By on April 9, 2015

crosstour

First it was the Toyota Venza. Now the Honda Crosstour is being sent to the farm where it can be with other, odd-looking pseudo-CUV type vehicles.

According to Ward’s Auto, sales of the Crosstour plummeted by nearly 40 percent since the start of the year. The Crosstour has always had a dedicated core of loyal followers, but evidently that wasn’t enough to sustain its sales.

Like the Toyota Venza, the Crosstour was a black sheep. While the CR-V is America’s favorite crossover, the Crosstour never found anywhere close to the same reception that the CR-V, Pilot or Odyssey did. The homely looks and more appealing stablemates didn’t do it any favors. But buyers similarly rejected the Venza, which looked more traditional and offered a more practical package.

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68 Comments on “Japan’s Misfit Crossover Era Is Over...”


  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Good riddance. Honda can do better and usually does.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      It wasn’t a bad car per se, just funny-looking. It actually rode and drove better than the contemporary Accord sedan, and the hatch was a nice feature if you carried odd-size cargo.

      Now, the ZDX, that stank.

    • 0 avatar
      Varezhka

      Surprised it wasn’t cancelled earlier given how rarely I see these cars.
      I think I see a Crosstour every so often, only to find “PORSCHE” spelled on its behind most of the time.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The reason’s pretty simple: these cars made sense when the formerly-SUVs that were the CRV, Pilot, RAV and Highlander dropped any and all “truck” pretensions and became full-blown, unabashed _cars_.

    I expect the Edge and Murano will go the same way, given how un-truckish the Escape, Explorer, Rogue and Pathfinder are now.

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      The Edge and Murano aren’t going anywhere, as they are the midsize, five passenger CUVs. That’s still a strong segment (witness Grand Cherokee, RX350). The Edge was just redone (nicely).

      The Crosstour was ugly, bulbous and didn’t have the ground clearance and ride height people want. If they learn anything from the Venza and Crosstour, it’s that people want to be up higher. Now that the Highlander is huge, a proper 5 seat V6 CUV could be a hit for Toyota. Honda may just ride the new Pilot and CRV.

      • 0 avatar
        ceipower

        Honda loves to play the “we’re a small Company and we can’t afford to spend like Toyota” It’s B.S of course. Honda has no doubt burned thru a billion or more on their ill-fated HondaJet project. Do I really want a car from a company that builds jets? Didn’t seem to help Saab.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      there are size/category differences here, however, are there not? The Edge certainly separates itself from the other Fords…at least to me.
      I like it more than both the Escape and the Explorer…size wise.
      I could be wrong in actual cargo size data…but at least it seems different.
      The Flex is more of a puzzle to me. At least vs the Explorer.
      I love the Flex…just wish it was a half foot shorter and had better MPG. But kept its shape. I wish it was more the size of the early International Scouts from the eighties.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Early International Scouts were from the 60’s, The Scout II came around in 1971 and only lasted until 1980.

        Personally I think the Flex is the prefect size as it is. Chop 6″ off of it and it would be too close to the Explorer. I like it as a full size station wagon or CUV if you must. Better gas mileage would certainly be nice though.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Ha. The Edge prints money. Ford isn’t killing it. They are bringing it global instead.

    • 0 avatar

      5-passenger crossovers like the Edge and Murano used to rule the roost. Now they are being squeezed on one end by their compact brethren (Fusion, Rogue), some of whom have grown in size and now include a third row for whatever reason, and at the other end from their large, dedicated-third-row counterparts (Explorer, Pathfinder). So these five-passenger crossovers are distinguishing themselves by including more style and luxury, and while the Venza was discontinued, it is clear from the tremendous—and well-executed—efforts on the latest Edge and Murano that their respective automakers are not interested in discontinuing them, and both of them seem to sell reasonably well, anyway. I am curious about the Santa Fe Sport, though, which is not as nice (or expensive) as the Edge and Murano, and isn’t much larger than the Tucson, especially the soon-to-be-released one.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Ford has no trouble selling the Edge. Its not their best seller, but it does well as does the MKX for Lincoln (I see a lot of them).

      None of the vehicles you mentioned were truckish to begin with. More utilitarian, yes, but nobody bought one expecting a Wrangler in a pretty wrapper. Theyve always been great for snow, but beyond that, not known for much else.
      Id rather have a more truck-ish small SUV, but if you need a daily that is snow capable and larger cargo ready but not terrible on fuel, those are fine.

      I pine for something like perhaps that GMC Wrangler fighter if it isnt a watered down crossover thing. The handsom Terrain fills that spot nicely. What Id really love is a Ford Bronco Wrangler-compeditor, with the Transit’s I-5 PowerStroke, solid axles, removable top.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    I wanted this car to work. I really wanted it. I love hatch backs and this was supposed to be a good one.
    Then, when it came out, I sat in one. I thought my dislike for small, disappearing rear views was already at its breaking point.
    That is…until I saw this one!
    As I looked rearward through the mirror, I felt like I was looking though a mirror looking through a mirror…etc, etc.
    It just kept going.
    And somehow they managed to come up with a more difficult rear glass design than even the Prius’! No, there was no silly arm cutting through the middle, but somehow it was placed in such a position it was as if it wasn’t there.

