2011 Honda Accord Crosstour Review and Prices
The 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour is the best car for you if you want a friendly galoot of a four-door hatchback that drives far better than meets the eye.
The 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour gets a slightly rearranged dashboard layout but otherwise carries over unchanged. The 2011 Crosstour represents the sophomore edition of a radical Honda that turns the Accord sedan into a new-age crossover SUV station wagon. Priced in the $31,000-$37,000 range, Crosstour seats five in roomy comfort and is available with all-wheel drive (AWD). Honda calls this bulbous-tail fastback a “crossover utility vehicle” and bravely casts it as the flagship of the Accord line. The 2011 Accord Crosstour is aimed at taste-makers who have a family and don’t want a three-row SUV. There apparently are not legions of those folks in the market for a new car – Crosstour sales have been modest.
Should you buy a 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour or wait for the 2012 Honda Accord Crosstour? Wait for the 2012 Crosstour if you’re keen on a four-cylinder version and want to roll the dice that Honda will introduction one for model-year 2012. The 2011 Crosstour comes only with a V-6. That helps keep its starting price several thousand dollars above that of its closest rival, the Toyota Venza, which offers both four- and six-cylinder engines and handily outsells the Crosstour. Buy the 2011 Accord Crosstour if you’re not in a gambling mood and envision a role in your life for this atypical but appealing stew of automotive genres. Barring introduction of a four-cylinder model, the 2012 Accord Crosstour isn’t expected to gain any features worth waiting for, though it could represent the final year before Honda treats this crossover to freshened styling.
2011 Honda Accord Crosstour Changes back to top
Styling: The 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour’s styling is a carbon copy of the 2010 model’s. Crosstour is a four-door hatchback with a trendy coupe-like roofline. It’s based on the underbody structure of the midsize Accord sedan and shares the car’s basic dashboard design and cabin décor.
Crosstour doesn’t have an SUV-tall step-in height but does ride higher than the Accord sedan and has a more commanding seating position. Its wheelbase – the distance between the front and rear axles – is virtually identical to the sedan’s. And though the body bears an Accord-family resemblance it’s designed to convey a more powerful presence.
Crosstour is slightly wider and longer than the Accord sedan and is a significant 8 inches taller, for much more interior volume. This is a commodious passenger compartment outfitted in high-quality materials. Crosstour’s hatch lid lifts to reveal 25.7 cubic feet of nicely finished cargo space, double the volume of Accord’s trunk. Crosstour has 51.3 cubic feet with the 60/40 split rear seatbacks folded, but similarly sized competitors with less-slanted tailgate shapes, such as the Toyota Venza and Subaru Outback, have more than 60 cubic feet of cargo space.
In the only model-year 2011 change, Honda slightly reconfigures the central portion of Crosstour’s dashboard, moving some of the more frequently used climate controls – defroster buttons, for example – closer to the driver and creating a more compact audio array. It’s a minor but welcome change that more logically groups Crosstour’s rather abundant number of switches and knobs.
The 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour continues with a three-model lineup: EX, upscale EX-L, and top-of-the-line EX-L with navigation, which Honda calls the EX-L Navi. The only styling distinction is that the EX has 17-inch alloy wheels and the EX-Ls have fancier 18-inch alloys.
Mechanical: Crosstour borrows Accord’s most powerful engine and fortifies its suspension to support an additional 300 pounds of curb weight (an additional 500 pounds with AWD).
A four-cylinder engine isn’t consistent with Honda’s initial positioning of the Crosstour, so the 2011 model returns with a 3.5-liter V-6 as its sole engine. It has 271 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque and is equipped with Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management system, which automatically runs it on three or four cylinders to save gas in low-demand cruising.
Honda reserves six-speed automatic transmissions for cars from its premium Acura division, leaving the 2011 Crosstour to repeat with a five-speed automatic. This transmission lacks manual-gear-control via a separate shifter gate or steering wheel paddles but does benefit from Honda’s new shift-logic programming for better engine-speed management, particularly during cornering.
Like the Accord, Crosstour has front-wheel drive, but unlike the car, it’s available with all-wheel drive. While Venza makes AWD available even on its lowest-priced four-cylinder model, Honda reserves it as an extra-cost feature for the top-line Crosstour EX-L.
Typical of a crossover AWD system, Crosstour’s defaults to front-wheel drive but can automatically shuffle power between front and rear wheels to sustain traction. Crosstour has an SUV-credible 8.1 inches of ground clearance (a couple of aero-enhancing plastic tabs below the front bumper hang lower), but it isn’t designed for off-road use. Towing capacity is a modest 1,500 pounds.
In all, Crosstour drives and rides like the slightly inflated Accord that it is – and that’s a good thing. Alert V-6 acceleration and athletic road manners distinguish Accord among midsize sedans and the same virtues help Crosstour drive with more precision than midsize crossovers with more conventional-SUV styling and the taller center of gravity that entails.
Features: Factory options are not part of Honda’s marketing strategy. The carmaker instead equips each model in a lineup with a specific set of features based on careful study of buyer preference. The policy simplifies assembly and therefore promotes quality, though it does compel Honda shoppers to sometimes climb the model ladder to acquire a desired feature – and in the process, pay for items they might not otherwise have purchased.
