What's New for 2011
The 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour gets a 1 mpg increase in fuel economy and also relocates the confusing climate-control buttons.
It's difficult to place the 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour into a category. It's bigger and taller than a midsize sedan, but smaller than a compact crossover SUV. It's as if Goldilocks got even more high-maintenance and went looking for a cross between a sedan, wagon and crossover. The result isn't wholly satisfying, and the Accord Crosstour loses some of the best attributes of each of its influences.
As its name implies, the Crosstour is based on the current Accord sedan. It measures 7.6 inches taller and sports a hatchback instead of a trunk. On the upside, the hatchback design gives the Crosstour more cargo capacity than the sedan, and loading bulky items is easier thanks to its wider opening. The Crosstour is also available with all-wheel drive (not offered on the sedan) and benefits from a quieter cabin and a standard V6 engine.
But the quest to offer a little of everything keeps the Crosstour from doing anything really well. When you compare the 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour to top compact crossover SUVs, its shortcomings are readily apparent. In nearly every case, these alternatives outpace the Crosstour in utility and convenience, while still driving more like a car than a truck. Many of these models also have lower base pricing. Only in rear legroom does the Crosstour hold a notable advantage. As crossovers go, the Accord Crosstour might be a little too much car and not enough SUV.
As a result, the Crosstour also loses out to its main competitors: the similarly conceived and sized Subaru Outback and Toyota Venza. Both hold more gear and are available in more affordable versions with four-cylinder engines. All things considered, it'll take a special type of Goldilocks to gravitate toward the 2011 Honda Crosstour's unique (if not polarizing) styling and marginal appeal over many other choices.
The Crosstour is the right kind of package for many, yet it's not the best in its newly emerging segment. Compared to its competition, it emphasizes passenger comfort rather than multidimensional utility. Then again, perhaps this is actually the right setup for a car-based crossover.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour crossover wagon is available in EX and EX-L trim levels. The EX comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, a sunroof, keyless entry, power front seats (10-way driver, four-way passenger), a multifunction tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control with second-row vents, a 60/40-split-folding rear seatback and a seven-speaker audio system with a six-CD changer and auxiliary audio jack.
The EX-L trim level adds 18-inch wheels, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, heated front seats, driver seat memory functions, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a cargo cover, Bluetooth and an upgraded stereo with a USB port and satellite radio. The sole option for the EX-L is a voice-activated navigation system paired with a rearview camera.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour is offered in front-wheel drive as standard, with all-wheel drive available on the EX-L. Every Crosstour is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 271 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic is the only available transmission.
In Edmunds performance testing, a front-wheel-drive Crosstour accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a class-competitive 7.5 seconds. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 21 mpg in combined driving for front-wheel-drive models. Opting for AWD drops the highway figure by 1 mpg.
Standard safety features for all 2011 Honda Accord Crosstours include active front-seat head restraints, antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the Crosstour stopped from 60 mph in a decent 131 feet.
The Crosstour has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash-testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) resulted in a perfect five out of five stars in all front and side categories. Likewise, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave it the best possible rating of "Good" for frontal-offset and side crash protection, but the second-worst score of "Marginal" in the roof-strength test.
Interior Design and Special Features
The interior of the 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour is nearly identical to the Accord sedan on which it is based. The quality of materials is about average for the segment. One of our biggest gripes from last year's model was the overabundance of buttons on the center stack. This year, Honda has made a slight revision by grouping all of the climate controls closer to the driver for a more intuitive layout. But the sheer number of buttons is still daunting, and adding the navigation system further complicates the matter. Fortunately, the combination of a high-mounted screen, voice activation and a multipurpose control knob serves to simplify operation of the many systems.
The cabin itself is roomy enough to transport adult-size passengers, with acceptable head- and legroom in the front and rear seats. The seats themselves are comfortable and supportive, though some may find the lumbar support a bit too aggressive. Cargo capacity is unimpressive, with only 25.7 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear seats and 51.3 cubes with them folded (intrusive wells for the rear wheels don't help). More traditional wagons and crossovers can accommodate quite a bit more.
Like the standard Accord, the Crosstour benefits from accurate steering and predictable handling. But its additional 300 pounds and higher center of gravity put a damper on most sporting intentions. Power output from the V6 is adequate, but the transmission tends to delay driver inputs and hesitates to downshift when passing slower traffic. The Crosstour is a fine highway cruiser thanks to a comfortable ride quality and a quiet cabin at speed.
Read our Honda Crosstour Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test