Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Honda’s new Crosstour SUV-sedan begins just under $30,000



Honda said this past week that its new Accord Crosstour sport utility sedan will go on sale Nov. 20 with a starting price of $29,670 (plus $710 freight).

That brings the base two-wheel-drive EX model with a V-6 engine and five-speed automatic transmission. With Honda’s simplified pricing, no options are offered, just different trim levels.

The next Crosstour up the price ladder is the EX-L two-wheel drive for $32,570, which has everything that’s included on the EX – plus a leather interior.

Then comes the Crosstour EX-L Navi model, which includes – you guessed it – an in-dash navigation system. The price for this one is $34,770.

There are two all-wheel-drive models. The Crosstour 4WD EX-L ($34,020) and the EX-L Navi ($36,220). With both, the leather interior is standard. There is no less-expensive all-wheel-drive model with a cloth interior, though.

"Leveraging the many benefits of a car-based platform, the Accord Crosstour starts with the top-level refinement of the Accord V-6 sedan and further expands utility with a sleek-yet-functional profile for increased cargo space," the company said.

This vehicle essentially is an Accord wagon, but it’s not available with the four-cylinder engine of the Accord sedan.

Instead, Honda decided to base the Crosstour on the upscale version of the Accord, which allows the automaker to sell it for a much-higher price and attract customers who don’t mind paying more.

It’s designed to "fulfill multiple roles for both style and function," Honda said of the new Crosstour, which is assembled at the company’s East Liberty, Ohio, plant of mostly North American components.

"A bold and sleek exterior conveys a prestigious presence from the outside, while premium interior styling extends from the passenger compartment into the cargo area," the company said.

Interior features include an under-floor storage area in the rear, along with reversible cargo floor panels (ideal for dirty objects). There is a large opening for the tailgate, which helps immensely while loading or unloading luggage or other cargo.

Under the hood of all models is a 3.5-liter v-6 engine with 271 horsepower and 254 foot-pounds of torque – the same engine used in the Accord V-6 sedan and coupe.

The engine uses variable cylinder management to save on fuel. This system automatically cuts out either two or three of the cylinders during highway cruising to help give the vehicle EPA ratings of 18 mpg city/27 highway with two-wheel drive, or 17/25 with all-wheel drive.

All-wheel-drive models have Honda’s permanent "Real Time 4WD" system, which operates automatically with no driver input. There is no way to turn it off. It’s designed for everyday driving, though, not for serious off-road exploring. It does not feature low-range gearing necessary for rugged trails.

Standard are such amenities as dual-zone automatic climate control with second-row ventilation; a 360-watt AM/FM/compact disc audio system with seven speakers and a six-disc changer; 60/40 split-folding rear seatback; 17-inch aluminum wheels with 225/65 R17 all-season tires; a hidden removable utility box; cruise control; a moon roof; auto up/down driver and front-passenger windows; rear privacy glass steering wheel audio controls; compass and outside temperature indicator; automatic projector-beam headlights; fog lights; chrome door handles, body-colored power side mirrors with defrost; and more.

With the leather upgrade, the seat surfaces are trimmed in leather, along with the steering wheel and shifter knob. This package also brings heated front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, 18-inch aluminum wheels with 225/60 R18 all-season tires, memory driver’s seat, memory side mirrors with reverse tilting capability, cargo privacy cover, universal garage opener, Kevlar cone speakers, aluminum dome-type front tweeter speakers and a USB audio interface.

along with electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist; side-curtain air bags with a rollover sensor for both rows; driver and front-passenger-side air bags; and active front head restraints.

"The Accord Crosstour combines the sophisticated refinement of a premium sedan with versatile characteristics of an SUV to create an entirely distinct concept within the Crossover Utility Vehicle segment," Honda said in making the pricing announcement.

The navigation system also has a backup camera that displays its image on the dashboard nav screen.

Other Crosstour safety features include Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure, which "enhances occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal collisions," the company said;

source: star-telegram