the side effect of that hulking piece of rock on someone's engagement ring? It happens, I guess.

Still, I took a quick look at the other vehicles in our fleet and they don't seem to show any damage in this area.

Of course, if you're really anal about this sort of thing, you could always line the area with clear film, like this stuff.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 9,637 miles

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: The Sands of Time

July 18, 2011


About four years ago I moved to a cozy beach town. The best part of this house is the constant refreshing breeze that comes off the Pacific Ocean.

An unfortunate byproduct of this breeze is that every day I come out to a car covered in a light dusting of sand. I wondered if this would eventually affect the paint.

So I asked our staff. They assured me that as long as it's not a strong wind that is constantly beating against the car, it should be OK. Seagull poop is probably more harmful.

What do you think?

Here's an action-packed four-second video showing the buildup. Sorry about the noise. Someone fired up a saw just as I hit record.

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Romancing the Wagon

July 04, 2011


When I signed out the Acura TSX wagon for the weekend, Vehicle Testing Manager Mike Schmidt said, "I knew you were going to choose that. I was going to bet Magrath so it would be on record."

There is always a car in the fleet that I pretend to own. I used to own the Nissan GT-R. You remember, it was white and fast. For a while I owned the Mini E. It was my special little car for a summer. And the Audi A4 Avant, I actually considered buying when it's time was up.

My current fave is the Acura TSX Wagon. It suits my lifestyle. I love wagons. And I already own an Acura. This one is a perfect size for me. It has enough gadgetry to keep me entertained. I like the way it looks. And it's a fair price. It'll probably get dumped the next time we get an Audi in the fleet, but for now we're a happy couple.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 9,036 miles

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Child Safety Seat Fitment Test

June 27, 2011


A while back on another TSX Sport Wagon post I saw a comment asking about how well child safety seats fit. Presumably, the commenter was wondering how well the TSX might work out as a family wagon. Well, I live to serve. I dragged out my collection of kiddie seats over the weekend and strapped them in. Acura versus Britax. Read on.

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Hooray For The Wagon

June 20, 2011


Put me down as being quite glad that we have a wagon in the fleet again. Come to think of it, we've really only had three since the start of the long-term blog: the TSX, the 2009 A4 Avant and the 2007 Kia Rondo. (I guess you could include the Flex, too, if you wanted.) While I completely understand why people like crossovers and their elevated ride height, SUV-influenced styling and available AWD, all I really need for daily family duty is just a bit of extra luggage and cargo space. And I'll keep the car handling dynamics instead settling for car-like dynamics, thank you.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 8,401 miles

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Yankees, Angels and Hyundais

June 16, 2011


A couple of weeks ago my Yankees came to town to play our local club the Angels. Looking for a partner in crime I found Hyundai CEO and fellow Yankee fan John Krafcik. I bought the tickets. He bought the beer.

Around the second inning we started talking about our long-term 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon, which I had driven down to Anaheim for the game. John asked me how I liked it. "It's feels good, and it's very nicely put together," I answered with a mouth full of hot dog "But it could use more motor. When it's loaded with people and cargo it needs full throttle more than it should."

John took a sip of beer, thought about it for a second and said, "I'd really like that wagon to do well, but..."

So Krafcik isn't only a Yankee fan, but the man likes wagons. Maybe a five-door Sonata is in the works for this market.

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Front License Plate Bracket

June 09, 2011


Something like 14 U.S. states do not issue or require front license plates, but California isn't one of them. I prefer to run around without, but our cars spend a lot of time parked parallel on the streets of west LA and Santa Monica, where meter maids cruise around in trendy hybrids looking for any excuse to whip out their ticket books and start issuing.

Having spent 7 years in Arizona, one of the enlightened states that doesn't have front plates, I hadn't noticed the missing plate on the nose of our 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon until I loaded some stuff in the back and found it laying next to the front bracket in the underfloor storage bin.

Reluctantly, and with a hint of sadness, I dug out a 10mm socket and a Phillips screwdriver and got to work.

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Hello, Again

June 07, 2011


I always felt the TSX sedan was a solid alternative to the Audi A4 or the BMW 3-Series; competitors that are a dime a dozen here in Southern California. What it didn't have in terms of content was made up for in style and being different.

In fact I practically owned one for three months. Yes, I have a history with the TSX.

My experience is from many years ago in in my single days. I dated a woman who had just bought one when I met her. It was one of those stereotypical drama relationships where she was very attractive but crazy. I mean c-r-a-z-y. She'd ask me to drive in her car all the time when we went out and I didn't mind because I loved the TSX. I didn't miss her when we broke up, but I missed the car. In fact I nearly bought one. Right before the TSX got that face that is.

