The Acura TSX Sport Wagon is a niche model aimed at driving enthusiasts who don’t want to sacrifice handling and style to accommodate small families or dogs. Despite sales running far below the more mainstream RDX crossover, the TSX wagon is a unique offering in a segment where most competitors are ditching wagons in favor of compact SUVs.
There are a few caveats with the TSX wagon versus the sedan: the wagon is only offered with the base four-cylinder paired with a five-speed automatic. The 2013 TSX sedan is offered in a manual for the four-cylinder as well as a V-6 automatic in top trims.
Sport Wagons are firmly back in style, as the new Audi RS4 and RS6 are offered in Avant form only. The new Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake takes the hot wagon style to a new level with ultra-chic dimensions.
Wagons make sense by maintaining a low center of gravity for better handling while also packing more versatile cargo areas. Additionally, Audi claims that wagons are more stable at ultra-high-speeds versus sedans and coupes by offering a long, flat roof and a chopped rear end.
The TSX wagon emphasizes handling above both acceleration and interior room. Acura owns this segment since all mainstream sedans have ditched their wagon variants. The new Mazda6 may come to the U.S. in a wagon body in mid-2014, but it is not likely due to the Mazda CX-5 crossover’s success with buyers. The only other non-crossover wagon on the sub $40,000 radar is the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen that looks dreadful but undercuts the TSX in price.
Click past the jump for the full review of the Acura TSX Sport Wagon.
The TSX wagon arguably looks more upmarket and distinctive than even the new TSX Special Edition sedan. Unfortunately, the Special Edition’s mods, like a new body kit and deeper sills, are not offered on the longer wagon.
Overall, the TSX wagon is a sharp-looking car and it manages to look far more current than the TSX sedan on which it is based.
The chrome-trimmed window graphic extends uninterrupted across all the doors before a slight up-kick near the sloped tailgate. Other detailing, like the new rear bumper, new-shape taillights and longer exhaust pipes, help the TSX Sport Wagon to be one of the sharpest on the road.
The car lacks some distinguishing exterior features, including LED running lights up front and LED taillights in back, but it has a great stance on the road, thanks to a low ride height and low overall proportions.
2013 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Exterior Dimensions:
|Overall length||189.2 in.|
|Overall width||72.4 in.|
|Overall height||56.7 in.|
|Track||62.2 inches (front) / 62.2 inches (rear)|
2013 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Exterior Features:
- Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights (with Auto on/off feature) and integrated Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
- Front bumper-integrated halogen fog lights
- Dual exhaust outlets with polished tips
- Folding side mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators and heaters
- Driver-side rearview mirror Reverse gear tilt down function
- Speed-sensing windshield wipers with mist feature
- Heat-rejecting window glass along with auto-timer defroster for rear glass
- Roof rails (TSX Sport Wagon)
2013 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Dealer-installed Exterior Options:
- 18-inch diameter 10-spoke aluminum wheels with ebony or chrome-look finish
- Wheel locks
- Sport Package with unique front underbody, side sills and rear bumper and 18-inch 10-spoke aluminum wheels (bodywork available painted in factory TSX colors)
- Rear bumper appliqué
- Front and rear splash guards (available painted in factory TSX colors)
- Body side protection molding (available painted in factory TSX colors)
- Door edge guards (available painted in factory TSX colors)
- Car cover
- Nose mask
- Door visor
- Moon roof visor
- Back-up sensors
- Engine block heater
- Remote engine starter
- Crossbars – Silver (TSX Sport Wagon only)
- Ski Attachment (TSX Sport Wagon only)
- Bike Attachment (TSX Sport Wagon only)
- Roof Box (55- x 33- x 18-inch) (TSX Sport Wagon only)
The Acura TSX wagon’s key difference versus the sedan is obviously its cargo capacity. In this regard, the wagon is far more practical with 31.5 cubic-feet of space behind the rear seats versus just 14 cubic-feet in the sedan. In addition, the wagon’s rear seats split-fold to form a flat cargo area with 66-plus cubic-feet below the window-line.
The seats fold easily even with the headrests in place, while out back there is extra covered storage below and to the sides of the flat loading area. Wider-than-average rear strut towers invade the cabin and so limit the width of items that can be loaded easily.
The TSX’s sporty interior themes and luxury materials carry over to the wagon, including the comfortable seats with large support bolsters in the shoulder and back areas to keep drivers planted during fast drives.
