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Thread: 2010 Honda Crosstour

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    2010 Honda Crosstour

    Station wagons were the minivans of the '70s. Super useful, especially if you had a family and kids. But they eventually became the rolling totems of middle class suburban boredom. Same thing happened with minivans a generation later.

    Now wagons are making a comeback - only no one dares call them that.

    The Honda Crosstour is one of them.

    WHAT IT IS

    The Crosstour is a wagonized, longer-wheelbase version of the mid-sized Honda Accord sedan - with extra cargo room behind the second row and available all-wheel-drive. It's similar to the also-new Toyota Venza (based on the Camry sedan) and starts at $29,670 and tops out at $36,220 for a loaded AWD version with GPS navigation.

    WHAT'S NEW

    The Crosstour is an all-new model for 2010.

    WHAT'S GOOD

    Extra space - and available AWD, which isn't offered in the Accord sedan.

    Interesting looks.

    WHAT'S NOT SO GOOD

    Extra price. The FWD Crosstour's base price is almost nine grand higher than the base price of an Accord sedan ($21,055) and also about $100 more than the price of an AWD-equipped Toyota Venza ($29,550), which also happens to have about 20 cubic feet more cargo capacity.

    Interesting bodywork creates not-so-interesting blind spots - and really iffy rearward visibility. LCD display in center stack is often unreadable in bright daylight.

    ENGINES & PERFORMANCE

    Unlike the Accord sedan, the Crosstour comes standard with a V-6 engine rather than a four-cylinder. The extra power of the 3.5 liter, 271 hp engine is necessary given the Crosstour's considerably higher curb weight - 3,852 lbs. vs. 3,204 lbs. for the Accord sedan.

    The Crossotour's V-6 is exactly three hp stronger than the Toyota Venza's 3.5 liter, 268 hp V-6.

    A five-speed automatic is standard.

    The standard front-drive Crosstour can reach 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds. AWD-equipped versions are slightly slower.

    Gas mileage is pegged by the EPA at 18 city/27 highway for FWD versions and 17/city/25 highway with AWD.

    Maximum towing capacity is 1,500 lbs.

    DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

    The Crosstour felt thickset and heavy to me. It pulls well - and it can corner surprisingly well, too. It just had a beefy ambiance about it. Part of this may be due to the extra two inches or so of length and width compared with an Accord sedan. There's also the additional 600-plus pounds of curb weight. At nearly 4,000 lbs. the V-6/FWD/AWD Crosstour is nearly as heavy as a rear-drive/V-8 powered station wagons of the '70s.

    But it lacks the airy feel of those old school wagons, which often had great slabs of glass on the sides and even the roof, too (see: Old Vista Cruiser). But the Crosstour, like most late model cars, has very high door sills (to improve side-impact crash scores) and a rakish roofline that tapers as it flows to the back - which looks sporty but also pinches off the side glass and limits visibility. In addition, the rear quarters bulge to the side and up - kind of like a cat when it's coiled up and getting ready to pounce. This also looks sporty but further impairs the driver's to-the-side visibility. Blind spots are big in this thing, so look twice and adjust those mirrors for a wide angle view. The rear shuttleback glass - a flat pane that's angled just a few degrees off the horizontal - likewise makes it not so clear what's behind you.

    In traffic, the impaired external visibility can be unnerving. Inside, you kind of feel cocooned. It's cozy and safe - but as a driver, I'd like to have a better sense of the world around me. I'd also like to be able to read the LCD display for the GPS/driver info readouts. Though it's buried about six inches deep in the center of the dash, in direct sunlight, the display can be washed out almost completely.

    These defects aside, the Crosstour proved itself a champ in terrible weather. I tested the car just a few days after we got a bag over the head/punch in the kidneys winter storm that dumped almost two feet of snow on us. There was still several inches of crusty, frozen-over snow and ice on my long, unpaved (gravel) driveway and the Crosstour made it up and down as well as my 4WD pick-up. And it handled the sand-covered mountain roads I have to deal with better than my 4WD truck. It was amazingly tenacious - maintaining its lane where others cars would begin to slide at speeds you would not want to try in a truck, 4WD or no 4WD.

    The Crosstour also has more ground clearance (6 inches) than an Accord and that, too, helps you out when it snows.

    STYLING & UTILITY

    One of the weak points of the Accord sedan is its modestly-size trunk and limited (for a mid-sized sedan) cargo capacity - just 14 cubic feet. In the Crosstour, cargo space almost quadruples to 51 cubic feet with the second row seats down - and even with them up, you've still got almost 26 cubic feet, or nearly twice as much space as in the Accord sedan's trunk.

    For buyers who like the Accord but need more room inside, the Crosstour should be just the ticket.

    However, if you're not already set on a Honda and cross-shop the very similar in layout Toyota Venza (or the Subaru Outback wagon, which starts at just $22,995) you'll discover it has much more cargo space than the Crosstour - 70 cubic feet, total (71 in the Soobie) and nearly 31 cubic feet even with the second row seats up. The big reason for the difference is the Toyota's more conservative styling. It also has smaller blind spots and far better rearward visibility, too.

    Another not-so-flattering side-by-side comparison with the Venza is maximum towing capacity. The Toyota can pull 3,500 lbs.,which is about what the typical full-szie minivan can deal with. But the Crosstour's only good for 1,500 lbs., which is barely enough to cope with a small trailer. It's unclear why the Crosstour's maximum tow rating is so much less than the Venza's given they both have virtually the same power and are very similar vehicles overall. But if you need to pull anything heavier than a wood chipper, it could be a problem.

