By Joe Santos - Updated Date: 10/19/2011
Honda calls its 2012 Crosstour a CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle), but we're not so sure. The 2012 Honda Crosstour is part wagon, part sedan, part CUV and 100-percent different. Riding on the same platform as the Honda Accord Sedan the Crosstour Wagon is given clearance to do more, with larger springs that elevate it six inches from the ground, and an available all-wheel-drive system that permits the Crosstour safe passage in foul weather. Defining what the Crosstour represents is easy; defining its competitors, however, is a bit more difficult. The Subaru Outback Wagon might be a good match, only it has more ground clearance, a permanently engaged all-wheel-drive system and more usable cargo hold. One might also pick some of the smaller CUVs such as the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4 as Crosstour competitors, but neither has the athletic good looks or performance-oriented suspension of the 2012 Honda Crosstour. One might even argue that the Accord sedan itself is a competitor, providing the same interior layout, attention to detail and powerful yet fuel-efficient V6 engine. If the 2012 Crosstour Wagon's offbeat good looks don't stop you dead in your tracks, it may be a viable alternative to the bland sedan or ubiquitous CUV.
If you like the ride and handling provided by the Accord Sedan, but your versatile cargo needs exceed that of a traditional trunk, the 2012 Crosstour Wagon makes an excellent choice.
While its wagon-like shape emanates functionality over form, the Honda Crosstour's styling isn't for everyone. Those looking for a more traditional-looking wagon might find the Subaru Outback more attractive.What's New for 2012
Changes for 2012 are limited to the Crosstour EX Wagon and include the addition of auto on/off headlights, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and a USB audio interface. The Accord prefix is dropped, making official what everyone has been calling the Crosstour since its debut.
Despite its radical looks, the 2012 Honda Crosstour Wagon's underpinnings are firmly rooted in the humble Honda Accord family sedan. On long stretches of open road, the Crosstour Wagon possesses the same light and agile driving dynamics as the Accord Sedan. The handling is crisp and precise with body roll and lean kept to a minimum in all but the most hard-core driving situations. The 2012 Honda Crosstour's 4,000-pound weight should act to hold it back, but acceleration with the V6 is impressive thanks in part to a responsive throttle that unleashes the Crosstour's 271 horses without hesitation. Mercifully, Honda's Active Sound Control System cancels out unwanted engine and road noise, creating a quiet and serene cabin. The 5-door Crosstour's tall ride height gives the driver a commanding view of the road, and although rear visibility is good, the new rearview mirror camera further aides the driver when parking or backing up.
Hidden Removable Utility Box
Adding 1.9 cubic feet of space to the rear cargo area, the removable utility box is made of plastic and easily washable; perfect for messy items.
Real Time 4WD
The Real Time 4WD system lets the 2012 Honda Crosstour CUV be more than just a grocery-hauler, allowing it to tread safely regardless of weather.
From the driver's seat it would be hard to discern the difference between the Crosstour and its Accord cousin. The 2012 Honda Crosstour Wagon shares the same logically laid-out dash and center console, as well as the available navigation system. Other highlights include one-touch release levers on the rear seats and soft-touch leather seating surfaces that feel more Acura-like than Honda. Glancing rearward is all it takes to know you are definitely not sitting in an Accord. Behind the second-row seat is a 25.7-cubic-foot cargo hold featuring reversible floor panels useful when the cargo at hand is going to leave a mess behind. There's also a removable utility box and side bins hidden beneath the carpeted floor. Fold the seats down, and the Crosstour can swallow 51.3-cubic feet of stuff, although due to the roofline's low profile, it's better that the stuff in mind is long and low rather than tall and bulky.
From the outside, the 2012 Honda Crosstour appears more like a customized Accord wagon than a purposeful utility vehicle. Its aggressive grille and headlight treatment are very un-Honda-like, as it the sloping rear roofline that gives the appearance of a fastback coupe. That same roofline, however, also severely cuts into the Crosstour's cargo area especially for tall or bulky items. In a nod to the Crosstour Wagon's CUV-like credentials, Honda provides it with 6.2 inches of ground clearance and an available all-wheel-drive system. Although not permanently engaged as on the Subaru Outback, Honda's Real Time all-wheel drive setup shifts torque to the rear wheels as needed then returns to functioning primarily as a front-drive vehicle.
Standard equipment on the 2012 Honda Crosstour Crossover Utility Vehicle includes a 3.5-liter V6 engine, a 5-speed automatic transmission, auto on/off headlights, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, USB interface, cloth seats, a one-touch power moonroof, dual- zone auto climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, power windows and door locks, and a 360-watt AM/FM/6-disc in-dash audio system with seven speakers. Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, electronic traction and stability control, and front-side and side-curtain airbags. Other convenient standard features include 10-way driver and 4-way passenger power adjustable seats, remote entry with power window control, a hidden utility storage compartment and 60/40 split rear seats with one-touch folding.
Optional equipment for the 2012 Honda Crosstour CUV includes Real Time 4-wheel drive, 18-inch wheels and a Honda satellite-linked navigation system with voice recognition and a rearview camera, all of which can only be had by choosing the up-level EX-L trim.
The 2012 Honda Crosstour Wagon is powered by a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine that uses Honda's Variable Cylinder Management system which allows the engine to run on three, four or six cylinders, depending on driving demands. The only transmission choice is a 5-speed automatic that uses Honda's G Shift Control and RPM rev-matching, which "blips" the throttle for smooth downshifts. G Shift holds the transmission in gear when the vehicle is cornering.
192 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
162 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29
271 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
254 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27(2WD), 18/26 (4WD)
The 2012 Honda Crosstour CUV has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price starting just above $31,000 and topping out at around $38,000 with the addition of all-wheel drive, navigation and leather. We expect our Fair Purchase Price to reflect real-world transaction prices in line with sticker prices, so be sure to check it before you begin negotiating price. Unlike most Honda products, Kelley Blue Book expects the 2012 Honda Crosstour to hold only average resale values in the segment, on par with values of the Nissan Murano, slightly lower than the Toyota Venza and well below the Subaru Outback.