    And add the issue of no cargo space just killed it.

    Now…I wasn’t one of those that thought it looked that bad from the outside. Not nearly as terrible as the BMW X6. THAT is weird!!!

    As a side note..suddenly there have been these Nissan Murano CrossCabriolets driving all around southern FL. Where did they come from??? I thought nobody purchased one!

  • avatar
    Rob

    The only thing that surprises me us that the Venza didn’t have more success.

    It’s not that different, aesthetically, in my opinion to the Ford Edge, and it seems to do just fine.

    I know the Edge is “sportier” if that’s even a thing for CUVs but there has to be another reason since there’s not a single person in America since the turn of the century who hears the word Toyota and immediately thinks “sporty.”

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Toyota doesn’t really need the Venza; people will just buy RXs, NXs, RAV4s or Highlanders as needed. Why keep the extra model around?

      It made sense when the Highlander and RAV were truckier.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Venza drivers in my area tend to be elderly folks who find it easier to get in and out of than a Camry.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Why keep a slow seller around, you mean. Call it what it is, stop making excuses for Toyota. If it sold as well as the Edge, you wouldnt be here saying “Toyota doesnt need [it]”.

        Ford doesnt “need” the Flex, but unlike the Venza, it has more respect and devotion that is (so far) keeping it alive. It fills a niche for some and they love it.

        Almost like the Aerostar once did.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The Venza is too low to the ground and egg shaped, and fails at the CUV appearance. It gets labeled as “wagon” by the middle class.

      • 0 avatar
        Sloomis

        Which is exactly why I kind of liked it. We had to cross it off the list pretty quick when car shopping a few years ago, though – too pricey and not fuel efficient enough for commuter car purposes.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    I live in the middle of Honda Country (West-Central Ohio) and have seen several of these since they were introduced in 2010. Oddly, most, if not all, were driven by ethnic Japanese Honda employees assigned to the local Honda parts factories around the area. The locals buy many different models of Honda vehicles but none of these things.

  • avatar
    John R

    I’m surprised this hadn’t happen sooner.

    I’m sure Honda execs will chalk this up to “SEE! THEY DON’T WANT WAGONS!” and not that this was, yet another, inspired idea waylaided by botched execution from Honda/Acura (read: CR-Z).

    The Crosstour was an intriguing screw up. When development the mules for this were scampering about it looked like a well congealed Accord wagon with a modest ride height increase – think Accord “AllRoad”. When I saw images of this online I thought, “Neat! With the V6 this might sell well.” Then someone let Homer’s Japanese cousin into the design room and we got The Homer-kun you see above, yeesh.

    What made things worse was the boat anchor they saddled it with at introduction with no option for a V6. After cries deriding how dangerously glacial the car was with the 4-cyl the V6 was offered. Perhaps a bit too late.

    EDIT – I found the mules
    front – http://goo.gl/Kcq24z
    rear – http://goo.gl/6om46n

  • avatar
    Mickiemac1

    The Crosstour was in response to the Toyota Venza which was more of a ‘success’ than this. I looked at the Crosstour and it had a bit nicer interior but the exterior is just horrible in every sense of the word.

    I have a 2011 Venza V6-FWD and was hoping Toyota was going to update it since I really do like the Venza very much. It’s a very capable wagon that is comfortable and roomy with a gem of a powertrain. Granted there were a few fit/finish issues with the interior but the layout and ease of use was near perfect. I’ve got about 20K miles on the car so it should last for some time before replacement. I was considering the new Murano but I’m leary of the CVT although I did have a 2007 Highlander Hybrid w/CVT and it was great.

  • avatar
    hotdog453

    I like the Crosstour. Neat looking cars.

    I like weird things though.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    Never did see many Crosstours around southern Ontario. A noticeable amount of Venzas, though.

    Are the BMW 3 and 5 series GTs considered the same class as the crosstour? I wonder how those will do?

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      I’ve long been of the opinion that the best way to think of the Crosstour V6 was “a 535GT, but less ugly* and $20k cheaper”.

      (* Obviously a matter of opinion, but one I have. I’ve always kinda liked the Crosstour, and my immediate reaction to the 535GT was disgust.)

  • avatar
    Quentin

    I’d rather the CrossFit era to be over.

    • 0 avatar

      I started working out at a Crossfit gym in February. Some of the stuff they do is downright dangerous (Olympic lifts for time? Come on). It’s a weird cult and people get way to into it. But I’ve never been in better shape after just two months of working out there. It gets results…

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        It was mostly in jest. One of my best friends does it and is very pragmatic about it (much like you seem to be). He is pretty honest about the good and bad of it. He is also a seasoned athlete that knows proper technique and his limits, so I don’t see him getting himself hurt by following some of the sillier things.

        My joke was more about the people that *live* CrossFit. I had an acquaintance that added me on Facebook a few years back. I didn’t realize he had kids until a few years afterward because all he ever posted about was CrossFit.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Many people who do CrossFit have $hitty form. Drill sergeants would not count any of their pull ups.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      +1

      Like your fantasy team, no one cares about your CrossFit workout.

