2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Sweet spot

2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon

2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon

Somewhere there’s a sweet spot between utility and sport, and it doesn’t take much convincing to see the Acura TSX Sport Wagon right in the middle of it.

The TSX Sport Wagon for example beats the typical hatchback in out-and-out volume, and typically, the sportier a hatchback gets, the fewer cubes there are in the cargo hold. The Audi A7, for example, is sexy, but while it has more cargo capacity than a sedan, it lacks the interior volume of the typical sport-utility vehicle. And the sport-utility is a misnomer, the proverbial contradiction-in-terms. Utility, yes. Sport? Maybe lumberjack competition

The traditional station wagon, on the other hand, needs a good public relations campaign as well as a confession that the whole vinyl woodgrain applique thing was all a big mistake.

But that’s where the 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon comes in. The Acura TSX Sport Wagon has all the attributes—if not all of the features–of the standard Acura TSX sedan except that it has an extra-large trunk with windows. It gains a mere 130 pounds in the process, and with what Acura calls a hoop-style cross section maintains a high degree of rigidity—though Acura doesn’t brag about it being as rigid as the sedan, so we’ll bet the sedan still holds an edge.

The sedan, however, can’t begin to match the cargo capacity of the TSX Sport Wagon, which measures 66.2 cu-ft (with rear seats folded down; 31.5 cu-ft with the seats up). The opening under the conventional rear liftgate (power optional, and included on our TSX Sport Wagon with the Technology package) is 28-inches. That’s taller than it sounds, and Acura kindly lists the potential “bulky items such as large boxes, furniture, bicycles, four full-size golf bags and even surfboards” that can be stowed in the back of the TSX wagon. The rear seatbacks don’t fold completely flat, however, so large boxes might not slide in easily all the way.

2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon

The dash and instrument panel of the 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon are highly styled.

Acura has, however, included a number of extra storage compartments, including a shallow but wide 2.4 cu-ft storage area beneath the cargo load floor. There’s another 0.2 cu-ft storage area behind a removable panel on the driver side, and two 13-inch long bins near the main under-floor storage area.

There’s little penalty for the overall added utility. The rear seat is comfortable, even for over-six footers, thanks to knee scallops in the front seatbacks and generous toe room under the front seats. There’s no change in the front seats, of course, or in the highly sculpted dash or the 3-D instrument panel with fuel gauge and engine temperature gauges on either side of the speedometer and tach (but set further back).

Honda has the navigation system operating procedures down pat. It’s easy to use and we didn’t even have to think owner’s manual.

One thing that the Acura TXS Sport Wagon gives up over the sedan is the option of the V-6. The TSX sedan is available with a 2.4-liter four cylinder or a 3.5-liter V-6, the latter making considerably more horsepower at 280 versus 201 bhp. The wagon, however, is limited the four, and while the four-cylinder sedan can have a manual transmission the wagon is available only with a five-speed automatic.