2011 Honda Crosstour
Do '80s Honda fans need a step up?

WE LIKE: Smooth Honda V-6, Accord underpinnings, fuel efficiency.
WE DON'T LIKE: Weight, price, interior, styling. Five-speed automatic is a gear or two short.

Two American social phenomena inspired Honda to create the Crosstour from the platform of its wildly popular Accord sedan. First, the Mini Cooper is successful beyond prediction, leading BMW's competitors to erroneously conclude Americans will buy hatchbacks that cost more than $25,000. Second, the youngest baby boomers who made Honda the "it" brand of the 1980s are getting too old to step down easily into low-profile cars like the Accords of 25 years ago.

Phenomenon number two made the Crosstour an ungainly car. The post-millennium sedan targets baby boomers by combining the flexibility of a minivan with the step-in height and AWD capability of a crossover utility vehicle. Take the Accord sedan (far from the most handsome of the model's history), slope its three-box sedan body into a two-box hatchback, raise it to make room for AWD, design a prominent proboscis, and you have the '11 Pontiac Aztek.

Although the Crosstour's handling can be described as "carlike," with that higher center of gravity, it's a wallowy carlike, a letdown after traditional Accords. The Crosstour's added weight means the Accord's 3.5-liter V-6 must work that much harder.

"It didn't distinguish itself particularly in the dynamic realm," Markus notes. "It's an affront to my eyes, the usefulness is marginal, and the price is ridiculous."

Lago finds the Crosstour quieter and more fun to drive than the current Accord, while "it's plagued with a slow-responding automatic with (five) slow gears better fit for lunar travel."

Interior material and trim quality are not even the best Honda can do. "The door pulls are chintzy plastic, with the flash line right where your hand goes." Very un-Honda-like.

Fuel mileage is good for such a big, heavy model, though not best in class, matching the V-6 Toyota Venza within 1 mpg in either direction.

Hard as Honda tried, its convergence of sedan and sport/utility doesn't work well, and the Crosstour did not make it as a finalist for sport/utility of the year-a very un-Honda-like result. - Todd Lassa

2011 Honda Accord Crosstour
Base price $30,450-$34,800
Price as tested $37,000 (EX-L AWD)
Vehicle layout Front engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
Engine 3.5L/271-hp/254-lb-ft SOHC 24-valve V-6
Transmission 5-speed automatic
Curb weight (f/r dist) 3962 lb (58/42%)
Wheelbase 110.1 in
Length x width x height 196.8 x 74.7 x 65.7 in
0-60 mph 7.5 sec
Quarter mile 15.7 sec @ 90.9 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 138 ft
Lateral acceleration 0.79 g (avg)
MT Figure Eight 28.7 sec @ 0.57 g (avg)
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 17/25 mpg
CO2 emissions 0.98 lb/mile
INTERIOR/Functionality ***
Overpriced Accord the American buyer didn't request.