Honda's Crosstour has been a lightning rod for controversy since the first images of the crossover appeared on social networking sites back in September of 2009. Almost immediately, commenters began hurling insults towards the mid-size CUV, many disappointed that the (then called) Accord Crosstour was less wagon — as rumored early on in the model's development — and more, uh, giant four-door humpback-hatch. From some angles, the Crosstour's hood and grille appeared almost an exaggerated caricature, both features seemingly too large for its body.
Undeterred, Honda stayed the course, nurturing the maligned Crosstour along, eventually dropping "Accord" from its name and adding a four-cylinder engine to the lineup.
Leading With Its Chin
Given Honda's track record of displaying thinly veiled, production-ready designs and calling them concepts, we'd wager that what you're seeing here is more or less the 2013 Honda Crosstour.
Count on the revised fascia making the cut, the grille now sporting a chunkier chrome surround, with sharper creases below the headlamps. A large, blacked-out lower fascia houses the fog lamps and stretches across the front, met in the middle by a sill plate of contrasting color in an attempt to lend the Crosstour a more SUV-like appearance. The lower blackout treatment extends to the side sills and around the back, where it meets a revised, more horizontal tailgate intended to continue the rugged tone.
The production model is slated to roll on 18-inch wheels in place of the five-spoke, 19-inch wheels shown on the concept. Of course, if the 19s do become available, it wouldn't be the first time something from a concept made it to the options sheet.
Heavy Doses of Nanny Tech
Honda says the new Crosstour will feature heavily revised trim materials, keyless ignition, and an eight-inch screen housing an infotainment system; V-6 models will receive steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The Crosstour's mechanicals were not available for public viewing in New York, but Honda assures us that buyers will have their choice of either a re-engineered and more powerful 3.5-liter V-6, or a 192-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (output figures for the V-6 weren't provided). V-6 models will get a six-speed automatic and the option of Honda's Real Time 4WD system. Four-cylinder models will have to make do with a five-speed auto and front-wheel drive.
A potentially confusing number of safety-warning devices will be available, including warning systems for both lane departure and forward collision; both use a camera mounted behind the windshield to monitor the road ahead, ultimately warning the driver of lane departures and potential collisions. Honda-exclusive LaneWatch utilizes yet another camera — this one mounted in the passenger's side mirror — to give an enhanced view of the passenger-side roadway. Add to these visibility aids re-shaped headrests, an expanded-view driver's mirror, and a back-up camera; it seems the Crosstour is trying to take responsibility for those who can't be bothered to look after themselves. Or at least those who don't like turning their head to check their surroundings.
Given Honda's near-pathological reluctance to offer an Accord wagon here in the States, it seems at times as if Honda is trying to force faithful buyers who find the CR-V too cutesy and the Pilot too ute-sy behind the wheel of their misunderstood middle child. To that we say: "Don't call us; we'll call you."
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Have you noticed that those who actually own this vehicle love it! I have one and couldn't be happier. I guess it depends on what you're after. I wanted something that has the ride and feel of a sedan for traveling, and this is the best I've found. It's extremely quite - like riding in a sound booth. It doesn't feel like I'm sitting in a stiff, tall "captain's chair" of a mini-van, and the back seat is wide, roomy, and very comfortable. I also wanted something that laid flat in back and was long enough that I could pick up longer pieces, like dimensional lumber, or that I could toss in a sleeping bag and stretch out in if I wanted to get a few zzz's while traveling. There aren't many out there that will give you that kind of length in flat space, and certainly not the CR-V. In that puppy, the bottom of the rear seat bottom flips up before the back folds down, which limits the length of flat space. That's not a problem with the Crosstour. No, you can't put in 4 X 8 sheet goods, but there's no SUV out there that will do that - not even the Ford Explorer. So what's all the hoopla over the cargo width issue?
I am most impressed by the fit and finish of the Crosstour. The interior is very refined - padded door panels and padded dash, a woven cloth headliner rather than that fuzzy felt used in most cars. But what I really like is that the Crosstour's interior isn't decked out with all that cheap silver spray painted "simulated alloy finish" found in most other cars. My son has that crap on the armrests of his Subaru, and guess what? It's worn away - right down to the black plastic beneath it! That's the one reason I didn't buy a Ford Edge. (Check out a few used vehicleswith that stuff and you'll see what I mean).
And what's all the hoopla over the Toyota Venza? Has anyone really looked at that thing? I was really disappointed in the cheap interior of that vehicle, including the hard plastic door panels, and paticularly the cheezy, rattley armrest. I've seen better quality come out of a Cracker Jack box! And then there that ugly pug-nose grill that Toyota is so enthralled about, Yuck!
Bottom line - I love my Crosstour. I love its style. I chose classic black, and its gorgeous! In fact, this is the first car I've every owned that people go out of their way to compliment me on. But if you don't like it, that's fine - go buy yourself a frumpy Suburu Forester, or a dated Toyota RAV-4, or maybe a lunch-box styled mini-van. Enjoy!
We have a 2012 V6 and love every minute of it's ride...
I have a Crosstour. It is a wonderful car. I would equate its handling and feel for the road similer to my '85 Audi 5000 which was a major cruising comfy drive. Every time someone sees me getting out of my Crosstour, I truly get comments about how much they love the style. Any detractors of this great car need to stop listening to the pap that gets printed by these people who cannot think outside of the box and then regergitate it to make them feel like they know what their talking about.
I hate to say it most are correct about the ugly look. Several things I had noticed after many years of being a car dude. Some might not agree but Honda has always been a good solid vehicle but, always lacked in the design department on most of there vehicles'.
The same holds true for BMW except for just a very few. Excellent in mechanics, reliable, great vehicles just not good in design. Same holds true for some Lexus, Buick, Lincoln, some Porsche.
Does anyone else see this or is it just my perception.
Honda still didn't fix what needed to be changed, that bubble backend! it remains just as unattractive as its original release. I'll still have to stick with my standard accord coupe I guess.