The 2011 Acura TSX Sports Vagon Is The Bomb

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The Bottom Line

What exactly do the Guide Rating stars mean?

I’ve never really loved the TSX, Acura’s smallest and least-expensive sedan, although i love station wagons. So, what happens once the two meet? Will my love for wagons win over my distaste to the TSX? Please read on.

Pros

Beautiful styling

Big, well-shaped cargo bay

Powertrain provides nice balance of power and economy

Reasonable prices

Cons

Unrefined ride

Doesn’t feel as luxurious as a premium-brand car should

Description

New wagon version of Acura’s European-engineered TSX

Price range: $31,820 – $35,470

Powertrain: 2.4 liter inline 4, 201 hp, 170 lb-ft; 5-speed automatic; front-wheel-drive

EPA fuel economy estimates: 22 MPG city/30 MPG highway

Best rivals: Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen, Saab 9-3 SportCombi, Audi A4 Avant

Larger photos: Front – rear – interior – more photos

Guide Review – 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon

Most of the time, Acura is doing an excellent job turning the TSX right into a station wagon. (No big surprise; the TSX is in fact the European version in the Honda Accord — Acura is a division of Honda — and Europeans take their wagons seriously.) The TSX Sport Wagon delivers 25.8 cubic feet of cargo space, not far behind the Volvo V50 (27.5) and Saab 9-3 SportCombi (29.4) and well past the Audi A4 Avant (17.3), though it still trails the boxy Volkswagen Jetta (32.8). Frumpy it ain’t; at the risk of sounding crude, the TSX Sport Wagon includes a great-looking rear end, although spacious it can be.

The wide cargo bay (link goes to photo) includes a hard floor and thick, durable carpets, along with tie-down hooks and a bit of under-floor storage. There’s even an (optional) power-operated tailgate, a fantastic touch. Regarding the only glaring omission is the lack of a scuff plate to cover the painted rear bumper.

Putting the “sport” in Sport Wagon

Acura has chosen a single powertrain for the TSX: The 201 hp 2.4 liter four-cylinder using a 5-speed automatic. (I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who had been disappointed that neither the 6-speed stick nor the 280 hp V6 from the TSX sedan made it for the wagon, but Honda only plans to build about 4,000 TSX wagons for 2011, so multiple powertrains didn’t make financial sense.) The 2.4/automatic gets decent fuel economy and accelerates strongly, although passing power is marginal, especially with huge load.

Handling is quite good; the wagon weighs only 130 lbs greater than the sedan, and its springs are slightly stiffer to improve carrying capacity. The result is wonderful grip and minimal body roll combined with excellent steering feel. But the ride is nothing to write home about: It’s too busy on bumpy roads and also the TSX leaps and wallows over big bumps.

Near luxury — although not near enough

The rest of the TSX Sport Wagon is pretty much just like the TSX sedan, for better or perhaps for worse. Better: Comfortable seats, good visibility, and a quality feel. Worse: Too many buttons on the center stack as well as a cabin that’s not quite up to proper luxury car standards. The trim bits are nice, but the black plastic around the dash looks a bit cheap. I blame the TSX’s Euro-Honda roots, although there’s no excuse for your cheap-o LCD display in TSXs without navigation. (Scotty, beam me back to 1982! ) Overall, the TSX’s interior just doesn’t have the ambiance of a Lexus or an Infiniti.

That said, the TSX isn’t priced such as a Lexus or an Infiniti, either: $31,820 gets you heated leather power-adjustable seats with driver’s memory, dual-zone climate control, a sunroof, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, HID headlights, even an auto-dimming rear view mirror. That’s a lot of stuff for the money. The $3,650 Technology Package adds navigation with real-time traffic and weather (and a big, bright color screen in place of that stupid LCD Speak-N-Spell display), an upgraded stereo with voice-recognition (similar to Ford’s SYNC), a rear-view camera and the aforementioned power tailgate.

How the TSX Sport Wagon stacks up

So in case you buy a TSX Sport Wagon? That’s a difficult call. Beautiful as it is, the TSX isn’t the sexiest wagon available; that title goes to the Audi A4 Avant, that is fantastic to drive but doesn’t carry anywhere near all the cargo as being the TSX. It’s also much more expensive, as they are the Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon, that offers similar capacity and amenities. The Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen is more and cheaper practical than the TSX; it also features a 5-cylinder engine that copes better with heavy loads. Then again, the VW’s construction can’t touch the TSX’s. As with the Jetta, the build quality can’t match Acura, even though i love the Saab 9-3 SportCombi, which happens to be both capacious, good looking, and fun to drive. Buy a TSX Sport Wagon to haul your infant’s stroller, and chances are you’ll be teaching her to operate in it 16 years later.

