New & Used Honda Crosstour: In Depth
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Originally called the Accord Crosstour, the Honda Crosstour was launched in 2010 and is something of an anomaly in the carmaker's lineup. It's essentially a mid-size hatchback, based on the Honda Accord, but its somewhat brawnier stance and a little extra weight make it a little less fuel-efficient than the Accord Sedan. It's the only model with Accord underpinnings that offers all-wheel drive, and it drives more like a wagon than an SUV.
Despite the large opening liftgate, though, the Crosstour remains less functional than the actual wagon offered in previous Accord generations--and less capacious than Honda's own Pilot SUV.
The Crosstour is easily identifiable by its looks, and often criticized for them as well--specifically its backside. It's large and it's tall, but blending a five-door hatchback with all-wheel-drive utility is a tough task, as several German luxury brands have learned. The big, rounded tail of the Crosstour looks both bulbous and too large, but the interior room it offers just isn't what you'd anticipate.
In 2010 and 2011, Honda offered only its tried and true V-6 in the Accord Crosstour. In 2012, it added a four-cylinder drivetrain, and both remain today. The 3.5-liter V-6 has been upgraded to a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters, though, and gas mileage should improve; the four-cylinder still retains a five-speed automatic. All four-cylinder Crosstours are front-wheel drive, by the way, in case you're cross-shopping against a Subaru or Audi; all-wheel drive is offered only with the V-6.
The Crosstour's performance stays fairly true to today's Accord, despite some thorough reworking of its suspension. The Crosstour has a few inches more in ride height than the sedan, and the roofline's nearly 8 inches taller. In theory, that creates much more interior space. In practice, it also adds a few hundred pounds to the sedan's base curb weight, and the extra pounds are tough to disguise once the Crosstour is keyed to life. The Accord sedan's nimble feel is gone, but the ride quality is still very good.
The interior of the Crosstour is a high-quality place to work, though a raft of buttons and controls flies in the face of Honda's logically organized, low-cowl cockpits of old. But as for actual space--for people and their gear--this large Honda hatchback comes up short. Cabin entry and exit are better than for the Accord sedan, but the curved roofline doesn't improve headroom for back-seat passengers.
As a utility vehicle, though, the Crosstour comes up somewhat short. Buyers can get an all-wheel-drive mid-size car that's specifically not a tall, boxy crossover, but the sloping tailgate limits the size of items that can be carried in the load bay. While the rear seats fold down for longer objects--a bag of skis, for example--the cargo floor is high. Worse yet, the rear suspension strut towers are so large that there's less than 30 inches between them--meaning even a large dog carrier may not fit in the Crosstour.
Fuel economy is indeed lower than an Accord sedan's, but it's not quite as low as that of an actual crossover utility vehicle, ranging from 25 mpg combined for the four-cylinder model with front-wheel drive to 22 mpg combined for the all-wheel-drive V-6.
For the 2013 model year, Honda tried to mitigate some of the ungainly looks by "Outbacking" the Crosstour. It added a slimmer grille along with bodyside cladding that cleans up the shape a bit. It's far from a dramatic change, but it helps somewhat. There have been few significant changes since 2013, but that refresh included feature updates, with active-safety features like LaneWatch blind-spot assistance, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Forward Collision Warning (FCW), and infotainment was upgraded to include Aha capability, Pandora, and Internet radio capability--and even a feature for SMS text messaging.