What's New for 2015
For 2015, the Honda Crosstour is essentially unchanged from last year.
There was a time when you could buy Honda Accord hatchbacks and wagons. But since the 2010 model year, Hondahas been offering the four-door, Accord-based Crosstour hatchback, which is sort of a blend of these two ideas with a few crossover SUV characteristics thrown in for good measure. Now in its sixth year, the five-passenger Honda Crosstour remains a bit of an oddball among the more SUV-like offerings and wagon choices in this price range.
Compared to the Accord sedan, the 2015 Crosstour boasts an additional 10 cubic feet of room for your belongings with the rear seats up. And thanks to its user-friendly hatchback design, accessing this cargo area is simple. It also has a slighter higher stance than typical midsize sedans, and this makes it easy to get in and out while providing a better view of the road ahead. In addition, shoppers in the Snowbelt will appreciate the Crosstour's available all-wheel drive, a feature that isn't offered on the Accord. And compared to a compact or midsize crossover SUV you might buy instead, the Crosstour gives you handling that's truly carlike.
There are some downsides to the 2015 Honda Crosstour, however. For one, the Crosstour is based on the previous-generation Accord -- not the newest model that debuted for 2013 -- and therefore lacks the newer sedan's refinements. Also, if it's cargo space you're after, the reality is that you'll do better with more traditional (and arguably, less ungainly-looking) crossover SUVs like Honda's own CR-V or the fully redesigned 2015 Nissan Murano without sacrificing much in terms of handling or fuel economy. Another strong pick is the 2015 Toyota Venza, which also manages to walk the line between sedan and wagon characteristics, albeit with more aesthetic success. Still, the Accord undoubtedly has its share of fans and if you're one of them and you're seeking a vehicle that offers Accord-style goodness but with greater utility, the Honda Crosstour probably won't disappoint.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The four-door 2015 Honda Crosstour hatchback is available in two main trim levels: EX and EX-L. From there, equipment varies depending on whether you choose the base four-cylinder or the V6 engine.
The EX comes standard with a four-cylinder engine, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglamps, a sunroof, full power accessories, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), a manual tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio, cruise and phone functions, automatic climate control, a 60/40-split-folding rear seatback, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera (with its monitor embedded in the rearview mirror), Bluetooth phone connectivity and a seven-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer, auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.
The EX V6 model adds a V6 engine, 18-inch wheels, keyless ignition/entry, an 8-inch infotainment screen (the rearview camera display relocated here and features multiple viewing angles) with a dial-type controller, Honda's LaneWatch passenger-side blind spot monitor, dual-zone automatic climate control, a four-way power passenger seat, Bluetooth audio connectivity and an upgraded sound system with Aha and Pandora radio smartphone integration with SMS text functionality. (However, rather than a six-disc in-dash changer, this system has a single-CD player.)
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, forward collision and lane departure warning systems and satellite radio.
The EX-L V6 adds back the V6 engine, 18-inch wheels and keyless ignition/entry. The sole option for the EX-L (with either engine) is a voice-activated hard drive-based navigation system with 16GB set aside for storing audio files.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2015 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 transmission is standard with the four-cylinder, 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.
The EPA's fuel economy estimates for a four-cylinder Honda Crosstour are 25 mpg combined (22 city/31 highway). Front-wheel-drive V6 versions rate 23 combined (20/30) and AWD V6 Crosstours come in at a still respectable 22 combined (19/28).
Standard safety features for all 2015 Honda Crosstours include active front seat head restraints, antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags.
All Crosstours also have a rearview camera, while the EX V6 and all EX-L models have Honda's very useful LaneWatch passenger-side blind spot monitor, which instantly switches the 8-inch screen's display to a low and wide view of the passenger side of the car when the right turn signal is engaged. A camera in the right-side mirror provides the confidence-inspiring view, and acclimating to checking the center dash display is quick and natural. The EX-L models also come with frontal collision warning and lane departure warning systems.
In Edmunds brake testing, the Crosstour V6 stopped from 60 mph in 129 feet, a longer than average distance for this class of vehicle.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Crosstour the best possible rating of "Good" for moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash protection. The Crosstour also earned a "Good" rating for its head restraints/seats for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
Interior Design and Special Features
When it comes to the look of its cabin, the 2015 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, and 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/dial 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 front seats themselves are comfortable and supportive, though some people may find the lumbar support too aggressive. Although this five-passenger Honda hatchback won't work if you need a third-row seat, it offers more than enough room to carry two adults or three kids in the backseat.
Compared to an Accord sedan, the Crosstour is indeed more versatile, with the hatchback allowing you to load bulky items more easily. However, it offers only 25.7 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear seats and 51.3 cubes with them folded; more traditional wagons and crossovers can accommodate quite a bit more. There are rear seat releases located in the cargo area to ease the expansion process, but intrusive wells for the rear wheels further compromise the usefulness of the space.
When it comes to driving dynamics, the 2015 Honda Crosstour shares some of the Accord's classic strengths: It has accurate steering and sure-footed handling for a tall, family-themed hatchback. The V6 models come with a slightly different electric-assisted power steering system (to aid in fuel economy), and you'll be hard-pressed to discern a difference in feel compared to the more traditional system in the four-cylinder model. Still, with its extra weight and higher center of gravity, the Crosstour is decidedly less sporting than the Accord sedan.
We've yet to test a Crosstour with the four-cylinder engine, but performance with the V6 is more than adequate and there's not a big difference in fuel economy between the two. On the open highway, the Crosstour performs admirably, providing a comfortable ride and a quiet cabin at speed. Part of that quietness is due to Honda's active noise-cancellation system.