First Drive: 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour

Room for one more
Honda seems to have the crossover market pretty well covered with the compact CR-V and the eight-seat Pilot, yet the company sees room for one more. The Honda Accord Crosstour looks to slot in between the two in terms of functionality, yet will stand at the top from a pricing perspective. By packaging, pricing, and marketing this vehicle on the high-end of the five-passenger crossover segment, Honda is targeting both empty nesters and young couples moving from either a smaller or larger vehicle into this growing segment. Competitors for the Crosstour include the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano, and Toyota Venza.

It sure doesn't look like an Accord
The Crosstour's bulging rear end and sloped roof aren't exactly new, but the look is still quite shocking. Vehicles like the BMW X6, the BMW 5-series GT, and the Acura ZDX (which shares no parts with the Crosstour) have all paved the way for Honda's four-door crossover coupe. That hasn't stopped people from calling the Crosstour's style into question. When Honda first dropped pictures of the Accord Crosstour on Facebook in September, people decried the design. Some said it recalled the AMC Eagle SX/4. Others drew comparisons to the Pontiac Aztek.

In person, the Crosstour's caricature look isn't nearly as exaggerated. The grille looks less jarring and the rear end isn't as rotund. The sloped roof even looks sporty. There are still unflattering angles, and we can hardly imagine the body style gaining major traction with other automakers. On the road, these cars won't be drawing second looks. Well, probably not positive ones.

Putting the "Accord" in "Accord Crosstour"
From the inside, the Crosstour feels very similar to an Accord, with controls in the same locations and similar surface textures, quality, and colors. It's familiar and comfortable, although the navigation display is growing old, and the knobs and buttons are a bit of a cluttered mess. To position the Accord Crosstour as a premium mainstream vehicle, Honda is offering few trim levels and options, but a comprehensive list of standard equipment. That includes dual-zone climate control, power front seats, and an auxiliary audio input. Uplevel optional equipment includes a USB input, satellite radio, heated seats, and a navigation system. However, for the high-end image Honda is looking to create, options like keyless ignition, a power liftgate, and a rear seat entertainment system are missing.

Based on the Crosstour's profile, we were expecting the rear seat to be squeezed for space. Instead, we were pleasantly surprised that it's not much different than in a sedan, with headroom just large enough to accommodate six-footers, and car-like legroom that's not overly generous, but is certainly adequate.

The rear cargo area features a removable rigid two-piece cover that keeps valuables out of sight. There's also a compartment beneath the floor that features a removable tub perfect for stashing tools, tie downs, an ice scraper, or wet and dirty objects. The entire cargo compartment is nicely finished in rich carpeting. If you want to protect that carpet, just flip the floor panels over to reveal plastic surfaces. With the back seats up, you can store 25.7 cubic feet of storage in the rear. That number is notably smaller than the volumes afforded in Honda's own CR-V and Pilot, or the Toyota Venza. Still, flipping the seats down leaves a very usable 51.3 cubic feet.

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I'm a little surprised that there's no less expensive/more economical four cylinder version, like Venza and Outback offer.
The only Edges I've ever seen (all three of them) have been in the Hertz rental car lot--I can't imagine anyone cross-shoping an Edge and a Crosstour. If people can get over the styling, this seems like a smart move by Honda--I know several Civic and Accord owners who imagine they have an active lifestyle and have considered leaving the Honda fold to buy Subaru Outbacks.
This is a vehicle like a buddy of mine had in the 80s....the Mazda makes lots of sense, drives like a car and in convenient to load and unload...its what the Verza is not...that is another class of vehicle, more like the Edge, Murano, etc.
Why on earth does this thing have to compromise its utility with that sloped roof?Why on earth does it have to muddle it's driving dynamics with a jacked up suspension? Why on earth does it have to be so F-ing ugly? Thankfully, Acura will get a proper wagon, the TSX, with better handling and utility, if still saddled with that unfortunate beak. Meanwhile, I'm betting the name Gross-tour catches on.

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