Starting in 1991, Honda Accord wagons began to roam American roads, but these practical cars disappeared from our market after just a few years. The rising popularity of SUVs, fueled by the emergence of “crossovers” based on car platforms, saw wagon-minded customers move to Honda’s CR-V and Pilot, as well as dozens of competitors. Now, history is about to repeat itself with import wagon-like vehicles making a revival, even if their sloping styling isn’t as practical as the Accord and Toyota Camry wagons of yore. Think of the Accord Tourer as Honda’s answer to the Toyota Venza.
Honda will return to the hatchback/wagon market this fall with several new model variants, including the Accord Crosstour. In addition, Acura is introducing a ZDX model derived from the MDX platform, and the luxury brand has recently announced it will also offer a TSX wagon (a wagon version of the Accord sold elsewhere in the world, called the Accord Tourer).
The front- or all-wheel-drive Crosstour will come only with a 271-hp, 3.5-liter V6 mated to a five-speed automatic. Three trim lines are available: base EX, EX-L, and EX-L Navi. All-wheel drive will be optional on the EX-L and EX-L Navi, making this the first Accord model to offer AWD.
The Accord Crosstour has created Internet buzz as due to its polarizing styling. We’ll leave that to you to debate. More importantly, we recently spent a day behind the wheel of the Crosstour, and we found the beauty is on the inside—with a familiar, Accord cabin with added versatility. However, the added functionality doesn’t rival a true wagon.
Behind the wheel
Unsurprisingly, the driving experience is much like the sedan, though I found the additional rear mass evident at times. The standard automatic has two “sporty” new features: gear-hold based on lateral G forces and rpm rev-matching when downshifting. The Crosstour feels, to me, far less sporty than the Accord sedan or coupe, cars where this technology might be more appreciated.
According to Honda, fuel economy according to the EPA is 18 city, 27 highway, for the front-wheel-drive Crosstour, while the AWD version will be slightly worse at 17 city, 25 highway.
Inside, the cabin is very much standard Accord fare, and any owner switching from an Accord coupe or sedan to the Crosstour will feel at home. The cargo area is roomy, measuring 55.7 inches at its widest point. A nifty feature, the carpeted floor lids can be flipped over to expose a hard plastic surface that is good for transporting dirty items. Underneath the panels is a removable 1.9 cubic-foot cargo box with two handles, making it easy to carry some items from the vehicle.
The 60/40-split rear seats can be folded from the cargo area using one-touch levers, but when the seats are folded the narrowest point of the cargo area—just 31 inches across—becomes readily evident. While the Crosstour isn’t designed to carry sheets of plywood, this narrow area is something buyers should be aware of.
When the Crosstour goes on sale on November 20th, the base front-wheel drive EX model will start at $29,670. The Crosstour EX-L will have an MSRP of $32,570, which grows to $34,770 for the Navi version. All-wheel drive versions start at $34,020, with the Navi-equipped ones starting at $36,220.