The Crosstour’s performance is solid. The 4WD EX-L weighs in at 4,070 lbs., 183 lbs. heavier than the 2WD version. This is actually not that bad for the size of this car. The 3.5 liter V6 produces 271 horses at 6200 RPM and 254 lb-ft of torque at 5000 RPM. Nothing to write home about these days but decent power for this cross-over vehicle. The Crosstour does not feel heavy and actually has decent acceleration. It’s fairly quick off the line and accelerates very smoothly.
Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management (VCM®) shuts down half of the cylinders at steady cruising speeds and two of the cylinders during increasing cruising speeds. The Active Sound Control system generates sound waves to cancel out “undesirable” noise generated by the “harmonics” of 3-cylinder operation. And active engine mounts adjust firmness automatically to absorb energy in order to minimize vibration and noise from reaching the cabin.
These systems work very well together to ensure a smooth driving experience. If it weren’t for the indicator light that tells me I’m in ECO mode, I could not tell which mode the engine is in at all. Despite all of this, the Crosstour 4WD EX-L only manages to eke out a 17/25/20 city/highway/combined MPG. Decent numbers but I expected better fuel efficiency out of Honda.
The Crosstour did exceed my expectations on handling, however. I was ready for super light steering feel and yawn-inducing handling on local roads. What greeted me instead, was solid steering feel with good road feedback on the highway and decent handling as I navigated the many streets and turns of downtown San Francisco. The Crosstour has a civilized weight distribution of 57 F/43 R and as I mentioned, the curb weight is pretty good for a large crossover/station wagon of this size. While I wouldn’t take the Crosstour to the tracks, I wouldn’t be concerned about driving twisty Skyline Blvd.
Styling is the most controversial part of the Crosstour. As I mentioned before, the car looks better in person than on paper (or on screen). That being said, the Crosstour is still no beauty. Honda is no stranger to hatchbacks and wagons, the first to the third gen Accords had three-door hatchback versions and the subsequent generations all had wagons.
The Crosstour is the first 5-door hatch Accord, however, and the result is mixed. The Crosstour’s front end looks fairly aggressive and actually looks better than the one on the Accord sedan or coupe. And from the front ¼ profile, the Crosstour actually looks fairly sporty. From the rear ¼ view, the Crosstour looks very “distinctive” and “insert your own description here.” The split glass look of the hatch is also questionable although it serves a function (better rear visibility) and is familiar now thanks to the Prius and Honda’s own Insight.
The 18 inch wheels on the 4WD EX-L give the car a wider stance look and are much more flattering than the 17 inch ones on the EX. The worst view of the Crosstour is actually the profile view. The tail looks a bit too long and the front axle too far back from the frontend.
At over $36k, the 4WD EX-L Accord Crosstour is about $6,000 more expensive than a comparatively equipped AWD V6 Toyota Venza. And I never thought I’d say this but I actually think the Venza looks pretty nice. It definitely looks better than the Crosstour in my opinion, although it is more distinctly a cross-over wagon whereas the Crosstour is going for a more sport sedan look. You can also get a Mazda CX-7s Touring for almost $10k less. The Mazda only has a 4-cylinder but it has 244 HP thanks to the turbo. I guess the Crosstour is not much of a bargain in this class.
Who should buy it?
I read somewhere that Honda was aiming the Crosstour at empty nesters, baby boomers whose kids have moved out and who still lead active lifestyles. I guess that’s true, I can definitely see couples in their 50s and 60s rolling around town in the Crosstour. But in my experience with the car, families with one or two kids would also find the Crosstour very useful. We put the baby seat in the back and there was plenty of storage in the back for the stroller, diaper bags (yes we’re over prepared), milk bag, plus an array of toys. If I biked I can probably throw my bike back there too pretty easily.
Overall the Crosstour exceeded my expectations in performance, styling, and utility. The only drawback is the price, which seems to be a sizable step above its closest competition.
|Honda Motor Company of America: Cars, Hybrids, Crossovers, Trucks – http://hondacars.com/|
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