With the dominance of SUVs coming to an end, wagons are reclaiming their place on American roads.
Acura recognized this trend but not without caution. Its new, 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon is closely related to well proven Acura TSX sedan. In Europe, its alter ego, Honda Accord Wagon, is already a hit. In addition, no more than 4000 units are planned to be build this year.
But first let’s start with the engine and see how it drives. Destination – Georgia mountains.
The navigation screen the Technology Package is equipped with is very handy and has a backup camera screen so there is no chance of running over a bicycle left on the driveway. Actually, the bicycle found plenty of room on the back of the car, with rear seats folded (61 cubic feet). Loading extra luggage is less taxing on lower back than loading SUV and even some sedans.There is also extra cargo space under the floor.
Before switching into “drive” (sorry, no manual option this year, but sequential sporty paddle shifters) it is well worth to check the traffic and weather condition on the navigation system. The acceleration won’t squeeze into the leather seats, but this vehicle is meant mostly for young parents, no NASCAR racers.
It drives solid, like a train on a track and avoids potholes with good agility.Taking corners with low speed feels great and does not require using the brake, due to a low center of gravity, the wheel base of 106.4 inches and good Michelin Pilot tires.
60 miles per hour arrives in about 8 seconds, without huffing and wheezing. Negotiating steep grades versus cars around is effective enough and even relatively short stretches of the road encourage to pass slower vehicles with relative ease.
Heated seats are appreciated in February, especially in the mountains. Passenger wants warmer air than the driver? Just push one of many (perhaps too many?) buttons. Adjusting position is also a snap.
Taking that bike and the rest of gear out is easier, since the tailgate opener is right inside. No risk of bumping the head – the gate swings high enough but the close button is still in reach.
The real treat comes with ELS Surround Audio System and 10 speaker system, designed by multi Grammy Award winner, Elliot “ELS” Scheiner. With 415 Watts of amplification, it is hard to leave the vehicle.
The only time to do it is when the tank needs a refill. With all the aspects of test driving to the mountains and back, the average is still 28mph!
This may not come as a big surprise as the Wagon is only 132 pounds heavier than sedan and 4 cylinder engine offers really good fuel economy.
Nusret “Nucho” Krantic, the owner of reputable Gwinnet Care Care, does not expect to work on one of these any time soon. He is impressed with electric steering, comparing to standard power steering. With pump replaced with electric motor, hoses and belt are eliminated. The space under the hood allows to reach most of components with ease, making repairs faster and cheaper.
Big intake inlet forces more air for better gas mileage. Aluminum engine subframe keeps the weight lower, improving handling acceleration and fuel economy.
Prospective buyers should be nicely surprised as long as they remember this is a wagon afterall. Still, it drives more like a sedan and is a fun to drive. Economy is is also an important factor.
Having all attributes of an entry level luxury car all needed is better introduction to wider audience: active people at sport venues.
The wish list includes all wheel drive option and some want to see 6-speed transmission, versus 5-speed one.