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The Clever Crossover Utility Vehicle -- Honda's Crosstour

By Arv Voss, December 10th, 2011

The Honda Crosstour is designed to function as a practical crossover vehicle. The Crosstour just may represent the epitome of crossover vehicles, delivering a modernized form of versatility in subtle fashion. For the 2012 model year, Crosstour becomes the official vehicle name, as Honda has decided to drop "Accord" Crosstour from the title.

The 2012 Crosstour's styling is sleekly aerodynamic, displaying a gracefully sculpted and contoured body that belies its highly functional and versatile interior. The Crosstour is instantly recognizable as a Honda from the front, with a steeply raked windscreen, while the profile displays a low, curved roofline ending with a sharply angled rear hatch.

The interior design complements the exterior styling with contemporary, flowing shapes, with switchgear and gauges that are ergonomically placed for easy operation in intuitive, purposeful groupings.

Power for Honda's Crosstour comes from a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 with variable cylinder management. The engine generates 271 horsepower at 6,200 rpm, while also making 254 lb.-ft. feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. The transmission is an electronically controlled five-speed automatic unit. The Crosstour also provides 6.0 inches of ground clearance.

Crosstour is available in the EX trim starting at $30,340 and more highly refined, feature-rich EX-L trim in either 2WD (front) or Real Time 4WD. My test 2012 Honda Crosstour was in EX-L with Navigation in the 4WD configuration with the base price set at $36,540.

Elevated levels of utility and innovative features include accommodating under-floor storage and reversible cargo area floor panels for soiled objects, along with the large-opening tailgate that provides a low lift-over height for ease in loading and unloading.

There's also an 8.4-inch deep under-floor Hidden Removable Utility Box that provides 1.9 cu.-ft. of storage space while including a durable removable tray that can be used for temporary storage of wet or dirty items. Two side trays provide additional space for smaller items, and the carpeted lid of the cargo box may be flipped over to the plastic side protecting the carpet from dirty items.

The 2012 Crosstour's large greenhouse allows for excellent outward visibility, while deeply tinted privacy glass is used in the rear side doors, wedge-shaped rear quarter windows and rear tailgate.

The power output of the V-6 with variable cylinder management, not only delivers a more than satisfying level of acceleration when needed, but also alternately maximizes fuel economy when full power isn't required.

The Crosstour's 5-speed automatic transmission provides several features engineered specifically to match performance requirements, including: extra-wide gear ratios for good low-end response and comfortable highway cruising; a computer-controlled lock-up torque converter with Honda Grade Logic Control technology aids in holding the vehicle in a lower gear when climbing or descending a steep grade for improved performance. Lower gears may be conveniently selected manually to achieve engine braking on downhill runs while saving the brakes, or for added pulling power.

Crosstour's rack-and-pinion steering with its speed-sensitive, variable power assisted system, and the handling package, delivers a sporty, fun-to-drive quality across a very broad range. The Honda Crosstour is a desirable crossover that delivers a unique and individualistic approach to sensible and pleasant transportation.

Specifications

Base price $36,540 (as tested: $37,350)
Displacement 3.5-liter
Epa mileage rating 17 mpg city, 20 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 18.5 gal.
Horsepower (net) 271 at 6200 rpm
Motor type 24-valve SOHC V-6 w/MPFI
Overall length 196.8 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 254 at 5000 rpm
Transmission 5-speed automatic
Vehicle type 5-passenger 4WD midsize CUV
Wheelbase 110.1 in.
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