The Truth About Cars » Accord Crosstour The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:47:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Accord Crosstour Comparison Review: Toyota Venza Versus Honda Crosstour: First Place: Honda Crosstour Fri, 22 Jan 2010 14:34:38 +0000

What is the purpose of the Crosstour? I asked as I waited for my test car to be readied. Pause. Finally an answer, The Crosstour is now the high-end Accord. It is designed to compete with the Toyota Venza. Ah, I get it: monkey see monkey do. What better way to give the marque a kick in the shorts than to pinch an idea from the market leader. And so they did. Almost. Partly. Sort of.

The most complementary thing that can be said about the Crosstour is that it is an Accord Coupe stretched to accommodate a second pair of doors. Bumper to bumper, it embodies a sportiness that is entirely lacking in the entirely too practical Venza. That’s not to say that the Crosstour is a hardened ‘bahn burner. Or that it isn’t a practical mobile for the modern family. Let’s just say that the car has a little of that magic that made earlier generations of the Accord sedan a good deal more satisfying to drive than your average family car.

My crystal black pearl colored Accord Crosstour EX looks longer, lower and wider than the Venza. In this case, looks are deceiving. While it is almost 8 inches longer, Crosstour is in fact 2.3 inches taller. The proportions are, of course, drastically different. While the Venza is an upright and boxy wagon, the hood of the Crosstour is long and low followed by a steeply raked windshield and, lastly, a big thick bootie. In profile it casts a silhouette that is, dare I say it, not unlike the Porsche Panamera. If for no other reason, you can see the Crosstour’s sporting aspirations in the 12 inch brake rotors glinting between the spokes of the rear wheels. 

The penalties for the sleek exterior proportions are, of course, on the inside. With the rear seats upright, the cargo area is just 25.7 cu.ft. (51.3 cu.ft. with the seats folded). On paper that’s 4.4 cu.ft. smaller than Venza. In reality the difference is greater because much of the added cargo capacity created by the fastback design is an awkward space below the long sloping rear window. However, the space is infinitely more accessible than the pinched and restrictive sedan trunk because the entire rear window lifts up and out of the way.

Honda made the most of the rear space by replacing the spare tire wheel well with a commodious removable storage bin. The spare tire has been relocated up underneath the car in a retractable compartment, the bottom of which is streamlined to help undercarriage aerodynamics.

The dash is elegantly and intuitively laid out with outstanding ergonomics – with the exception of one grotesque flaw. The power outlet, auxiliary audio jack and USB port are located deep under the armrest at the back of the center console.

In a break from past Accord practice, the cabin is spooky quiet. Like a fastidious librarian, the Active Sound Control system utilizes the audio system to detect and shush unwanted noise frequencies before they reach your ears.

Only the sound of the high-strung 3.5 liter V6 engine is allowed to intrude for the entertainment of the driver. In classic Honda fashion, the drive train is tuned to keep the crankshaft whirling like a Dervish on crank, spending much of its time between 3500 and 4500 rpm in pedestrian stop and go traffic driving, about 500-800 rpms higher than the Toyota at any given speed. That means terrific responsiveness because you are almost always driving right in the meat of the engine’s power band. Additionally, the decisive 5-speed transmission tenaciously holds the correct gear when cornering.

To keep the inevitable fuel consumption of all of this revving in check, the engine is equipped with Variable Cylinder Management that deactivates two when cruising or three cylinders while coasting. At an estimated 18/27 mpg, Crosstour is 1 mpg worse than Venza in town but a tick better on the highway.

The ride quality of all of the new Accord models is outstanding, but the Crosstour gets the added benefit of sport tuning. More so than the drive train, these suspension tweaks have restored the trademark liveliness that Accord drivers have come to expect from Honda, but is missing from the lower trim models of the current generation. In sum, the car feels lighter and faster.

If cargo capacity were the only consideration the Toyota Venza would win hands down. However, the Crosstour offers greater-than-sedan utility while delivering superior handling and performance to any Camry, Venza, or current Accord sedan. Across the spectrum of options, the Crosstour cost four to five thousand dollars less than the comparably equipped Venza. When the Accord platform took on its current Giganto dimensions, it seemed that Honda gave up on giving its devotees a spirited driving experience. With the Crosstour the Honda Accord is back.

