New Car Review: 2013 Honda Crosstour

Front 3/4 view of 2013 Honda Crosstour

About six weeks ago, we raved about the 2013 Honda Accord and made mention of how it was evidence of Honda recovering.

The Crosstour is what the Accord is recovering from.

Don't let the Honda-supplied images throw you. The Crosstour is nowhere near that sleek and svelte.  It's a last-gen Accord pulled and stretched and jacked up and.....

2013 Honda Crosstour rear 3/4 view

Regular TireKicker readers know that I'm not a Honda hater.  The best car I ever owned was an '84 Civic that I bought new and kept for 14 years and 144,000 trouble free miles before giving it to a friend who really, really needed a car...and it served that family well for quite a while after. For a long, long time,  Honda made cars that were not only reliable, but intelligent.

The problem here is that someone thought that there might be a niche between sedan and minivan or crossover SUV and that jacking up a sedan, giving it a fastback roofline and a hatch and calling it a new concept was the answer.  And we can't bust Honda for this.  BMW started the march in the wrong direction with its gawdawful ugly X6.  Honda's upscale sister division Acura jumped on the bandwagon with the even more scarifying ZDX.

But Acura has had the good sense to pull the plug on theirs.  Honda freshened the Crosstour for 2013 saying people "needed help knowing what it was".

Okay. It's as described above, a jacked-up, pulled and stretched last-gen Accord. It costs, in base EX trim, $27,230.  But that's with a four-cylinder engine that makes 192 horsepower. It weighs 3700 pounds, 500 more than an Accord sedan. You need more than that to get out of your own way.

So you want the V6.  That's $30,890.  But you don't want that one either.  Because I dare you to tell me you can see out the rear window of this thing.  You can't.  Not well enough to feel confident backing out the driveway, anyhow.  So you need the EX-L, which comes with a rearview camera.  And the EX-L V6 starts at $33,015.  We're already almost six grand above the base vehicle.  And you can go higher.  Our test vehicle was the EX-L with navigation. That's $37,090...almost 10 grand above base. Add $830 for destination and handling, and it's $37,920.

2013 Honda Crosstour rear view, hatch open

You can seat five, carry some stuff in the back, see out the back with a camera and...oh, yeah, mileage is passable. EPA says 19 city, 28 highway.

So, I'm going to suggest....

That you buy a Honda.

Just not this Honda.

Because for about the same money as the base Crosstour, there's a Honda that seats 8 instead of 5, carries a lot more, comes with the V6 standard and gets exactly the same EPA mileage estimate, and that you can see out of.

It's the Honda Odyssey minivan.  Buy that instead and maybe Honda will follow Acura's lead and deep-six the Crosstour and focus on rediscovering the light, smart, sleek in its DNA the way it has with the new Accord.