Honda has updated its controversially-styled Crosstour midsize crossover for the latest model year. Though two-row family hauler wasn't treated to a full-scale redesign, it does gain a new face along with an Earth Dreams V6 and several new tech features.
The most significant design change from the outgoing model is an oversized chrome grille that dominates the front fascia. Unpainted cladding now adorns the lower portions of the body; it teams with faux skid plates at the front and back to create what Honda calls a "rugged and premium" look. The polarizing extended tail carries over from last year.
While it continues to ride on the platform of the last-generation Accord, the Crosstour now offers Honda's new Earth Dreams 3.5-liter V6. It produces 278 horsepower along with 252 lb-ft of torque and pairs with a new transmission - a six-speed automatic, rather than one of the CVTs that have been spreading through Honda's lineup. Thanks in part to a cylinder-deactivation system, the powertrain is more efficient than the one it replaces - with front-wheel-drive, mileage is up two mpgs in both cycles to 20/29 mpg, while all-wheel-drive models gain a single mpg in the city and two mpgs on the highway for a total of 18/28 mpg.
The entry-level motor continues to be a 2.4-liter inline-four that pairs with an antiquated five-speed automatic and cranks out 192 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. However, a few minor tweaks have boosted fuel economy for the FWD-only four-cylinder model to 22/31 mpg, up from 21/29 mpg.
Inside, the Crosstour continues to feature virtually the same interior as the previous Accord (at least from the rear seats forward), which means high-quality materials throughout and an attractive albeit slightly button-intensive dashboard. The Crosstour boasts a useful 25.7 cubic feet with the rear seats up and a truly roomy 51.3 cubic feet when they are folded. It also features an eight-inch deep under-floor Hidden Removable Utility Box with a reversible lid.
For the latest model year, all trim levels receive a backup camera. High-end EX-L models get a new touchscreen mounted in the center stack for the HondaLink infotainment system in addition to forward collision and lane departure warning systems.
Uniquely, Honda's available "LaneWatch" system uses a camera mounted on the passenger-side mirror to transmit an image of the blind spot to the eight-inch infotainment screen. For more information on LaneWatch, visit our Spotlight On: Honda LaneWatch in-depth article.
Trim Level Breakdown
The Crosstour is offered in EX and EX-L trim levels. Only the EX-L can be spec'd with the optional all-wheel-drive system.
The EX model comes standard with projector-beam headlights, moonroof, body-colored power side mirrors with defrost, auto-up/down driver and front passenger side windows and rear privacy glass. Inside, features include automatic climate control with second-row ventilation, a backup camera, a 360-watt AM/FM 6-disc audio system with seven speakers and a USB audio interface, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel-mounted cruise, audio and phone controls, an easy fold-down 60-40 split rear seatback, a hidden removable utility box and 17-inch alloy wheels
The four-cylinder Crosstour EX-L adds leather-trimmed seating surfaces with heated front seats, a memory driver-side seat and memory-linked side mirrors with reverse gear tilt-down capability, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, dual-zone automatic climate control, an automatic dimming rearview mirror, a premium audio system with Kevlar cone speakers and front aluminum dome-type tweeter speakers, HondaLink, Honda LaneWatch, Pandora radio compatibility, XM Radio and more.
Safety technology includes the Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, a Honda-exclusive body design that enhances occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal collisions. Additional safety equipment includes: Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), commonly referred to as Electronic Stability Control; anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist; side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor; driver's and front passenger's side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS); dual-stage, multiple threshold front airbags; and active front seat head restraints.
Other entrants in the tall wagon/crossover segment include the Subaru Outback, the Toyota Venza and the Ford Flex.