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Honda Tries Again with Updated Crosstour

Honda hopes sales will double for more ute-like CUV.

by on Apr.05, 2012

Honda tries again with the 2013 update of its slow-selling Crosstour model.

Honda hopes to pump some new life into one of its most troubled product lines with a modest but much-needed update for 2013.

No longer linked to the maker’s mainstay Accord, Honda officials are hoping to see sales double for the 2013 Crosstour.  Of course, that starts off a low base.  While the maker presented an assortment of upbeat owner testimonials during the opening of its New York Auto Show preview, the previously named Accord Crosstour simply didn’t connect with the general public.

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As with the new RLX flagship introduced in New York by its up-market Acura brand (Click Here), Honda is calling the Crosstour on its stand a “concept,” though as with the Acura model, the Honda Crosstour show car “is very close to the product we’ll be bringing out this fall,” said Sage Marie.  The executive was a product planner on the program but recently shifted assignments and is now head of Honda public relations.


Honda To Reveal New Crosstour at NY Auto Show

Maker hanging onto slow-selling crossover despite skeptics.

by on Mar.20, 2012

Honda's current Crosstour is struggling so the maker plans to reveal a major update in NY next month.

Honda hopes to kick-start one of its more embarrassing failures when it rolls out a new version of the Crosstour crossover at next month’s New York Auto Show.

For the moment, Honda is holding back details on the Crosstour update, but suggests it will reveal a “new exterior styling direction” during its April 4th news conference at New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center.

It will need one.  Originally launched as the Accord Crosstour, the vehicle followed in the general direction of other recent sedan/CUV body styles, such as the BMW 5-Series GT and X6.  But the Honda version was all but universally panned – at least on the design front.  The Crosstour did do better in terms of quality and reliability ratings, J.D. Power declaring it the “Highest-Ranked Midsize Crossover/SUV” in the 2011 Initial Quality Survey.

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Honda marketers have been struggling to prop up the Crosstour this year.  Notably, they abandoned the link to the Accord line, which they felt might have been confusing potential customers.  Still, demand has been running in the 100s – barely – not the 1,000s, as Honda had originally hoped.


A Car by Any Other Name? 2012 Honda Crosstour

Can a new badge help sell Honda’s struggling crossover?

by on Aug.04, 2011

Honda hopes a new name -- and some added features -- will save the sluggish-selling Crosstour.

Can a new name and a few added features salvage one of Honda’s slowest-selling models?  Apparently, the Japanese maker is hoping so as it transforms last year’s Accord Crosstour into just the Honda Crosstour for 2011.

Even normally upbeat Honda executives, including top American John Mendel, openly acknowledge the quirky crossover hasn’t set the market afire.  Honda sold just 1,477 last month, a 35% decline, with sales barely 11,500 for the full year.  And lest anyone slough that off as a result of the Japanese product shortages, the Crosstour has been falling well short of expectations from the day it was launched.

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Clearly influenced by the sports car/crossover design theme that first appeared with the BMW X6, Honda actually launched two models, the Accord Crosstour for its mainstream brand and the even more slow-selling Acura ZDX, which found only 102 buyers last month.


First Look: Audi A7 5-Door Hatchback

New A7 five-door "coupe" debuts in Europe this fall for €51,600.

by on Jul.27, 2010

Audi is trying to sell some utility and some styling sizzle in an odd configuration at a premium price.

Audi has pulled the wraps off its latest full-size model – the A7 Sportback. The sleek five-door is an attempt to see if there is a growing market for a large, luxurious hatchback design.

Typically hatchbacks are associated with inexpensive compact cars, particularly in the United States.

However, Honda and Acura are working the same area of a thus far unknown market segment with the Crosstour and ZDX models that are currently on sale and very close in dimensions to the A7. BMW is also very much a factor here with its X6, err, SUV. (See First Drive: 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour and BMW X6 M Debuts in New York )

Audi claims the A7 has “the sporty elegance of a coupe, the comfort of a sedan and the practicality of a station wagon.” The German company will find out if potential buyers agree when the quasi-sporty, quasi-luxury car appears this fall in dealers with a € 51,600 ($67,255) starting price.

Open wide for 49 cubic feet of cargo capacity when both rear seat backs are folded forward.

