2012 Honda Crosstour: New Car Review
Pros: Available all-wheel drive; excellent acceleration; comfortable passenger compartment
Cons: Lower fuel economy; no AWD on four-cylinder model; limited interior hatch storage space
The Crosstour was introduced in 2010. Although it carries a different nameplate, it's essentially a wagon version of the Accord. Not only does the Crosstour share the Accord's outward appearance it also has the same chassis and powertrain options. The biggest distinction is the Crosstour's optional all-wheel-drive system.
The Crosstour is available with two engine choices: a 2.4-liter inline-4 and a 3.5-liter V6. Customers can also choose between either front- or all-wheel drive-but only in the V6 models. Typically, Honda differentiates models and trim levels with letter codes: LX, LS, EX and the like. However, with the Crosstour, every model, regardless of engine, trim, or drive system, is an EX.
Comfort and Utility
The Crosstour, being essentially the Accord wagon, is blessed with a big interior and an even bigger rear end for hauling extra-large stuff. In fact the extra wagon space allows for an impressive 51.3 cubic feet of cargo space.
Up front, the seats are firm and comfortable and certainly have a high-rent appearance-especially when optioned with leather. The front seats are heated and have 10-way electric adjustment. Drivers can access two programmable seat adjustment settings with the push of a button.
The dash, however, is a different story. Fitted with any number of cubbies, cupholders, and other handy designs, the console of the Crosstour is a sea of dark, cheap-looking plastic. Honda has masked the low-quality plastic with a bit of a sparkle finish. It's a highly usable dash and console, but it just doesn't seem to fit the quality and attention to detail of the rest of the vehicle.
Among the many standard items are dual-zone climate control, power windows, power door locks, and cruise control and three 12-volt power outlets. Tech options include Bluetooth phone connectivity, HomeLink remote system and Honda's satellite navigation system.
When fitted with satellite navigation, Honda includes steering wheel-mounted navigation controls along with stereo and Bluetooth cell-phone controls.
Performance & Fuel Economy
At first, the Crosstour was only available with a 3.5-liter V6 producing 271 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque. For 2012, however, Honda added a 2.4-liter inline-4 to the base Crosstour that produces 192 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. No matter which engine or drive system you choose, Honda offers only one transmission in the Crosstour: a five-speed automatic.
The fuel economy of the V6 model has been rated at 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway for the all-wheel-drive model; for the front-wheel-drive model, it's 18/27 mpg. The 4-cylinder's fuel economy has been rated at 21/29 mpg.
The Crosstour has front and front side airbags with Honda's occupant position detection system on the passenger's side, plus side curtain airbags with rollover sensors and active head restraints for the front seats. The Crosstour also features vehicle stability assist with traction control and Honda's advanced compatibility engineering (ACE) body structure to distribute crash energy throughout the front of the vehicle.
The Crosstour platform, based on that of the Accord, is several years old now, but it feels solid even compared with brand-new designs from other automakers. In spite of its large stature, the Crosstour feels light and nimble, especially with the V6. However, the base-level front-wheel-drive model has the same problem as nearly every FWD vehicle: during moderate to hard acceleration, traction is compromised, and driving confidence can be quickly lost. Luckily, the Crosstour has optional all-wheel drive, which is its saving grace and shows again what a significant and palpable difference an all-wheel-drive system can have on the overall feel of a vehicle.The capable Honda all-wheel-drive system takes the Crosstour from a stately wagon to a road-mastering family machine that embraces its full potential.
Other Cars to Consider
Acura TSX Sport Wagon - Starting at $31,360, the TSX Sport Wagon and the Crosstour have more in common than one might think. Both are based on the Honda Accord and feature the same 2.4-liter inline-4 engine and five-speed automatic transmission. In the Acura, though, the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder produces 201 hp, 9 hp more than the Crosstour. Unlike the Crosstour, the TSX Sport Wagon is not available with all-wheel drive.
Toyota Venza - Starting at $27,425 for a four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive model, the Venza is the best direct competitor for the Crosstour. Unlike the Crosstour, the Venza can be ordered with a four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive for $28,875.
Subaru Outback - Starting at $23,295, the Outback comes standard with Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. The base Outback is fitted with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission.
We don't see a home-run reason to purchase the Crosstour without all-wheel drive ($34,540). Without that added capability, the Crosstour is a slightly taller, more expensive Accord with a bit more room in the back.