Think of the 2014 Honda Crosstour as an Accord by a different name, and with a different body. Introduced in 2010, the Crosstour is a higher-riding, hatchback version of Honda's best-selling sedan with available all-wheel drive. In fact, it was originally called the Accord Crosstour to emphasize the family ties. Not quite a car and not quite a crossover SUV, the 5-passenger Crosstour is a genre-buster. As long as you don't need a huge cargo hold or 3-row seating, it's a compelling alternative to traditional crossovers.
What's New for 2014?
Following a face-lift for the 2013 model year, the Crosstour is unchanged for 2014.
What We Like
Optional all-wheel drive; smooth and powerful V6; decent fuel economy; spacious back seat; solid technology roster
What We Don't
All-wheel drive only available on fancy EX-L V6; limited cargo capacity compared to true crossover SUVs
The 2014 Honda Crosstour comes with either 4-cylinder or V6 power. The 4-cylinder is rated at 192 horsepower, while the V6 cranks out 278 hp. The transmission varies based on engine: The 4-cylinder gets a 5-speed automatic, and the V6 features a 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
Front-wheel drive is mandatory on 4-cylinder models. All-wheel drive is offered with the V6, but only in EX-L trim.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the 4-cylinder Crosstour returns 22 miles per gallon city/31 mpg hwy, with the front-wheel-drive V6 close behind at an impressive 20 mpg city/30 mpg hwy. Gas mileage in the all-wheel-drive EX-L V6 drops to 19 mpg city/28 mpg hwy.
Standard Features & Options
The Crosstour hatchback is offered in two trim levels (EX and EX-L), each of which offer two engine choices (4-cylinder or V6). All-wheel drive is available only on the EX-L V6. All Crosstour models have five seats.
The base EX ($28,000) comes standard with 17-inch wheels, fog lights, air conditioning, a rearview camera with a small rearview-mirror display, Bluetooth, a 10-way power driver seat, a sunroof, and a 7-speaker audio system (including a subwoofer) with a USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack.
The EX-V6 ($31,900) adds the V6 engine and the 6-speed automatic transmission, 18-in alloy wheels, keyless entry/ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-in infotainment screen in the dashboard (including a larger rearview camera display), the LaneWatch blind spot camera system, an automated text-message reading feature, a 4-way power passenger seat, Aha mobile-app integration, a separate audio touchscreen and Pandora Internet radio.
The EX-L ($32,000) reverts to the 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed transmission but adds additional safety features such as forward-collision and lane-departure warning. It also includes satellite radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, leather upholstery and heated front seats with driver memory functions.
The EX-L V6 ($34,500) adds back the V6 powertrain and the EX-V6's 18-in wheels, as well as a HomeLink garage-door opener. All-wheel drive is optional on the EX-L V6 for around $1,500 extra.
Optional on all EX-L models is a navigation system ($2,100) that brings a higher-resolution 8-in infotainment screen, voice-command functionality, 16 GB of digital music storage and illuminated auxiliary steering-wheel controls.
The Crosstour comes with six airbags (front, front side, full-length side curtain), active front-seat head restraints, anti-lock disc brakes and stability control. The EX V6 adds camera-based blind spot monitoring (LaneWatch), while the EX-L tacks on forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning systems.
The Crosstour received the top rating of Good from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in all crash-test categories. While the government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not yet carried out full crash safety ratings on the Crosstour, the hatchback earned four stars in the agency's rollover tests.
Behind the Wheel
Although the Crosstour is based on the previous-generation Accord, its ride quality was notably better than that of the sedan. We enjoy the Crosstour's elevated ride height and surprisingly quiet interior for a Honda. Handling predictably suffers due to the higher center of gravity, but the Crosstour is still one of the most carlike vehicles in its class.
Under the hood, the standard 4-cylinder engine is nothing to be ashamed of, but we'd spring for the V6, if possible; it's nearly as fuel efficient and much more powerful. We also prefer the new 6-speed transmission, which comes with the V6 only.
The Crosstour is great for passengers thanks to its firm, well-shaped seats and generously proportioned rear quarters. Maximum cargo capacity falls short of crossover standards, however, checking in at just 51 cu ft with the rear seats folded down. That's a usable amount, but virtually every proper crossover offers more. Compared to the regular Accord sedan, though, the Crosstour is a paragon of practicality.
Other Cars to Consider
Acura TSX Sport Wagon -- Like the Crosstour, the TSX Sport Wagon is based on Accord architecture and features a similar 4-cylinder engine. Unlike the Crosstour, however, the TSX Sport Wagon is not available with all-wheel drive.
Toyota Venza -- The Venza is the Crosstour's closest rival, and it offers a combination that the Crosstour does not: 4-cylinder power and optional all-wheel drive.
Subaru Outback -- The Outback is more crossover-like than ever, and it outdoes even the Venza with its standard 4-cylinder, all-wheel-drive package.
Since there's so much to gain from the V6's power and so little to lose from its fuel economy, grabbing at least the EX-V6 seems a no-brainer if you can swing it. Ideally, we'd want the L model's leather upholstery, too, as it brings even more supportive seats.