The Honda Crosstour joined the Honda family in fall of 2009 as a 2010 full-size crossover. It’s a fastback with a slightly higher and more sloped roofline than the Accord sedan. And it’s directly aimed as a competitor to the Toyota Venza and inspired by the BMX X6 and 5 Series Gran Turismo.
Available only in the United States, Canada and Mexico, the Crosstour has generated as much industry buzz in its short tenure as any new car. Not all of the Crosstour comments have been good. In fact, there’s seemingly little neutral turf. The Crosstour has been simultaneously praised as innovative and criticized for its unique styling.
The round-trip trek from Sacramento to the East Bay area of San Francisco is 180 miles. Do it as often and I have during the past 35 years, it’s not nearly as boring as a “daily commute.” Few things stand out, trip after trip. But make the journey in a car that stands out and the repetition of the trek at least provides something new.
It happens in a sports car when the top’s down and in happened last week when I drove the Honda Crosstour. It’s quiet. It’s responsive. It’s comfortable. It maneuvers in traffic like it belongs on the open road. It has all the well-documented features Honda has to offer throughout its lineup — the mobility of the Fit to the refined ruggedness of the Ridgeline — in one car.
Much of the rap against the Crosstour is its lack of cargo space. There are 25.7 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear seats and 51.3 cubic feet with the seatbacks folded. That’s not a lot of space compared the Toyota Venza and the Subaru Outback.
But for me, the comparison isn’t fair. The Crosstour isn’t an SUV or a wagon. It’s a ‘tweener, and I like it. I like the easy access front and back seats. I like the easy pull lever to lower the back seatbacks. I like the Crosstour because it has the efficient, contoured front cabin design of its close sibling, the Accord. But it’s a sedan with cargo space and a lot of multi-use versatility.
Like the Accord, the Crosstour features high quality but not luxurious materials, and the dials and knobs on the instrumental panel are user-friendly.
Scott Burgess of the Detroit News wrote a clever review of the Crosstour, and bashed the bashers of the car’s exterior. Describing the exterior design, Burgess wrote: . . . “It improves on the Accord’s bland exterior. The Crosstour includes a more dynamic roofline — to accommodate the wagonesque functionality. It looks like engineers heated up an Accord and then ran it through a taffy puller, tacking on some checkered running boards and then changing out the front fascia.”
That’s a description not easily topped. The Crosstour has all the keen attributes one of the country’s most poplar sedans and multiples its versatility several-fold.
A 3.5 liter V6, 271-horsepower engine powers the Crosstour down the road just fine, and it does so quietly. The Crosstour is also unique with its multi-mode cylinder mode. The Crosstour won’t win a drag race, but it shouldn’t be expected to. The Accord doesn’t get criticized for its acceleration numbers, so the Crosstour shouldn’t, either.
Exterior design. Very Euro-hip.
Side-pull latches for easy release of back seats.
Blue-illuminated instrumentation panel gauges.
Hidden utility container/cooler below rear cargo area. Let’s party.
Clarity of navigation system (it’s an eight-inch screen) and rearview camera.
Driver’s obscured rear view.
Facts & Figures: 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 7.0 seconds
Airbags: Driver and front passenger front and side and front and rear side curtain.
Antilock brakes: Standard.
Fuel economy: (EPA estimates) 18 mpg (city), 27 mpg (hwy).
Government Safety Ratings (stars): Not yet rated
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $34,770.00
Price As tested: $35,480.00.
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited miles.
Web site: www.honda.com.
What Others Say:
” . . . The Crosstour is better than the Accord sedan, one of the top-selling cars in America because of its stalwart reliability and customer loyalty. Convincing a Honda customer to buy something else is like showing a chef a new way to cut onions . . . everyone ends up crying.” —- Detroit News.
“More importantly, we recently spent a day behind the wheel of the Crosstour, and we found the beauty is on the inside-with a familiar, Accord cabin with added versatility. However, the added functionality doesn’t rival a true wagon.” —- Consumer Reports
“What we are sure of is this is one delightful car to drive, as well as a lot more useful than the Accord sedan.” —- Motor Trend
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
“Rarely does Honda make a mistake when introducing a new vehicle. The Ridgeline, Element and Fit all got some strange early reactions when they debuted. Now, look at them go. The same good things should happen with the Crosstour. It’s not a step up for sedan buyers or a step down for SUV buyers. It has its own identity and it’s well-deserved.”
James, a journalist since 1976, is co-author of Tour de France For
Dummies. He owns several websites, contributes to many print and online
publications and is also the editor of TheWeeklyDriver.com. A long-distance runner for nearly 30 years, Raia also rides his bike — to nearby coffeehouses. E-mail: email@example.com.