- Smooth drivetrain
- Nicely executed interior
- Spacious seating areas
- Ungainly looks
- Drives big
- Compromised rear headroom
- Not as much cargo space as promised
The 2015 Honda Crosstour straddles the line between a comfortable and nimble Accord sedan and a larger, more practical crossover vehicle, with some benefits and drawbacks to accompany the muddied mission.
The Honda Crosstour isn't the return of the Accord Wagon that many missed from generations past. And that's too bad. Instead, it's a tweener crossover vehicle with a hatchback shape that's less practical than a wagon or full-figured crossover, with styling that doesn't share the Accord sedan's taut lines. Its major selling point, aside from a little more cargo space, is that it offers all-wheel drive, while all Accord four-doors make do with front-wheel drive.
When the Crosstour first hit showrooms, it was actually called Accord Crosstour. This made sense, since it was based on the Accord sedan sold at that time. SInce then, it has dropped the Accord name, while the Accord itself has moved on to a new generation, leaving the Crosstour behind as somewhat of an orphan. So now the Crosstour is simply a husky Accord relative, with more sluggish handling.
At least at first look, the Crosstour teases a lot more utility and versatility than Accord sedans. Even if you're not a convert to the Crosstour's pumped-up-hatch styling ethos, it offers some key elements of crossover appeal. One is that it rides a couple of inches higher than the Accord sedan and is around four inches taller altogether—which makes getting in and out easier. In front there's loads of space and headroom, as you might expect, but in back the downward slope of its roofline, as well as the fact that it curves inward, makes headroom a potential issue for taller riders.
The cargo situation is disappointing, too, as the strut towers infringe on space behind the rear seats, although the seatbacks do flip forward. One handy feature is a large stowage area underneath the carpeted cargo floor, big enough for a briefcase or laptop bag. The lid can also be reversed to an easy-wipe material, for muddy gear.
The Crosstour offers a choice of either a four-cylinder or a V-6 engine. Most will be fine with the adequate performance of the base 192-horsepower four and five-speed automatic transmission. The V-6 models get Honda's new Earth Dreams 3.5-liter V-6, rated at 278 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque, connected to a six-speed automatic with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. While the Accord sedan has been ushered over to a front-strut layout—more tunable for ride and handling, Honda says—the Crosstour maintains the double-wishbone layout that for a long time was a point of pride for Honda enthusiasts. Handling is further aided by front and rear stabilizer bars along with a front strut-tower bar, and the steering is hydraulic-assist—standing apart from the electric-assist systems that have been introduced across the new Accord lineup and much of the rest of Honda's models. Those who want all-wheel drive will have to pony up for the top-of-the-line V-6 model.
Fuel economy also lags behind that of an Accord sedan, but it's decent compared to true, boxier crossovers. Four-cylinder models are rated by the EPA at 22 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway, while the front-drive V-6 now gets ratings of 20/30 mpg. The V-6-only all-wheel-drive models aren't far behind, with ratings of 19/28 mpg.
The Crosstour drives like an especially heavy, somewhat taller, and less nimble version of the Accord. It weighs about 300 to 500 pounds more, across the board, than a comparable Accord sedan; with or without that knowledge, you'll be surprised to find that the Accord sedan's nimble feel is simply missing here, especially at lower speeds.
The NHTSA has rated the Crosstour only in its rollover tests, awarding it four stars out of five. The IIHS gives it a 'good' score in available tests--it hasn't been subjected to the new small-overlap test. Its safety-feature set includes available Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW). It also offers Honda's LaneWatch blind-spot display, which shows a wide-angle view alongside the vehicle's passenger side when you activate the right turn signal.
The Crosstour EX comes standard with automatic air conditioning with filtration, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB audio interface, steering wheel-mounted controls, and with an auto dimming rearview mirror. Top shelf EX-L models add dual-zone automatic climate control, heated leather-trimmed seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, along with HondaLink with Aha capability, Pandora, and Internet radio capability. The system also rolls in the Pandora interface and voice-to-text SMS texting feature (Android and BlackBerry only), with pre-programmed responses. The V-6 is available at either trim level, while all-wheel drive can only be found on six-cylinder EX-L models.