2014 Honda Crosstour EX-L V6/ AWD/ NAVI Test Drive

2014 Honda Crosstour EX-L 4WD/NAVI?
A Blend of Versatility and performance

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The Honda team came to the marketplace in 2010 with their all- new Accord Crosstour. The Accord Crosstour was designed to function as a practical vehicle without coming across as looking like it was designed to fall into the practicality genre. It may possibly represent the epitome of premium crossover vehicles, delivering a modernized form of versatility, but in a somewhat subtle fashion. It is ?Discreetly utilitarian? to put it in Honda?s terminology. The Accord association was dropped in 2012, and became simply the Honda Crosstour with the 2013 model year.

The Crosstour?s styling is sleekly aerodynamic, displaying a gracefully sculpted and contoured body that belies its highly functional and versatile interior. It is instantly recognizable as a Honda from the front, with a steeply raked windscreen, while the profile displays a low, curved roofline ending with a sharply angled rear hatch that incorporates a dark, transparent panel for enhanced rearward visibility. The body sides display pronounced wheel wells, a chrome trimmed, teardrop-shaped cabin glass area with ?blacked-out? ?C? and ?D? pillars that generates a coupe-like effect, as well as a unique spear-like crease that moves upward from the front to the rear, while changing to a raised character line defining the shoulder and ending at the taillamp. A secondary character line influence appears at the rocker level with a stylized running board effect. No exterior panels are shared with any other Honda model.

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The interior design complements the exterior styling with contemporary, flowing planes and shapes, and switchgear and gauges are ergonomically placed for easy reference and operation in intuitive purposeful groupings. Last year, the Crosstour introduced auto on/off headlights, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and USB audio interface, with standard features on the Crosstour EX including projector-beam headlights, fog lights, 17-inch aluminum wheels with P225/65R17 all-season tires, a moonroof, body-colored power side mirrors with defrost, chrome door handles, auto up/down driver and front passenger side windows and rear privacy glass. Inside are dual-zone automatic air conditioning with second-row?ventilation, a 360-watt AM/FM 6-disc audio system with seven speakers, steering wheel-integrated audio controls, a compass and outside temperature indicator, cruise control, an easy fold-down 60-40 split rear seatback, a hidden removable utility box and more.

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Crosstour EX-L adds 18-inch aluminum wheels with P225/60R18 all-season tires, leather-trimmed seating surfaces with heated front seats, a memory driver-side seat and memory side mirrors with reverse tilting capability, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, Kevlar? cone audio speakers, front aluminum dome-type tweeter speakers, an auto day/night dimming rearview mirror, a HomeLink? transmitter and a cargo privacy cover.

Honda?s Satellite-linked Navigation System3 and Real Time? 4WD mentioned above are available together or separately on the Crosstour EX-L. The Navigation system includes a rearview camera with guidance lines integrated into the display.

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Power for 2014 Honda Crosstour models continues to be provided by either an East/West oriented, 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine, or an Earth Dreams technology 3.5-liter SOHC, 24-valve, i-VTEC V6 with variable cylinder management and electronic Multi-point fuel injection, placed up front. The V6 engine generates 278 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm, while also making 252 pound feet of torque @ 4,900 rpm. The engine features Variable Cylinder management. The electronically controlled transmission is a six-speed automatic unit with Grade Logic Control that transfers power in 2WD models to the front wheels and features paddle shifters. For CUV capability, the Accord Crosstour provides 6.0 inches of ground clearance with the availability of optional Real Time? 4WD drive with either engine choice.

Safety technology includes Honda?s Advanced Compatibility Engineering? body structure, an exclusive body design that enhances occupant protection and?crash compatibility in the event of a frontal collision. Additional standard safety
equipment includes Vehicle Stability Assist?, commonly referred to as Electronic Stability Control; anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist; side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor; driver?s and front passenger?s side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System dual-stage, multiple threshold front airbags; and active front seat head restraints.

The Crosstour is available in two model choices: the well-equipped EX and more highly refined and feature enhanced EX-L in either 2WD (front) or Real Time? 4WD. Both models are available with or without Navigation systems.

The 2013 Crosstour became one of the first Honda models with keyless Smart Entry with Push Button start availability. The 2014 Crosstour continues to offer that feature along with Honda?s LaneWatch? blind-spot display, utilizing a camera system mounted on the passenger side mirror to provide an enhanced rearward view of the passenger-side roadway that appears in the center console screen. Other standard features include the rearview camera and modified rear headrests.