Overall, the Acura is behind the times for tech systems inside the TSX despite the optional nav, via the technology package. Missing elements include:
- Adaptive cruise control
- Bluetooth streaming audio integration
- Electronically-operated tailgate
- Active radar-based safety systems like blind-spot assist, lane-keeping assist or city braking functions
2013 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Interior Dimensions:
|Headroom (Front/Rear)||37.6/37.0 in.|
|Legroom (Front/Rear)||42.4/42.4 in.|
|Hip Room (Front/Rear)||55.6/54.2 in.|
|Shoulder Room (Front/Rear)||57.8/56.1 in.|
|EPA Cargo Volume||31.5 cu. Ft. (seats up), 66.2 cu. Ft. (seats folded)|
2013 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Interior Features:
- Leather-wrapped sport-style steering wheel
- Perforated leather trimmed seating surfaces with contrast-color stitching
- Power-actuated, 8-way adjustable driver seat (with adjustable lumbar support and two-position memory function)
- Power-actuated, 4-way adjustable front passenger seat
- Heated front seats
- Driver and front passenger seat back pockets
- Locking 60/40 split fold-down rear seat with center armrest
- Carpeted floor mats
- Dual-zone automatic climate control system with micron air-filtration
- Bluetooth HandsFreeLink cellular telephone interface
- Premium sound system with AM/FM tuner, in-dash CD/MP3/WMA player, Radio Data System (RDS), speed-sensitive volume control, 7-speakers, 8-inch subwoofer and 360-watt amplifier
- XM Radio with Note function music reminder
- USB port and AUX jack connectivity for external music players
- Steering wheel-mounted illuminated controls (cruise control, audio, telephone, multi-information display and available voice recognition)
- Tilt and telescopic steering wheel
- Power-operated glass moonroof with tilt feature and sliding sunshade
- Auto-up/down driver and passenger power windows, power door mirrors and power door locks
- Remote activated, auto-open side windows and moonroof “quick vent” function
- Remote entry system with Acura personalized settings for driver’s seat
- Leather-covered front center console with sliding arm rest
- Door storage compartments
- Front and rear dual beverage holders
- Overhead storage compartment for sunglasses, Overhead map lights
- Multi-Information Display (MID)
- Dual trip meters, Maintenance Minder system
- HomeLink remote control system
- Auto-dimming day/night rearview mirror, Illuminated driver and passenger vanity mirrors
- Two 12-volt power outlets
- Rear window defogger
- Blue LED interior lighting, Digital clock
- Hidden underfloor and side storage in cargo area (TSX Sport Wagon)
- Cargo Cover (TSX Sport Wagon)
2013 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Tech Package Features:
- Acura/ELS Surround 415-watt (460-watt with Sport Wagon) Premium Audio System with 10 speakers, DVD-Audi o, CD, DTS, AM/FM radio, XM Satellite Radio with Note function music reminder, 15 GB hard disk drive memory (HDD) media storage system, Song By Voice and Dolby Pro Logic II
- Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition and rearview camera
- AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting
- AcuraLink Real-Time Weather, AcuraLink Satellite Communication System with Automated Appointments
- Power actuated rear tailgate (TSX Sport Wagon)
2013 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Dealer-installed Interior Options:
- Sport-style steering wheel with perforated leather
- Sport-style transmission shift knob with perforated leather
- Interior trim kit with Dark Metallic color
- Steering wheel trim with Dark Metallic color
- All-season floor mats
- Trunk tray, Cargo organizer, Cargo Net
- Cargo Liner (TSX Sport Wagon only)
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
The TSX wagon is slower than the sedan, thanks to a slightly higher curb weight than the base TSX automatic. The dimensions also grow about 4 inches in length, thanks to a longer rear overhang.
The overall driving enthusiasm of the TSX shines through in the TSX wagon. The wagon even has more neutral handling than the sedan with a weight distribution closer to 50:50 versus the sedans. The wagon comes in at 57:43 front-to-rear ratio versus the TSX V-6 sedan’s 62:38. The shift toward the rear helps the TSX wagon hold corners tighter than expected and makes the car much less prone to under-steer.
The only drivetrain for the wagon is a front-engine, front-drive 2.4-liter four making 201 horsepower for an estimated 8.2 second 0-to-60 sprint.
