Crossovers cover the ground between SUV and car, with most leaning towards the former. But the new Accord Crosstour looks more like a beefy sedan with a hatchback.
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The styling of the Crosstour is certainly different. We made our peace with the rear of the car, which is really not too bad. But this grille looks like it came from the 1970s.
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The Crosstour gets Honda's 3.5-liter V-6, producing 271 horsepower. This power plant results in decent acceleration and all-around drivability.
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The driver's seating position does not feel particularly high; it puts you just a little above a typical sedan. The back seats feel comfortable, with good headroom.
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The Crosstour can be had in front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive formats. With all-wheel drive, it encroaches on Subaru's market of durable wagons that can handle slippery roads.
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The hatchback affords the Crosstour with a lot more cargo room than the Accord sedan, especially with the rear seats folded down.
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Honda fits a removable shelf on the liftgate. It creates a trunk-like space when present, but when removed the cargo area looks like that in a typical hatchback.
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Other than its dimensions, the cabin uses similar materials and design to that in the Accord sedan. This Crosstour has the EX-L trim, making for a more upscale cabin.
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As with the Accord, the Crosstour has two sets of voice command buttons on the steering wheel, one for the phone system, and one for the navigation system and other car functions. Honda has yet to integrate these controls.
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The EX-L with navigation uses this deep-set LCD, good for avoiding glare, and switchgear handed down from Acura. It suffers from too many buttons.
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The transmission is a five-speed automatic, with no manual shift options.
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The navigation system is a little primitive, lacking 3D maps, traffic, weather, or text to speech.
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Honda's new Bluetooth phone system has a useful and attractive interface, and also downloads contact lists.
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The audio system features full iPod integration, letting you browse music libraries by artist, album, and genre.
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A USB port, mounted in the console, serves for iPod compatibility and can also work with USB thumb drives.
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It takes a little getting used to the control scheme for iPods and other audio sources.
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We were surprised at the quality of the audio system, which uses only seven speakers.
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With the hatchback and a slightly compromised rear view, this back-up camera is essential.