Acura is seizing on an opportunity to capture a new group of wagon buyers with its sexy compact TSX, a sport sedan that’s consistently one of Acura’s most popular models. The head honchos at Acura decided to build a new-for-2011 TSX Sport Wagon and make the TSX an even more popular model with more people.
While the TSX Sport Sedan is offered in both four-cylinder and V-6 variants with six-speed manual and five-speed automatic options, the 2011 TSX Sport Wagon is only available with the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The four-cylinder has horsepower ratings of 201 at 7,000 rpm and 170 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm. The EPA estimated fuel economy ratings are 22 miles per gallon city and 30 mpg highway.
Buyers looking at the TSX Sport Wagon are primarily choosing utility and functionality with this front-wheel drive wagon. And in order to make it marketable for these utilitarian attributes, Acura says its new wagon has more cargo room than the other luxury wagon competition.
The new Acura TSX Sport Wagon offers 60.5 cubic-feet of cargo room with the rear seats folded down. Acura states that’s more than the wagon competition offered in the BMW 3 Series (54.7 cu.-ft.) and the Audi A4 (56.5 cu.-ft.). Other strong considerations with the TSX wagon when compared to sport utility vehicles or crossovers are the ease of entry for passengers and the ease of accessing the cargo area with a low lift-over height and the power-operated liftgate.
Of course there’s the expected retractable cover to conceal packages in the rear, but there are also four hidden storage compartments for smaller items in the TSX wagon. Located within the load floor beneath a lift-up hatch is a 2.4 cu.-ft. storage area. Other smaller possessions can be stored behind a removable panel on the driver side and in two 13-inch long in-floor storage areas.
The TSX Sport Wagon has a base price of $30,960.
My tester was the “Tech Package” model that started at $34,610. Luxury buyers won’t be short-changed with user-relevant technology.
For 2011, the Acura tech system a new LED navigation screen that produces a more brilliant and higher resolution, plus the Nav functions have improved search ability, expanded map coverage and faster performance. The 2011 tech package also comes with an upgraded sound system, including a 60-gigabyte hard disk drive, rear back-up camera, automatic climate control and the AcuraLink Communications system with Real Time Traffic and Weather.
With the introduction of the TSX Sport Wagon comes a freshened appearance for all TSX models. The 2011 Acura gets an updated looking grille, revised chin spoiler, new front fascia and an new assembly for the fog lights. The standard 17-inch wheels are slightly changed along the 5-spokes. The TSX Sport Wagon is slightly longer in length and taller in height than the Sport Sedan, yet manages to look muscular with its wide body.
The sweeping shapes on the pleasing interior include some minor changes to the TSX appearance. On the inside, darker trim pieces, brightly finished door handles, contrasting color stitching for the leather finishes are all new revisions for 2011.
Safety features include a broad array of equipment, such as six airbags, active head restraints, electronic stability control, ABS, and the ACE body structure that disperses crash energy away from the cabin. — Connie Keane, Motor Matters
Next New On Wheels: Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid
2011 ACURA TSX SPORT WAGON TECH
VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 5-passenger FWD compact wagon
BASE PRICE___________________ $34,610 (as tested: $35,470)
MOTOR TYPE___________________ 16-valve DOHC 4-cylinder w/PG-MFI
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 201 at 7000 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_____________ 170 at 4300 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ 5-speed automatic
WHEELBASE____________________ 106.4 in.
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 189.2 in.
TURNING CIRCLE (curb-to-curb) 36.7 ft.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 18.5 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway
BMW 6 SERIES COUPE: The 2012 BMW 650i Coupe impresses with its stunning design and even sharper driving dynamics than its predecessor. Its unmistakable design language gives the new BMW 6 Series Coupe an aura of athletic elegance. The 4.4-liter V-8 engine develops 400 horsepower and 450 lb.-ft. of torque. The BMW 650i Coupe completes the sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds with either the 6-speed manual or the 8-speed automatic transmission. The all-new third generation 650i Coupe joins the 650i Convertible this fall as 2012 models. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date. (Source: BMW)
WHEEL DEALS: Car buyers are being greeted by rock-bottom interest rates on auto loans, eye-popping lease deals and a renewed willingness to lend. Mark Hawks, of suburban Washington, D.C., shaved thousands off the sticker price of the Ford Taurus SHO. He was pre-approved through his credit union for a five-year loan with a 3.99-percent annual interest rate. But his dealer beat that, offering a 3.79-percent rate with no payment for 90 days. The dealer also kicked in a $2,000 rebate and the trade-in value of an eight-year-old Subaru. Final price of the new car: $33,000, compared with a sticker price of $46,000. (Source: Associated Press)
CAR REPAIR ADVICE: My 1999 Subaru Legacy Outback is getting lousy gas mileage. I use 89 octane gasoline — the regular octane is much worse. Is it just the age of the car or can I do something to improve the mileage? Answer: Have a technician hook up a scan tool and look at the computer information for sensor values. A lazy upstream oxygen sensor, leaking fuel pressure regulator, engine not getting up to proper temperature, dragging brakes, low tire pressure, dirty air filter all contribute to poor gas mileage. (Source: Ask the Auto Doctor, Motor Matters)
Copyright, AutoWriters Associates Inc., 2011