2013 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Mechanical Specs:
|Trim Level||TSX Sport Wagon – Automatic|
|Engine Size and Type||2.4-liter 16-valve I-4 i-VTEC VTC, chain-driven DOHC|
|Peak power||201 horsepower|
|Peak torque||170 pound-feet|
|Top Speed||138 mph, limited|
|EPA Mileage City/Highway/Combined||22/30/25|
The 2013 Acura TSX is an IIHS Top Safety Pick with Good scores across the board. In the new small-offset frontal collision, there’s still major foot-well intrusion and the door frame is crushed but the crash looks slightly better than Acura TL’s crash performance in the same test.
The TSX Wagon packs all of the sedan’s excellent safety features and ratings. The total airbag count of six is less than many other family cars but the TSX’s agile driving manners mean the car is not prone to rollovers like most crossover SUVs.
2013 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Safety Features:
- Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure
- Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control
- Collapsible steering column
- Driver and front passenger dual-stage, multiple-threshold front air bags, and front side airbags with passenger side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS)
- Two row side curtain air bags
- Adjustable-height front seat head restraints with active head restraint system
- Driver and front passenger seatbelts with automatic tensioning system and load-limiters
- 3-point seatbelts for all five seating positions
- Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) child seat mounting system for outboard rear seats
- Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with individual location indicators
- Theft-deterrent system with electronic immobilizer
Two TSX Sport Wagon trim levels are available: base and with the tech package. The base TSX wagon costs $31,860 while the TSX Sport Wagon with Technology package retails for $35,510.
What sporty wagons are on the U.S. market for less than $40,000? It’s a genuinely tough question because there basically are no others. Most buyers will spend most of their time cross-shopping the TSX wagon with the pricier Acura RDX small SUV.
In terms of family-friendly purpose in a wagon body-style, the primarily competition is the VW Jetta SportWagen and the Subaru Outback.
The Jetta wagon desperately needs a redesign on the outside, where the current model is stuck in the unhappy place between Mk VI Golf and the current U.S.-market Jetta. Our Jetta is one of the worst-looking VWs available. It is also stripped down, with none of the latest tech or safety features offered elsewhere. The Jetta wagon’s main claim-to-fame is its available diesel powertrain. Even this is one of the oldest and crappiest diesels that VW makes but still takes the price high into the $20,000 range where it is hopelessly outclassed by the TSX Wagon.
Gallery Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
The Subaru Outback is a far larger machine than the TSX Wagon and comes standard with all-wheel drive, which is not offered on the TSX. Among buyers who hate crossovers and SUVs, the Outback is a good compromise. Despite the latest model seeming taller than ever, the Subaru drives with confidence and little body lean or sway, thanks to its low-mounted boxer-four base engine. Cheaper than the Acura, the Subaru can be equipped with the 3.6-liter boxer six-cylinder at the $35,000 price point of the TSX wagon with tech pack.
Gallery Subaru Outback
The TSX Sport Wagon deserves its place in the Acura lineup. It represents an even more balanced version of the TSX sedan and is genuinely fun to drive versus nearly all crossover models.
The TSX wagon is not a true enthusiast’s dream, however, because it is front-drive and comes only with a dated automatic transmission. The V-6 won’t solve the power woes because it would push the wagon up to almost 3,800 pounds - far too heavy for a car as small as the TSX.
An ideal future TSX for car lovers would be a wagon with the sedan-only Special Edition body kit, a turbo four and a manual box. All-wheel drive wouldn’t even be needed if Acura could integrate a limited-slip diff up front.
Even as it stands today, the TSX Sport Wagon is a minor hero car since the brand ditched the RSX pocket rocket. Among drivers who don’t need AWD and don’t like crossovers, the TSX station wagon is one of the only affordable ways to get your driving kicks while transporting the family.
|Driving||B+||Better Weight Distribution Balances TSX Handling; Almost No More Understeer|
|Performance||C||TSX Wagon Too Slow For Sporty Image|
|Look||C+||Looks Far Fresher Than TSX Despite Sharing All Panels Ahead of Rear Trunk Region|
|Value||B-||Good Value Price Bump Versus Sedan (About $1000) But Low EPA Ratings A Worry|
|Overall||B||So Close To FWD-Family-Car Nirvana|
- Roomy cargo area doubles sedan’s trunk space even with seats up
- Tactile and enthusiastic handling
- Styling is more modern and expensive-looking than TSX sedan
- Tepid acceleration from 2.4-liter in real-world driving
- Front styling still needs update despite classy tail
- Why no Special Edition wagon?