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2010 Honda Accord Crosstour Review

October 22, 2010 06:40 PM EST | Crossover , Honda | Email to Friend | Comments (0)

View large imageIf you like the Accord sedan but want more room and/or all-wheel drive, the 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour is worth a look. Otherwise, a more versatile crossover SUV will likely serve you better.

Pros
Roomy seating, carlike driving dynamics, quiet cabin, available all-wheel drive.

Cons
Compromised cargo capacity, button-heavy center stack, controversial styling.

What's New for 2010
The 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour debuts as a crossover wagon version of Honda's venerable midsize sedan.

Introduction
The 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour is indeed a cross between multiple genres. Like many crossover SUVs, it's based on a sedan; unlike true crossovers, though, the Accord Crosstour doesn't offer the versatility of a wagon or SUV. Think of it as a V6-powered Accord hatchback with marginally increased ground clearance and available all-wheel drive, and you'll get the idea. Whether consumers will get onboard with this unusual concept remains to be seen.

The problem for Honda is that the marketplace is teeming with crossovers that offer far more cargo capacity than the Accord Crosstour, and often a third row of seating as well (unavailable on the Honda). With just 51.3 cubic feet of maximum space behind the front seats, the Crosstour can barely haul more than the compact Toyota Matrix. The Crosstour's closest things to direct competitors, the Subaru Outback and Toyota Venza, are good for at least 70 cubic feet. Furthermore, crossover models like the Mazda CX-9 and even Honda's own Pilot boast both more room and a third-row seat.

Honda knows this, of course, yet it decided to build the Crosstour anyway. The idea is that there are consumers out there who want the beefier image of a crossover along with the sleek roof line of something like an Acura ZDX or BMW X6. To this end, the Crosstour's styling has aroused some controversy, particularly its rather prominent front end, but we can't deny that it's got a different look. Maybe that will give the Crosstour added appeal amid the sea of look-alike crossovers currently on sale.

So what we have here is essentially a funky-looking, high-riding Accord with extra room in back. That might be just the ticket for those who like the Accord sedan but find its styling too staid and its conventional trunk too limiting. However, we'd encourage shoppers to look closely at the above mentioned crossover SUVs too, as well as the Toyota Highlander (which also has a third-row seat). Time will tell whether the 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour is a crossover hit or the result of crossed signals.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour is a crossover wagon available in EX and EX-L trim levels. The EX comes standard with 17-inch wheels, foglights, a sunroof, power front seats (10-way driver, four-way passenger), a multifunction steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control with second-row vents, a 60/40-split-folding rear seatback and a seven-speaker audio system with a six-CD changer and an auxiliary audio jack.

The EX-L trim level adds 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, driver-seat memory functions, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a cargo cover, Bluetooth and an upgraded stereo with a USB port and satellite radio. The lone option is a navigation system. It's only available on EX-L models, and it includes voice-activated controls and a back-up camera.

Powertrains and Performance
Front-wheel drive is standard on the 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour, with all-wheel drive available on the EX-L only. All Crosstours come with a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 271 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic is the only available transmission.

In Edmunds performance testing, a front-wheel-drive Crosstour went from zero to 60 mph in a class-competitive 7.5 seconds. Fuel economy, according to Honda, is 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway with FWD, 17/25 with AWD.

Safety
All Accord Crosstours come standard with active front seat head restraints, antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the Accord Crosstour stopped from 60 mph in a decent 131 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features
The 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour's interior will be familiar to anyone who has spent time in the current-generation Accord sedan. It's tightly constructed with high-quality but not outstanding materials. The center stack has a high-tech look, but it's overly cluttered with identical-looking buttons. The optional navigation system adds even more buttons to the party, but its voice-command functionality, high-mounted screen and multipurpose knob are relatively user-friendly.

Despite the Crosstour's teardrop roof line, the backseat provides acceptable head- and legroom for adults. In fact, those two specs are virtually identical to the Accord sedan's. Both front and rear seats are comfortable, though the standard power driver lumbar support is unusually aggressive, for better or worse. There are 25.7 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear seats and 51.3 cubes with the seatbacks folded -- both subpar figures in comparison to more traditional midsize wagons or crossovers.

Driving Impressions
The 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour is based on the current Accord, which has lost some of the sportiness it was once known for. Add 300 pounds and a higher center of gravity, as the Crosstour does, and the result isn't going to be a sport wagon. Even so, the Crosstour still drives a lot like a regular Accord, and that means accurate steering and predictable handling.

Power from the V6 is adequate, though some drivers might find acceleration to be a bit soft from a stop and the transmission annoyingly hesitant to downshift for highway passing. One notable difference between the Crosstour and Accord is the former's nicely suppressed road noise, a rare trait in a Honda product -- but hopefully the start of a trend. The ride is on the firm side, but acceptably so.

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