Make us your home page
Instagram
The Daily Drivers | By Peter Couture and Lyra Solochek, Times Staff Writers

The Daily Drivers: 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon has surprises inside

Why did the term "station wagon" fall out favor? Wasn't it hip enough? Did it carry too much "family car" baggage? ("Minivan," you're next.) We say "Bravo!" to the fact that Acura calls its new TSX a wagon.

Appearance: The TSX has a new, smaller version of the Acura "beak" (or shield) grille that has been much-maligned. The slender HID headlights sweep upward from the grille, making for a more elegant front end. The body avoids any dramatic lines, with only slight fender flares and some subtle sheet-metal creases that run from the grille along the side to the rear and its wraparound taillights. The roof slopes down to the rear hatch for a sporty, European look, with a contrasting metallic finish that accentuates the roof line.

Performance: Acura calls the TSX a Sport Wagon. Peter thinks that's a stretch. Lyra found the 201-horsepower (170 pound-feet of torque) 4-cylinder peppy. We usually gripe about a 5-speed transmission when many others have gone to six as their standard, but this gearbox shifted quickly and precisely. The TSX handles well, taking corners with confidence, and is not prone to body roll like some SUVs. The steering is responsive and the ride a bit on the firm side.

Interior: To Peter, the quiet cabin screams "Honda," and not Acura. There seems to be little difference between it and your average Accord. (Maybe that's because this car is sold as a Honda Accord wagon in Europe. That's not a bad thing; remember when Honda made those great Accord station wagons?) Still, the TSX seems to be an example of Acura's identity crisis: Is it an entry-level luxury brand? Please decide. (Lyra cites the fact that there's no push-button start.) But there are simple and intuitive controls in a nicely curved dash; comfortable, heated and well-bolstered leather seats; and a handy center armrest that contains the USB, auxiliary port and 12-volt power source. That bin also acts as a little cooler/heater if you open a little vent inside. But you might want to remove your iPod when that's being used. Other features that make this wagon practical: a power tailgate, a rearview camera with easy-to-follow guides and lots of storage space. There are cup holders, bins and spaces under the cargo-area floor and inside the back walls. The 60/40 rear seats fold down for 60.5 cubic feet of cargo space.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Plus size: The car has all the room of the TSX sedan, plus cargo space.

Flashback: It reminds me of Honda's Civic and Accord wagons, which is a good thing.

Grille: Its beak is toned down compared to other Acuras.

Lyra Solochek

Minimalism: Simple design, uncluttered console, easy to drive.

Utility: Plenty of space to haul, yet drives like a car.

Fits like a glove: Maybe it's because I have a Honda and an Acura in my family. It just felt right.

The bottom line: As long as you don't buy into the sport label, you'll get a reliable, practical and fun-to-drive station wagon. We kind of like the ring to that.

2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon

Price: $30,960 start, $31,820 as tested

Powertrain: 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder, 5-speed automatic with Sequential SportShift, FWD

Horsepower: 201 at 7,000 rpm

Torque: 170 pound-

feet at 4,300 rpm

Curb weight: 3,599-3,623 pounds

Seats: 5

Dimensions

in inches:

Wheelbase, 106.4

Length, 189.2

Width, 72.4

Fuel economy:

22 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway

Safety features: airbags and side curtains, vehicle stability assist, ABS, electronic brake distribution, brake assist, ACE body structure, side-impact door beams, daytime running lights

Website:

acura.com/

tsxsportwagon

The Daily Drivers: 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon has surprises inside 06/17/11 [Last modified: Friday, June 17, 2011 4:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: Amid wealth inequality, is middle class losing habit of giving to charities?

    Business

    In the slow economic recovery since the nasty recession a decade ago, researchers are wondering if the hard times back then broke middle class America's habit of charitable giving.

    Dr. Kiran Patel and his wife and fellow doctor Pallavi Patel rank among the most generous philanthropists in the Tampa Bay area in recent decades. Their most recent giving: a $200 million pledge, consisting of a $50 million gift to Nova Southeastern University, plus $150 million to buy and build a Nova-affiliated medical education complex in Clearwater. The Patels also have given considerable sums to the University of South Florida and area hospitals. In this 2014 photo, the couple pose for pictures on the green carpet prior to a 15th International Indian Film Academy Awards event in Tampa. [Times file photo]
  2. Tampa Bay's Top 100 Workplaces deadline extended to Nov. 17

    Business

    Think you work at one of the best places in Tampa Bay? You've got a little more time to make a pitch.

    Penny Hoarder and Gregory, Sharer & Stuart were among those at an event in Tampa last May honoring winners of the Tampa Bay Times Top Workplaces awards. Nominations are now open for this year.  
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  3. Tampa-based Checkers testing delivery, aims for record expansion

    Retail

    TAMPA — Tampa-based Checkers Drive-In Restaurants continues to fly under the radar compared to dominant burger chains like McDonald's and Burger King.

    Checkers Franchisee Shaji Joseph, of Tampa, hoses down the front walkway of his store at 6401 Park Boulevard, Pinellas Park. The business has a new look including signage and exterior tile. One drive through has been eliminated for an outdoor dining area, right. Joseph owns nine Checkers and is planning to open his tenth in Tampa.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times ]
  4. City Council approves $5 million for Clearwater Marine Aquarium expansion

    Briefs

    CLEARWATER — The City Council on Thursday approved contributing $5 million to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for its massive expansion project.

    Clearwater has agreed to contributed $5 million to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium 
's $66 million expansion project.. [ Clearwater Marine Aquarium] 


  5. Trigaux: Florida, Tampa Bay lagging in growth of their startups

    Economic Development

    The annual assessment of how entrepreneurs are doing across the country is out from the Kauffman Foundation — among the best watchers of the nation's startup scene. How do Florida and Tampa Bay fare?

    Lured by financial incentives, startup GeniusCentral relocated from Manatee County in 2015 to St. Petersburg, promising to creatye 40 new jobs. It took downtown space in an appropriately creative workpace for entrepreneurs. It did not last there, later moving back to less expensive space in Manatee. A new Kauffman Index report on entrepreneurship found that Florida is a good place to launch startups but a tougher place to grow them.
[SCOTT KEELER    |      TIMES]