He said/She said: Honda Accord Crosstour

She ? I cannot remember a Honda that has turned heads like the new Accord Crosstour.? On the highways, we watched dozens of people watching the Crosstour as we passed them.? In parking lots, we had questions from a wide variety of people from a soccer mom standing in the rain with three children in hand to the young guys at the gas station asking about the engine.

Most of the photos I have seen look good, but to appreciate this car, you need to see it up close and personal.

He? Initially when I heard about the Accord Crosstour, I wondered what Honda was doing.? I wasn?t sure what the point of the car was; after all, they have the Accord and the Pilot, which are both outstanding in their individual categories.? Nevertheless, after driving it for a week and taking a 350-mile road trip, I?m in love with it.

From the slick design to the utilitarian interior to wonderful road manners, I think the Crosstour is one of the best definitions of what a crossover should be.

She ? Building on Accord lines, the Crosstour morphs into a sleek, aerodynamic shape with a wide muscular stance.? The roofline sweeps over the rear and integrates into the tall rear section. ?The hatchback door, with its large expanse of nearly flat glass appears broken by a natural spoiler lip that follows the belt line around the car.? Below the lip, a separate piece of glass, visually appears to be the extension of the upper glass and improves rear visibility.? While the sweeping roofline looks great, it does present a visibility problem when checking traffic over your shoulder.

The multiple layers of the organic-looking dash produce a clean flowing appearance finished on the bottom with a simulated wood piece.? Below that, the color changes and wraps both the front seats of the cockpit and provides copious storage compartments.? As a front seat passenger, I appreciate the way the dash doesn?t feel in your face, and as a results makes for a more roomy environment.

He– Longer, wider and taller than the Accord sedan, the Crosstour has an excellent ride quality with a very quiet interior.

A 3.5-liter, i-TEC V-6 engine, rated at 271 horsepower, drives the front wheels.? The engine has a three-stage Variable Cylinder Management systems that automatically deactivates two or three cylinders under low load situations, like cruising.

As an all-wheel drive fan, I would opt for the Real Time? four-wheel drive option ($1,450). ?Our four-wheel drive test car received an EPA rating of 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway and in mostly freeway driving on our 350-mile road trip to southern Oregon. ?I averaged 23.5 mpg driving constantly about 10 to 15 mph over the 65 mph speed limit.? If my wife had been driving, that number probably would have been 26 or 27 mpg, but it might have taken a few minutes more to get there. ?Accelerating from 0 to 60 mph takes 7.5 seconds.

She ? With only two available models, Honda appears to be keeping the Crosstour in a premium position.? Priced at $30,380, including the destination charge, the EX with cloth seats and front-wheel drive is the base model Crosstour.? The other model is the EX-L, which has leather seating and comes in FWD and 4WD and with or without the navigation system.? Our test vehicle had both the navigation and 4WD with a base price of $36,930 including the destination charge.

I always appreciate Honda?s no option policy limiting choices to the major features and colors. ?Highlights of standard features on the EX-L include items like all power, leather seating, premium audio with XM radio, Bluetooth, Active Sound Control; heated seats, moonroof and alloy wheels.

The Honda navigation is one of the most user-friendly systems we?ve used and I love the backup camera that is part of the package.? We were impressed by the HD-like quality of the screen in both the backup and map modes.? This is one of the few systems that allows the passenger to program destinations while the car is moving. Commands can also be given verbally with the voice activation system that is supposed to recognize more than 100,000 words.? I doubt that I even know that many words.

He? Crosstour will unlikely win best in class kudos for outstanding handling and performance, but it has nice balance and a comfortable ride making it a great road car.? There is a little body roll on harder corners, but overall the car feels solid and under control even when pushed hard.? Accelerating on rain soaked highways, there was no slip or torque steer.? I was hoping for snow to test the 4WD, but had to settle for wet.

One of the nicest features of the Crosstour is the spacious 25.7 cubic foot cargo area, which expands to 51.3 cubic feet, when the rear seat backs are folded down.? The space looks large enough to sleep in, but I think I?m too old to be doing that.? Under the cargo floor are three storage compartments with the center space about the size of a large suitcase.? The center space even has a removable storage bin that?s a perfect place for wet or muddy items.

She ? I have to give the Honda?s Crosstour high marks for styling, comfort and versatility.? It?s very impressive.

He? The only things I could find to complain about on the Honda Accord Crosstour was the rear visibility, which was poor, both straight out the back and at the rear corners.? A blind spot warning device would be a perfect addition.? The other thing I would like is a six- or seven-speed transmission and manual shifting linkage or paddle shifters.

But those are small complaints.? I think the Accord Crosstour is a keeper; it would be right at the top of my shopping list, if I were shopping for a crossover.? I especially liked how user-friendly it was, with the wonderful storage spaces, and large comfortable interior.

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