Livin’ is easy with Honda’s stylish Accord Crosstour

CASEY WILLIAMS  | Auto Reviewer

2010 Honda Crosstour
MAKE ROOM FOR DADDY Or mom along with the kids in the ultra spacious new Honda Crosstour.

Honda. 271 horsepower, 3.5 liter V6. 17/25-MPG city/hwy. As-tested price: $36,220

Mary and Russel Wright’s Guide To Easier Living, published in 1950, is still a great read. It tells all of Stepford domestic divas out in suburbia how to while away their days without domestic help, keeping their homes organized and chipper. According to the book, it took 80 hours per week while the apparently lazy-assed breadwinner pecked away a measly 40 hours.

If those over-worked Mrs. lived today, at least a few of them would drive a Honda Accord Crosstour to make their lives easier.

Houses then were designed with room to relax, and that’s exactly what you find in a Crosstour. It is a big car, roomy with near crossover space, 60/40 split/fold rear seats and a hatch as big as a cargo plane’s through which Buster, dollhouses and wooden hobby boats can be loaded. Father could hide his stamp collection in the concealed rear underfloor storage bin.

Comfortable, informal space was also coming into vogue. Upholstered with heated leather front seats, and shaped like the inside of a BMW, the Crosstour is an upscale yet unpretentious ride. Eschewing formal parlors, use the Crosstour without concern for damage. Mommy and mommy can clean up the kids’ messes, as most surfaces are easy to wipe clean.

In a car or home, the deep interior is most reflective of our private lives. Tinted rear glass and a cargo cover keep peepers out of the Crosstour while everybody rides tucked down in the tall body sides. A backup camera, USB audio interface, 6-disc changer, Kevlar cone speakers, aluminum dome-type front tweeter speakers and satellite-linked navigation keep you tuned to the world through 360 watts of delicious sound.

All around the house, the Wrights lay down their ideas for making large entrances to control dirt, easy opening windows, and the best drapery designs. For the Crosstour, Honda fitted dual-zone automatic climate control with second row ventilation, auto up/down front windows, and a large sunroof with shade. The Wrights also advocated lots of closet space, which the Crosstour has everywhere from cubbies in the doors to a roomy front center console.

To add more comfort, check the sheets for cruise control, steering wheel audio controls and leather steering wheel. Reversible cargo floor panels defend against dirty puppy feet.

Perhaps outdoor living gives an impression of the interior. It took more than a jiffy to warm up to the styling, but now I’m a fan of the Porsche-like rear view, sleek roofline and wide exotic grille. Wider tires on the optional 18-inch aluminum wheels and larger chrome exhaust outlets would go well with the chrome door handles for high-road Panamera style.

The Wrights would have the lady of the house put a stopwatch to her tasks and define efficient standard work. Time studies, my ass! Put a stopwatch to this, bee-yotch. Taking a load off the family budget, the car achieves 18/27-MPG city/hwy. When dad needs to get to work in a blizzard, available AWD is nifty.

If you really want to get a handle on the dirty work, grip the wheel and head to the road for an old-fashioned family vacation. The four-wheel independent suspension system soaks up highways like a ’55 Buick, but carves the snaky two-lanes to the campground more like a European wagon. Cruising the neighborhood looking for Fluffy, or moving mama’s bouffant hair, the Crosstour is a slick ride.

It is really hard to get good help these days, what with their demands for minimum wage and healthcare. Today’s automotive servants include navigation, XM radio and active sound control to erase harsh noise. The book provides tips on how to manage your domestic’s time effectively, but the only paid help you’ll require is a trip to the Honda dealership for oil changes and regular maintenance.

A good host cares for your entire being. Starting with its reinforced ACE body structure and including electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, side curtain airbags with rollover sensors, dual front bags, multiple threshold front airbags and active front seat head restraints, this Honda serves brilliantly and will give up the ghost if the ultimate sacrifice is required. I doubt any cocktail-serving, coat-taking, house Barbie would have done so much for her guests.

It’s a good thing I’m gay because I don’t think I would have much patience for going to work all day so Her Highness could re-decorate the house while drinking mint juleps on stylish patio furniture with her fellow hags. Of course, I work all day to make sure His Highness can re-decorate our mid-century ranch, but that’s an entirely different matter. Maybe I’ll have him read the damned book — and drive the cool Honda Accord Crosstour. He can put some of his own hard-earned money towards the $36,220 as-tested price.

Just kidding, baby….

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 27, 2010