As a luxury car the TSX falls down a bit, but as a wagon, it does the job exceptionally well. You know, seeing that I think about it, maybe this isn’t this kind of tough call. The TSX has its foibles, but most are minor and easily overlooked. If a station wagon is what you require, then the TSX is the anyone to buy.

In Photos: 2014 New York Auto Show

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The New York Auto Show is now accessible to the public! This became quite an appealing car, short on concept vehicles but long on production vehicles, most of which will be coming to the showrooms over the following year roughly. If you’re thinking of going in person, my Visitor’s Guide to the New York Auto Show will tell you the best time to go, getting there, and what to see, see that which was introduced inside my 2014 New York Auto Show photo gallery.

Design The Backyard Of Your Kid’s Dreams

A backyard is many things to many people. For your kid, it is a place to explore or a place to get dirty in the sandbox or play with friends. It’s an escape from you or a reward for homework and a place to practice fielding grounders or perfecting that coveted twelve to six curve. For me it was a place to look for bugs and play on the jungle gym. My brother and I was spend hours out back building “sally land.” Sallyland was an elaborate series of mud built tunnels and obstacle courses built for all of the salamanders we caught. And we caught more than a few. My memories of my childhood backyard are all so sweet, they’re all filled with dogs and trampolines, and heck, now that I’m writing this and thinking about it all, I’m really realizing how important that little bit of green was to me. And still is. If you have a kid or kids, you owe it to them to give them the backyard that they can grow and prosper in. It’s not hard. Think of your kids, what they like, and then go from there.

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If your kid is a sports nut, you’ll definitely want to accommodate him or her and get some equipment to nurture his passions. This could include a ping pong table or even a teather ball court. Maybe even a basketball hoop. I had a “pitch back”, one of those nets with a strike zone, and when I’d pitch against it, the baseball would bounce back and I would field it. It was a great way to work on my pitching and fielding, but apparently not good enough, because I never made my high school team.

If your kid is more of a nature lover, the back yard is a great place for a telescope or a garden. Gardens are perfect teaching tools because they show the entire circle of life. A garden is a great analogy for the entire world. You and your kid can watch plants transform from seed to seedling and beyond. With my garden, I always note what bugs and birds come to feed, and nothing is as satisfying as eating a fruit or vegetable that you grow yourself. Who knows, maybe your kids will get so into nature that they’ll make a sally land of their own.

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Whatever you choose to construct or design in your yard, you’ll need many supplies and a way to get them there. For me, there’s no vehicle better for hauling than a Dodge Ram. It is the quintessential American pickup truck and a perfect helper for any minor project. Dodge Rams are famous for their unrivaled power and elegant comfort. With all the safety features and inspired and convenient amenities, the new, 2014 fleet of Dodges is the best ever. If you’re interested in either a new truck or a new back yard, go online to either used cars cerritos or McPeek Dodge and get ready to build and haul.

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Reading Cars – What Do They Say About the Driver?

Reading cars is something which we all do – even if we do it subconsciously. It really makes no difference whether you’re 18 or 55, the car you drive can tell a lot about you. Your likes, dislikes, desires, passions and personality are all scrutinized by others road users – do you know what you’re telling them about you?
Research has shown that people draw very quick conclusions about another person based solely on the car they drive. Apparently if you drive a car with a long hood then you’re a pretty arrogant person – the longer the hood the more arrogant you are perceived to be. On the flip side if your car has a large trunk then other drivers will naturally assume that you are a – how shall I put it – more mature driver. Yep, older drivers like plenty of trunk space.

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So what’s the big deal? Isn’t a car simply a means of travelling from Point A to Point B in comfort – when did style come in to it? I suppose that the make and model of car you choose is a very transparent facet of your personality – the car is right there, sitting in the parking lot next to lots of other peoples cars saying look at me . . . haven’t I done well for myself / I’ve got a baby / I’ve got style / hey, I’ve got a couple of kids, no I don’t have time to wash the car every weekend.
Don’t think that car manufacturers don’t know all about this psyche, in particular the male psyche – after all it is usually the man of the house who gets to choose the family car which is why designers pander to their obsessions about size. I’m not sure about your house but in my experience it’s actually the women who generally get the final say and they are much more likely to be switched on by reliability, practicality and good old value for money but hey ho . . . what do I know?

Okay, let’s look a little closer at some examples:

Convertible cars – these are thought to be outright exhibitionists who aren’t so much saying “look at my car” as “look at me”. Driving with the top down isn’t to allow the sunshine and the fresh air but more to let their ego out.

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Sports cars – these drivers are close to the convertible drivers with a few subtle exceptions. These are exhibitionists but they don’t do “nights out with the boys” – they drive a small car which has room for only one passenger, preferably a young, single and attractive lady.