How this segment is classified – crossovers, SUVs, fastback wagons, 4-door hatchbacks, 5-door hatches – will no doubt be the subject of an interminable industry debate, as marketers look for the magic words that will motivate people to spend premium dollars for utility that is less expensively and more efficiently obtained in mainstream offerings.

Sorting the Nomenclature!

While the A7 has the signature Audi grille and option LED headlights that are becoming a distinctive design cue, focus will be on the large rear hatch that provides access to a 535-liter (18.89 cu ft) capacity, which increases to a volume of 1,390 liters (49.09 cu ft) with the rear seatbacks folded forward. The styling works against optimizing room here.


First Drive: 2010 Acura ZDX

Missing the strike zone.

by on Nov.17, 2009

Is it a sports coupe, a crossover, a wagon...or...?  The Acura 2010 ZDX.

Is it a sports coupe, crossover, wagon...or...?

This year marks the 20th anniversary for Japan’s two largest luxury brands, Lexus and Infiniti, but it’s easy to forget that they were latecomers to the high-line market, following a half decade after the introduction of Acura.  With its original Legend sedan, Honda’s up-market division disproved the naysayers who argued the Japanese would never be able to build a word-class luxury car.

Unfortunately, over the years, Acura has had, at best, a mixed record with the models that have followed the original four-door.  It’s pitched some great ones at the market, including the MDX, the TL and the RL, but the marque’s latest model doesn’t even come close to the strike zone.

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The 2010 Acura ZDX is probably the weakest product to join the maker’s line-up since its early mid-size Vigor.  Indeed, it’s difficult to understand what Acura was trying to achieve with the new ZDX, which comes across as the automotive equivalent of a platypus, part crossover/SUV, part truck, part sport coupe.  In this case, it all adds up to less than the sum of its parts.


Honda Confirms Accord Crosstour

Japanese maker planning wagon-like Accord variant.

by on Jul.08, 2009

Honda will launch the 2010 CrossTour by September, with the crossover targeting a niche between CR-V and Pilot.

Honda launches the 2010 CrossTour by September, targeting a niche between the CR-V and Pilot.

With the economy continuing to stumble and car sales languishing, new models like the Toyota Venza, a wagon – or, if you prefer, crossover-type vehicle — built off the Camry platform, haven’t exactly set the world on fire. That’s all the more so after Toyota shut down production last winter as part of a broad campaign to reduce inventories.

Nevertheless, Toyota executives remain relentlessly upbeat about how will it has done in the current market. Since the first of the year, Toyota has delivered 20,463, including more than 4,500 in June.

Now Honda, which often tends to mirror the moves of its chief Japanese competitor — more than its own executives ever want to admit — has confirmed plans for its own wagon-like crossover, this one to be built off the Accord platform.

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Crossover Now!

Dubbed the Accord Crosstour, the all new CUV will go on-sale in the fall of 2009 as a 2010 model, according to officials from American Honda Motor Co., Inc., who are only belatedly confirming what had been widely suspected for months.  (The spy shot shown here, provided by our own Brenda Priddy, first appeared on more than a month ago.)


Spy Shots: 2010 Honda CrossTour

Finding a new niche between CR-V and Pilot.

by on Jun.05, 2009

Honda will launch the 2010 CrossTour by September, with the crossover targeting a niche between CR-V and Pilot.

Honda launches the 2010 CrossTour by September, targeting a niche between CR-V and Pilot.

Once again,  we caught up with Honda’s upcoming Accord-based crossover – not far from where we originally shot it earlier in the week, but this time we managed to get a bit closer! Honda fans have been asking lots of questions and speculating, and we think this newest set of photos will satisfy most.

Based on a modified Honda Accord chassis, this all-new crossover vehicle will start production in September of this year at the East Liberty factory in Ohio. The Accord CUV will slot in-between CR-V and Pilot and will look to do battle with Toyota’s new Venza CUV. It will likely be called the CrossTour.

These early-production prototypes are powered by Honda’s 3.5 i-VTEC engine, but  earlier this year, we observed powertrain mules testing alongside a 2010 Acura RDX. We also noticed these mules accelerating rather briskly, so the 2.3L, four-cylinder turbo motor from the RDX may also have a chance of making it into the Accord CUV.

Subscribe to TheDetroitBureau.comOne thing we know we can count on with the Crosstour is the availability of AWD. This means the new CUV will be sporting Honda’s VTM-4 AWD system.

Additional photos can be seen at

Photo: Brian Williams for Brenda Priddy & Company