2010 Honda Accord Crosstour: Taking The Long Way Home
March 04, 2010
My short dash to Arizona is history. Our 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour is back its assigned spot in our underground garage. Better still, the Crosstour now has enough break-in miles for its initial track test next week.
Gas station to gas station, the trip from my Orange County home to Prescott, Arizona was 343.7 miles long. The return trip was somewhat longer because I first made a detour south to Glendale, Arizona before pointing the Honda west, towards home.
Yesterday's outbound leg started at a fuel station at point #1 and ended at another gas stop at point #3, where 14.179 gallons were added. The last 40 miles or so up highway 89 to Prescott represent a climb to 5,300 feet, and that trimmed the day's fuel economy to 24.2 mpg.
The return trip of course loses all of that elevation gain, and my detour to point #4 in Phoenix (Glendale, to be precise) added over a hundred miles. The day's speeds stayed more or less the same as yesterday: 70-75 on the desert freeways and 65 mph on the straight, lonely two-lane highways.
I made it all the way home, 459.6 miles in all, on a single tank of gas. At my local 76 station, it took 16.578 gallons of 87 octane to fill the Crosstour's 18.5-gallon tank. A few taps of the calculator put my return trip fuel economy at 27.7 mpg.
Looking at the entire journey, all 803.3 miles and 30.757 gallons of it, our 2010 Honda Crosstour 4x4 averaged 26.1 mpg under conditions that were not even close to hypermiling. At a constant 65 mph, there's more range and fuel economy to be had. For reference, the Crosstour 4x4's EPA highway rating is 25 mpg.
Moving on ...
Rear visibility, or perceived lack thereof, was a concern expressed by some when they first saw this design. On this trip, at least, I didn't have a huge problem with seeing cars around me.
The view is actually a little larger than this from the driver's eye point, but I'm holding the camera slightly to the left and forward to keep the camera itself out of the shot.
A couple of points: The Crosstour has the same peek-a-boo secondary window in the vertical part of the hatch that we first saw on the Honda CRX in 1988. It helps improve the view straight out the back, and it also helps you see down lower in the rear bumper area than you could in any SUV.
And that rear 3/4 window, small though it may be, does give the driver a glimpse into the blind spot with a simple head check. Could it be better? Sure. Is this what I would call "poor"? Not at all. The view out the back is good and the view into the blind spots is decent.
Finally, an interesting tidbit, and a question.
About 10 years ago I lived in the Copper State, and I used to drive between Phoenix and LA a lot. Every time I did I lost track of time as I crossed the border. Right now there's a one-hour time difference. In summer there is no difference because Zonies don't go on daylight savings time. I mean, who wants to save daylight when it's 110 degrees in the shade at 6:00pm? You want that flaming yellow orb to set as soon as possible! But the timing of said changeover always seems to escape my memory.
Being winter and all, I had that hour manually built-in to my timing during yesterday's run up to Prescott. I thought I had time to spare for side trips. But a few miles past the border it started to look like I was barely on schedule. Why? My working theory was that the Crosstour's clock, one that isn't built into the navigation screen itself, had set itself one hour ahead without me realizing it as I crossed the border. Did I imagine it or had I simply lost track of time driving across the endless desert? With respect to the clock, should I subtract the extra hour I'd manually built into my schedule or not? I decided to press on as if I really were short on time. I arrived about an hour early.
I had to wait until today's return trip to see if the Crosstour's clock had, in fact, set itself forward. If true, it should jump back an hour as I re-enter California. Above you can see the clock in the center-right of the frame, just below the navigation screen.
That's the Colorado River on the map, the border between California and Arizona and the dividing line between Pacific and Mountain time. Nothing spectacular here except time marching back one hour as I climb onto the bridge that spans The River. Don't blink or you'll miss it.
I've seen this on clocks that are programmed right into the navi screen itself, but not on clocks the SEEM to be stand-alone timepieces (or BlackBerries). I suppose this shouldn't be a surprise, seeing as how the navigation system here is spread out all over the center stack.
Does your car's seemingly stand-alone clock do this? It does? Never mind.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 1,560 miles