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Acura TSX model gets wagon-utility makeover

January 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Honda's Acura division has a good selection of crossover SUVs including the sporty ZDX with car-like handling and a large cargo hold.They've also had a pretty nice little sport sedan for the past few years called the TSX, which is now getting some extra cargo room as well.

The newest version of Acura's smallest model is the TSX Sport Wagon.

Offered as a premium alternative to compact crossovers, the reshaped TSX is essentially a sporty sedan with a lot more utility.

The TXS isn't really all new. It's based on the European Honda Accord Tourer Wagon. In Europe, the Accord is essentially what we get here as the TSX.

The TSX sedan is a lot of fun to drive, partly because it comes with a couple of interesting options. You can get a six-speed manual transmission to go with the standard four cylinder or you can get a pretty powerful V6.

It's not the same case with the wagon, though. It's four cylinder and automatic only, but it's still fun to drive.

This is mainly because the engine is a good one - it's a high-tech 2.4-liter four cylinder that can spin out 200 horsepower with amazing smoothness.

Yet the wagon is rated at 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

That's impressive considering the car's performance, but impressive as well considering its cargo space.

With the rear seat in place, there is nearly 26 cubic feet of storage area, but start folding seats and the TSX can swallow over 60 cubic feet of stuff.

There are also several small compartments to keep items secure.

If you need to carry more things, standard roof rails can be equipped with racks for bikes or skis or a cargo box.

Many of the European brands have been selling small, upscale wagons in the U.S. for years, though it's still a niche market.

With tastes changing across America all the time, Acura is betting that there is room in the field for another entry - a small wagon with a uniquely Acura flavor.