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2010 Honda Crosstour.

Honda

Introduced in 2010 and based on the Accord platform, the Honda Crosstour wagon was officially classed as an Accord variant. But it shared almost no body parts with its sedan counterpart, although it did utilize the same V-6 drivetrain. There was no four-cylinder version.

Displacing 3.5 litres, the V-6 developed 271 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque, which gave it lively performance. Comparatively, the Toyota Venza, a direct competitor, was good for 268 horses, so performance-wise, these two were neck-and-neck. Transmission was a five-speed automatic only, and you could choose from all-wheel-drive or front-drive.

The Real Time AWD system was of the full-time variety, and as inconspicuous as these things get. Unless you got caught in deep snow or sand, you wouldn't even know it was there. By the way, the Crosstour system was completely different from Honda/Acura's SH-AWD arrangement used in some of the company's other products.

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In 2010, there was but one trim level – EX-L – and, unsurprisingly, the AWD version was a little thirstier than the FWD: 8.0 litres/100 km in town versus 7.2 litres/100 km.

Relatively high equipment level here: Full leather interior, dual-zone climate control system, tilt/telescoping steering, heated front seats, XM satellite radio and the usual power modcons all came standard and you could also get a navi package, which included a back-up camera and steering-wheel-mounted controls.

Storage capacity was 1,453 litres with the back seats folded, and the back door was a one-piece affair that opened like a hatchback. By way of comparison, Honda's CR-V SUV had 2,064 litres of space.

Unsurprisingly, the Crosstour had that attractive high-driveability factor that Honda has been building into its Accord models almost since the first one was introduced to North America in 1976. The V-6 could be on the growly side, and Toyota's Venza V-6 was smoother with a more refined power delivery, but it was a close call, either way.

Many car makers have an aversion to the term "station wagon." Maybe it's because it conjures up corny visions of Ward Cleaver taking Beav and Wally to the soda shop, and the poodle-skirts and saddle-shoes Eisenhower era in the United States. Europeans have no such phobias,and their equivalent, which is known as an estate wagon, has been a popular model designation for decades. Honda, in fact, has had an Accord wagon in the U.K. and elsewhere for years.

Transport Canada has one safety recall on file for the 2010 Crosstour and it's a complicated one. The secondary shaft bearing in some automatic transmissions could fail and resulting in an instant loss of power, various trouble lights flashing on the dashboard, loss of Park, and possible damage to the transmission itself. This recall applies to all Accords of this vintage.

To this, we can add an airbag recall from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Some Crosstour models may have a passenger-side airbag that was improperly installed and may not protect an "unbelted child" in the event of an accident.

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Six technical service bulletins are on file with NHTSA. They range from software issues to premature spark plug fouling, to malfunction lights coming on when the engine oil level gets a little low.

As far as Consumer Reports is concerned, this is a good one. Aside from some minor issues with the suspension, it gives the 2010 Crosstour top marks virtually right across the board, with its "good bet" designation thrown in. It rates an overall "better than average" grade and, according to CR, "combines the appearance and versatility of a wagon and hatchback without looking like an SUV." Some comments from owners: "Like to see a power liftgate," "Seats were the most comfortable I've ever sat in" and "Rear quarter reminds me of the Porsche Panamera."

High marks also from market research firm J.D. Power. In fact, aside from comfort, style, and body and interior accessories, it gets the best marks this organization can bestow and an "among the best" grade for overall performance and design.

No surprise then to learn that this one has held its value well. From a base price of less than $35,000 for the 2WD version in 2010, it's still fetching $20,000 and up. The AWD versions are valued $1,500-$2,000 higher than the base FWD models and the navi package adds another $500-$,1000.

globedrive@globeandmail.com

Tech specs

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2010 Honda Crosstour

Original Base Price: $34,900; Black Book: $25,600-$27,700; Red Book: $20,700-$22,500

Engine: 3.5-litre V-6

Horsepower/Torque: 271 hp/254lb-ft

Transmission: Five-speed automatic

Drive: Front- or all-wheel

Fuel Economy (litres/100 km): 12.3 city/8.0 highway; regular gas

Alternatives: Toyota Venza, Nissan Murano, Volkswagen Tiguan, Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3-Series Wagon, Subaru Forester

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