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Fact: The Honda Crosstour Was a Trend Setter

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author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2017

I still remember when the first pictures of the Honda Crosstour -- then called the Honda Accord Crosstour -- were posted on the internet in Fall 2009. Honda posted the pictures on their official Facebook page, and the response was instantaneous rage. People called it ugly, awful and horrible, and Honda had to go in and delete many of the, er, angrier comments. Then there was extra controversy when a Honda employee allegedly went in and told people he thought it looked great -- while failing to disclose his employee status.

At the time, several articles were written about this unfortunate unveiling, as it was big news in the public relations world -- an early Facebook car launch, and a massively poor reception. And, of course, it foreshadowed the reception the Accord Crosstour got when it actually went on sale: It came out in 2010, and sales were never strong; a renaming to simply "Crosstour" in 2013 did little to change that, and it was gone after the 2015 model year.

And yet … it was a trend-setter.

The Accord Crosstour was basically the very first of this new crop of "coupe-back" 4-door sedans that has suddenly become a massive trend in the car industry. While it debuted after the BMW X6 came out in 2008 (and after the sloped-back Prius came out in 2004), the Crosstour was the first non-SUV to debut this design as a point of style, rather than gas mileage. And, of course, now it's gone wild: The Audi A7 is a big success, especially from a stylistic point of view. BMW makes a "Gran Turismo" version of the 3 Series with a similar rear end design. Other examples of this phenomenon gaining popularity include the Audi A5 Sportback, BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, the Volkswagen Arteon, the new Honda Civic, and a general trend in the industry of sedans with a sloping, hatchback-like shape, which will (presumably) lead to more actual hatchbacks in the future.

Admittedly, the Crosstour came out with this design at a time when others were also thinking of it: The Porsche Panamera and BMW 5 Series GT debuted the same year as the Crosstour, and I'm not sure exactly which one debuted first. But it doesn't really matter. The point is, the Crosstour was an early adopter, we all laughed at it, and now it's signaling a trend for the industry. Perhaps we should all log on to Honda's Facebook page and apologize for those comments we made eight years ago.

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Fact: The Honda Crosstour Was a Trend Setter - Autotrader