On the safety front, the 2014 Honda Crosstour provides features including available Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Warning. The 2014 Crosstour continues to display ruggedly elegant and premium exterior styling; a luxurious interior design and materials; the available Earth Dreams? 3.5-liter V-6 engine; class-leading EPA-estimated fuel economy (up to an estimated 31 mpg2 highway); an available 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters (V-6); and available HondaLink? featuring Aha? compatibility.

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My test 2014 Honda Crosstour was in EX-L trim with Navigation, in the Four-wheel drive configuration. The exterior was finished in Mountain Air metallic, while the interior was done in Beige and Charcoal tones with faux wood trim accents on the instrument panel and door panels. The base price was set at $37,240, which was bumped to $38,070 after adding the Destination and Handling charges.

SUMMARY: The 2014 Honda Crosstour 4×4 EX-L V6/Navi model serves its purpose extremely well, fulfilling multiple roles equally, combined in a stylish, visually pleasing exterior design that seems to fall into a range somewhere between minivan-like and a more radical CUV elliptical form that shares satisfying interior appointments from passenger amenities to cargo hauling solutions.

Elevated levels of utility and innovative features include accommodating under-floor storage and reversible cargo area floor panels for soiled objects along with the large-opening tailgate that provides a low lift-over height for ease in loading and unloading. Each side of the comfortably angled 60/40 split rear seat backs fold down automatically, courtesy of a separate release handle for each side, creating 51.3 cubic feet of cargo space in the process.

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There?s also an 8.4-inch deep under-floor Hidden Removable Utility Box that provides 1.9 cubic feet of storage space while including a durable removable tray that can be used for temporary storage of wet or dirty items. Two side trays provide additional space for smaller items, and the carpeted lid of the cargo box may be flipped over to the plastic side protecting the carpet from dirty items. The rear cargo area measures 41.7 inches long by 55.7 inches wide (at its widest point). Maximum cargo length measures 75.5 inches with the rear seats reclined. The Crosstour EX-L model is additionally equipped with a cargo cover that?provides out-of-sight storage for valuables. The cover opens and closes in tandem with the tailgate for convenient one-motion access to the cargo area.

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The Crosstour?s large greenhouse allows for excellent outward visibility, improving comfort and convenience for all occupants, while deeply tinted privacy glass is used in the rear side doors, wedge-shaped rear quarter windows and rear tailgate. The upper tailgate glass incorporates an intermittent rear wiper and washer nozzle and an electric defogger system is incorporated into both the upper and lower glass sections.

The power output of the Earth Dreams 3.5-liter, i-VTEC V6 with variable cylinder management, not only delivers a more than satisfying level of acceleration when needed, but also alternately maximizes fuel economy when full power isn?t required. The Crosstour?s 6-speed automatic transmission provides several features engineered specifically to match performance requirements, including: extra-wide gear ratios for good low-end response and comfortable highway cruising; a computer-controlled lock-up torque converter with Honda Grade Logic Control technology aids in holding the vehicle in a lower gear when climbing or descending a steep grade for improved performance. Lower gears may be conveniently selected manually to achieve engine braking on downhill runs while saving the brakes, or for added pulling power.

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Crosstour?s rack-and-pinion steering with its speed-sensitive, variable power assisted system, and the handling package, delivers a sporty, fun-to-drive quality across a very broad range. The ride quality is that of a sporty mid-sized sedan.

Bottom-line, the 2014 Honda Crosstour continues as a highly desirable CUV that delivers a unique and individualistic approach to sensible and pleasant transportation. Categorize it however you like, its visual appeal seems to generate either a love or hate reaction.

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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Honda Crosstour EX-L 4WD V6/NAVI [/wptabtitle]
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Base Price: $37,240.
Price as Tested: $38,070.
Engine Type and Size: 3.5-liter, SOHC, 24-valve i-VTEC V6 with Variable Cylinder Management and electronic Multi-point fuel injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 278 @ 6,200 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 252 @ 4,900 rpm
Transmission: Electronically controlled six-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front / Four-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front – Double wishbone with front shock tower bar and 28.6mm stabilizer bar.
Rear – Independent Multi-link with 14mm stabilizer bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front), with ABS, BA, VSC and EBD.
Tires: Michelin Latitude 225/60 R18 100H mounted on 5-“V”-spoke two-tone painted alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 110.1 inches
Length Overall: 196. 6 inches
Width: 74.7 inches
Height: 61.5 inches
Curb Weight: 3,928 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 18.5 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 19 mpg city / 28 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: Not listed.

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