Driving our TSX wagon brought back the positive memories from those days, except now it's a lot better. Not because the crazy is in the dim recess of my history, but because the TSX has evolved in vehicle type to match my current lifestyle. I'm a little older and my priorities in life have changed. Wagons and trucks are nice vehicles for me. Throw some camping gear, the dog, maybe a bike in the back and I'm happy. Though I love trucks, I believe wagons are more practical which makes our TSX is very appealing. Thankfully Acura has tamed down the face into something that is acceptable for this mid generation update.

Now that I'd want a wagon as my next vehicle, I have to ask myself if are those dime a dozen competitors plus a Subaru Outback any better than this? Is this a strong enough vehicle to be called an solid alternate to the mainstream?

Great experiences be damned because honestly I don't know. The latest poll (at time of writing) we had regarding the TSX and what it needs showed that most folks would prefer SH-AWD. The TSX don't got it. Second place in the poll was more sauce. Don't got it. We got our TSX at $35k and change, about $2k-$3k under the competition. I don't see price as a massive advantage either over the mainstream. It's a hard sell for me.

Say you were in my shoes. Would you really consider a TSX wagon because it's different? Would you take this over an Outback, 3-Series or A4 Avant? What other vehicles would you consider?

Scott Jacobs, Sr. Mgr, Photography

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Our Favorite Caption

June 03, 2011


Thanks to technetium99 for this week's favorite caption. Here are the others that made us smile:

The other dinosaurs kept a wary eye on the mighty T-SX. (blackngold1000)
Jurassic parked. (technetium99)
The T-rex went extinct because it had no T-sx! (ergsum)
I'm here for the fossil fuels (jcotov)
And they said the Station Wagon was Extinct!? (mjm87)
Proof positive that the TSX has an older fan base than any Buick. (teampenske3)
Even Acura thinks only old fossils want wagons. (technetium99)
Acura TSX, the sport wagon Evolved !!! (ralliartist)
Dino-might not! (actualsize)
TyrannoSaurus-reX (aleclance)
But will the dino fit? (aleclance)
How do you tell if an Acura or a Dinosaur is happy?? When their tails a Wagon!!! (ralliartist)
Its no velociraptor (inlinesix)
See that kids. They used to roam all over the land but know they are extinct. It's called a wagon. (mike6zz)
Even extinct dinos know that "sea shell's" is not a possessive. (technetium99)
Dino sures feels fuelish now. (joemt)

What was your favorite?

To the winner:
You can select one of these three prizes:

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: You Write the Caption

June 03, 2011


Senior Editor Erin Riches sent me this photo of our Acura TSX Sport Wagon caught dyno testing. Heh.

What is your caption?

We'll post our favorite this afternoon.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Ten Things I Like About You

June 01, 2011


There's so much negativity in the world today, so I wrote a completely positive post on all the things I like about the new Acura TSX wagon. These are not in any particular order.

1. a real hand brake (my preference over a floor pedal or an electronic button)
2. audio buttons that are not stuck inside the nav system (which I rarely use)
3. leather-wrapped steering wheel that feels nice in my hand
4. attractive stitching detailing the leather
5. shift knob that looks like a black baseball and is comfortable in the hand
6. simple, not flashy instrument panel
7. tire pressure warning system that tells the psi (not exclusive to this car but nice)
8. steady but not too stiff suspension that takes a curve well
9. quick shifting automatic transmission
10. It's a wagon!

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Balanced, yes. But Sporty?

April 12, 2011


I finally had the opportunity to take our TSX Wagon home last night. The verdict? I am neither impressed nor disappointed. That may seem a little spineless, but hear me out.

The TSX Sport Wagon feels well-balanced. The four-cylinder engine is as middle-of-the-road as it gets, with just enough power to be decisive when getting on the highway. The suspension is soft enough to flatten the moderate road imperfections and firm enough to get a feel for what the tires are doing.

As far as wagons go, the TSX is just fine. But not for me.

When I see "Sport" in a cars name, I expect some performance. I know this word is fairly ambiguous and overused -- like "light" or "organic." VW's guilty of using the SportWagen moniker, too. If I wanted some sport in my wagon, I'd be looking for something like an Audi S4 Avant or a Cadillac CTS-V Wagon. How great would it be to have an M3 or M5 wagon? Or maybe some nutty AMG wagon?

Any of those wagons would be worthy of "sport" in their names. Of course, they'd also cost quite a bit more than our $35k TSX. Like I said, it's a fine wagon, but the name just seems too optimistic for what it really is. Tsk, tsk, Acura. Or is it, "tsx, tsx?"

Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: JDM Approved

April 01, 2011

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Gratuitous detail alert! TSX wagon features OE safety belts manufactured by Takata Corp, they of the Kelly green multi-point harness fame. Almost makes us believe the TSX-W could do a 1:05 lap at Tsukuba.

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Keep It Clean

March 30, 2011


Our Acura TSX wagon missed its regular Monday morning wash, so I took it to the carwash this afternoon. It was sunny and in the high 70s, so plenty of cars were getting some lunchtime attention.

As I was watching the Blue Wave attendent wipe-down the TSX's rear hatch, I was reminded of a guy I used to date. He also worked for a car magazine, and therefore had access to pretty much any car he wanted to drive.

One difference between us was I liked my cars all clean and shiny, and he liked his covered in dirt.

Didn't matter if it was a Hummer or a Ferrari, he hated the idea of a clean car, said it made you look like you were trying too hard. He wanted his cars to look like they had been driven, not transported, been thoroughly explored, not just appreciated from afar.

How do you show your car love? By keeping it clean or driving it hard?

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 3,901 miles

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Just Another Accord?

March 29, 2011


I signed out our 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon for the first time this weekend. I'll admit the poor car sat parked for most of it. I didn't listen to the radio. I didn't even pair my phone. I just drove to and from the office. During this brief stint it left an impression. This car feels like just another Accord to me.

Being compared to an Accord isn't a bad thing. But I expected Acura to differentiate itself more from Honda on this one. On the surface it may as well be our long-term Accord Crosstour. This is an Acura? Am I wrong for wanting more? I see it doing power slides on the TV commercial. Maybe I'm not giving it a fair shake. I may need to give it a second chance.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 3,302 miles

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Inebriation Detector?

March 23, 2011


What? Does the 2011 Acura TSX wagon think I'm too drunk to drive? Does it have some kind of cutting edge alcohol detection system that sniffs cabin air?

For the record, I'm not and it doesn't.

No, this display is part of the startup sequence, and it's confirming that driver number one's preferences are enabled. Preferences for radio station presets, for manual entries in the address book, for wallpaper and for general navigation system settings and the like.

It recognizes "Driver1" via a chip built into what the navigation manual calls a "fob key", known to the rest of us as the key fob. Driver2 can have his or her own settings and they'll be seamlessly loaded when the second key fob on their key ring is detected in the ignition.

This all works out just great until you borrow your spouse's keys, of course.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: "Beautiful Car"

March 22, 2011

acura tsx sport wagon f34.jpg

My upstairs neighbor in my small, five-unit apartment building isn't having the best week. He's in the process of moving out and the separation has been less than smooth. He and our landlord (who lives on the premises) are in disagreement regarding his deposit; my neighbor thinks he deserves a full refund, but my landlord thinks otherwise.

Anyway, in between the moving boxes and the angry words with the landlord, he caught sight of the TSX. And for a moment the scowl that's been a fixture for the past couple of days was replaced with a smile. "Beautiful car," he said.

I think I agree with him. How about you?

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: This Button Does Not Work

March 21, 2011


This button that is supposed to allow you to pop the rear hatch from the driver seat doesn't work. Press it and it does nothing. I looked in the owner's manual to see if there were special instructions, like hold the button down for a few seconds or press twice, but nope. It just says to press this button to open the hatch.

We'll have it looked at. For the record, the button on the key fob works fine. And the button on the hatch that closes the power-operated door also works just fine.

On a side note, I think it's funny that the button pictures an SUV. Didn't want to spend money on a wagon icon, Honda?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 3,505 miles

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Wife Approved (IF she's self assured)

March 21, 2011

2011 Acura TSX.jpg

I rotate through so many vehicles my wife ignores most of them. When she sees one in the driveway she'll often say nothing, or at the most ask what it costs.

Our long-term 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon elicted a different reaction -- though part of this comes from her having to move it before rolling the trash cans out.

After sitting in it for maybe 45 seconds and moving it about 4 feet she came back in the house full of commentary.

"That car looks and feels great. I love the interior -- very luxurious. How much does it cost?"

I told her, "I don't know, somewhere between $30,000 and $35,000" (I couldn't remember the exact price at that moment).

"Really?! I thought you were going to say something like $50,000. Can we get one?"

I felt bad telling her the TSX Sport Wagon is indeed a good buy at $35,000, but few Americans will ever consider it because of their inherent fear of being seen driving a wagon. I told her Acura was fighting an uphill battle to sell them here.

"Well too bad for them. I don't have a problem with wagons. Buy me one."

Sometimes she makes me so proud (and not just because she takes the trash out herself).

Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor at Large

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Just For Fun

February 24, 2011

I happened to have a new TSX sedan at the same time I had the wagon, so I made you this little video. It's only 7 seconds.

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