Can Small Changes Save the Honda Crosstour and CR-Z?

September 21st, 2012

2013 Honda CR-Z

In all honesty, they should probably be discontinued.

Honda, though, remains loyal to its Crosstour and CR-Z, even though they remain two of the company’s slowest-selling models. Instead of letting them quietly fade into automotive history, Honda will give each some much-needed attention and hope car buyers like what they see.

When the Honda Accord Crosstour launched as a 2010 model, no one seemed to know what to make of it. Its odd styling and combination of space, size, pricing and fuel economy never really added up to a convincing value proposition. Car shoppers agreed, and never bit hard enough to help Honda meet its sales projections of 40,000 units per year. Or even come remotely close.

Honda’s not giving up, and for 2013, the Crosstour gets its first redesign. According to Ward’s Auto, Honda believes that a major reason why the Crosstour has failed to find buyers is because people didn’t know what to call it. Honda called it a crossover, but the description didn’t match the product. The solution? Make the Crosstour fit the name. Expect a squared-off front-end, a stronger grille, some lower body cladding and a host of other improvements, including a 6-speed automatic transmission, paddle shifters and a standard back-up camera.

2013 Honda Crosstour

The CR-Z, once hyped as the rebirth of the CRX, has languished as an underpowered, hybrid 2-seater that answers questions most buyers aren’t asking. The 2013 model has debuted, of all places, at the Indonesia International Motor Show. It gets LED running lights, which seem to be all the rage now, along with some minor body changes.

The current CR-Z makes only 122 combined horsepower, 13 from its electric motor and 109 from its 4-cylinder gas engine. For 2013, those numbers will move up to 118 from the gas mill and 20 from the electric motor for, presumably, a total of 138 hp. Will the 16 additional ponies make the CR-Z any more fun to drive? That, of course, remains to be determined, but I sincerely hoped the little Honda would crack the 150 barrier. Maybe the new “Sport” button in the cabin will make all the difference.

Will Honda’s changes be enough to save the Crosstour and CR-Z?

-tgriffith

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Used Honda Crosstour
Used Honda CR-Z

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  1. Catherine
    February 12th, 2013 at 07:34 | #1

    I own a crosstour and love it. Drives nicely, handles great and to me looks good… Two things I don’t like is the size of the back wiper, it’s too small and the trim going across the back. I am used to it but other drivers don’t. It’s not an SUV and that’s the point if you want one then buy one this car gives enough room without the look of an SUV.

  2. Jim Redd
    September 21st, 2012 at 15:46 | #2

    Kinda seems like, instead of changing the Crosstour, they could have changed it’s label. Maybe it’s not a crossover, but a “sport wagon” or something.
    CR-Z still remains a joke. Take out the hybrid system, use a turbo 4-cylinder and you’ve got performance and fuel economy.

  3. Randy
    September 21st, 2012 at 06:14 | #3

    I have a hard time figuring out where Honda is going with its hybrid cars. Why go to all the trouble of engineering such a car and make the hybrid system so weak that it really doesn’t do that much for mileage? Perhaps it is to keep the price point lower, but hybrid buyers aren’t buying based on low price. Perhaps that’s why Toyota hybrid sales are so much greater than Honda? When I shopped for a hybrid, I felt the Honda models simply weren’t competitive. Now that I’ve had the Prius C for about five months, I feel my research was sound, because instead of complaining about mileage much lower than advertised (as Honda hybrid owners have done), my city mileage is in the high 60′s, much higher than the EPA rated city mileage.

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