When it comes to the all-new Honda Accord Crosstour, the most talked about quality of the vehicle is by far its polarizing design. Even though the latest Accord sedan and coupe are anything but boring in terms of styling, Honda chose to go with the trendy four-door coupe design language when creating its latest Accord-based crossover. Honda may have created a vehicle that stands out from the crowd, but the new Accord Crosstour has garnered much criticism since official pictures were first posted on Honda's Facebook page. While the styling may not be for everybody, the Accord Crosstour's design deviates from other crossovers currently available on the market that mostly resemble station wagons and minivans.
Competing squarely against the Toyota Venza as well as other mid-size crossovers like the Subaru Outback and Ford Edge, the Honda Accord Crosstour is available in three trim levels with a starting MSRP of $29,670. The model I drove was a two-wheel drive version of the top-of-the-line Crosstour EX-L with Nav that had a base price of $34,770 with only the destination charge tacked on for an as-tested total price of $35,480. Love it or hate it, the new Crossover features about the same extraverted styling as the Honda Element, but only time will tell if the sleek Crosstour will have the same success as the boxy Element.
2010 Honda Accord Crosstour Exterior
Although completely unrelated, the Accord Crosstour shares a coupe-like resemblance with the more luxurious Acura ZDX which competes more up market against the BMW X6. In order to best describe the styling of the new Accord Crosstour, it would be easiest to reference the all-new Porsche Panamera. Like the Panamera, the front of the Honda Accord Crosstour features a strong family resemblance (especially to the Accord sedan) with its oversized six-sided grille and the narrow, upward-angled headlamps. Of Honda's entire 2010 lineup, only the Honda CR-V does not feature these design elements. The most distinguishing aspect of the Crosstour is its coupe-like roofline which is steeply raked from about the B-pillar back to the taillights. Despite the unique design, even the rear of the car features signature cues from other Honda cars including taillights shaped similarly to the Honda Civic Coupe and the split rear window borrowed from the Honda Insight. One aspect of the design that doesn't match up well is the boxy, angular front end and the rounded, bubbly rear end.
In an attempt to help draw attention away from this disparity in styling as well as the long overhangs, there are plenty of sporty styling cues built in to the Crosstour's profile design including the upswept beltline, the hard-angled side body crease and the dimpled lower rocker panels that kept reminding me of the side pipes used on a C2 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray for some reason. It's surprising how perspective plays into the car's in terms of both physical and mental; the Crosstour definitely looks better in person especially at eye level instead of the low Â¾ rear angle photographs that are more commonly shown, and oddly enough, it looks even better if you think of it as an all-new crossover that competes against the Venza rather than a hatchback or wagon version of the Accord sedan.
For a direct comparison with the Accord sedan, the Crosstour is about three inches longer, seven inches taller and two inches wider including the track.
2010 Honda Accord Crosstour Interior
The Honda Accord Crosstour's polarizing exterior design comes at the direct expense of interior cargo volume and visibility, but the cabin still features the attractive and purposeful layout similar to the Accord sedan. With an upright seating position for the front passengers, the extra height gives the Crosstour a very commanding view of the road like an SUV instead of the lowered car feel of the Venza. Despite the sleek roofline and the standard moonroof, there is still plenty of headroom and legroom for the rear three-passenger bench seat. This particular model came with light tan leather throughout the cabin and dark wood accents on the instrument panel and door panels. From the driver's view forward, the Crosstour is identical to the Accord sedan, while the rearward visibility is limited by the thick D-pillar and split rear window frame.
Honda likes to include its navigation system as a top trim level on most of its vehicle lines, and this is no exception for the Crosstour EX-L with Nav trim level. Slotting above the already well equipped EX-L, the optional navigation system adds a large central display screen, easy-to-use controls and $2,200 to the final price. As far as the navigation system goes, it isn't as fast or as attractive as what is available in Nissan and Infiniti vehicles, but it is very easy to use and offers functions such as Zagat ratings to help it stand out. The center stack featured a six-disc, in-dash CD changer that is also MP3/WMA capable, and a separate power outlet, USB port and auxiliary jack are located inside the large center console storage bin. Standard on all Accord Crosstour models is Honda's Active Sound Control system which uses the audio system to transparently cancel out annoying wind, road and powertrain noises inside the vehicle.
To make up for the loss of cargo space created by the sloping roofline, Honda tossed in a storage bin that measures 1.9 cubic feet hidden beneath the cargo floor which can double as a removable tote for dirty or bulky items. With the inclusion of the removable bin, the Crosstour can hold up to 25.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in place and 51.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat. Another useful feature of the cargo area is the reversible floor panels that transform about half of the carpeted cargo area to a plastic-lined surface to accommodate wet or messy items that might normally damage the carpet.
2010 Honda Accord Crosstour Performance & Handling
Like its name implies, the Honda Accord Crosstour shares its underpinnings with the Accord sedan, which includes the 3.5-liter V-6 and the five-speed automatic transmission. This engine includes Honda's Variable Cylinder Management and i-VTEC variable camshaft timing for maximized power and fuel economy with 271 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque to go with EPA fuel economy estimates of 18 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The VCM cylinder deactivation system is able to operate the engine with six, four or three cylinders depending on the driving inputs. This system is practically unnoticeable during its operation except for a green ECO light that illuminates on the instrument gauge cluster.
Of course, like any crossover should, the Honda Accord Crosstour offers the option of more than just front-wheel drive courtesy of Honda's Real Time four-wheel drive system and six inches of ground clearance. With the extra sheet metal, the Crosstour tacks on an extra 304 pounds, and to keep the heavier Crosstour manageable in everyday driving, the two-wheel drive models feature a beefier front sway bar than the Accord sedan and bigger rear brakes, while the four-wheel drive version features the same size feature the same size sway bars as the sportier Accord EX-L Coupe. In the end, the Accord Crosstour delivers the same smooth and refined driving dynamic as its sedan counterpart without feeling heavy or cumbersome in regular driving maneuvers.
When it comes to towing, Honda doesn't list the Crosstour's payload capacity, but it does rate the maximum towing capacity at just 1,500 pounds which is 2,000 pounds less than competitors such as the Edge and the Venza.
2010 Honda Accord Crosstour Safety
In true Honda fashion, the Accord Crosstour received excellent safety ratings from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The NHTSA gave the Crosstour a five-star rating for front- and side-impact protection in addition to the four-star ratings that seems to be the best for any crossover or SUV. Surprisingly, the IIHS doesn't rank the Crosstour separately from the other Accord models, but it does give the Accord Good ratings for frontal, side- and rear-impact protection and an Average rating for the newest roof-strength test. Standard safety features for the 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour include six airbags, active head restraints, four-wheel anti-lock brake system, electronic brake-force distribution, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.
In terms of utility, the Honda Accord Crosstour could be a tough sell for Honda compared to some of the more conventionally styled crossover competition, but for drivers looking to stand apart from the wagon and minivan inspired vehicles on the market, the Accord Crosstour is a great choice. The styling of the all-new Crosstour might steal attention away from other aspects of this mid-size crossover, but the interior and driving dynamic are definitely the major strong points for Honda's newest model.