2012 Honda Accord Crosstour Review and Prices
The 2012 Honda Accord Crosstour is the best car for you if you can look beyond its debatable styling to the quality crossover beneath.
The 2012 Honda Accord Crosstour is not expected to change in looks or basic design, though Honda could decide the time is right to add a cost-conscious four-cylinder version to the carryover V-6 models. Otherwise, this will in effect remain a station-wagon version of the Accord sedan puffed up to crossover-SUV status via a higher-riding hatchback body and available all-wheel drive (AWD). Launched for model-year 2010 to mixed reviews of its styling, the Accord Crosstour hasn’t been a sales smash. But if Honda’s stylists were indecisive its engineers were resolute. With exceptional passenger room, useful cargo volume, and plenty of solid driving satisfaction, this is a thoughtful alternative to the conventional crossover SUV.
Should you wait for the 2012 Honda Accord Crosstour or buy a 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour? Buy a 2011 Crosstour if you’re uninterested in a possible four-cylinder variant. V-6 versions of the 2012 Crosstour won’t be different enough from their 2011 counterparts to influence a purchasing decision. What might help you decide though is the timing of Crosstour’s “midcycle” facelift. If Honda commits to a second-generation Crosstour – and we think it will – the fully redesigned edition should bow for model-year 2016. That puts the 2013 Crosstour on schedule for the sort of styling tweaks carmakers typically give maturing designs to provide a little finishing kick near the end of their lifecycle. Honda might even pull the facelift forward to model-year 2012 if it believes Crosstour needs a quicker fix to rescue it from marketplace apathy. Normally, we’d caution about buying a model just before its expected midcycle update because its styling details have a relatively short shelf life. Depending on your regard for the Accord Crosstour’s styling, however, that may be a good thing.
2012 Honda Accord Crosstour Changes back to top
Styling: The 2012 Honda Accord Crosstour’s styling isn’t expected to change from the 2011 Crossour’s. But even if Honda does move more quickly than anticipated with a facelift, this car’s basic shape won’t be altered. Midcycle updates seldom amount to more than subtly reshaped grilles and bumpers, maybe revised taillamps, perhaps freshened wheel designs. The 2012 Accord Crosstour doubtless will return as a five-passenger, four-door hatchback with a coupe-inspired fastback roofline. Honda pitches the Crosstour as the flagship of the Accord line and fancies it a unique, upscale take on the modern crossover. Honda aims it at families who want more versatility than a sedan but don’t need three rows of seats. Crosstour’s cabin design and exterior cues will continue to display their Accord sedan DNA. So will its basic underbody structure and it’s this car-like, integrated-body-and-frame “unibody” engineering that qualifies Crosstour as a crossover. By contrast, old-school SUVs bolt their body to a separate frame in a heavier-duty but less fuel-efficient design typical of pickup trucks.
Crosstour’s wheelbase – the distance between the front and rear axles – is virtually identical to the Accord sedan’s. But its body is wider and longer and almost 8 inches taller. That translates to a far more spacious cabin. And thanks to a slightly elevated ride height, Crosstour’s seating position is more authoritative than a car’s relative to surrounding traffic, yet still not as commanding as that of the more conventional 2012 Honda Pilot crossover SUV, for example . Crosstour’s sloped rear roofline keeps it from having as much ultimate cargo volume as more squared-off crossovers. Among these is its closest competitor, the 2012 Toyota Venza. Still, there’s 25.7 cubic feet of space behind the rear seat, which is twice the volume of the Accord sedan’s trunk. Fold down the split rear seatbacks and Crosstour has 51.3 cubic feet of luggage room. That’s still short of the Venza, but pretty accommodating for big objects, provided their bulk is arranged to clear that fastback hatch lid.
Honda could seek to broaden the appeal of the 2012 Crosstour lineup by adding a fourth model. It could slot in as a new entry-level trim level beneath the carried over EX edition. Or it could be slipped in below the two top-line models, the EX-L and EX-L with navigation. The only exterior styling differentiation between the EX and EX-L models thus far has been 18-inch alloy wheels for the EX-Ls versus plainer-looking 17s for the EX.
Mechanical: In keeping with its flagship mission, the 2012 Accord Crosstour will return with Accord’s top engine, a 3.5-liter V-6 likely to remain at 271 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. This smooth-running, entirely capable V-6 is equipped with Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management system that automatically deactivates two or three cylinders to conserve fuel in low-demand driving. Crosstour’s sole transmission has thus far been a five-speed automatic. It delivers power with crisp-enough shifts, but most top rivals employ a six-speed automatic. The extra gear is designed to provide better throttle response and improved fuel economy. Honda has been slow to make the transition to six-speed automatics, but putting one in the 2012 Crosstour would help it feel more contemporary in the showroom and on the road. Crosstour is some 300 pounds heavier than the V-6 Accord sedan (500 pounds heavier in AWD form). That mass could tax performance with a four-cylinder. But if Honda determines a four-cylinder is compatible with Crosstour’s mission, it would likely use the more powerful of the two available in the Accord: a 2.4-liter rated at 190 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. The four-cylinder would be offered only with automatic transmission.
Honda likely would continue to reserve AWD for the V-6 Crosstour. As with virtually all crossover SUVs, Crosstour’s standard drivetrain is front-wheel drive. By concentrating the mass of the drivetrain in the nose of the car, front-wheel drive means efficient packaging lots of weight over the wheels that propel the car, for good traction in snow. All Accord Crosstour LX models have thus far been front-wheel drive, with AWD confined to the Crosstour EX-L models. This crossover-conventional AWD system is intended as an all-weather grip-enhancer, not an invitation to off-roading. The system normally operates in front-drive but automatically apportions power rearward if the front tires slip. It returns to front-drive when traction is restored. Honda doesn’t provide a front/rear AWD lock-up as do some truckier crossovers, including the 2012 Honda Pilot. Towing capacity for V-6 Crosstours should remain a modest 1,500 pounds or so.
Features: Honda doesn’t offer options, per se, instead equipping each model in a lineup with a sharply defined hierarchy of features. That strategy won’t change with the 2012 Accord Crosstour. But adding a third trim level to the Crosstour lineup could allow Honda to migrate some desirable features it has thus far reserved for the top-of-the-line EX-L model. These include heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth mobile-phone connectivity, USB iPod interface, and a cargo cover. Leather upholstery and a navigation system also have been exclusive to the EX-L model.
Even if it doesn’t redistribute features with an expanded lineup, Honda should explore adding to the 2012 Crosstour roster such upscale items as a double-pane panoramic sunroof. It also could enhance safety with the simple addition of a low-cost rearview camera system that displays on a portion of the inside rearview mirror. Rivals have one – so does the Pilot. Otherwise, Crosstour buyers will continue to be compelled to spring for an EX-L with navigation to get a rearview camera. Crosstour’s navigation system also includes the USB iPod link and voice activation.
Barring introduction of a relatively stripped entry-level model, expect every 2012 Honda Accord Crosstour to continue with standard features in tune with this crossover’s upscale aspirations. Power front seats, power moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, iPod auxiliary jack, heated mirrors, and manual tilt/telescope steering wheel with audio and cruise buttons have been standard from Crosstour’s inception. So have antilock four-wheel disc brakes, traction and antiskid control, torso-protecting front side airbags, and head-protecting curtain side airbags.
2012 Honda Accord Crosstour Prices back to top
The 2012 Honda Accord Crosstour pricing will be announced shortly before it goes on sale. Addition of a lower-cost trim line would of course drop the price of entry. Absent that, expect a 2012 Accord Crosstour price range of roughly $32,000-$39,000. (Prices in this review include the manufacturer’s destination fee; Honda’s fee for the 2010 Crosstour was $710.)
Estimated price for the 2012 Honda Accord Crosstour EX is $32,000; it’s so far come only with front-wheel drive. Estimated price for the 2012 Honda Accord Crosstour EX-L is $35,000 with front-wheel drive and $36,500 with AWD. Figure the 2012 Honda Accord Crosstour EX-L with navigation at $37,200 with front-wheel drive and $38,700 with AWD.
2012 Honda Accord Crosstour Fuel Economy back to top
EPA fuel-economy ratings for 2012 models were not released in time for this review, but Honda, like all carmakers, seeks improved gas mileage. A four-cylinder engine for the 2012 Accord Crosstour would likely earn higher EPA ratings than this crossover merits with the V-6 – though the difference could be narrower than you might expect, both in ratings and in real-world conditions. Most carmakers that resort to four-cylinder engines in vehicles of this size intend to achieve a lower price of entry, not dramatic improvements in fuel economy.
