Does Honda Need an Accord Crossover?

March 9, 2009
I used to see prototype vehicles quite often while driving past the Milford (Mich.) Proving Grounds on my way to and from work every day. I always love catching a glimpse of what all those brilliant minds are working on, and love trying to figure out what they're testing. Usually whatever is driving down the road is bandaged up like a bad war scene, but that's fine with me. It adds to the mystery.

But, maybe I got lazy. I had stopped looking at's spy photos. Why? Because the pics are always of some really cool car that I can't drive, because I have to drive something that will fit a car seat. Wow, have I been wrong! As I've been rethinking what vehicle meets my definition of "family car," I'm finding that so many cool vehicles are being stalked in places like Milford and Phoenix actually are worth looking at.

I am not a fan of the minivan. That's why this new crossover idea from Honda--some sources are calling it the Crosstour--has me all excited. It's not just another crossover. It's actually more of a marriage of the Accord and the Japanese-spec Honda Odyssey. Ironically, the Odyssey is a minivan here and in Japan. It's just that the Japanese think a bit differently than we do about space and size.

The advantages? Size. Smaller can be better -- more maneuverable and better visibility. This crossover (at least how it's pictured) seems to have great visibility out the front and back. When your vehicle isn't mammoth, you can see better around it, too. Some claim that this vehicle will have a bit more ground clearance than the Accord, which means that the family that adventures might see this vehicle as an option.

The disadvantages? Lack of a third row. Yup, that's where minivans come in handy, in the third row. Not much you can do about that one. Critics call this prototype "not much more than a wagon," implying it's a sedan with a big rear storage area. Sure, that may be true. You'd have to judge your people- and cargo-carrying needs for yourself.

I like the idea of merging a Honda Odyssey with a Honda Accord. It will be interesting to see if it gets a four-wheel drive option, since some of our family adventures involve a few interesting climbs up the Blue Ridge mountains. More importantly, I've found a new fascination with these spy photos.

What's your take? Does Honda really need something like this to take on the 2009 Toyota Venza? Let me know in the comments section.

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