2011 Acura TSX

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$29,610

starting MSRP

2011 Acura TSX
2011 Acura TSX

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Slick-shifting six-speed manual
  • Remains flat during aggressive cornering
  • Stylish appearance
  • Interior quality

The bad:

  • Touchy electric power steering
  • Stiff suspension may prove too firm for bad roads
  • Nose-heavy handling when pushed hard

4 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2011 Acura TSX trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Four-cylinder or V-6
  • Updated styling, revised interior trim
  • Improved gas mileage for both engines
  • Upgraded navigation system
  • Long standard features list

2011 Acura TSX review: Our expert's take

By

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

The TSX Sport Wagon makes me wonder why wagons aren’t more popular than they are. It’s practical, easy to live with and offers more flexibility than a similar sedan would. It also offers rewarding, driver-oriented performance without sacrificing comfort.

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.

Exterior
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. (Compare it with the TSX sedan here.) 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.

Interior
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.

The big problem with the wagon’s interior is that the TSX is a small car. Space for backseat passengers is severely cramped if the driver is on the taller side. If your expectations of a wagon are that it’s a large vehicle in which you can shuttle the family across the country, you’ll need to look beyond the TSX. If you’re not hauling backseat occupants, though, there’s plenty of room up front: You won’t feel like your passenger is intruding on your space.

Cargo
The cargo area could also be a deal-breaker, as additional cargo room is often a major factor in choosing a wagon over a sedan. Basically, the TSX wagon’s cargo area is like a sedan’s trunk. Instead of a large, flat, wide cargo bay, there’s a bay that’s pinched by two pillars. There’s plenty of room — I had no issues with a large grocery run and a trip to Target — but the shape is odd.

You can fold the rear seats flat for even more room, but that doesn’t make the cargo area any less oddly shaped. You’ll struggle to carry a table, but bags of soccer balls, for instance, would be a breeze.  

I wouldn’t go so far as to call the TSX impractical — there really is a lot of room back there, more than you’d get in a sedan — but the shape of the cargo bay is something to consider.

Driving
If you’re the type who wants to go really fast in a straight line, the TSX isn’t at the top of the class. That’s not because the TSX wagon is underpowered, it’s just that the way it makes its power might frustrate people who want to win stoplight drag races. In short, immediate, low-end grunt isn’t the TSX’s strongest suit. You have to really rev the engine and wind it out to make power.

Setting that aside, I found the TSX to be acceptable on the highway. If I needed to pass, the transmission kicked down quickly enough to spool up the revs to make a quick pass. It was, however, a little weak for my tastes on on-ramps. I found myself pushing the gas pedal all the way to the floor and still wanting a bit more to shoot for a gap in traffic.

One thing that helps alleviate that sensation is the transmission’s Sport mode. It holds gears longer before upshifting and gives you the option of using steering-wheel paddle shifters to change gears. When I used that, I was much happier with the wagon’s performance.

I like to test a paddle-shift transmission’s smoothness by driving through the city, to establish if it jerks to a stop or if the shifts are overly slow. The TSX was very well-behaved in this regard. It anticipates properly when you’ll want 1st gear and has it ready. There really wasn’t any stumbling or jerking when decelerating, and that’s a great thing. Purists will demand a manual transmission, of course, but that’s only available on sedan models with the four-cylinder. Learn to love the paddle shifters and you’ll be fine.

The ride and handling are very good. As befits a luxury-performance car, the TSX wagon offers a firm but not jarring ride; it’s taut but compliant when you hit a pothole.

There’s little body roll going through corners, and the brakes are firm and easy to predict. This, plus its great visibility, makes the TSX wagon a comfortable car to go quickly in. I wouldn’t necessarily take it out on a racetrack, but it was satisfying on day-to-day drives. It felt like a car aimed at people who want to drive, rather than those who have to drive.

Safety & Reliability
The Acura TSX gets the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest score, Good, in front, side and rear crash tests. It has not been tested for roof strength.

The TSX wagon is predicted to get average reliability.

TSX Sport Wagon in the Market
The TSX Sport Wagon isn’t perfect. There are wagons out there that are faster and ones that offer more cargo room, meaning TSX buyers will have to compromise on at least one count. Competing in a pretty small market, though — not many brands make wagons — even with its few shortcomings I’d put it at the top. It’s the only wagon I’ve been in recently that made me feel immediately comfortable and willing to drive quickly. After living with the car a bit, I came to appreciate the luxury touches and just how nice everything was.

Send Bill an email  

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.6
  • Interior design 4.5
  • Performance 4.5
  • Value for the money 4.5
  • Exterior styling 4.7
  • Reliability 4.6

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

very fuel efficient!!!

Very practical and economical for a daily driver. I would recommend it to anybody that can drive a 6 spreed manual. I enjoy driving it. This car was ahead of its time. Ages very well.

4.4

It's really great, but

Very nice car. Got it back in 2013. It's comfortable and sporty, and while I have the i4 which has an ~8s 0-60, it definitely doesn't feel that slow, and the engine sounds amazing. The 5spd auto is very responsive. The steering is light but responsive and has a quality feel. Overall the car's been pretty reliable, but recently it's been having a really annoying and intermittent problem where the engine idles super low at like 300rpm and rumbles, and I can't accelerate... it's kinda scary. I just have to wait and it starts working again. The dash says "vsa error" and the engine light turns on. But as the car warms up it is complete gone and the lights go away... bizarre. It happens about once a month. Intermittent problems are the worst because I can't replicate it to my mechanic! But I recommend it overall as a great value sporty luxury car.

5.0

Good car. A little bit pricey.

Comfy and stylish. Good gas and handling. Japan 100%. Came to states assembled. 4 cyl but very pushy. Good car for every day driving. Only good memories.

See all 33 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Acura
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Six model years and less than 80,000 odometer miles
Basic warranty terms
Precision Certified: 24 months or up to 100,000 miles
Powertrain
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
182-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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