By Derek Price
It would be a lot easier to love this car, the Crosstour, if Honda didn’t do such a good job with the Accord and CR-V.
As it is, though, the Crosstour seems like a bit of a misfit that is outshined in some ways by those other cars on your Honda dealer’s lot.
The basic idea makes sense. The Crosstour is a beefed-up, all-wheel-drive cousin of the Accord that takes advantage of America’s insatiable appetite for crossover vehicles. A car that rides a few inches higher than the Accord and is marketed to the ever-popular “active lifestyle” buyer must have seemed like a surefire way for a Honda exec to climb the corporate ladder.
And to the right buyer — someone who loves its swept-back roofline, high seating position and perfectly firm suspension — the Crosstour could be a great fit.
To most people, though, I think either the Accord or CR-V would be more logical.
If you want a Crosstour that gets better gas mileage, has sportier handling, looks prettier, goes faster and costs less money, you can get that. It’s called the Accord Sedan.
And if you want one that offers 3 percent more passenger volume and a whopping 37 percent more cargo volume to make it more useful, all while starting $4,000 less and getting better fuel economy, you can get that, too. It’s called the CR-V.
The Crosstour does have some advantages, though, chiefly for people who want an upscale feeling and like the way it looks.
With a starting price of $27,530 and topping out around $44,000 when you check every box on the option sheet, the Crosstour is marketed as a premium product. My test car certainly felt that way, with a tightly built cabin and squeak-free ride that reminds me why so many people love their Hondas.
While the base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that makes 192 horsepower, I don’t recommend it. A much better choice is the 3.5-liter V6 because it makes a lot more power — 278 horses, which feels great in a car this size — without sacrificing much fuel economy. The V6 is rated for 30 mpg on the highway, compared to 31 for the smaller engine.
You can also get it with all-wheel drive, which helps keep the Crosstour stable in wet or icy conditions, along with my favorite new Honda gadget: the LaneWatch camera that shows your blind spot every time you use the right turn signal.
Overall, I see the Crosstour as a niche vehicle. It doesn’t offer as much practicality as many crossovers do, but it does offer a unique twist on the Accord’s tried and true formula that makes it a good fit for people who like its sense of style.
At a Glance
What was tested?
2015 Honda Crosstour 4WD EX-L with Navigation ($37,390). Options: None. Price as tested (including $880 destination charge): $38,270
Wheelbase: 110.1 in.
Length: 196.6 in.
Width: 74.7 in.
Height: 61.5 in.
Engine: 3.5-liter V6 (278 horsepower, 252 lbs.-ft.)
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Estimated Mileage: 20 city, 30 highway
2015 Honda Crosstour
Why buy it?
It offers a unique sense of style and all-wheel drive, along with an upscale driving presence.