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2012 Honda Crosstour

The 2012 model has a high equipment level: Full leather interior, dual zone climate control system, tilt/telescoping steering, heated front seats, XM satellite radio, and the usual power modern conveniences all came standard

Ted LaturnusIntroduced in 2010 and based on the Accord platform, the Honda Crosstour wagon shares almost no body parts with its sedan counterpart, although it has the same V6 drivetrain. There’s no four-cylinder version.

Displacing 3.5 litres, the V6 engine develops 271 horsepower and 254 foot-pounds of torque, which gives it lively performance. Comparatively, the Toyota Venza, a direct competitor, is good for 268 horses. So performance-wise, these two are pretty much neck-and-neck. Transmission is a five-speed automatic only.

By 2012, you could get it with front or all-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive system was of the full-time variety and about as inconspicuous as these things get. Unless you got caught in deep snow or sand, you wouldn’t even know it was there. The system used in the Crosstour was completely different from the arrangement used in some of the company’s other products.

This model year has a relatively high equipment level: full leather interior, dual zone climate control system, tilt/telescoping steering, heated front seats, XM satellite radio, and the usual power modern conveniences all came standard and you can find a navigation package, which includes a backup camera and steering-wheel-mounted controls.

Storage capacity is a healthy 1,453 litres with the back seats folded, and the back door is a one-piece affair that opens like a hatchback. Honda’s CR-V SUV of the same year has about 2,064 litres of space.

Click here to downloadThe Crosstour has the attractive driveability that Honda has been building into its Accord models almost since the first one was introduced to the North American market in 1976. The V6 can be a little on the growly side, and Toyota’s Venza V6 is probably smoother with a more refined power delivery, but it’s a close call.

Transport Canada has one safety recall on file for the 2012 Crosstour, and it’s a fairly complicated one. Apparently, the secondary shaft bearing in some automatic transmissions can fail and result in all kinds of problems, including instant loss of power, various trouble lights flashing on the dashboard, loss of park, and possible damage to the transmission.

To this we can add an airbag recall from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for 2010 to 2012 models. Apparently, some Crosstours may have a passenger-side airbag that was improperly installed and may not protect an “unbelted child” in the event of an accident.

Six technical service bulletins are on file with NHTSA. They ranged from software issues to premature spark plug fouling to malfunctioning lights coming on when the engine oil level gets a little low.

As far as Consumer Reports is concerned, this is a good one. Aside from some minor issues with the suspension, it gave the Crosstour top marks virtually right across the board, with a “good bet” designation. It rated an overall “better than average” grade and, according to CR, “combines the appearance and versatility of a wagon and hatchback without looking like an SUV.”

Some comments from owners:

  • “like to see a power liftgate”;
  • “seats were the most comfortable I’ve ever sat in”;
  • “rear quarter reminds me of the Porsche Panamera.”

It also received high marks from marketing researcher J.D. Power. Aside from comfort, style, and body and interior accessories quibbles, it got the best marks this organization can bestow and an “among the best” grade for overall performance and design.

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But it was all to no avail – by 2015, the Crosstour was no more.

Still, this one has held its value well. From a base price of around $35,000 for the two-wheel-drive version in 2012, it’s still fetching at least $10,000 to the high teens. The all-wheel-drive versions seem to be valued at about $1,500 to $2,000 higher than the base models.

2012 Honda Crosstour

Original base price: $34,900
Engine: 3.5 litre V6
Horsepower: 271
Torque: 254 foot pounds
Transmission: five-speed automatic
Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 12.3 city and 8.0 highway, with regular gas.
Alternatives: Toyota Venza, Nissan Murano, Volkswagen Tiguan, Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Wagon, Subaru Forester.

Ted Laturnus has been an automotive journalist since 1976. He was named Canadian Automobile Journalist of the Year twice and is past president of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). For interview requests, click here.

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