At one time station wagons were the
family vehicle for Americans. In fact, the station wagon became a part of Americana. Then came the introduction of the minivan and later the sport utility vehicle, fondly referred to as a SUV. The shift started in the ‘80s and the SUV craze took hold in the ‘90s. With the boom in the SUV market, it left little room in the market for the station wagon—now referred to as just wagons. The wagon has made a comeback to some degree, especially in the near luxury market with the Audi A4 Avant and the wagon-like Lexus CT200h (a vehicle AllSmallCars.com took for a spin recently). This has left manufactures to make a decision as to whether they should or shouldn’t have an offering, even if volumes will be low. Acura’s decision? Meet the 2011 Acura TSX Wagon.
Acura doesn’t expect the new wagon to be a blockbuster, but they do say that they are anticipating it making up some ten percent of the sales volume for the TSX model line. Is it special? Well, it is actually basically the sedan a different body over top—what some in the industry call a sheet metal extension. Critics will tell you that this gives it a different look than that of the Audi competition, a car that is on separate wheelbase from its sedan sibling. It is the difference between wheels at the corners with little rear overhang and wheels set in-board with a noticeable rear overhang. Either way, reviews have noted that the 2011 Acura TSX Wagon is well balanced on the road and road noise has been mitigated well.
Where the TSX Wagon really excels is the standard equipment list. As opposed to having a lot of add-on options Acura seeks to woe consumers with standard moonroof, roof rails, high-intensity headlights, Bluetooth, USB input, heated leather seats with memory and satellite radio. All that with an entry-level price that is lower than the Audi A4 Avant by almost 5K. That said, it does have some pit falls that may not be recoverable to some consumers. The TSX wagon will only come with the 2.4-liter 201-hp in-line four-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission. It will also only come in a two-wheel drive configuration. That leaves the German competition with the edge in markets where all-wheel drive is considered a must.
Bottom line—if you are looking for SUV capacity with out the SUV image, consider the luxurious feel of the new 2011 Acura TSX Wagon. For the price difference, consider investing in a set of good snow tires in climates with snowy conditions.
[Source: Automotive News]