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The Honda Crosstour has been something of an automotive whatcha-ma-call-it. Buyers have found it hard to identify what the high-riding wagon is all about, and so have we. Honda even started out by calling it the Accord Crosstour, and then changed its name to help give it more of its own identity. But with other popular crossovers already in Honda's stables, trying to carve out a niche for the Crosstour has been no easy task.

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When the Honda Accord Crosstour launched back in 2009 as a 2010 model, we didn't quite know what to make of it. We weren't exactly taken with its styling and we didn't get its value equation, either. It drove well enough, but fell behind the segment's fierce competition in terms of space, amenities, visibility and pricing. The market seemed to agree, and the model never got near Honda's (traditionally conservative) sales projections of 40,000 units per year.

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You almost have to feel sorry for Patricia Smith, the former controller at Baierl Acura who embezzled over $10 million from the suburban Pittsburgh dealership. Despite having stolen roughly $4,000 a day, seven days a week, for seven years, Smith's personal automotive aspirations extended no further than a new Honda Crosstour. Apparently being a criminal mastermind does not ensure good taste.

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This is the 2013 Honda Crosstour Concept, along with its "more capable-looking styling" that's been revealed today at the New York Auto Show.

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Honda has announced it will debut a concept version of the 2013 Crosstour at the New York Auto Show next month. Details are scarce at the moment, but we wouldn't be surprised if the vehicle turns out to be a thinly veiled look at the next version of the funky crossover. Honda has a long and storied history of rolling out concepts with more than a passing resemblance to its production models. Given that the Crosstour has only been on the market for a couple of years, we aren't anticipating an all

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Back when Honda launched the Crosstour in 2010, it fielded questions from the media asking why it chose to forego a four-cylinder model. At the time, officials indicated that a four-cylinder engine would result in minimal fuel economy improvements, noting that the company's aim was to target premium-minded customers for whom the 3.5-liter V6 seemed more appropriate.

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The figures have been tallied for the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in 2011, and not surprisingly, the Ford F-Series pickup truck is king of the heap once again. Dealers sold a total of 584,917 F-Series units in 2011, beating out the second-place Chevrolet Silverado by 169,787 units. The Toyota Camry filled out the podium with 308,510 sales, which left the top three unaltered from their 2010 rankings. Fourth place went to the surging Nissan Altima, which jumped from its seventh place position

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Ever since the launch of the, uh, polarizing Honda Crosstour, the rumormill has been buzzing with word that Honda might someday add a four-cylinder engine to the lineup. Makes sense, since the Accord on which it's based offers a four-pot, and the CUV's key competitor, the Toyota Venza, also offers a more efficient four-cylinder powertrain.

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Tokyo highlights, 100-million small blocks, Hyundai MPG flap, Honda Crosstour sales

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We record Episode #259 of the Autoblog Podcast tonight, and you can drop us your questions via our Q&A module below. Check out our discussion topics or chime in to help determine what else the crew chats about this evening. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.

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In a roundtable with reporters at an event related to the Tokyo Motor Show, Tetsuo Iwamura, President and CEO of American Honda, told us that he's been surprised by the Crosstour crossover's slow sales:

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Ah, the Honda Crosstour. The oddly shaped, curiously impractical crossover carries on for another model year, albeit with a slightly shortened name. That's right, for 2012, Honda has dropped the 'Accord' name from the Crosstour, meaning it will now have to stand alone in the automaker's lineup (and on the company's sales charts, natch).

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2010 Honda Accord Crosstour – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2011 Honda CR-Z – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Honda Accord Crosstour HFP Concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

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