If there’s one thing the world needs, it’s a huge hatchback with off-road pretensions. At least, that’s what Honda thought when it came up with the Crosstour.
Honda calls it an SUV, which slots into the line-up below the more off-roadery Pilot. We’re not really sure what it is. Calling it an SUV seems ambitious, as only one model in the range has four-wheel-drive.
It’s utility credentials are questionable, too. The boot is generous by saloon standards, but that steeply raked rear window severely compromises its usefulness.
Then there’s the styling, which manages to be both bland and bloated. Likewise, the interior is hardly interesting. Not that you expect anything different from a Honda.
It is beautifully made and the V6 engine has plenty of grunt. But that doesn’t make up for the fact we simply don’t know who the Crosstour is for.
It’s not as practical or as capable off-road as a proper SUV. And it won’t tempt people out of traditional saloons because it’s a big hatchback. Which absolutely nobody buys in the countries where it’s sold.
The sales figures show as much, the Crosstour only trickling out of showrooms. But, for now, they’re sticking with it. In the US it enjoys a small but loyal band of followers, presumably people who live in snow states and don’t fancy a Subaru.
This is what happens when a struggling car manufacturer gropes around for a niche that’s cheap to fill. You end up with a car that tries to do too many things, doesn’t do any of them especially well and ends up just being confusing.
If you want a Honda saloon, buy an Accord. If you want a Honda crossover, get a CR-V. Keep it simple.