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The 2013 Honda Crosstour provides more versatility and utility than a midsize sedan, but most crossover SUVs and wagons are better choices.
Roomy seating; carlike driving dynamics; quiet cabin; available all-wheel drive.
Limited cargo capacity; button-heavy controls; controversial styling.
Available Crosstour Hatchback Models
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For 2013, the Honda Crosstour receives refreshed exterior styling, upgraded cabin materials, a more powerful V6, a six-speed automatic (V6 only) and a few newly available convenience/safety features. Also, EPA fuel mileage estimates improve, as does the vehicle's roof-strength safety score.
More a large fastback-roofed hatchback than a true crossover, the 2013 Honda Crosstour offers a few perks over the related Accord sedan. There are about 10 more cubic feet of seats-up cargo capacity, and it's easily accessed thanks to that hatchback design. There's also the availability of all-wheel drive and handling that's more carlike than the typical crossover's.
This year's Crosstour also features a number of improvements, including a more powerful V6 engine paired to a new six-speed automatic transmission, available keyless ignition/entry and newly available driver aids such as blind-spot display and lane-departure/forward collision warning. Additionally, front and rear end styling has been revised for a more rugged look.
But the reality is that we still think there's more to be gained from some of the Crosstour's more practical wagon- and SUV-style crossover competitors. Models such as the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox or 2013 Nissan Murano provide considerably greater (and more easily accessed) cargo space thanks to their more functional, boxy shapes and still drive quite competently. We also like the more wagonlike 2013 Toyota Venza if for nothing else than its more graceful styling. But if you have a soft spot for Hondas and want something between a sedan and crossover, the Crosstour should be a satisfying choice.
The 2013 Honda Crosstour hatchback is available in EX and EX-L trim levels.
The EX comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglamps, a sunroof, keyless entry, eight-way power driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, automatic air-conditioning, a 60/40-split-folding rear seatback, a rearview camera (with its monitor embedded in the rearview mirror), Bluetooth and a seven-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer, auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface. The EX V6 adds 18-inch wheels, keyless ignition/entry, an 8-inch monitor for the rearview camera, a blind-spot monitor, dual-zone automatic climate control, a four-way power passenger seat, Bluetooth streaming audio and an upgraded sound system with Pandora radio.
The EX-L includes the EX V6 features (less the 18-inch wheels and keyless ignition/entry) and adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, driver seat memory functions, a cargo cover, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a hidden removable utility box and satellite radio. The EX-L V6 further adds the 18-inch wheels and keyless ignition/entry. The sole option for the EX-L is a voice-activated navigation system.
The 2013 Honda Crosstour offers a choice of two engines. One is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 192 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. The other is a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 278 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic is standard on the four while a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters comes with the V6. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available on the EX-L V6.
In Edmunds performance testing, a previous V6/five-speed automatic front-wheel-drive Crosstour accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a class-competitive 7.5 seconds. We'd expect the current, slightly more powerful V6 with the six-speed to be a few tenths quicker.
The EPA fuel economy estimates range from 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 25 mpg in combined driving for a four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive version down to a still respectable 19/28/22 for a V6 with all-wheel drive.
Standard safety features for all 2013 Honda Crosstours include active front-seat head restraints, antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. The EX-L models add forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning systems.
In Edmunds brake testing, the Crosstour V6 stopped from 60 mph in 131 feet, a slightly long distance for this class of vehicle.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave the 2013 Crosstour the best possible rating of "Good" for frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash protection.
When it comes to the look of its cabin, the 2013 Honda Crosstour is a dead ringer for the previous-generation Accord sedan on which it is based. This means that the center stack is crowded with a plethora of buttons -- opting for the navigation system only adds to the button overload. Fortunately, the combination of a high-mounted screen, voice activation and a multipurpose control knob serves to simplify operation of the many systems.
The Crosstour offers a roomy cabin, with respectable head- and legroom in the front and rear seats. The seats themselves are comfortable and supportive, though some may find the lumbar support too aggressive.
Compared to an Accord sedan, the Crosstour is indeed more versatile, with the hatchback allowing one to load bulky items easily. However, there are only 25.7 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear seats and 51.3 cubes with them folded. Intrusive wells for the rear wheels further impede usefulness. More traditional wagons and crossovers can accommodate quite a bit more.
As far as driving dynamics is concerned, the 2013 Honda Crosstour shares some of the Accord's strengths -- such as accurate steering and predictable handling -- but with up to 300 pounds of extra curb weight and a higher center of gravity, the Crosstour is a much less sporting choice than the sedan. We've yet to test the Crosstour with the four-cylinder engine, but performance with the V6 is more than adequate. On the highway, the Crosstour performs admirably, providing a comfortable ride quality and a quiet cabin at speed.
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