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2012 HONDA CROSSTOUR

ONE OF my reasons for buying a 2012 Honda Crosstour was to preserve the hair on the top of my head.

In fact, I’ve driven more than a thousand cars in my life, and quite a few require a degree of agility—and a trace of hair scraped onto the door opening—when getting in or out. I’m just a tad under 6 ft., but with a long torso and, as the years have passed, a crickety back.

But enough of me. What of this new Crosstour?

The Crosstour is Honda’s Accord crossover. In fact, it initially shared the Accord name.

It’s a 2WD EXL NAV, which in Honda-speak means front-drive with every other option known to Crosstourhood. Its seats are leather-trimmed. Its nav system and Bluetooth phone link have voice actuation. Its sound system has XM Sirius satellite. All told, the car carried a Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price of $33,735, including $830 of Destination and Handling.

The i-VTEC is Honda’s variable valve hardware.

Not explicit in the nomenclature is its 2.4-liter dohc 16-valve 192-bhp inline-4, chosen in lieu of the 3.5-liter 271-bhp V-6. EPA fuel economy differences influenced this choice: the four-cylinder’s 21/29/24 City/Highway/Combined versus 18/27/21 for the six.

I’ve driven both and actually prefer the chassis dynamics of the four-cylinder. Granted, neither is going to chase a sports car down the twisties, but then there is the Miata for that.

Perhaps the Crosstour’s most controversial angle. On the plus side, rear head room is more than adequate and the cargo area is huge.

A key part of the deal—not a rational one, I stress—is this Crosstour’s Basque Red exterior. To my eye, in this color it’s a sibling to the fuel cell Clarity, a car I much respect and whose only color at this point is a similar dark red. Otherwise, I am prepared to withstand the gibes of friends who dislike the Crosstour’s styling. Some, for instance, think it’s overly heavy in the rear. But then who am I to talk?

The opening is flush with the cargo floor. Rear seats fold flat in a 2/3-1/3 split, the operation controlled by levers just inside the hatch.

Its interior is well nigh perfection, seating four of me in comfort. The cargo space is huge, made even more so by folding one or both rear seats. These fold utterly flat, operated most conveniently by levers in the rear cargo area.

The Crosstour’s traditional instrumentation has logically placed buttons functioning so much better than a sequencing of touchscreen menus.

Instrumentation and controls of the Crosstour are blessedly traditional. No touchscreen menus of annoying sequences, simply an array of logical buttons that are easy to use in a moving car. I’ve got to wonder if touchscreen designers ever try their gizmos on less than mirror-smooth roads.

What’s not to like about the Crosstour?

I wouldn’t mind a larger nav screen. On the other hand, Honda has its operational strategies spot-on ideal.

With a 110.1-in. wheelbase and 74.7-in. width, the Crosstour’s size can be a bit daunting. And, of course, its 24 mpg certainly isn’t going to impress any Prius friends.

In fact, cars on my short list included the Honda Fit (eliminated by lack of sunroof in its North American variant), Ford Flex (even larger than the Crosstour and a bit piggy with its fuel), Toyota Venza (a real contender, but minor details of styling and ergonomics seemed better to me in the Crosstour) and Toyota Prius V (my intellect was into it; my heart couldn’t quite come around).

The key dimension for long torsos and crickety backs is from the outer surface of the seat to the door frame top. The Crosstour excels in this regard.

Nevertheless, I strongly recommend any of these to those with long torsos or crickety backs. These fine choices, like the new Crosstour, preserve my hair just fine. ds

One comment on “2012 HONDA CROSSTOUR

  1. Andrea
    September 5, 2012

    We are now driving a boring, utilitarian, massively roomy, professionally presentable, so-much-better-than-any-minivan, family-friendly Accord. Oh, to be retired and driving a jaunty hatchback!

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This entry was posted on August 31, 2012 by in Driving it Today and tagged , , , .
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