The Honda Crosstour's styling appears unconventional today, but, what with vehicles such as the Toyota Venza and the BMW 5-series GT becoming more common on our roads, it looks as if convention might be changing.
The Crosstour's styling is nothing if not divisive. I do think that it looks better in person than in pictures, so I guess I'm starting to warm up to it a bit. The interior is well done and far more comfortable and attractive than either the Toyota Venza or the Nissan Murano. My only serious complaint about the cabin is the busy central dash. There are too many similarly sized buttons and they don't seem to be arranged in any logical way. For me, a simple radio or HVAC adjustment required a quick once over, over and over again even after spending a weekend with the car.
One has to wonder if Honda's vaunted packaging engineers were out to lunch the day this design came through their office. The major oversight with the Crosstour is the way the rear-struts poke into the rear cargo hold. The similarly sized Toyota Venza also uses struts in back, but somehow avoids such sacrifices in interior space. This design flaw, along with the sloping profile puts the Crosstour at a huge utility disadvantage compared to the Toyota.
When talking about the Honda Crosstour, of course the first thing everyone comments on is the exterior styling; ignoring this is like ignoring the proverbial elephant in the room. But climb into the driver's seat, grab hold of the thick steering wheel, and find some empty roads. The Crosstour's driving dynamics resemble those of the popular Accord sedan.
If you can get past the unusual exterior (it's taken me a few months to warm up to it), you'll find the Crosstour is a competent competitor to Subaru's latest Outback. It may not have as much cargo space-thanks to the sloping rear hatch-but the car feels and drives very similar. Here, though, you're treated to Honda's strong 3.5-liter V-6, a smoother transmission, and a much more upscale interior.
Evan's comparison between the Accord Crosstour and the Subaru Outback seems appropriate enough, but I couldn't stop comparing it with the Toyota Venza. Both the Toyota and the Honda are new models, and both feature, shall we say, distinctive, styling. Both start in the high $20,000 range (although the Honda is more expensive), both have strong V-6 engines (optional in the Venza's case), and both drive fairly well but will never be mistaken for sports cars, let alone their sedan siblings.
2010 Honda Crosstour AWD EX-L