2010 Honda Accord Crosstour: Ready for 2.0
December 10, 2010
At night, the Crosstour dash really does feel like the bridge of a starship. It's kinda cool and tech, but a little overwhelming. We've written before about Honda's button enthusiasm in the CT. Hopefully they dial it back in the next iteration. Granted, all automakers face a tough task trying to package climate, defrost, audio - controls we demand to be simple - in a coherent manner with the other tethers of our connected age: navigation, Bluetooth, voice-activation.
But I don't get the thin display strip above the vents, below and in front of the monitor. It displays temperature, mode, and usually truncated audio metadata. Seems like a redundancy. Give climate control its own submenu in the multimedia unit and two methods to open it: onscreen via the joystick knob, and a single hard button for direct access.
Was also curious why Honda recessed the display so far deep into the dash.
Hard to see in the photo above, but it's set back towards the windshield. A Honda spokesman offered couple of reasons. It helps reduce glare, and it's closer to the driver's line of sight, reducing eye travel. Makes sense. But that's also why it doesn't feel right. When I want to speed up the fan, I look for the center stack, not the middle of the windshield. Maybe I just need re-training.
Honda's design, along with BMW's and others, is already several years old, and feels even older next to interfaces like Ford's MyTouch (above), which divides common commands between the dashboard and center stack. Honda has a smart vendor in ALPS Electronics, parent company of Alpine. I'd figure their collective brainpan capable of delivering something like MyTouch, judging from the quality of their aftermarket products - minus a few buttons or 10.
One thing Honda and Alpine got dead-right in the Crosstour is the audio. Good bass and separation, if only slightly mid-range biased, and plenty of level.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor