2012 Honda Crosstour Hatchback - FROM $27,755
The 2012 Honda Crosstour provides more versatility and utility than the Accord sedan upon which it's based, but most crossover SUVs and wagons are better choices.
What's New for 2012
Previously known as the Honda Accord Crosstour, the 2012 Honda Crosstour adopts an abbreviated name. The most notable change this year is the addition of an optional four-cylinder engine. It's less powerful than the still available V6, but it's less expensive and more fuel-efficient. Also, all Crosstours now offer automatic headlights, a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity and an iPod/USB audio interface as standard equipment.
Based on the Accord sedan, the 2012 Honda Crosstour hatchback is meant for shoppers who want a more versatile version of the popular four-door, a crossover that has plenty of utility, but is more wagon than SUV. Relative to the Accord, it offers more than 10 cubic feet of additional luggage capacity that's accessed via a wide hatchback. The Crosstour also bests its sedan sibling by offering all-wheel drive (the Accord is front-drive only) and a quieter cabin.
So far, so good, but when you widen the playing field to include the wagons and crossover SUVs that it will likely be shopped against, the Crosstour becomes a more questionable proposition. Most notably, rivals like the Chevrolet Equinox and the Toyota Venza (not to mention Honda's own CR-V) trump the Crosstour when it comes to cargo capacity.
When you factor in its unique, love-it-or-hate-it styling, the Crosstour becomes even more of a specialty item. Still, with a roomy cabin, pleasant handling and Honda reliability on its side, the Crosstour could prove to be a satisfying choice for certain buyers -- especially those with a soft spot for the Accord.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2012 Honda Crosstour hatchback is available in EX and EX-L trim levels.
The EX comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglamps, a sunroof, keyless entry, power front seats (eight-way driver, four-way passenger), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 60/40-split-folding rear seatback, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and a seven-speaker audio system with a six-CD changer, auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.
The EX-L trim level adds 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats, driver seat memory functions, a cargo cover, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a hidden removable utility box and an upgraded sound system with satellite radio. The sole option for the EX-L is a voice-activated navigation system.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2012 Honda Crosstour is offered with one of two engines. The newly introduced (for the Crosstour) 2.4-liter four-cylinder produces 192 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. The other choice is a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 271 hp and 254 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic is the only available transmission for all Crosstours. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available on the EX-L V6.
In Edmunds performance testing, a front-wheel-drive Crosstour V6 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a class-competitive 7.5 seconds. The EPA estimates fuel economy for the four-cylinder model at 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway and 24 mpg in combined driving. That drops a bit for the V6 Crosstour, with 18/27/21 for front-drive and 17/25/20 with AWD.
Standard safety features for all 2012 Honda Crosstours include active front-seat head restraints, antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the Crosstour V6 stopped from 60 mph in 131 feet, a slightly long distance for this class of vehicle.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave the Crosstour the best possible rating of "Good" for frontal-offset and side crash protection, but the second-worst score of "Marginal" in the roof-strength test.
Interior Design and Special Features
When it comes to the look of its cabin, the 2012 Honda Crosstour is a dead ringer for the Accord sedan on which it is based. This means that materials quality is average and that the center stack is crowded with a plethora of buttons -- adding the optional navigation system only adds to the button overload. Fortunately, the combination of a high-mounted screen, voice activation and a multipurpose control knob serves to simplify operation of the many systems.
Like many choices in this segment, the Crosstour offers a roomy cabin, with respectable head- and legroom in the front and rear seats. The seats themselves are comfortable and supportive, though some may find the lumbar support too aggressive.
Compared to the regular Accord sedan, the Crosstour is indeed more versatile, with the hatchback allowing one to easily load bulky items. However, there are only 25.7 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear seats and 51.3 cubes with them folded. Intrusive wells for the rear wheels further impede usefulness. More traditional wagons and crossovers can accommodate quite a bit more.
As far as driving dynamics are concerned, the 2012 Honda Crosstour shares some of the Accord's strengths -- such as accurate steering and predictable handling -- but with up to 300 pounds of extra curb weight and a higher center of gravity, the Crosstour is a much less sporting choice than the sedan. We've yet to test the Crosstour with the new four-cylinder engine, but power output from the V6 is adequate. The transmission tends to delay driver inputs and hesitates to downshift when passing slower traffic. On the highway, the Crosstour performs admirably, providing a comfortable ride quality and a quiet cabin at speed.