New & Used Honda Crosstour: In Depth
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The Honda Crosstour is a mid-size crossover in the Honda range that drives more like a wagon than an SUV. The Crossover goes virtually unchanged for 2013, and it’s built on the same platform as the new Accord. The Crosstour is also the only Accord-based model that has optional all-wheel drive. Even with the hatchback utility, though, the Crosstour still isn’t as functional as Accord wagons from earlier years.
For more details on the Crosstour, including prices, options, and specifications, see our 2014 Honda Crosstour full review.
One of the consistent criticisms of the Crosstour has been its looks, more specifically its back end. It's a large, tall vehicle, but the halfway point between five-door hatchback and all-wheel drive utility is a hard one to pull off--as BMW, among others, has learned--and the Crosstour has a large, tall, rounded tail that looks bulbous and out of scale, yet doesn't deliver the interior room you might expect.
For the 2013 model year, Honda's tried to mitigate the ungainly look by "Outbacking" the Crosstour: adding a slimmer grille and bodyside cladding that cleans up the shape a bit. Like the new 2013 Accord sedan, it's not dramatically changed, but it's welcome nonetheless.
In the first two model years, Honda offered only its tried and true V-6 in the Accord Crosstour. In 2012, it added a four-cylinder drivetrain, and both return for the 2013 model year. The 3.5-liter V-6 is 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 a Subaru or Audi; all-wheel drive is offered on 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. The cargo hold suffers from not only the sloping tailgate glass, but a high cargo floor and rear suspension strut towers that make for a very narrow load bay. The rear seats fold down for longer objects, though.
The 2013 Honda Crosstour gets more rugged design cues in an effort to distance it more from the Accord sedan, but it's not a full redesign. Improved engines are a part of the update: there's a base 192-horsepower four-cylinder paired with a five-speed automatic transmission, and a 278-hp, 3.5-liter V-6, both of which are said to offer better performance and gas mileage. The feature set is updated too, 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 texting.