We, The Bloggers, In Order To Form A More Perfect Wagon

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
we the bloggers in order to form a more perfect wagon

Acura has had a tough couple of years lately. Of the three products which once defined the company — the Integra/RSX, Legend/RL, and NSX — two are long dead and the other is effectively invisible to the public. This TTAC review more or less sums up our opinion of their current offerings, although recently I met a rather fabulous young lady who temporarily hypnotized me into expressing enthusiasm for the TL.


CarGuyDad’s Kamil Kaluski has an idea about how to spice up TSX Sportwagon sales, and he’s taken the time to draw up the suggestion at his website. My personal opinion of the Kaluski-Mod Sportwagon? I’m ready to pay $34,000 for one tomorrow. Your opinion, of course, may vary.

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  • DC Bruce DC Bruce on May 26, 2011

    Well, I drive/own the equivalent . . . but it may not be made much longer. That would be a Saab 9-5 wagon. It's a little larger, but it does have the 250 hp turbo motor . . . and you can get it in a manual! No it doesn't lose the roof rack (but at least it's black) and it has a bit of chrome (less than the TSX), but it's close. of course, we know what happened to Saab! Having driven the Honda turbo 4 in the RDX, I would not want to see that engine in a FWD vehicle, including a TSX wagon. Acura's ads to the contrary, the engine's throttle response is not linear. There is significant turbo lag from a dead stop (especially noticeable if you're not trying to hot-foot it) and a lot of "surge" as the turbo spools up. So, you find yourself backing off the throttle after the car gets moving if you want a constant rate of acceleration. With FWD instead of AWD, this probably would translate into unintended wheelspin, especially on wet pavement. An aggressive traction control would just make things worse, probably adding up to a herky-jerky launch as the car started wheelspinning as the turbo spooled up, followed by a lurch as the traction control chopped the throttle. The Saab implementation of a 250 hp turbo 4 and a 5-speed autobox is leagues better. Left in normal mode, you have to work to get wheelspin out of the transmission from a dead stop. In sport mode, it's pretty easy if you're hot-footing it, but regardless of mode, it's not something that happens inadvertently; and throttle response in both settings is pretty linear. The idea l situation for the Acura TSX would be a NA V-6 with a torque peak at fairly high revs (typical of Honda NA engines). That would give you a nicely controllable launch along with extra torque and power when you really wanted it. Oh wait; they offer that in the sedan, but not in the wagon, which might be hauling a heavier payload more often. Go figure that one. I was really impressed with the Acura 6-speed that I drove in an '06 TL. Short positive throws; smooth as butter. People don't know what they're missing when they pass on this transmission. But, I bow to market realities.

  • Smlfox Smlfox on May 27, 2011

    I've always had a certain affinity for station wagons. Probably due, in part, to growing up in them. My family has owned a 1984 Chevy Cavalier, a 1987 Pontiac 6000 LE, a 1991 Ford Taurus, a 1996 Mercury Sable, and a 2001 Volvo V70. My favorite, however, was my grandmother's 1982 Buick Regal Estate. That car was awesome. It had the Mag wheels, a spoiler, and is probably the main reason why I'll always love wagons. Aside from being a fan of station wagons, I'm also a Honda aficionado. So, when I heard through the grape vine that Honda was making a crossover version of the Accord you can imagine my excitement. I was looking forward to an AWD version of the Accord Tourer. What you can't imagine, however, is how disheartened I was when I saw the atrocity that is the Accord Crosstour. The Crosstour is worse looking than our 96 Sable Wagon, and that was the first year of the "oval" design. Even the speakers on the tailgate were oval! I swear, I felt like a I was being stared down by a fly when sitting in the third row seat of that car. And it STILL looks better than a Crosstour. I love the TSX Sportwagon. I was that it wasn't price like an Acura and I wish it came with a manual transmission and cloth seats, but you can't always get what you want. I suppose if you had connections with Honda of America you could get one, or if you were rich enough to buy a TSX with a manual and swap the engine and transmission... It would, indeed, be better if it were priced like an Accord. Especially given the fact that in other parts of the world it IS an Accord Tourer. The Acura TSX is nothing a rebadged version of the Euro and JDM Accord. I can't remember at the moment what our Accord is based on. I would love to see more wagons on the market again. I grew up during that awkward period just before SUVs hit it big, and station wagons and minivans were living in harmony. When I was in elementary school, I knew about 5 people who had SUVs. Only one was a Suburban, and it was used to pull a horse trailer. Other than that, I knew two people with Explorers, one with a Cherokee, and one with a Wagoneer (the Cherokee based, not the Grand Wagoneer). In those days, the school pick-up line was riddled with a mixture of sedans, station wagons, and Chrysler minivans...plus on Suburban. I guess I'm just a nostalgic soul, though. I'm saddened by the fact that my children will never know the feeling of growing up in a rear-facing third row seat.

  • Outback_ute Outback_ute on May 27, 2011

    I was thinking this was more like it! http://www.holden.com.au/vehicles/sportwagon/ss-v-series 6.0V8, 370hp if you don't mod it, 6sp manual, rwd, etc. It is basically a higher-spec G8 GT wagon, so could come in around the $34k mark (the GT sedan was $29-30k right?) Or there is the Holden Special Vehicles version with the LS3, bi-modal exhaust, big brakes, performance data on the touchscreen etc... I am not a Holden fan as a general rule but they are a very nice machine

  • 05lgt 05lgt on May 28, 2011

    There may be more demand for a sported up version of this car than there was a few years ago. Not all Legacy wagon buyers are willing to switch over to Outbacks. AWD isn't always to get unstuck. what do the SH in SH-AWD stand for again?