SUV’s / 4 wheel drive trucks – these guys secretly harbor the desire to drive a tank straight over the top of your car – they aren’t interested in driving by, they want to drive over you. SUV’s and 4 wheel trucks are designed to drive over all sorts of terrain and they are just dying to try it out.

Sticker car driver – you know the sort, it doesn’t really matter what the make or model of car is because you can hardly see it for the collection of wobbly stickers which tell you all about his love / life and passions. First of all his other car is probably a Ferrari, he has a baby onboard and he has a sticker for almost every National Park in the country . . . he probably “hearts” New York too. This guy is ready and willing to open up every aspect of his life to the world . . . whether the world is ready for it or not.

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Alright, that was a bit of fun but you know what I mean don’t you. Check out your local fiat dealership Los Angeles has some great ones – and pick out your next motor with care. OC Fiat is bound to have something which gives the right message about you.

What You Need A New Car Now

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Though many automotive taxpayers, executives and politicians would love to ignore the industry’s near collapse just a few short years back, remembering those dark days puts the present state of affairs into proper perspective. 2012 is on target to see annual sales of 14.5 million, or 1.7 million over 2011, as being the Detroit Free Press reports.

Along with that good news is definitely the suggestion that shoppers who had put off the purchase of a whole new vehicle are returning to showrooms as buyers, many of whom are paying extra for special features and amenities. The result is one thing that has been painfully absent from much of the business over the past several years: Profit. The welcome influx of greenbacks benefits everyone along the chain, from the plant worker in the production line to a company’s top executives and shareholders.

This uptick in sales is also sure to put a smile on the faces of dealers. Alternatively, those contemplating purchasing a new-car franchise. That process can involve purchasing a pre-existing dealership, or starting a fresh business on your own, which may be an extremely time-consuming, expensive, and almost-certainly frustrating endeavor. To help readers understand what’s involved, we’ve broken down the basic principles of becoming a whole new-car dealer here.

What To Know About The New Tracer Dye Injection Kit for R-1234yf A/C

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Tracer Products has introduced the TP-9844 EZ-Ject R-1234yf A/C Dye Injection Kit, which makes adding fluorescent leak detection dye to new R-1234yf A/C systems simple and fast.

At the heart of the kit may be the EZ-Ject A/C dye injector assembly. It easily overcomes system pressure so the dye can be injected whether the A/C system is off or still running. An easy turn of the handle injects the exact volume of dye in the system. There’s no mess or hassle.

The kit also contains a .5 oz (14.8 ml) EZ-Ject R-1234yf/PAG multi-dose A/C dye cartridge that services as much as 14 vehicles. In addition, an R-1234yf hose/coupler with purge fitting is included.

Cars for a Lifetime

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If you’re one of those people who can keep the same car for decades, you probably always buy your vehicles from a big dealership where a brand new car or a used car that’s undergone testing guarantees you’ll buy something that will work for years. If you’re the kind of person who scoffs at the idea of driving the same car for years, who likes to keep up with the latest styles and trends, you might not want a car that you’ll be driving for decades, but having a car of such great quality that it could potentially last that long, can’t be unappealing.

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Whether you want your car to last forever or just until you trade it in for a new model next year, buying your car from a big dealership that’s affiliated with a certain brand will guarantee high quality. And even if you don’t plan to keep your car very long, you want to know that you’re safe driving it and it will work great for the time that you do have it. A car is something that you can’t afford to skimp on because you’re entrusting it with the safety of your family and yourself. You need a vehicle that is going to work and keep you safely on the road anytime you need to go somewhere.

If you’re searching for ram riverside, you can find a lifetime car at OC Auto. From Jeeps to Rams, they have something for everyone and you’ll know that you’re getting a vehicle of the highest quality, in great condition, that is sure to last you for years to come. Make having a safe, reliable, quality car a top priority so that you’ll have something that will last you and your family as long as you need it.

NYIAS 2014: Get To Know The Nominees

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When the World Car of the Year Award is announced with the 2014 Ny International Auto Show, it’ll all come down to an Audi, a BMW or a Mazda.

The final selection of three nominees was announced this week and included the 2014 editions of the Audi A3, the BMW 4 Series along with the Mazda 3. The winner will be announced before the gathered members of the automotive world at NYIAS 2014. It’s an interesting battle between two mid-range luxury cars and a more affordable, everyman’s drive with all the Mazda.

That same Mazda 3 is additionally in the running for World Car Design of the Year with the BMW i3 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Among the high end award categories, Luxury nominees are the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the Bentley Flying Spur and the Range Rover Sport. For the Performance cars, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will require on the Ferrari 458 Speciale and the Porsche 911 GTR. The Corvette already won 2014 North American Car of the Year with the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this year.