2010 Honda Accord Crosstour: Hard to (Fuel) Gauge
April 19, 2010
I want to like our long-term Honda Accord Crosstour, and if I'm driving it around in a casual manner I usually do. The premium interior, comfortable ride and stand-issue Honda steering feel are appreciated.
But I'm not a fan of the fuel gauge. It's also very Honda-like, and in this case I'd like it to give me a bit more information. Having an "F" and "E" split by one larger hash mark doesn't do it for me. I don't need to measure my fuel level by 32nds, but I'd like to at least have clear 1/4 marks. I got in it the other day and was trying to decide if it was at 1/4 tank or not. Couldn't really tell.
It looked about halfway between the half-tank hash and the "E" -- but with no other visual cues in the gauge it was impossible to know for sure. Why should 1/4 tank information be so important? Because the rule around the Edmunds offices is you don't park a car with less than 1/4 tank of fuel. I'm looking at the gauge and thinking, "Well, I could decide it's got at least 1/4 tank, but the next driver might decide otherwise and there will be no easy way to prove who is right."
The other item I noticed on my recent Crosstour tour was how the transmission really doesn't want to downshift. You floor it (to pass someone, for instance) and the transmission drops one gear relatively quickly. Then it hangs there for another second, as if asking, "Do you really want full power, or is the throttle floored because of a muscle spasm in your leg?" After that additional second of mashed throttle it finally gives you the full downshift and rockets ahead.
This transmission behavior is yet another sign of a carmaker trying to game the EPA test cycle for an extra MPG or two in fuel-efficiency rating. And whether we're taking Ford Edge, Chevrolet Traverse or Honda Crosstour I hate this kind of transmission programming because you actually end up using more fuel in the real world (because you have to constantly floor it to get the lower gears you need, even when part-throttle acceleration would otherwise suffice).
I expect better of you Honda.
Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief @ 4,163 miles