Introducing The All New Venza
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2010 Honda Accord Crosstour vs. 2009 Toyota Venza
Two new crossovers have hit the scene – the 2010 Honda Crosstour and the 2009 Toyota Venza – and Inside Line has tested them head to head to see which is the better family hauler.
So what are these vehicles anyway? Low-slung SUVs? High-riding wagons? Doesn’t matter, they’re useful and comfortable and perfectly suited for doing all the things you can’t in a cool car.
Honda and Toyota have done their best to position the Crosstour and Venza as entirely new and different vehicles, but once you cut beneath the marketing-speak, the Crosstour and the Venza are basically just Accord and Camry wagons.
There are some differences of course, They ride a bit higher and offer all-wheel drive. And for better or for worse, both feature unique styling.
They’re also more expensive. The cheapest Honda Crosstour starts at just under $30,000 while the Venza offers a base model that starts at $26,000. Get fully loaded versions as we did, and you're looking at $37,000 for the Honda and just over $39,000 for the Toyota.
So yeah, if you want all the gadgets you’re going to have to pay a steep entry price, but that’s not all you’re getting.
Take cargo room for instance. Both of these wagons offer nearly twice the cargo space of their sedan counterparts. The Venza's cargo bay is wide and shallow, with 30 cubic feet of room behind its rear seats.
The Crosstour's space is narrow and deep, with 25 cubic feet available.
Differences between these two within the passenger cabin are less noticeable. The Honda Crosstour looks identical to the Accord sedan. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Its instrument cluster is easy-to-read, materials quality is outstanding and there is good visibility. Other than the overcrowded mess of buttons in the middle of the dashboard, the Crosstour is a slick design.
The Venza gets a more unique interior complete with a high-mounted shift lever on the elevated center console and a simplified climate control layout. It’s designed for ease of use, but often fails in the quality department. The materials are too cheap for this price range and our Venza shows signs of poor construction. The Honda was definitely the winner here.
On the road, it was a different story, though, as the Venza’s drivetrain is clearly superior to the Crosstour’s.
Its six-speed transmission gives the Venza nearly a one-second acceleration advantage from 0-to-60. The Toyota also has the edge in handling, and it feels lighter and more agile around town.
The Crosstour is competent and well sorted, but feels heavier and less fun to drive. Slow reactions from the transmission are mostly to blame along with less aggressive suspension settings and tires.
The Toyota also beats out the Crosstour in day-to-day practicality. The rear seats feel more spacious, visibility is better and its options list includes a rear-seat DVD player, power rear hatch and keyless ignition.
Small things maybe, but you don’t buy either of these vehicles to have fun behind the wheel. They’re utility vehicles, SUVs if you like, and both are competent in that regard. The Venza is the better of the two thanks to its extra room, more generous features and superior drivetrain. If you need a family hauler, Inside Line thinks you should check out the Toyota first.
*Price excludes $55.00 Doc. fee. Price also excludes tax, title, and license.