Based on its track record, expect 2012 Honda Accord Crosstour V-6 fuel-economy ratings of about 18/27 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 17/25 with AWD. The Crosstour V-6 runs on regular-octane gas.
2012 Honda Accord Crosstour Release Date back to top
The 2012 Honda Accord Crosstour should be in showrooms in autumn 2010. It’ll again be built alongside the Accord sedan at Honda’s assembly plant in Ohio.
What's next for the 2012 Honda Accord Crosstour back to top
No automaker has enjoyed solid sales success with one of these experiments in more-than-a-car but not-quite-an-SUV. Remember the Chrysler Pacifica? How many BMW 5-Series Gran Turismos have you seen lately? So why bet that Honda will field a second-generation Crosstour? Because within the car world, Honda buyers are an educated, affluent lot. Attracted to the brand by its classy commitment to sound engineering and efficient design, Honda buyers can often afford to pay more for a car but choose not to. And when they do buy a Honda, especially one that’s more expensive than a Honda Civic compact or Fit subcompact, they tend to go for costlier trim levels.
The Crosstour fills a niche for the Honda loyalist who wants something larger, more distinctive, and rarer than an Accord sedan. This buyer is immune to the upper-crust airs of Honda’s premium Acura brand. And bigger, boxier crossovers hold little appeal. Whether these folks exist in sufficient numbers to keep Crosstour afloat only Honda’s accountants can say for certain. But Honda has a lot of prestige invested in the free-thinking approach represented by the Crosstour, especially since the brand has come under criticism for supposedly losing its sense of innovation and design leadership.
Frankly, this first-generation Crosstour’s iffy appearance isn’t the best advertisement for Honda’s design leadership. Part of this is simply because the packaging and proportioning of these new-age crossover wagons renders it difficult for stylists to make them look beautiful. But don’t expect Honda to stop trying.
The 2016 Honda Accord Crosstour won’t deviate much from this first generation’s market positioning. It could shrink a bit in overall size and it’ll likely have a more useful cargo-carrying shape. It’s sure to have more fuel-efficient powertrains that could include a turbocharged four-cylinder, a diesel V-6, or gas-electric hybrid. As for the styling, look for more sharply defined lines and a sleeker overall fuselage-themed shape. Don’t look for it to appeal to everyone, however.
2012 Honda Accord Crosstour Competition back to top
Toyota Venza: Toyota inflates its midsize Camry sedan to create a crossover wagon that’s more stylish than the Crosstour, if not quite as rewarding to drive. Venza matches the Honda for passenger room, but its squared-off tail provides a larger and more useful cargo hold. Four- and six-cylinder power – both with six-speed automatic transmissions – and front- or all-wheel drive are on tap. Four-cylinder Venzas start around $27,000 and rate around 21/29 mpg. V-6 versions start around $30,000 and rate around 19/26. Overall, Venza’s a must-see if you’re considering a Crosstour and aren’t wedded to the Honda brand. Its next big changes should come in model-year 2013.
Subaru Outback: Not so much a new-age crossover as a smart blend of station wagon and AWD versatility. This Subaru is a good match for Crosstour and Venza in size inside and out, but is more capable in deep snow and even ready for medium-duty off-roading thanks to advanced AWD technology standard on every model. Four-cylinder Outbacks are priced from around $25,000 and rate about 22/29 mpg. Six-cylinder models start around $29,000 and rate about 18/25. Outback’s not due major alterations for several years.
Nissan Murano: Nissan drives this Altima sedan spin-off deeper into traditional-SUV territory than Honda or Toyota do with their Crosstour and Venza. But with its jelly-bean styling and emphasis on car-like road manners over ultimate cargo room and off-road ability, Murano is worth checking out as a “safer” fashion choice than the other crossovers in this review. A strong V-6 Murano’s only engine and this five-seat, four-door wagon rates some 18/23 mpg with both front- and all-wheel drive. Nissan showed it isn’t above taking chances, however, when it expanded the 2011 Murano lineup added a two-door, four-passenger convertible to the lineup. Tabbed the Murano CrossCabriolet, it’s the world’s first crossover SUV convertible.