Acura TSX Sport Wagon: A great blend of sportiness and practicality

By Bruce Caldwell
I don’t remember when the term station wagon became so negative. I didn’t get the memo or perhaps my dog that fits so well in station wagons ate it.

The need for station wagons hasn’t abated since their halcyon days in the fifties and sixties. Styles and more importantly, marketing approaches, have changed, but hauling passengers and/or stuff is still a necessity for many families.

The station wagon variant and nom de practicality I prefer is sport wagon. Sport wagons combine utility and smaller packages that favor fun and sporty handling/driving. The Acura TSX Sport Wagon is a great example of a well-balanced compact station wagon.

The Acura TSX is the brand’s entry level offering and the wagon is a recent addition. It adds versatility without diminishing the positive traits that make TSX sedans so popular.

Walkaround: The Acura TSX Sport Wagon is a handsome vehicle. We think it looks better than the TSX sedan. The design works well with the extended rear roof. We favor the rear _ view over the front angle. Stylish five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels and moderately aggressive tires fill the wheel wells and enhance the sporty look. Doors open and shut with the kind of solid, tight-fitting, precision that customers expect of Acura products. All the fit, finish, and quality elements are first rate.

Interior: The interior is perfectly executed. Acura interior designers masterfully blend quality materials for visual and tactile excellence. You can’t expect Bentley ambiance at this price point, but there are no disappointments.

The TSX Sport Wagon caters to the driver and front seat passenger. Adjustability/ergonomic features are great. Legroom is stretch out perfect. Seat travel is extensive, which is good, because rear seat legroom is snug with the front seats all back.

A thick contoured leather steering wheel is loaded with auxiliary controls. It has tilt and telescopic features to accommodate a wide variety of driving positions. There are small paddle shifters for use when the automatic transmission is in the Sport mode.

Our test car was the Tech model, which means it had the navigation system. The system works fine once you master its many functions. The Tech package also includes an upscale sound/entertainment/information system.

One other Tech package feature is a power tailgate. It’s handy, but not totally necessary given the tailgate’s compact size. The substantial rear opening provides access to a flat cargo area. The split rear seat increases capacity and flexibility. There’s additional storage under the rear deck and recessed cargo loops.

Under The Hood: Our TSX was equipped with the 2.4-liter 201 horsepower i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine and the 5-speed automatic transmission. The engine was smooth and proficient for a 4-cylinder, but Acura V-6 engines have spoiled us.

The EPA rates the TSX at 22-city/30 highway. We got over 27 mpg on a trip to Port Angeles.

Behind The Wheel: Old school station wagons weren’t much fun to drive, but the new Acura TSX Sport Wagon drives and handles better than old school sports cars. The TSX is a great driving car on long trips and around town. The fine suspension and brakes combine with the previously mentioned excellent interior to provide a very pleasurable driving experience.

An Acura feature that deserves praise is the excellent wiper system. During the recent record rains we used the wipers at every speed from drizzle to downpour. These wipers get our top rating of five umbrellas.
Whines: Miscellaneous interior storage bins were on the small side. A massive owners manual overshadowed the decent size glovebox.

Bottom Line: The Acura TSX Sport Wagon is a great compact station wagon. It doesn’t have the capacity of a Brady Bunch wagon, but most people don’t have such large-scale needs. The TSX Sport Wagon combines the style, comfort, and handling of a sport sedan with the added space and versatility of a wagon. Regardless of what you label it, we call the Acura TSX Sport Wagon a winner.