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The new 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour

One might argue that the Infiniti EX35 could be considered a rival to the Crosstour, but the EX35 doesn’t have as rakish a roofline nor…

One might argue that the Infiniti EX35 could be considered a rival to the Crosstour, but the EX35 doesn’t have as rakish a roofline nor the passenger and cargo space of the larger Honda. So unless for some odd reason you’d cross-shop the Crosstour against the only other stylistically similar vehicle, the doubly expensive BMW X6, this Accord is a unique cuppa Joe. Whether Public embraces this decidedly non-mainstream blend remains to be seen. It may be welcomed for the fact it’s a Honda which is popular here in the north.


Performance

The 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour is motivated by the same 3.5-liter V6 found in the Accord sedan; it sends its 271 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque through a five-speed automatic transmission. That is the sole engine available, though buyers do have a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. Well we haven’t driven it because it yet to arrive but we got reports about the driving experience. The five-speed’s gearchanges were virtually seamless, even under full throttle. The transmission was sometimes slow to downshift unless prodded with a firm boot, likely a result of fuel-economy-minded programming. To its credit, it did a fine job of holding gears on grades and through turns, eliminating the annoying hunting between gears exhibited by some other transmissions. And should you want to shift for yourself (via the console-mounted shift lever), you’ll be happy to know that the gearbox features an automatic downshift rev-matching feature, the first in a Honda-brand vehicle.

As with the Accord sedan, the V6 comes with cylinder deactivation technology that will allow the engine to run on as few as three cylinders under light load conditions. The result is EPA fuel economy estimates of 18 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined for the front-drive version, with the 4WD version coming in about 1 less mpg.

Fitted with upsized brakes compared to an Accord sedan, the Crosstour came to a halt from 60 mph in 131 feet at the track, a decent if not impressive distance for a vehicle this size. The tester reported that they were typical Honda brakes, meaning both distance and feel worsened after a succession of panic stops. In normal driving, however, they feel strong enough and provide a progressive pedal feel.

Given its role as a Grand Touring vehicle, the 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour’s suspension strikes an agreeable balance between a compliant ride and composed handling. Not surprisingly, it struck us as a bigger Accord sedan in terms of its steering feel (nicely weighted with some road feel), and lack of sloppy body motions when pressed through the curves. At the track, it ran faster considering a Murano in the same test.

Comfort: With the tilt-telescopic steering wheel and multiadjustable power seat, getting comfortable behind the wheel was easy. A shorter staffer would’ve liked the wheel to move a little closer to the dash, however, though he had no complaints once acclimated. Accords have long had an unenviable reputation for allowing a bit too much road noise to make its way inside. Thankfully, that’s not the case with the Crosstour as its quieter cabin is meant to more closely match the vehicle’s luxury GT crossover mission.

Despite the teardrop roofline, the backseat provided acceptable head- and legroom for a 6-footer. In fact, those two specs are virtually identical to the Accord sedans. The seat itself was generously padded, well shaped and up high enough to provide proper leg support.

Function: With the dash essentially lifted from the Accord, the Crosstour’s controls are mostly intuitive and precise in action. Unfortunately, this means the Crosstour has the same center stack that’s overly cluttered with similar-looking buttons. The layout is intimidating to look at, but if our experience is any indicator, a day or two in the car is all you’ll need to get used to them.

Though the visibility toward the front and sides is acceptable, backing and parking a vehicle like this, with its fastback roofline and high tail, can be a challenge. To help you out Honda has fitted a glass window below the liftgate (just like an old CR-X, or the Insight), while on the EX-L with navigation you get a back-up camera with guidance lines. The latter is a godsend, allowing you to easily place the vehicle between parking lines and back up to other parallel parked cars without worry about touching bumpers.

With the rear seats up, the Crosstour provides 25.7 cubic feet of cargo space, nearly twice the sedan’s trunk capacity. Flop them down via handy release levers mounted in the cargo bay and you’ll have 51.3 cubes at your disposal, though that’s still about 15-20 cubes shy of a midsize crossover. Underneath the cargo floor is a removable, 1.9-cubic-foot utility box, while the carpeted cargo mat can be flipped over to its easily cleaned plastic underside should you be transporting anything messy.


Design/Fit and Finish

This 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour’s design elements — an in-your-face grille, a concave character line that becomes convex as you move toward the rear, the fastback body style — may seem rather odd at first, especially from a conservative company like Honda. But in the steel, the styling grew on us.

If you’ve been inside an Accord, then the Crosstour’s cabin will be immediately familiar, as the fit and finish is excellent while the instrument panel, center stack and door panels are virtually identical.


Who Should Consider This Vehicle

Empty nesters, or anybody who requires significantly more cargo capacity than a sedan but wants something sportier and less ubiquitous than a crossover SUV. This is an example of form over function, however, and as such the 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour doesn’t offer as much cargo nor as much passenger (when compared to a three-row vehicle) space as similarly sized crossovers. Will Stallion motors bring it I don’t know but can you get one through dealers. Certainly!

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