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Motoring: Honda Crosstour impressive vehicle

Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | January 25th, 2010

The Honda Accord is one of the most familiar sights on the road. They have been on sale for about 34 years now, and ever since it hit the market, it slowly but surely started destroying the appeal of North American cars.

Not only has it always been good value for money, but its quality and above all, reliability has won over many buyers.

In its lifetime there have been many different variants of this car. The sedan body has always been around, with the coupe version enjoying a pretty long run too.

However, there was time when the Accord was also available as a wagon. It was a very practical thing, however its sales numbers weren't exactly huge, and hence for many years, Honda had dropped such a version from the North American market, while in Asia and Europe you could always get the wagon version.

Honda Crosstour

For 2010, Honda has introduced a new version of this practical Accord, but don't call it a wagon. It's called the Crosstour, and it is on sale in Canada now.

It's called the Crosstour for a reason, because you see this isn't just some station wagon. With its stance and ground clearance, it is almost like an SUV. So part wagon and part sport utility vehicle equals the new Accord Crosstour. Understand yet? Good.

Unlike its coupe and sedan siblings, the Crosstour is only available with a V6 engine. It's an impressive engine too, displacing 3.5-litres; it produces 271hp, which is quite impressive. A new Lotus Exige S in its most potent form still only produces 260hp, and that is a proper sports car.

So thanks to its impressive engine, the Crosstour is a quick machine. The engine revs eagerly but smoothly, and its five speed automatic is very reactive to your inputs, so overtaking maneuvers are dealt with quickly. Despite its performance, it is quite frugal too, I averaged 11.5-litres/100km during my week of mixed driving.

Depending on your budget or preference, power can either be directed to only the front wheels, or all-wheels as in my test car.

Trust me on this, the all-wheel drive version is worth the extra cash, because not only is this system smooth, it just helps this cars handling and stability in ways I just wasn't expecting. Honestly, this system is equivalent to the systems found in Subarus and Audis. Given our climate, I think its well worth having.

It's also worth having the fully loaded model, because then you get such goodies as a navigation system and a reversing camera. It has heated seats too, but I wish it had a heated steering wheel too.

Apart from that, the cabin is very spacious front and back and even the trunk is quite spacious. Unlike in the Acura ZDX that I reviewed last week, the trunk opening is huge and access is low, so you won't have to lift your boxes very high to get them in.

Once you are in, you will love its comfortable seats, its good driving position and its excellent ride, this is exactly the type of car I would love to take on a long drive.

Its looks however don't evoke feelings of love from everyone. Personally I like the way it looks, but many people aren't quite convinced. To them I say, go for a drive, and I bet you'll look past its styling.

So it is a very good vehicle in my point of view, but all this goodness comes at a price. Base price is $34,900, while my loaded tester was worth $38,900.

That is not cheap, but then it is a very impressive vehicle. So if you're in the market for a practical family vehicle and your budget allows you to buy a vehicle in this price range, then do take a very hard look at the Accord Crosstour, you'll be impressed.
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