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2014 Honda Crosstour EX-L Quick Take

By Keith Buglewicz on February 12, 2014 8:14 AM
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The 2014 Honda Crosstour is a smart, comfortable, quiet, and feature-packed variation on the Honda Accord formula. Its hatchback design gives you more cargo space, and the drop-down rear seatbacks let you expand it with the tug of a very convenient cargo area-mounted handle. It is, in a lot of ways, a return to a car that a lot of enthusiasts miss: the Accord Wagon.

For the 2014 model year, the Crosstour was refreshed inside and out. The interior is much more similar to the current-generation Accord, including nifty technologies like the touch-screen center stack, and Honda's blindspot-eliminating Lane Watch camera. It's quieter than I remember as well, and the V-6 engine and all-wheel drive made it a sure-footed companion on a rare rainy night in Los Angeles. In most objective as well as subjective measures, the Honda Crosstour is a well thought out and clever hatchback.

Also: 2014 Compact Cars at a glance

It's marred by its looks though, and it's a case study in how not to draw a car. It's funny looking, not outright ugly like the unloved Pontiac Aztek, but weirdly proportioned. The front end is too aggressive and pointy, while the rear is smoothed out to the point of being bulbous. It's a weird mismatch of proportions, one that just doesn't mesh well despite its usefulness. The sharp-edged-yet-rounded design also contributes to a feeling of bulkiness, helped in no small part by its increased ride height. 

I do have one hope for the Crosstour though: that Honda sticks with it. It hasn't exactly set the sales charts on fire, true, but the idea of a hatchback Accord is a good one, and Honda certainly could use a mid-sized two-row SUV in its lineup to slot between the compact CR-V and the three-row Pilot. Run it through the same style-enhancing process that the Accord itself went through, and the Crosstour could be a winner.

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