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Honda Crosstour

Mudfest 2013: Tom's Hardware Helps Test 23 SUVs
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Honda has a long history of creating hatchback versions of its Civics and Accords. In fact, the Accord debuted as a hatchback. A sedan version followed a year later. The first-gen Accord hatchback was a more traditional square box, but that changed with the second-generation variant, which sported more coupe-like styling and the convenience of a hatchback. The aesthetic continued into the third-gen Accord, and then was put to rest with the follow-up to that when a more traditional station wagon emerged. Unfortunately the Accord wagon met its demise after only two generations.  

Meet the 2013 Honda Crosstour, refreshed with a little tweaking and more SUV-like styling. Honda drops the Accord brand, simply calling the car Crosstour. It slides in between the CRV and Pilot in Honda’s line-up.

Honda implemented somewhat controversial design elements. The front half looks like a familiar Accord, while the back half is a mix of the sloped rears of '80s hatchbacks with a window typical of wagons. Add in more rugged cladding that reminds us of Subaru's Outback, and you can see why we call the Crosstour hit or miss. We're frankly not very fond of it.

Our Crosstour arrived with the Honda navigation system featuring Aha Radio and Pandora compatibility. Two displays come installed: an eight-inch Multi-Information Display takes the top-center spot and a smaller touchscreen sits where you traditionally find a radio. We found the configuration a little odd, though the touchscreen's purpose changes depending on the app or mode being used, leaving the larger display for conveying information. There wasn’t enough time for us to explore all of the available capabilities, but our HTC Droid DNA paired easily. It just didn't support text messaging or any other niceties.

Also, our iPad plugged in and functioned as-expected. Honda was one of the first manufacturers to announce Siri Eyes-Free support. Unfortunately, the Crosstour did not have this function implemented. We asked the Honda rep about it and he mentioned the feature is still in beta.  

The Crosstour employs the same drivetrain as Acura's RDX: a 3.5-liter “Earth Dreams” V6 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and Real Time AWD system. Power delivery consequently feels a lot like the RDX, though Honda's Crosstour puts you closer to the ground. Real Time AWD starts off feeling a lot like front-wheel drive in the Crosstour as well, with a tendency to understeer before power is sent to the rear wheels.

While blind-spot detection systems are becoming popular among family-class vehicles, Honda’s answer to the blinding question is to install a camera. Honda LaneWatch technology installs a camera on the passenger side mirror that automatically turns on when you use the right turn signal. The camera displays on the vehicles MID display and provides a live view of the car’s blind spot. You can also manually turn on the LaneWatch camera with a press of the button mounted on the turn signal stalk too. We found this feature pretty cool and imagine it’d be quite useful for daily driving.

When it comes to safety aids, our Crosstour sample came with Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Warning technologies. These passive systems rely on a small camera mounted above the rear-view mirror, sounding off audible and visual warnings in the instrument cluster when you veer out of the lane or a potential collision is detected.

Vehicle Specifications
Vehicle
2013 Honda Crosstour
Trim level
4WD EX-L Navigation V6
Engine
3.5 L "Earth Dreams" V6
Transmission
Six-speed automatic with paddle shifters
Drivetrain
Real Time AWD
Infotainment
Honda Navigation System
Notable features
Forward collision warning
Lane departure warning
Rear multi-view camera
LaneWatch
Fuel economy
19 city, 28 highway, 22 combined MPG
MSRP
$37,920
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