Sometimes a midsize sedan is not enough, yet an SUV is too much. For times like that, there's the 2012 Honda Crosstour. Back in the day, the family vehicle of choice was the station wagon, but station wagons seem to have fallen out of favor. Then, there was the minivan, which was supplanted by the SUV. Now, the crossover vehicle rules the day. The Crosstour leans more toward the world of cars than it does toward SUVs, but packs enough utility into its tidy package to bridge the gap. The 2012 Honda Crosstour 2WD EX-L Navi V6 carries a base price of $35,190 ($36,020 as tested), with a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and EPA estimates of 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway. Let's drive.
The 2012 Honda Crosstour, much like its most direct competitor the Toyota Venza, occupies an odd space in between the traditional crossover vehicle and the traditional midsize sedan. Crosstour shares a lot of components with the Accord Sedan, but adds a lot of bulk in place of the Accord's notchback design. An Accord Sedan can hold 14.7 cubic feet of groceries in its trunk; the Crosstour can swallow 25.7 cubic feet behind the second row. Fold down that second row, and there's room of 51.3 cubic feet of supplies. That's the difference between a Safeway run and a Costco trip; and that's the big difference with the Crosstour.
Drivers who feel more comfortable with the sedan seating position will appreciate the Crosstour. It took me a little while to get used to being so close to the ground. One of the things that I love about SUVs and most crossover vehicles is the command seating position. Crosstour doesn't get that, but what it does get is a grounded, solid road feel, with none of the tippy feeling that some SUVs can develop through the turns.
Crosstour is available with a choice of two engines, just like Accord: the familiar 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder, or the venerable 3.5-liter V6. There's a fuel economy penalty to pay with the V6, about 3 mpg, but the V6 is better matched to the Crosstour's bulk. My test vehicle came with the V6 and front-wheel drive, which is exactly how I'd spec out my Crosstour. If you live in an area that gets lots of snow, you might want to opt for all-wheel drive. It won't make much of a difference on dry roads, though.
I'd have to measure the Crosstour against the Toyota Venza, but I'd also compare it to the few wagons available, like the Subaru Legacy Wagon, the Audi A4 Avant, the Volvo V50 (discontinued, but still available on some Volvo lots) and the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen. I'd also compare the Crosstour with crossover vehicles like the Subaru Outback, Ford Flex, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and others.
For buyers who are intense Honda loyalists, Crosstour offers a way of staying within the Honda family without succumbing to the big SUV or cramming the family into a too-small sedan. Even though Crosstour didn't blow me away with its features or abilities, in typical Honda fashion it left me very impressed. After a week driving a Crosstour, I didn't have to perform any mental gymnastics to imagine a Crosstour living in my garage, easily handling 95% of the tasks that I toss at my SUV. And that's saying something.
- Some of the best features of a sedan with some of the best features of an SUV.
- Smooth on the road.
- Deceptively roomy cargo compartment.
- Thirstier than comparable sedans or crossover vehicles.
- Generally good means that it doesn't excel in any one area.
- Sedan seating position sacrifices an SUV's view of the road.
Details and specs:
- Base prices: $27,755 (EX 2WD I4); $30,805 (EX-L 2WD I4); $32,905 (EX-L Navi 2WD I4); $30,440 (EX 2WD V6); $33,090 (EX-L 2WD V6); $35,190 (EX-L Navi 2WD V6); $34,540 (EX-L 4WD V6); $36,640 (EX-L Navi 4WD V6)
- Engine: 2.4-liter Inline 4 or 3.5-liter V6
- Horsepower: 192 @ 7000 (I4); 271 @ 6,200 rpm (V6)
- Torque: 162 @ 4,400 rpm (I4); 254 @ 5,000 rpm (V6)
- Transmission: 5-speed automatic with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive
- Fuel Economy: 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway (I4); 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway (V6 FWD); 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway (V6 AWD)
- Wheelbase: 110.1" Vehicle Length: 196.8" Width: 74.7" Height: 65.7"
- Curb Weight: 3,852 - 4,070 lbs
- Cargo: 25.7 cubic feet behind second row; 51.3 cubic feet behind first row.
- Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles basic; 5 years/60,000 miles powertrain