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Review: 2010 Honda Crosstour Wed, 16 Dec 2009 16:30:37 +0000 crosstour

There are guys at my gym that work out hard, three times a day, chiseling their chests and abs to perfection, compensating for the fact that God didn’t give them High School Musical faces. They are masterpieces of strength, structure – everything other than looks. From now on, I will secretly call them Crosstours.

crosstour2Honda’s newest addition to their Accord line is not ugly. Don’t let the pile-on from a Facebook crowd that was never in the market for this type of vehicle in the first place confuse you. In person, especially in white or silver, it’s not a half-bad car. Actually, it’s only about 23% bad car. From the grill to start of the rear glass, I like the sheet metal quite a bit. Most of this car is an aggressive take on the Accord. The designers gave up when they got to the rump. Still, at eye-level the car is fine. No lust, no revulsion.

There is a good deal of silliness, though. What I really dislike about the butt of this beast is the compromised utility. To what end the sloping rear end? I don’t get it. The Crosstour is akin to a decent – if unattainable in the US – Accord wagon with a space handicap. If there’s always going to be some of your spouse’s stuff in the back, why not just give us a proper station wagon? The people who want this car want storage room and can obviously deprecate the importance of style. This design provides 25.7 cu-ft. (seats up) and 51.3 cu-ft (seats down.) A more wagonesque design could give you numbers closer to the Toyota Venza (34.4 / 70.1) and, arguably, betters lines.

All of which is doubly disappointing because this is best Accord you can buy – you know, aside from the tragic ending. Crosstours come with Honda’s 271 hp 3.5-liter V6, putting out 254 lb-ft of torque. The engine itself is lovable. The consistent, energetic response is ready throughout the power band. This is, however, a 4,000 lb automobile. You can’t spend time in this car, with this engine, and not wish it would hit the gym. crosstour1

This six has cylinder-deactivation to bring the gas mileage up to 18/27 mpg city/highway (FWD) and 17/25 mpg (AWD). Which also partially explains the lack of engine choices. In the Accord sedans, the four-cylinder only bests the six by two miles per gallon, so I’ll assume similar results for this configuration. Yes, that means occasionally you’re driving two tons with a three-banger. To Honda’s credit, it’s pretty though to tell.

The Crosstour’s transmission du jour is a five-speed automatic with rev-matching downshifts. On its way up the cogs, the tranny stays well behaved. It tried not to leap up to the next gear before I was ready. On the way down, the rev-matching was quick . . . but almost too quick. Kind of jarring. Like you’re teaching someone else to drive a manual. Of course, by this point I was getting on the thing. Day to day, most Honda owners will be quite content.

The overall feel of the car – in all-wheel drive form – is more comfortable than its sedan siblings. I can’t decide if the added bulk counters the little bumps and holes of the road or Honda actually tuned this more for touring than carving. Probably a little of both. The car’s body roll is present, but way less than you’d expect. The vehicle dynamics are an improvement for the platform. The AWD gives you a slightly better weight distribution and, under load, it evens out the front-wheel drive tug. This is the most fun you can have in an Accord.

crosstour4Not that any of them were built for fun, per se. The four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are up to the challenge. Firm and predictable. The steering floats a little too much for my taste. The breeziness has a point, though, as the turning circle is just over 40 feet. Above illegal speeds you want a heavier feel. When parallel parking, you want all the help you can get.

Our test car stickered at $37,035. That gives you all the gizmos Honda has to offer, including a navigation system I didn’t bother with. It does not give you Honda’s top shelf, super-all-wheel-drive (SH-AWD). All Crosstours get a simple set up that sends power backwards when it feels like, rather than a four-way distribution system. I got to test the car in the wet and the traction is certainly better the FWD variants. There is no suction cup effect, a la Acura.

You do get an Acura interior. The basic Accord moldings dress up nicely. The extra pieces of leather and wood make the space more inviting. The brushed metal looks better than it feels. Living in a cold climate, I continue to appreciate Honda’s over-sized buttons. Gloves-on ergonomics are more than sufficient. crosstour3

The trunk area is smart. The side wells intrude some, but the bin in the floor is brilliant. It has handles. You can take the whole thing out and cart stuff around and wash it when you’re done. The lid flips, if you want to keep at least that part of the carpet clean.

The dealer that loaned me a Crosstour had already delivered its first four. Honda devotees bought them sight unseen, without a single turn of the wheel. That probably says more than I did in the previous 11 paragraphs. There is a car-buying public that can get past looks and handicaps to simply accept a car for what it really is . . . Whatever that is. I’m not sold on this whole fat five-door sub genre. Just because BMW does it doesn’t make it right. The Crosstour is good enough to make me wish for a pretty Accord wagon. Yes, I am that shallow.

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