Honda butching up Crosstour for 2013 because 'people weren't exactly sure what it was'

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.

Since that time, Honda has tried to build momentum with the model by deleting its Accord appellation (it's now just " Crosstour") and adding a four-cylinder model, but sales haven't budged. Through August, Ward's Auto reports that Honda has managed to shift just 12,857 units, and its best-ever year, 2010, it only managed 28,851 units.

For 2013, the Crosstour is getting its biggest push since launch with its first major rework, and the logic behind the facelift is interesting. 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 (or presumably, what to cross-shop it against). Honda marketed the model as a crossover, but as Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president-product planning opines, "people weren't exactly sure what it was (because) it was a tweener." So Honda responded by showing the thinly disguised 'concept' seen above at the New York Auto Show in April, and the showcar is expected to match the as-yet-unseen 2013 production model almost exactly. If that's the case, Honda will clearly butch up the five-door's lines for the new model year, with a squared-off jaw, bolder grille, contrasting lower cladding, and so on.

What's more, Honda is also addressing our criticism about a lack of amenities by giving the cabin a new eight-inch information display, revamped trim, keyless start and paddle shifters on the V6. In addition, the V6 model will receive a new six-speed auto in place of the 2012 model's five-speed unit. To combat the Crosstour's inherently poor visibility, Honda is fitting all models with a standard backup camera and its trick LaneWatch blind-spot system will be offered as an option.

Will these changes be enough to jumpstart the Crosstour's fortunes in the marketplace? Have your say in Comments.

Honda Crosstour Information

Honda Crosstour

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