The 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon is a strong luxury/performance wagon for people who want something that's both practical and able to stand out from the field of sedans. Even so, it's a bit too small to be a family hauler, and it's never going to blister down any drag strips.
It competes both with wagons, including the Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon and BMW 328 wagon, and smaller crossovers, such as the Infiniti EX35. Its mileage is the best among that group, getting an estimated 22/30 mpg city/highway.
The wagon is new for 2011, and what's nice is it looks like it was designed from the start to be a station wagon. In the early 2000s, Subaru and others were making wagons that looked as if they'd left all the structural parts of the sedan in place and glued on a glass section to make a wagon. I never warmed to the look, and the TSX's cohesive design only reinforces my opinion.
Where other cars have thick pillars that obstruct your view when driving, the TSX has slim, dark pillars. It looks more airy and open. Also, the TSX seems to sit very low and appears wider than it actually is. If you like chunky, blocky wagons — like the CTS Sport Wagon — I don't think the TSX will satisfy you. For my money, though, the TSX Sport Wagon is among the best-looking wagons out there.
As much as I like the TSX wagon's exterior styling, I think the driver's area is the car's strongest attribute. It's easy to see out the car, and the controls for everything from the navigation system to the climate control are intuitive. Even though I'm not a huge fan of a cabin with a lot of buttons — and the TSX might be trying for some kind of record in that regard — I'll accept it if it makes my life easier. In this Acura, it does.
Acura also avoided the temptation to place controls for every feature on a touch-screen menu, as other carmakers do. Acura should be commended for this. Same goes for the choice of a knob-based navigation system: It's easy to use and frees the interior of a greasy-fingerprint-covered touch-screen.
The steering wheel has a very satisfying feel to it. It isn't too large in diameter, nor does it have an exceptionally thin or fat rim. It's just right — thick enough to make you feel like you're driving a sports car, but thin enough that you can actually close your hand completely around the rim.
That positive tactile impression carries over through the rest of the controls; all the buttons and switches have a good, solid feel to them. It's a small thing, but it can make you feel like you're literally getting your money's worth for a car.
The TSX offers exceptional visibility. I was almost startled by just how much I could see, especially on the highway. It was extremely easy to judge passing maneuvers, and after a week of city and highway driving I still couldn't find any blind spots worth mentioning.