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February 10, 2010 > Auto Review: Honda Crosstour

Auto Review: Honda Crosstour

This week's test car is a brand new model from Honda. Honda decided to combine their premium sedan (an upscale Accord) with some of their SUV features to create the 2010 Crosstour. This produced their new CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle). A CUV is basically an SUV built on an automobile's chassis platform. The Crosstour is six inches higher than an Accord sedan to give it more ground clearance if you want to go off road.

All Crosstours are equipped with a 3.5-liter engine that produces 271 horsepower and 254 lb-ft. of torque. Their EPA city/highway tests resulted in 18/27 mpg for the 2-wheel drive models. The interesting facet of this engine is that it can shut down up to half of the engine's cylinders when less power is needed while cruising or decelerating. This means the system provides good power for accelerating or climbing, and the fuel efficiency of a smaller engine while cruising.

To help make these transitions seamless, Honda utilizes its Active Control Engine Mount (ACM) system to minimize the effects of engine vibration when cylinders are shut down or started up.

The system directs ACM actuators to move and cancel vibrations. Inside the cabin, the audio system also adapts to minimize sounds resulting from the changing number of operating cylinders. Together, these electronic systems help make the fuel saving technology transparent and seamless to the driver.

A 5-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment. Also available on the Crosstour EX-L is a fully automatic Real Time 4WD system for driving in the rain, snow, dirt roads and sandy conditions. This system only sends power to the rear wheels when there is insufficient traction for the front wheels.

Safety technology has always been a Honda strong point. The Crosstour starts with an advanced body design that enhances occupant protection in collisions. Other standard safety equipment includes Electronic Stability Control; anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist; side curtain airbags; driver's and front passenger's front dual-stage, multiple threshold airbags; and active front seat head restraints.

The Accord Crosstour is available in two models: the EX and EX-L. Some standard features of the EX include dual zone air conditioning, 360-Watt AM/FM 6-disc audio system with 7 speakers, 60-40 split folding rear seat back, hidden removable utility box, cruise control, moonroof, steering wheel-integrated audio controls, projector beam headlights, fog lights, and more.

The EX-L adds leather-trimmed seating surfaces with heated front seats, leather steering wheel, leather gear shift knob, auto on/off headlights, memory driver-side seats, memory side mirrors that tilt down when you are in reverse, cargo privacy cover, HomeLink(tm) transmitter, a USB audio interface, and a few others.

You can add Honda's Satellite-linked Navigation System and a four-wheel drive system to your Crosstour EX-L. The navigation system includes a backup camera.

The two-wheel drive Crosstour EX starts at $29,670; EX-L is $2,900 higher at $32,570. Four-wheel drive top of the line EX-L with the navigation system starts at $36,220.

Our EX-L four-wheel drive test Crosstour was a very nice car to drive. It had a lot of get-up-and-go and handled well for a sedan. The interior was very comfortable although it was a little hard to figure out all the control functions without spending some time with the instruction manual. It was just about impossible to feel the engine switching the number of running cylinders back and forth. Visibility and back seat room were great. There is a huge trunk space under the rear lift door.

Crosstour is another winner from Honda.

By Dick Ryan
Freelance Automotive Journalist
Member of the Western Automotive Journalists
Member of the Motor Sports Press Association

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