    In the Crosstour's favor, it has about two inches more front seat legroom than the Venza (42.2 inches vs. 40.2 inches) but backseat riders get about an inch and a half less legroom (37.4 inches vs. 39.1 for the Toyota). Rear headroom in the Honda is also tight - 37.5 inches vs. 39.3 inches in the Venza - again, because of the Honda's stylishly raked but not-so-practical roofline.

    I've got to mention that the Crosstour's hungry for fuel. Though it has an "Eco" mode (green light comes on during very light throttle/steady-state cruise to tell you that current consumption is minimal) the two-ton curb weight and big V-6 will conspire to return average real-world economy in the high teens/low 20s at best. This is only a few MPGs off the pace of a current V-8 SUV.

    A hybrid - or better yet, diesel-powered - Crosstour would be nice. But for the moment, Honda only offers a hybrid drivetrain in the Accord sedan - and no diesel engines at all.

    QUALITY & SAFETY

    The Honda Accord is rightly considered one of the best buys in its segment because of its high value for the dollar, low depreciation, excellent customer satisfaction scores and established record for reliability. The Crosstour, being an Accord wagon, ought to be just as good - with the only difference being its considerably higher price point. Toyota offers its Venza wagon for about three thousand dollars less ($26,275 vs. $29,670) and you can get into an Outback wagon (with AWD standard) for about six grand less ($22,995 vs. $29,670).

    Part of the reason for this is that the base model base model Venza and the Subaru Outback both come equipped with smaller four-cylinder engines as their standard powerplants. And that's feasible because they both are significantly less tubby than the Crosstour.

    The Toyota Venza, for example, weighs about 200 lbs. less than the Crosstour.

    It'd be nice - and maybe, smart - if Honda could figure out a way to cut a similar amount of deadweight off the Crosstour and offer a lower-cost version with a four-cylinder engine, like you can get in the Accord sedan.

    On the other hand, the Honda's extra beef probably gives it an edge as far as overall crashworthiness is concerned.

    As is the case with virtually every car priced over about $25 these days, the Crosstour comes standard with traction and stability control, ABS with brake assist, front seat side-impact air bags and full row curtain air bags. A back-up camera is bundled with the GPS and really should be included as standard equipment given the car's poor rearward visibility.

    THE BOTTOM LINE

    The Crosstour may give Accord buyers in search of more room what they're looking for - but it comes up short on space, price and features for the dollar if cross-shopped against competitors like the Toyota Venza and Subaru Outback wagon.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
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    OLDS VISTA CRUISER



  4. #4
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    The Crosstour looks MUCH better in person than in photos.

    Chip H.

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiph View Post
    The Crosstour looks MUCH better in person than in photos.

    Chip H.
    I don't dislike its looks, but it does have some wicked blind spots. I was surprised, frankly, to discover such in a Honda product. But I suppose like everyone else these days Honda has to add sex appeal since decent reliability/good build quality have become pretty much givens irrespective of brand.

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    Sounds like a prety useless vehicle. I don't like the new Accord or anything based on it. At 4000 lbs, that thing has got to handle like the queen Mary. The Accord sedan I drove about a year ago felt the same way, although acceleration and whatnot was adequate.

    This vehicle looks okay, but I wouldn't buy one even if I had money to burn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mase View Post
    OLDS VISTA CRUISER


    Put in a good rack and pinion steering gear, an overdrive transmission, 1 1/4" diameter stabilizer bars, and a set of Bilsteins all around and you could have some fun in that sled. That Vista was the best looking wagon ever built (except for the 1964-1967 models).

  8. #8
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    Sounds like a prety useless vehicle. I don't like the new Accord or anything based on it. At 4000 lbs, that thing has got to handle like the queen Mary. The Accord sedan I drove about a year ago felt the same way, although acceleration and whatnot was adequate.

    This vehicle looks okay, but I wouldn't buy one even if I had money to burn.
    My main beef with it is not the weight or even the handling (which is actually pretty good). It's the price. Damn near $30k to start for an Accord is out of control.

  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    Put in a good rack and pinion steering gear, an overdrive transmission, 1 1/4" diameter stabilizer bars, and a set of Bilsteins all around and you could have some fun in that sled. That Vista was the best looking wagon ever built (except for the 1964-1967 models).
    A WS6 box from a late-'70s Trans-Am bolts right in - and I am pretty sure Olds offered an F41 heavy-duty suspension with stabilizer bars front and rear as a factory option!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    My main beef with it is not the weight or even the handling (which is actually pretty good). It's the price. Damn near $30k to start for an Accord is out of control.
    There is no way this over extended country can afford $30k for a car. I don't know how people do it. Since the average engineering job lasts about 1.5 years, there is no way that even an engineer should get into a 72 month note to finance something like that.

  11. #11
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    There is no way this over extended country can afford $30k for a car. I don't know how people do it. Since the average engineering job lasts about 1.5 years, there is no way that even an engineer should get into a 72 month note to finance something like that.
    You're right - and to me, it's a true barometer of how bad (and delusional) things are.

    Plus, we're talking about an Accord here - a "bread and butter" (supposedly) family-type car.

    I think the Crosstour is overpriced - and that Honda is over-reaching. Even if we assume people have the $30k to spend, how many want to spend that kind of money on an Accord?

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