2010 Honda Accord Crosstour
Base price: $30,380 – $36,930
As tested: $36,930
MPG: 17 city/25 highway
- One of the best vehicles we’ve ever driven
- Want an Accord with more room
- Safety features and available all-wheel-drive
- Honda Pilot is the same price
- Split rear window blocks visibility
- Mediocre fuel economy
By Jim Prueter
Nearly perfect Crosstour is best Honda yet
The all-new top-of-the-line Honda Accord Crosstour is the type of vehicle that’s just hard to categorize. It’s kind of sedan, a bit station wagon and not quite a crossover utility vehicle. The strange marriage of parts from these vehicles, however, work together to make it one of the best vehicles we’ve driven and tested in a long, make that a very long, time.
Crosstour, Honda says, is for those who want a bit more utility and style than an Accord sedan, without having to move up to an SUV. Toyota arrived at the same solution last year with its exceptionally nice Camry-based Venza, which competes head to head with Crosstour. Both vehicles are limited to two rows of seats, offer four-wheel drive and have five doors, which in my book classifies the vehicles as hatchbacks.
Crosstour differs from the Accord sedan in both looks and size with a massive grille, flat headlamps rather than the bulbous swollen looking projectiles on the standard sedan and of course its prodigious derriere. Crosstour is a full 7 inches taller, sitting 2 inches higher off the ground. It's also 2 inches wider and is the only Accord available with all-wheel drive that Honda calls Real Time and is the same used on its Element and CR-V models. It is basically a front-wheel-drive system that activates the rear wheels when traction slips or is lost up front. It isn’t nearly as heavy duty as four-wheel drive setups on other vehicles. Crosstour isn’t meant to be taken off road, but the system does more work than the standard sedan's offering.
In unscientific and unsolicited opinions, most co-workers and strangers who approached me with questions and comments on the Crosstour generally had praise for the exterior appearance, but it still racked up no shortage of jabs for its overly long front end and fat rear end. Women seemed to favor the appearance more than men, but universally disliked the split rear window on the rear hatch, calling it a design flaw due to impaired visibility. No argument here.
Aside from the styling, the Crosstour drives terrific and handles commendably, with finesse and aplomb. The cabin is quiet at all levels of speed, the brakes are excellent and the steering superb. Road bumps, dips, and rough pavement are rendered nearly unnoticeable. This is something we would expect to find in perhaps only the finest of expensive luxury sedans.
Seats, which come in either cloth or leather, were exceptionally comfortable, even the rear, which felt a bit more claustrophobic given the sharp slope of Crosstour’s roofline. Two models are available, front-wheel drive EX and EX-L in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel-drive.
Crosstour comes with just one engine, a 3.5-liter, 271-horsepower V6 mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. This is the same engine-transmission offered in the regular Accord sedan. The V6 comes with cylinder deactivation to run on three, four, or all six cylinders, depending on performance demand. EPA fuel economy is estimated at 17/25 (city/highway), but the trip computer in our all-wheel-drive test Crosstour indicated our mileage was just 17.8 mpg in a mix of highway and city driving. It uses regular unleaded.
The rear hatch swings up, offering twice the cargo room than the standard Accord trunk with easier loading/unloading. There’s handles on either side of the cargo area that release rear seat backs to fold flat. We especially liked the three cargo bins in the rear hatch area, two small ones on either side and one large tub in the middle with adjustable dividers to secure loose items. The large bin also has handles for ease of popping it in and out when filled with cold drinks or heavier items. Nice touch.
Other things about the Crosstour we especially liked included the easy-to-use navigation system that can be programmed while the vehicle is in motion. Nice for the passenger but dangerous for the driver to program. No remote release for the duel door, which is now a push and release operation when doors are unlocked, remaining locked when doors are locked. Rearview backup camera is standard, but no blind spot warning indicators are incorporated into outside rearview mirrors.
Our top-of-the-line EX-L Crosstour came loaded with standard features like navigation, rearview camera, heated and leather-trimmed seats and steering wheel, 360-watt AM/FM/6CD/MP3 audio system with 7 speakers, Bluetooth hands free link, XM satellite radio with steering wheel-mounted controls, USB audio interface with MP3 Auxiliary input jack, dual-zone climate control, and all power operated accessories. Power moonroof, alloy wheels, fog lights, heated power door mirrors, rear privacy glass, and keyless entry again are all standard.
Standard safety features include driver’s and passenger’s dual-stage airbags and side airbags, side curtain airbags with rollover sensors, vehicle stability control, anti-lock braking system with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake distribution, and LATCH system for child seats.
Crosstour earned the highest government safety ratings of 5 stars for frontal impact driver, passenger, side impact driver and side impact rear passenger, and 4 star rating for rollover. As of this writing, it has not been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
While the extreme styling might have some buyers balking at its appearance (especially the massive grille and wide rear), there is little else to fault the terrific Crosstour. It drives beautifully, the rear hatch makes undeniable sense and the space is more than comfortable. For Accord loyalists, and there are millions, who want more space and the option of all-wheel-drive, the Crosstour might just be the recipe that fills the need.