With wagons' popularity on the rise and the increasing numbers of crossover models, the arrival of the Honda Accord Crosstour seemed advantageous. It should have been a fabulous family vehicle. Sadly, this wagon left me shaking my head at what could have been. The Crosstour is basically an Accord, but with an inflated price tag and horrendous rear visibility in exchange for a bit more cargo space and some funky styling.
Driving the Crosstour's EX trim level didn't seem all that different from driving an Accord. The interior was a touch nicer, with some wood trim, but the actual driving of the Crosstour isn't much of a departure from its sedan sibling. The ride is solid, firm without being hard. It's a comfortable car around town and on the highway, although there's noticeable wind noise at high speeds and slightly annoying engine noise at higher revs.
I had some fun with the Crosstour on the twisty mountain roads of my hometown, but the fun was in the turns, not in the acceleration even though this car has a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. And honestly, I don't make those kinds of turns with my kids in the car, so that fun is a purely solitary pleasure.
There are plenty of bells and whistles available for the Crosstour, including four-wheel drive, but my base level EX model didn't have much to show off. There's a decent-sized moonroof, but it's unimpressive compared to the panoramic roofs on the market. The seven-speaker stereo system sounds fine and has an MP3 jack, but no satellite radio or USB input. Really, nothing about the Crosstour jumped out at me but the styling, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I wanted to like it. I tried to like it. I even got defensive when other people disparaged it. But at the end of the day, the Crosstour just confused me. Also? I can't stand the name.
The Accord Crosstour was savaged on the Internet when the photos were first released, and I, like many, was aghast. My reaction to the Crosstour was similar to what I'd tell a close girlfriend in an unflattering outfit, "Oh, honey, no. Just...no. Let's try something else, m'kay?" Fortunately for the Crosstour, the camera does seem to add a few pounds; in person, it's nowhere near as ugly as I'd expected. Still, I don't think that's much of a compliment. I mean, who wants to be "not as hideous as I had thought."
In the front, the Accord Crosstour looks a lot like an Accord coupe, but a bold, angular grille dominates the face, with chiseled lights angling away to the corners. From the side, the Crosstour is more distinctive. It has the nose of a sedan and the tail of a coupe, with a backseat and doors stretching out the middle. The side windows are asymmetrical, sweeping here and angling there, and provide some pretty big blind spots.
My kids had no problem opening and closing the doors or getting in and out of the Crosstour.
The rear is the most polarizing part of its styling. The split rear window evokes the Honda Insight hybrid, but the tall rear hatch makes the small window seem even smaller. It's as though the car's designers took charge of the process and forgot that most people like to see out the back of their cars. The wide shoulders make the Crosstour's bottom half seem even wider. It's just not a good look.
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Fair - Great
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Some
The Accord Crosstour is supposed to be more luxurious than the Accord, but aside from a strip of wood trim, I didn't see it in my test car. Like most Hondas, the interior is clean and Spartan. Plush cloth seats were comfy and power adjustable in the front, and the dual-zone climate control kept the cabin cool during an early heatwave.
One of the things I enjoyed in the Crosstour was the simplicity of the center stack. There isn't an overabundance of buttons with cryptic symbols mocking me. Rather, large buttons are clearly marked and easy to use. A small screen displays audio and climate information at the top of the center stack.
In the backseat, there's plenty of legroom for either adults or those massive infant-safety seats that I'm so glad my kids have outgrown. My kids were very helpful in pointing out how nicely the black plush seats showcased Goldfish crumbs and other evidence of family life. They were thrilled, however, with the air vents on the rear of the center console to keep them cool in the back.
Storage space is available in several cubbies, as well as in a center console bin and door bins. There are two cupholders up front, two in the rear armrest and bottle holders in the front doors. In the cargo area there's room for a major grocery trip and sports equipment at the same time, which is great since I never remember to haul the gear into the house before I go shopping. Another nice feature in the cargo area is the under-floor storage. A large bin is covered by a reversible lid that is carpeted on one side and plastic on the other. Two smaller bins in the front corners of the cargo area have similar covers. The rear seats can be folded with a remote release button to provide more space as need.
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
While there's plenty of room in the backseat for child-safety seats, the Latch connectors are buried under the seatback. This makes installing car seats a pain, especially if you frequently trade them out.
The rear bench seat is fairly flat, so our booster seat sat firmly on it. The floppy seat belt buckles might frustrate little kids who aren't used to buckling up on their own. My kids are pro car testers, so they've learned to handle it.
The Crosstour's standard safety features include antilock brakes with brake assist, traction control and an electronic stability system. There are standard front- and side-impact airbags for the front row and side curtain airbags for both rows. Daytime running lights keep the Crosstour visible in all weather, and a security system with a panic alarm comes standard, too.
In Diapers: The Latch connectors are buried, as in "invisible," but there's plenty of room for infant-safety seats in the backseat.
In School: The view from the second row is limited, but the seats are comfy.
Teens: The bold styling might appeal to some teen drivers, but the lack of tech in the lower trim levels won't woo them.
Cars.com Expert Reviews
|Kelsey Mays||Cars.com National||November 3, 2009|
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|Lori Hindman||Mother Proof||April 20, 2010|
|Tom Strongman||KansasCity.com||March 5, 2010|
|Bill Griffith||Boston.com||February 19, 2010|
|Scott Burgess||The Detroit Newspapers||January 28, 2010|
|Warren Brown||washingtonpost.com||January 17, 2010|
|Jim Mateja||chicagotribune.com||January 10, 2010|
|Scott Burgess||The Detroit Newspapers||November 7, 2009|
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