by Gale Horton Gay
Honda is clearly stepping up its game.
Just take a gander at its 2010 Crosstour, a vehicle that has beautiful curves and lines outside, is downright comfortable inside and easily converts when large and odd-sized items needs to be transported. And the price is in the not-outrageous $36,000 range. Oh, and did I mention that the Crosstour is actually an Accord.
I test drove the Accord Crosstour EX-L, a vehicle with a 271 horsepower 3.5-literV6 engine with four-wheel drive and dual wishbone suspension. I was surprised at how comfortable the ride was and how the vehicle practically glided over bumps. It also was exceptionally quiet. The sound system (seven speakers) came through loud and clear, but even when the music from the AM/FM/XM satellite radio/MP3/6 CD system was turned off, nothing but silence remained–even when trucks and other noisy vehicles were nearby.
One of Honda’s slogans for the car is “Versatility Modernized,” which is quite apt. It has a sporty feel and those sitting up front have a stylish curve of polished wood trim along the dash to eyeball. However, when more space is needed, the 60/40 split rear seats fold down easily (whether the adjustment is made from the back door or the rear hatch) and go back into place without any difficulty. With the rear seats down, the vehicle has a cargo space capacity of 51.3 cubic feet.
Two features that I immediately liked were the hidden, removable utility box (with handles and dividers) that sits in the floor of the cargo area and that area’s floor panels that are reversible—carpeted on one side with a hard surface on the other. (Anyone with children or having to carry items that are dirty, wet or simply messy is sure to give a thumbs up.)
A minor annoyance for me was that part of the sloping rear tailgate is tinted glass but with a solid piece cutting across, making for an obstruction when the driver is looking through the rear-view mirror.
And I was a bit disappointed the several times I tried to take full advantage of the Crosstour’s Bluetooth hands-free dial by voice system and the computer didn’t correct recognize all the numbers I kept reciting. (Possibly my having the A/C on full blast on 90-degree days was part of the problem.)
This new Accord with its style, versatility and performance will likely attract plenty of attention, both on the road and in the showroom.
The Crosstour gets an estimated average of 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway in EPA tests.
Stats: 5-speed automatic transmission, dual stage airbags, vehicle stability assist system, leather seats, heated front seats, power moonroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, navigation system and rearview camera.
Pricing: All features on the test vehicle were standard and it was priced at $36,930, including destination and handling.