The 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour is schizo. On the one hand, it is glomming onto the trend that Europe has known forever – 5 door hatches are the most efficient layout, but at the same time, I think the intention was to semi-obscure its hatchiness because looking too much like a wagon is a big Brady Bunch no, no these days—unless you’re a weird sta-wag fetishist. However, isn’t this just the emperor’s new Accord Wagon, with better handling?
I also think Honda was excited by the Crosstour’s hauling capabilities, at least compared to the sedan, but with just 51 cubic feet of cargo space versus the Venza’s 70 cubic feet, it means 1.5 fewer sorority girls will fit back there and that alone might make the Venza more attractive to some, not to mention the fact that the Crosstour goes from 0-60 in just 7.5 seconds, a whopping half-second lower than the Venza. Plus, girls don’t like schizos. Ok, Jennifer Connelly did in “A Beautiful Mind”, but I don’t think she’d be riding in the back of a Honda Crosstour. Or the front for that matter, but I digress. Let’s talk about the basics.
It costs $29,670 on the low end, and $36,220 on the high-end and is EPA mileage estimates are 18/27/21 for the 2WD and 17/25/20 for the 4WD. People get pissed every time 60 Minutes does a story on how inaccurate the EPA estimates are, and then they go back to surfing for pictures of Jennifer Connelly on the web. Also, Accords are usually all, “hey, you guys, we’re into fuel economy”, but the Crosstour only comes with a 3.5 liter V6 engine making 271 horsepower.
However, according to folks who test-drove it, the suspension tuning is more compliant than the sedan, so that warrants a “yaaaay” as does that fact that it slalomed at 64.4 seconds, fast for a crossover and the leather is faaaancy. Oh and apparently the ride is quiet. What is this, a hybrid? Ed Begley? Is that you? Back in the “boooo” department, the test drivers said that there wasn’t much torque response in lower RPMs and it could use a manual shift mode option.
Some of the standard features are nice, like a sunroof. (What happened to the trend of calling it a moonroof? Is there an eclipse-roof?) Also standard is dual climate control, a USB cable and a sub-woofer, so you can blast, “Who let the dogs out, who, who?” super loud at the stoplight, maybe luring 1.5 sorority girls back into the hatch. Wait, they don’t fit.
I was most excited by the really random “comfort and convenience” features that some poor guy has to type in, like, “garment hook” and “coin box”. Also, anyone who actually checks to make sure that the curb-to-curb turning diameter is actually 40.2, I’ll send a penny from said coin-box. All you need to do is send me a self-addressed stamped envelope. So what about the Crosstour’s classmates in the school of hatch?
In addition to the inevitable comparisons to the aforementioned Venza (which at the end of the day does the Crossover concept better) as well as the Mitsubishi Sportback, the BMW 5-series GT probably gets the hatch concept best. The Honda’s hatch is raked for style/aerodynamics, but a hatch is about hauling without totally looking like you’re hauling, so it’s sort of like putting the wrong head on the right body, like a Minotaur, only with less power. Audi is doing something similar and calling it a Sportback, but it’s not coming to the states. Finally, there’s the Porsche Panamera which like the Crosstour, is weird looking, but it’s a Porsche, and it could kick your ass. Plus, Jennifer Connelly is much more likely to ride in one of those.
So what is the final analysis? It’s good that auto-makers are trying to detox off of the SUV crack rock in a last-ditch attempt at dignity. And inspired by Saab whose been doing 4-door hatches quite well for years, US manufacturers are finally figuring out the utility of that approach by cross dressing the Crossover to create the Crosstour, and trying to sell the utility as ‘sporty’ while subliminally sneaking in some wagon design. There’s that shizo stuff again, but I think you’ll be waiting a long time for Jennifer Connelly.
|Honda Motor Company of America: Cars, Hybrids, Crossovers, Trucks – http://hondacars.com/|