By Arison Knapp.
Famous for offering sport utility space while achieving superior sedan driving dynamics, station wagons return passenger-car safety and fuel economy. Over the years the stately five-door wagon has been disappearing from automaker lineups in exchange for taller SUVs. Recently there has been a renaissance of premium segment wagons.
Volvo has kept consistent in offering well-equipped wagons year after year providing a dependable infrastructure of specialists and parts to keep you rolling. However one of the most reliable and technologically advanced companies in the world has come back to the wagon scene with a mean competitor, the Acura TSX Sport Wagon. The TSX Sport Wagon and Volvo’s well-established XC70 are the only front-wheel drive fuel-efficient choices for capturing elegance, modern technology and a valuable harmony of maneuverability and space. Here’s a fresh look at these athletic haulers.
2013 Acura TSX Sport Wagon
Acura’s TSX Sport Wagon offers a sleek and sexy take on the five-door, five-passenger station. The TSX Sport Wagon measures 189.5 inches long with a low stance delivering true-to-form sedan-esque spirited driving character known in a station wagon. Modern standard amenities and options of infotainment put this 2013 Acura TSX Sport Wagon in a prime location to compete with top performers. Acura’s world-class build tolerances give Volvo’s quality a run for its money.
The TSX Sport Wagon starts at an MSRP of $31,860 with a destination charge of $895. It is configurable with choices of six exterior colors lime lighting a Vortex Blue Pearl, two leather interior colors and two model lines.
Both the TSX Sport Wagon base and TSX Wagon Technology Package model are propelled by a swift-accelerating naturally aspirated 2.4L inline four-cylinder VTEC engine generating a 201 hp and 170 lb. ft. of torque. Power is sent through a fast-acting 5-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift and paddle-shifters. Achieving 22-mpg city and 30 highway puts the TSX above the crowd as the most fuel-efficient premium wagon out today.
Maneuvering the TSX’s tight unibody through the sharp and forgiving electronic power steering system (EPS) was effortless to twist through traffic. The TSX has an involving steering system with good feedback for a racy feel. The 2013 Acura TSX’s wide-body physique stretches out to road-hugging width of 72.4 inches supplying a planted feel following the road. Its smooth ride can to trace back to its double-wishbone front suspension and multilink rear.
Safety standards center around Acura’s ACE structure working in tune with six airbags, stability control, traction control, ABS with electronic brake distribution, brake assist, HID headlights and tire pressure monitoring.
Acura presents upper class in-cabin standards of leather perforated seating and steering, power adjustable heated front seats, alloy cabin accenting, seven-speaker 360-watt audio system, iPod and USB media device integration, Bluetooth hands-free calling, Sirius XM radio, power moonroof and with the back seats down 66.2 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.
Add comfort and convenience with the Technology Package including an eight-inch infotainment screen with voice-recognition, GPS-navigation, ELS premiere surround audio, rearview camera, AcuraLink, real-time weather and traffic plus Zagat reviews.
2013 Volvo XC70 3.2
Quality craftsmanship, rich materials with available all-weather capability and ultra-modern active safety is what Volvo presents in their five-door XC70 wagon. This is a rough and ready take on a station wagon. The Volvo XC70 sits high at 63.1 inches tall allowing for a light-off-road ability with good ground clearance while still retaining a lower sedan personality. Measuring to a length of 190.5 inches long this front engine, cargo hauler comes standard in front-wheel drive holding up to five passengers.
At an entry MSRP of $33,600 with an $895 destination charge Volvo offers a comprehensive menu of choices to customize your next XC70. Decide from eight exterior colors spotlighting a Flamenco Red Metallic, three interior designs including a classy two-tone, four model lines (base, Premier, Premier Plus, Platinum), two gasoline engines and the option of adding all-wheel drive with Instant Traction to any model.
Speed is sent to the road through an advanced 6-speed automatic transmission with driver-adaptive Geartronic and Sport mode. The standard power plant is a naturally aspirated 3.2L inline six-cylinder engine generating 240 hp and achieving best-in-line mpg of 19 city and 25 highway or an optional turbocharged 3-liter inline six-cylinder engine firing out 300 hp and 325 lb. ft. of torque at a action-ready 2100 rpm. Add a nifty 25 horsepower with a POLESTAR Performance Package.
It is a quiet and gentle cruise. Controlling the Volvo’s stout unibody felt real stable at speed. The XC70 reacts to the road through fully independent front and rear suspension with MacPherson acting first and multi-link settling things out in back. Its disposition was a bit heavy nonetheless it’s steering was spot on with its quick-turning power assisted rack-and-pinion.
The 2013 Volvo XC70’s safety is finely executed with features like dynamic stability control, traction control, ABS with brake assist, ready alert brakes, fading brake support, tire pressure monitoring, tunnel detecting auto-on headlights and a Personal Car Communicator with Keyless Drive. Add to the abundance of safety options of tomorrow’s life-saving features like hill descent control, driver alert control, adaptive cruise control with queue assist, collision warning with full auto brake (CWAB), pedestrian detection with CWAB, distance alert, lane departure warning, blind spot information system, road sign information, active high beams, active dual xenon headlights and park assist in front and rear.
The XC70 comfortable ride was accented by it’s plush interior, not to mention great visibility. Soak in Swedish luxury standard with a full-leather seating environment, leather steering wheel with Sensus, eight-speaker sound system with iPod and USB inputs, HD radio and Bluetooth hands-free calling. Add to comfort with front and rear heated seating, infotainment screen, GPS-navigation, dual screen rear entertainment and a long menu list of cargo accessories for the rear compartment, roof top and your pet too.
While each wagons has a great ride and an individual character the Volvo does, for a price, allow you more electronic active safety and more personalization from the factory. Customs order your Volvo and have it built to your exact desires. No matter which you choose both vehicles are a thrilling to drive.