2013 Honda Crosstour
2013 Honda Crosstour
2013 Honda Crosstour
2013 Honda Crosstour. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Simon Hill

While Honda’s Crosstour can hardly be considered a new model, you’d be forgiven if you thought it was: Honda has only sold about 3,000 examples of this unusual-looking crosshatchagon since it was introduced to Canadians back in 2010, so despite the passage of time there remain precious few examples on the road and likely only a handful outside of major metropolitan areas.

Honda apparently believes the lack of uptake results from confusion among potential buyers, with American Honda’s assistant Vice President of Product Planning Vicki Poponi admitting that “People weren’t exactly sure what it was [because] it was a tweener.” Meaning it sits between segments, known commodities like crossovers, hatchbacks and wagons.

Note the past tense, because Honda has apparently fixed the problem: It has revised the styling so that the Crosstour looks… umm… almost exactly the same as it did before, and it has added a four-cylinder front-wheel-drive powertrain to the lineup, giving the crosshatchagon (which is what I think you should call vehicles in this micro-segment) a new lower price.

The changes don’t stop there, either: six-cylinder all-wheel-drive models get more power and a new six-speed automatic with paddle-shifters (there’s no front-drive V6 option anymore), and there are improved interior materials for all models, available push-button start and forward collision warning, available blind-spot display and lane-departure warning, a new Kona Coffee colour, plus a few other changes.

I wasn’t able to try out the improved six-cylinder power because my test car had the newly available four-cylinder engine. Suffice to say that the 3.5L V6 now makes an additional 7 horsepower for a total of 278 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. That should certainly be plenty enough power because my four-cylinder test car already had enough power for comfortable daily driving thanks to its familiar 2.4L i-VTEC inline four, which in this application produces 192 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, comes mated to a five-speed automatic, and will push the 1,631 kg Crosstour from 0–100 km/h in about 10.5 seconds.

2013 Honda Crosstour2013 Honda Crosstour
2013 Honda Crosstour. Click image to enlarge

I also wasn’t able to really see the styling changes without digging up photos of the outgoing 2012 model for some side-by-side comparisons. Honda says the Crosstour has “a more rugged, active, and premium look.” Certainly it has new contrasting lower cladding, SUV-like bumper underguards and a chunkier, more deeply sculpted front fascia with bigger fog light surrounds, but what still strikes me most about the Crosstour, and pulls my attention away from any minor styling details, are the vehicle’s unique and unusual proportions.

My neighbours, who are perennially in the market for a new car (just as soon as their old car stops refusing to die) thought the Crosstour looked kind of cool and useful, and asked me all about price and performance. Personally, I think it looks rather bulbous and heavy at the rear end, but the styling didn’t bother me any from behind the wheel, so there you go.

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