THE 2012 HONDA CROSSTOUR EX-L REVIEW
Full Review by Andy: Difficult to Define
The Honda Crosstour is part rebel, part conventional. It is part sedan, part wagon, part CUV. It is part practical and part unpredictable.
Whatever it is, the Crosstour is now a mainstay in the Honda lineup. The Honda Crosstour was once named the Honda Accord Crosstour, and this year, the car retains many of the Accord’s likeable features. Similar to the Accord, the Crosstour provides decent and reliable handling and also has an almost identical cabin to its sedan predecessor. If drivers can overcome its controversial styling, they will also enjoy more versatility and 10 more cubic feet of space than the traditional Accord, making it a good candidate for families.
However, this may be a pretty big “if” for some drivers. Nearly 29,000 were sold in 2010 but only about 18,000 were sold in 2011. Sales continue to fall, much to the fluster of Tetsuo Iwamura, CEO of American Honda. He called the Crosstour a “beautiful car,” but admitted that they “went a bit too far” with the styling. (See 80+ images of the Crosstour).
Yet Honda has promised to feed and water the Crosstour and make it grow. There is a reason. Within the Crosstour’s graceless design lurks a surprisingly good vehicle.
The top-tier trim of the Crosstour is the EX-L. It is available with one of two engines. New for 2012 is a petite four-cylinder engine that manages 192 horsepower 100 rpm short of the redline. It bolsters fuel economy by 2-3 mpg compared to the SOHC, 271-horsepower V6, but it sacrifices power. The V6, thanks to cylinder deactivation and other mechanical magic, achieves 18/27 mpg, figures that rout the competing Acura ZDX. Unlike the base trim, the EX-L can be had with all-wheel drive. Two transmissions are available, and both are manually shiftable via the center shift lever.
Honda says the Crosstour has a purpose: to provide the versatility of an SUV with the sportiness of a car. Unfortunately, the peculiar amalgam led to little of either, some critics say. The car is too fat to enjoyably drive and too slow (7.5 seconds from 0-60 mph with the V6) to spike adrenaline. Despite similar aesthetic crimes, the Crosstour is not a BMW X6, and wasn’t meant to be.
Alas, the Crosstour fares little better as a crossover. The Crosstour only has a maximum of 51.3 cubic feet of storage space with the split-folding rear seats down. This is less space than other wagons like the Toyota Venza and Subaru Outback. However, rear-seat comfort and space is better than the Accord and other sedans, and the Crosstour does have a hidden utility box stowed in the rear.
Starting at just over $30,000, the Crosstour EX-L comes with a bland but functional leather-upholstered interior, heated front seats, and basic electronics such as Bluetooth, a rearview camera and a 7-speaker audio system. The Crosstour skimps on gadgets and gizmos in favor of floor mats, an autodimming rearview mirror, and other ergonomic trinkets. Though not exciting, the interior is well-built. The only interior option for an EX-L is a navigation system. A fully-loaded Crosstour EX-L approaches $37,000 with AWD and the V6. At that price the Cadillac CTS Wagon or Volvo XC70 become preferable. Unfortunately, the Crosstour’s beneficial attributes are spoiled by its premium pricing.
2.4-liter inline four-cylinder, 192 hp @7,000 rpm/162 lb-ft of torque @4,400 rpm
five-speed shiftable automatic
21/29/24 mpg (FWD)
3.5-liter V6, 271 hp @6,200 rpm/254 lb-ft of torque @5,000 rpm
five-speed shiftable automatic
18/27/21 mpg (FWD/AWD)
-Price: $33,090 (with V6)
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