2010 Honda Accord Crosstour 4WD EX-L NAV: Sinner or saint?

010 Honda Accord Crosstour

2010 Honda Accord Crosstour

Saint or sinner, good or bad, all or nothing, that’s the Honda Accord Crosstour. It just depends on the observer’s point of view. Like its competitors in the crossover class, it is both less and more than a sedan, and at the same time, less and more than an SUV—including a crossover SUV built on a car platform.

Actually, the Honda Crosstour isn’t a new concept. It follows the Nissan Murano and goes up against the Toyota Venza as well as denizens of higher tax bracket terrain, the BMW X6, Infiniti EX and Infiniti FX, Lexus RX (and RX Hybrid) and Honda’s own upscale equivalent, the Acura ZDX.

Honda makes no bones about the Crosstour having Accord bones. Having “Accord” in the model’s name, of course, allows its sales totals to be lumped in with the Accord sedan and coupe for model sales numbers bragging rights, but it also positions the Crosstour as sort of a Super Accord, emphasizing its plusses rather than its inevitable shortcomings versus an SUV.

2010 Honda Accord Crosstour interior

2010 Honda Accord Crosstour steering wheel looks like something from science fiction.

The former is where the Honda Crosstour becomes a saint. It has more interior room and versatility than the Accord sedan or coupe, with a sizeable trunk that can be doubled with the rear seat folded. The Accord sedan has a 14 cubic foot trunk, good for a sedan but no match for the Crosstour. On the other hand, the steep rear window of the Crosstour robs what otherwise would be cargo space in an SUV-shaped crossover.

The Honda Crosstour has a 6.0-inch ground clearance. We suspect Honda engineers deliberately chose that particular height to sound like a lot (or at least more than 5.9-inches) without giving away all car-like handling by raising the center of gravity too much. But especially with the optional all-wheel drive, the higher-than-a-sedan’s stance gives the Crosstour extended mobility and reduces snowbelt January anxiety. Add winter tires and fear only the very worst of Old Man Winter.

The Honda Crosstour also has more car-like design than its SUV-mimicking rivals. The Crosstour’s styling, however, is best described as polarizing. We had people going out of their way to tell us how much they liked it, while others were overheard to, well, make unfavorable comments.

We like everything but the front end, and that primarily because it doesn’t match the rest of the vehicle. Straight lines and angles, borrowed perhaps from the Honda Ridgeline, contrast with the flowing contours that begin at the front wheel arches, sweeping back to the fastback roofline that extends beyond the vertical rear panel, a novel rear end treatment.

The upward rake of the Honda Crosstour’s body lines makes the rear end high, so in addition to the almost horizontal rear window (with wiper standard), there’s a second, vertical window beneath it. Dark from the outside, however, it doesn’t look like a window. You can see out but they really can’t see in.

The rear of the 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour rises high, limiting rear vision.

The rear of the 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour rises high, limiting rear vision.

The Crosstour’s exterior, however, places limits on outward vision. The split rear window places a bar across the rear view. The bad news is that it blocks seeing what’s behind the car. The good news is that, in the rear view mirror at least, it’s right at headlight level for most cars.

It’s not just the rear that’s high. The Crosstour has a high cowl, made tolerable by the dash that curves back away from the passenger for added interior visual room. And the side window sills are high as well, enough so that, even with tilt-down side mirrors (just on top models?), even taller children are hard to see when standing next to the vehicle.

The Crosstour’s D-pillars, the last vertical (more or—mostly—less) roof pillar, blocks rear three-quarter view. Outward vision isn’t the Crosstour’s strong point.