The 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour doesn’t deviate from this plan. It continues with a nice array of standard features while again reserving perks like leather upholstery and a navigation system for the uplevel EX-L model.
Among features standard on all 2011 Crosstours: dual-zone automatic climate control, heated mirrors, power moonroof, power front seats, and manual tilt/telescope steering wheel with audio and cruise buttons. Antilock four-wheel disc brakes, traction and antiskid control, torso-protecting front side airbags, and head-protecting curtain side airbags also are standard.
The standard audio system is a 360-watt unit with seven speakers and an iPod auxiliary jack. EX-L models add Bluetooth cell-phone linking and a USB iPod interface. EX-L Navi models get the navigation system with voice activation and a rearview backup camera.
2011 Honda Accord Crosstour Prices back to top
Base-price range for the 2011 Accord Crosstour is $30,570-$37,120. That represents a modest $260 increase over the 2010 Crosstour’s base pricing as Honda grasps that soft demand won’t be reverse by big price increases. (Base prices in this review include the manufacturer’s destination fee; Honda’s fee for the 2011 Crosstour is $780. That’s $70 more than it charged to deliver the 2010 Crosstour.)
The 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour EX is priced at $30,570; it continues with front-wheel drive only.
The 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour EX-L starts at $33,470 with front-wheel drive and at $34,920 with AWD.
The 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour EX-l Navi is priced at $35,670 with front-wheel drive and at $37,120 with AWD.
2011 Honda Accord Crosstour Fuel Economy back to top
Fuel-economy ratings for the 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour get a slight bump over their 2010 ratings.
With front-wheel drive, the 2011 Crosstour remains rated at 18/27 mpg city/highway. With AWD, the 2011 Crosstour is slightly more fuel efficient than its 2010 counterpart at 18/26 mpg compared to 17/25. The Crosstour runs on regular-octane gas.
2011 Honda Accord Crosstour Release Date back to top
The 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour went on sale in December 2010. It continues to be assembled alongside the Accord sedan at Honda’s plant in Ohio.
What's next for the 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour back to top
Honda hopes it hasn’t painted itself into a corner with the Accord Crosstour. No manufacturer has enjoyed broad success with this sort of station-wagon/crossover blend. The graveyard includes the Chrysler Pacifica and the first-generation Cadillac SRX. The jury’s still out on the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo hatchback. Even Midas-touch Toyota has moved to widen the appeal of its Camry-based Venza by making available four- and six-cylinder models and instituting a more liberal options policy than Honda has for the Crosstour.
Honda’s strategy paints Crosstour as the ultimate Accord. Less lavishly equipped versions with a four-cylinder engine don’t seem to be part of the product plan. At least they weren’t for the 2010 and 2011 Crosstour. If sales continue tepid, Honda may be compelled to rethink the 2012 Crosstour’s styling, pricing, or market positioning.
We think Honda is committed to the Crosstour and expect an all-new second-generation version for model-year 2016. Given that timing, Honda’s traditional product schedule suggests this first-generation Crosstour would receive a mild styling refresh for model-year 2013.
In the longer term, Crosstour seems a fine candidate for a hybrid model, especially if Honda decides to promote gas-electric propulsion systems as premium powertrains.
2011 Honda Accord Crosstour Competition back to top
2011 Toyota Venza: In the same way Crosstour is a high-riding hatchback-take on the Accord sedan, Venza is a crossover-wagon variation of the Camry. It’s perhaps the most stylish crossbreed crossover – to a fault in one sense, because the large wheels and tires that help it look cool also over-stiffen its ride quality. Venza doesn’t handle with the sharpness of the Crosstour but is nonetheless an appealing interpretation of the type, with plenty of passenger and cargo room. Four-cylinder models have 182 horsepower and are surprisingly spry. They’re priced from $27,235 and rate 21/27 mpg with front-wheel drive and start at 28685 and rate 20/25 with AWD.V-6 versions tackle most any road with ease. They start at 29060 and rate 19/26 with front-drive and at $30,510 and rate 18/25 with AWD. Venza won’t get major changes before model-year 2013.
2011 Subaru Outback: Redesigned for model-year 2010 and given vitally needed additional rear-seat room, Outback has a more conventional station wagon shape than Venza or Crosstour. It also has a more SUV-like feel without going full high-riding box. An impressively capable AWD system is standard on every model. Four-cylinder Outbacks have a just-adequae 170 horsepower, rate 22/29 mpg, and have a base-price range of $23,920-$29,220. Six-cylinder Outbacks drive much livelier with 256 horsepower, rate 18/25, and have a base-price range of $28,920-$32,220. Put Outback on your shopping list if you value functional performance over styling beauty. Outback won’t be altered again for several years.
2011 Nissan Murano: Honda pegs this five-seat four-door wagon as a Crosstour competitor even though Murano leans toward the traditional-SUV end of the crossover spectrum. This Nissan is roomy, sporty, and attractively styled. It comes only with a robust 260-horsepower V-6 and is rated 18/23 mpg with both front- and all-wheel drive. Base-price range is $29,300-38,200 with front- drive and $30,900-$39,940 with AWD. Redesigned for model-year 2009, Murano is based on the Nissan Altima car and gets a mild facelift for model-year 2011, plus something no other crossover has ever offered – a two-door convertible body style. The 2011 Murano CrossCabriolet seats four, comes only with AWD, and starts at $47,190.