2010 Honda Crosstour They've been around since the '90s, though they didn't carry a specific name to pinpoint them. Almost a wagon, yet sort of truck-like, they flirt with SUV territory and usually feature a sloping body line with claims of superior handling over their larger cousins. As with all automotive genres, it took a few years before an appropriate name was chosen to identify this somewhat new breed of road-sailing people movers. Eventually, the name caught on, and sales went through the roof as people, especially baby boomers, began shopping for the new phenomenon known as the crossover.
But what exactly is a crossover? The most generic explanation suggests that it's a vehicle based on the chassis of car, but steals some of the attributes that have been created for the SUV market. With this thinking, you get car-like handling, which is responsive, safe, and easily controlled by all types of drivers, but with the versatility of the usually much larger SUV. This includes AWD, increased headroom and storage space, and more ground clearance. The fusion of both vehicles allows car makers to tie the knot between wagon and SUV. The lighter curb weight and sleeker designs mean more fuel efficiency and a better value for the consumer.
Some call them unnecessary, others call them a Godsend Regardless of which side you're on, one thing is for certain; they're not going anywhere. In fact, in 2006, it was reported that crossover vehicles made up more than 50 percent of the SUV market in the U.S. As the crossover explosion has continued to break new ground with cutting-edge designs, car manufacturers have begun slowly separating themselves from the heavier SUV production in order to chase consumers who seem to be focused on the versatility of a crossover.
When Honda announced plans to introduce the Accord Crosstour, many assumed they'd see a newer version of the Accord wagon brought to the showroom. Instead, what we saw was a brand new machine, something that displayed flashes of Accord, but screamed rugged utilitarian. Like many Honda and Acura offerings, there's a bit of an adjustment period that takes place after initial introductions are made. We've talked about it before, and most enthusiasts will agree. The issue is this. We become somewhat comfortable with a certain style presented by Honda, so that when something from left field is presented, well, the initial shock is felt for a little bit. The same feeling came over me the first time I saw a '94 Integra with its circular quad-headlights, and the new TSX sporting a massive front grill that, quite honestly, caught me off guard. However, over a brief period of time the new design dust settled and I grew fond of both cars, it just took a little time.
My first encounter with the Alabaster silver Crosstour EX had me take a step back. After driving our project Fit for the past few months, the Accord seemed massive in comparison. The front end is like a steroid-enhanced Accord, which sweeps back to a sloped roof, and to what seems to be a common rear end for most new Honda hatchbacks complete with a dark tinted window strip reminiscent of the '88-'91 CRX. As I opened the drivers door, I immediately noticed the nice wood-grain enhanced dash, high-mounted navigation screen, and leather seats. Once seated, the controls for the temperature, premium stereo, and navigation are all in one central location, just like the FCX Clarity and the TSX that we tested previously. The system may look complex to a guest, but it only takes moments to get the hang of the switches and buttons that dominate the center of the dash. Placing the car in reverse brings up a display of what's behind you on the navi screen. The rumble of the V6 as I prod the gas pedal lets me know that the 3.5L V6 should be more than capable of pulling the hefty 3,800 curb weight through the mean streets of L.A. without breaking a sweat. On the road, acceleration is not as snappy as the V6 TSX, but it's more than enough to match speed on the freeway and pull around slower vehicles without too much fuss. Exiting and maneuvering through the surface streets is effortless, with much better than expected handling and turning radius. The cabin remains incredibly quiet throughout the drive. So quiet in fact, that when I roll down my window as I approach the isolated drive-up ATM, the outside noise resembles New Years eve in downtown Las Vegas. When I popped the hatch I found a good amount of cargo space, though it does appear to be a bit on the shallow side. However, if you pull up the false floor cover, there's a small trunk available to hold and hide items, and it's easily removable with built-in handles; perfect to use as an ice chest at your next tailgate party. Also, the floor panels are reversible in case you're carrying some dirty cargo.
Forcing a V6 to carry around all that weight is a surefire way to go broke at the pump. But as with all Honda offerings, mileage and value were at forefront of the Crosstour design. The EPA-rated 18/27 is achieved by using Honda's Variable Cylinder Management (VCM). This system allows the deactivation of two or three cylinders on the road in order to burn less fuel, depending on how much power is needed while driving.
The idea of the crossover is to combine the best of all worlds into one vehicle. Honda takes it a step further with an aggressive design, classy refinement, clever enhancements, and a fuel-efficient V6. The Crosstour answers to the masses, while still finding a way to blaze its own trail.
|Length: 196.8 in.||Width: 74.7 in.|
|Height: 65.7 in.||Wheel Base: 110.1 in.|
|Ground Clearance: 6 in.||Curb Weight: 3852 lbs.|
|Base Number of Cylinders: 6||Base Engine Size: 3.5 liters|
|Base Engine Type: V6||Horsepower: 271 hp|
|Max Horsepower: 6200 rpm||Torque: 254 ft-lbs.|
|Max Torque: 5000 rpm||Maximum Towing Capacity: 1500 lbs.|
|Drive Type: FWD||Turning Circle: 40.2 ft.|
|Front Head Room: 39.5 in.||Front Hip Room: 55.3 in.|
|Front Shoulder Room: 57.8 in.||Rear Head Room: 37.5 in.|
|Rear Shoulder Room: 56.2 in.||Rear Hip Room: 53.9 in.|
|Front Leg Room: 42.2 in.||Rear Leg Room: 37.4 in.|
|Luggage Capacity: 25.7 cu. ft.||Maximum Cargo Capacity: 51 cu. ft.|
|Maximum Seating: 5|
Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.5 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway/Combined)
Automatic: 18 mpg / 27 mpg / 21 mpg
Range in Miles:
Automatic: 333 mi. / 499.5 mi. / 388.5 mi.