In a bid to boost sales of their flagging Crosstour crossover, Honda is introducing a four-cylinder engine to the line, providing a lower entry price and higher mileage. The Crosstour often referred to as the answer to the question nobody asked is an gangly looking Accord with a higher roofline, a large hatchback profile and more percieved offroad capability.
The addition of the largish 192 hp 2.4 liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine does provide a boost in miles per gallon, which is now up 3 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway. You can order up the four-cylinder Crosstour in both EL and EX-L trim grades.
Honda also boosted the level of standard features to make the Crosstour more appealing in the marketplace. These include an automatic dimming rearview mirror, a rearview mirror back-up camera display for non-Navigation models, convenient auto-on/off headlights, and of course Bluetooth capabilities.
Four-cylinder models have body-color door handles and unique 17-inch alloy wheels with P225/65 R17 all-season tires. Two new colors are available on all 2012 Crosstour models: Twilight Blue Metallic replaces Glacier Blue Metallic, and Basque Red Pearl II replaces Tango Red Pearl.
Premium interior styling, appointments and details extend from the passenger compartment all the way through the cargo area. An under-floor storage area in the rear of the vehicle adds functionality, while reversible cargo floor panels accommodate dirty objects.
The only big surprise here is that Honda only gave the four-cylinder model a five speed automatic transmission in a time when virtually all competitors have moved on to more fuel efficient six-speed boxes.
While the new less expensive Honda Crosstour four-cylinder model will surely pick up a few extra sales, we doubt it will make a significant bump in the larger pitcture. The Crosstour is a bit of an oddity in the marketplace, not a full blown SUV, not a car. What is it? Well Honda seems to be still figuring that out.