In keeping up with modern marketing methods, Honda innocently set up a Facebook page for the new Accord Crosstour, which promised to be a “sophisticated refinement of a premium sedan with versatile aspects from an SUV.” When the first pictures of the Crosstour went live, Honda received an unintended backlash from Facebook users as they ripped apart the Accord Crosstour’s styling, saying (and this is a nice one,) it looks like the “mutant redhead offspring of a Chrysler Crossfire and Pontiac Aztek.” Ouch.
At the time, I agreed with most of the users; the pictures Honda put up there were less than flattering. Honda responded with “Arguably, the two studio photos we posted didn’t give you enough detail, nor were they the best to showcase the vehicle. There are more photos on the way. Maybe it’s like a bad yearbook photo or something, and we think the new photos will clear things up.” Props for handling the situation well, Honda.
Is it really as ugly as the Facebook users exclaimed? More importantly, how does it drive? Read on to find out…
After receiving our 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour last week, I can confidently say that it looks much better in person than in photos. While it still has some awkward design aspects to it like the huge gaping grille and Porsche Panamera-like ass-end, it’s not quite as “fugly” as the Facebook users make it out to be. I can’t blame them though, based on the given images. Even Honda came out and said “Many of you don’t like the styling: It may not be for everyone. Our research suggests that the styling does test well among people shopping for a crossover.” Touché, Honda.
The interior is an altogether different story. There’s no arguing that the Accord Crosstour is well-designed inside. Modern styling elements like a swooping dash and flowing lines show that Honda is aiming this at buyers looking for a bit of excitement in their drive. The glowing blue gauge rings and needles stand out in a good way, forgoing the boring orange color of some competitors (looking at you, Nissan.)
All 2010 Honda Crosstours come with a 271 hp, 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. This is a perfect setup for the car – the V6 engine is smooth and powerful. Although the hefty weight of the Crosstour limits sports car-like acceleration, there is always plenty of oomph there when you need it. Both FWD and AWD setups are available, which is a first for anything with the “Accord” name.
Our 2010 Crosstour EX-L came with heated leather seats, driver memory, USB audio interface, bluetooth, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror, but even the base EX model comes well-equipped with power moonroof, fog lights, steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, dual-zone climate, auxiliary audio jack, two 12V outlets in front, and tons of safety features. The standard 360 watt audio system will be good enough for all but the biggest audiophiles.
The bad part of all this is that controls for radio, climate, and navigation on the center dash seem to be randomly placed and are very awkward to use. While driving, it’s often difficult to find the right button you need since there is no sense of organization within the controls. This is bad enough to make me not buy the car based solely on this.
In addition, the optional navigation system is awful. The controls are clunky, awkward, and hard to navigate around menus, the routing is sometimes off, and the voice guidance is incredibly annoying, loudly declaring every single selection your cursor hovers over and selects. I had to turn the voice off, which then of course means she won’t talk when I need her to (like when I need to take an exit on a busy highway.) For the sake of your sanity, order this car without navigation.
Here’s where the Crosstour surprised me. For a crossover/wagon so big and heavy, it truly feels like you’re driving a car. Handling is tight and responsive, suspension allows for hasty and confident maneuvering through traffic at speed as well as abrupt turns with minimal body roll. While many cars offer that sort of sporty handling, not nearly as many can also boast a quiet, soft, and supple ride while cruising. The Accord Crosstour can, and I’m impressed with its dual-personality. Active Noise Cancellation (a Honda first) keeps the cabin quiet on the road, and it works very well.
The 3.5-liter V6 engine standard across the line is brilliant, and the only engine needed for this heavyweight. The five-speed auto is a good mate, though it can occasionally be jerky with a mistimed throttle lift/downshift. Variable Cylinder Management keeps MPGs within tolerable range and downshift rev matching provides a generally smooth shift.
Seating is very comfortable in the leather seats. Optional driver memory is incredibly convenient, heated seats keep the butt warm in chilly climates, and there is more than enough space for driver and front passenger. The rear seats, while adequate, might be a little cramped for tall adults. Standard audio connectivity and the optional USB jack keep your MP3 player running (if you can figure out how to control it through the interface,) or a standard 6-disc changer is available for those who still listen to tunes on a physical format (sooo ’90s.) Front storage space is OK; a smallish glove box and center console limit too much clutter, and a cubby hole in the center allows for small items.
Lifting the hatch in the rear reveals a large cargo area, roughly double the capacity of an Accord sedan’s trunk. Fold the seats down for even more room. This is why my next car will be a hatch. Open up the floor to hidden cargo organizers and more storage room.
Starting at $29,670, the 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour isn’t cheap. It’s a big jump up from the Accord sedan, but also offers quite a lot more. It’s a luxurious ride with plenty of standard features and a great powertrain, so the extra cash will be worth it to many buyers. If you want AWD, add around $1,500. For navigation…don’t get the navigation.
Fuel consumption for the FWD model is 18 city, 27 hwy (AWD is 17/25,) which is about right when compared to competitors.
Before You Buy
The 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour’s primary competitor is the Toyota Venza, which is new for 2009. The Accord Crosstour and Venza sort of define their own segment, which is worth looking at if you need a mid-size sedan with more room. Other competitors according to Honda include the Nissan Murano and Mazda CX-7 – both SUVs.