Road test: 2010 Honda Crosstour

The first crossovers borrowed their boxy styling from traditional SUVs. But a growing trend to meld coupe-like styling into the genre is exemplified in the 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour.

Active hobbies and adult children still living at home are the reasons behind the surge of crossovers.

As children leave home, empty-nesters generally trade in minivans for stylish coupes and convertibles. But some adult children of boomers are delaying their departure from home, while their parents aren’t about to delay their active pursuits. Coupe-like crossovers assuage their desire for style while satisfying their need to carry people and cargo.

The Crosstour is marginally longer, wider, taller and heavier than the Honda Accord, on which it is based. The biggest difference, though, is in total cargo volume. Thanks to a high back, the Crosstour can swallow 728 litres of cargo, compared with 397 for the Accord sedan.

While a high hatch lid aids aerodynamics and cargo capacity, it results in a back window that is almost horizontal. The view from the driver’s seat is like looking down a narrow tunnel and visibility is only fair, despite a second window being fitted under the rear spoiler. The rear pillar is also large, creating a blind spot.

We drove the top-of-the-line Crosstour with the navigation package, which includes a back-up camera — a welcome feature given the visibility challenge. It should be standard on all Crosstours, with the image projected on the rear mirror, like some competitors.

The cargo area is well thought out, with a waterproof bin under the floor and panels that can be flipped over — carpet on one side, plastic on the other. The hatch itself is large, with a cargo cover built-in. It would have been even more attractive if it was powered. Be aware that the trunk floor is a bit higher, which means more lifting of groceries and other cargo. The back seats, which are split 60/40, can be folded flat remotely using levers in the trunk.

Up front, the driver and front passenger are greeted with faux wood and a well-executed dash. Our car had a multi-function screen, displaying the navigation, audio and other controls, controlled by a large rotary knob located under a very small audio knob.

I could not find an instantaneous/average fuel consumption screen; instead a green ECO light on the dash came on whenever I was light with my right foot. But maybe that’s just me.

Leg and headroom is about the same as the Accord sedan. The sunroof seems small, especially after seeing the offerings from competitors such as the Subaru Forester. A larger glass roof would have helped lighten up the cabin.

The centre armrest has power and USB and audio-in sockets, but parents travelling with kids should note that there are no power outlets for back-seat passengers.

The steering wheel controls come with Bluetooth, a hands-free phone interface and voice recognition. The navigation system is satellite-linked.

The 3.5-litre V-6 is the only engine available on the Crosstour. It features cylinder deactivation, with the computer switching from running on six, four and even three cylinders depending on engine load. If this feature came into play during my time with the Crosstour, it was seamless and undetectable. Fuel consumption is decent, at 12.3 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and eight on the highway.

A five-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment. I guess Honda figured people who choose the Crosstour aren’t the sporty type, as they did not include a manual mode on the transmission.

The Crosstour can be ordered as a two-wheel-drive but I have been told this is a low-production model, as Honda expects to sell most of the vehicles equipped with four-wheel-drive. Keep in mind that while Honda calls its system 4WD, it is essentially a sophisticated front-wheel-drive system that normally operates in two-wheel-drive and only switches to driving all four wheels when it detects slippage. It has no low and high setting and the differential cannot be manually locked. It’s similar in operation to the system found in the CR-V.

Unlike the rest of the Accord line, there is only one trim level — the top-of-the-line EX-L. Because of this the standard equipment list is extensive, with features such as two memory position eight-way power leather seats, dual-zone climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels, six-disc CD audio system with subwoofer and others. The navigation system is available only on the 4WD model.

Safety comes in the form of electronic brake distribution and brake assist, traction and stability control. It comes with the usual number of front, side and side curtain air-bags.

The crossover market has been the only bright light for automakers in the last year. The mid-sized 2010 Honda Crosstour joins the growing number of crossovers being introduced by automakers around the world. As the segment grows crowded, Honda has wisely chosen to differentiate its offering with coupe-like styling while retaining the practicality the market demands.


Type: Midsize crossover, front-engine, part-time four-wheel-drive

Engine: 3.5-litre V-6, generating 271 h.p. at 6,200 r.p.m., 254 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,000 r.p.m.

Transmission: Five-speed automatic, cam-driven four-wheel-drive system

Dimensions (mm): Length, 4,999; width, 1,898; height, 1,670; wheelbase, 2,797

Curb weight (kg): 1,845

Price (base/as tested): $36,450/$40,450 (freight and PDI included in MSRP)

Options: 4WD $2,000, navigation system, (includes voice recognition satellite navigation, eight-inch screen, Bluetooth, rear back-up camera etc.) $2,000

Tires: 255/60 R18 all-season tires on alloy wheels

Fuel economy (L/100km): 12.3 city/ 8.0 highway; regular gas

Warranty: Three-years/60,000 km new car, three-years/unlimited km roadside assistance, five-years/100,000 km powertrain

Photograph by: Graeme Fletcher, Canwest News Service