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    Who was this supposed to appeal to? For a crossover buyer this looks too much like a station wagon and lacks ride height. A CR-V or Pilot offers a more traditional choice. For the station wagon buyer its too CUV-ish and rides to high. It’s not the Accord wagon they may have been hoping for. What’s the target market? People who want a BMW X6 that will actually outlive its warranty? Honda should have just made an Accord wagon if they were hellbent on spending the money on this abortion. At least that would have found a niche market for itself.

    FWIW I don’t think the initial lack of a V6 sealed its fate; most small crossovers are sold with naturally aspirated I4 powertrains. What’s the take rate on say an Equinox V6 or Escape 2.0T? I’d be shocked if it was higher than 10%.

    I’m an avid station wagon fan and I’d love to see them come back with a vengeance. GM or Ford will get an instant sale from me if they make a new RWD BOF full-size station wagon. With a small block or coyote V8 such a wagon could offer blistering performance while still providing 7000lbs plus of towing capacity and the ability to haul 4×8 sheets of material. That’s having your cake and eating it too. Car performance, truck utility. I realize the Chevy Suburban is a thing, but that offers truck utility with truck performance. I’ll almost certainly buy a K2XX example (or its Yukon XL twin), but I’d prefer a new Roadmaster Estate. I just don’t see that wagon ever coming back and I don’t see much more hope for compact/midsize FWD wagons either. The cross section of people who demand car-like dynamics AND SUV-like utility in a single vehicle just isn’t big enough to sustain more than a niche player or two. 99% of wagon customers in the past bought it purely for the utility of it; they didn’t care that it still offered car-like dynamics and efficiency. CUVs are better at the utility thing than wagons of similar size are. A Pilot is just better as a utility vehicle than a Crosstour. An Explorer is better as a utility vehicle than a Fusion or Taurus wagon. A Suburban is better as a utility vehicle than a Roadmaster Estate. That’s whats important to people and its the real reason wagons won’t come back.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      I was made for people who are more or less like me, but with an added US citizenship and a will (and economy) to buy a brand new car (both of which I will always lack)
      But, even if I do need a car with the Crosstours interior dimensions, 4wd, and I love hatchbacks (even more than wagons), I would prefer less ground clearance and a front end made for a passenger car instead of the huge monster frontend it has now.
      The few that were sold will probably live on long with enthusiastic 2nd 3rd and 4th owners like other automotive peculiarities like the Element and Aztec.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        They sold what looks like not quite 100,000 Crosstours (not including the remainder of production being sold now).

        That’s not so “few”.

        http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2011/01/honda-crosstour-sales-figures.html

        (Element numbers at a quick estimate were maybe 350k.

        Maybe 75,000 Azteks were ever sold.)

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          100K over a 5 year product cycle isn`t that many when the CRV sells 300K plus every year. The crosstour volume was similar to the Jetta wagon, which is a niche player from a smaller manufacturer (as measured by US market share).

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Nice start. Let’s keep going.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    The only person I know with a Venza traded a PT Cruiser in for it… I don’t think there is much more that needs to be said other than this…

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The Crosstour sold 10X as many as Cadillac’s ELR; the Venza 20-30X as many.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      And this is relevant how? One is an electric vehicle, the other isn`t. One is also >$50K the other is $30K.
      Its like saying the Chevy Spark outsold the Ferrari La Ferrari 10 to one!

  • avatar
    Fordson

    A Venza is basically a Sienna with 3 of the Sienna’s best features (high roof, boxy, capacious cabin, sliding side doors) removed.

    The only possible advantage is it’s probably easier to hand-wash – no stepladder needed.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Honda doesn’t always hit a home run.
    Del Sol, Passport, CRZ,

    • 0 avatar
      sckid213

      Insight, Ridgeline, Acura RLX

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Element, S2000 (just over 100K units worldwide in 11 years, while MX-5: “As of July 2014, total production of MX-5 reached 940,000 units”)

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazda_MX-5

        • 0 avatar
          Russycle

          Element did pretty well at first, sold over 50K/year for four years. Honda let it stagnate and with the CR-V fighting for the lead of the hot CUV market, it was probably not a bad decision. But I wouldn’t call it a failure. Of course, I own one.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            But not a “home run”, either.

            I think “moderately successful car that more than paid for its development” is a good thing.

      • 0 avatar
        ceipower

        It’s a pretty long list for such a small company…..all Hondas talent (and money) has been wasted on the HondaJet project….over a decade spent , and I still don’t think any are flying commercially. When you buy any Honda , that’s where the money goes….HondaJet.

    • 0 avatar
      ceipower

      You forgot to mention the entire Acura car lineup! Legend was a good , impressive, handsome vehicle. These alphabet Acuras are styling duds , sales duds as well.

  • avatar
    GiddyHitch

    Meanwhile, BMW is putting the finishing touches on their new M X6 GranCoupe Touring 3.5dX-Drive.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I just wish they at least tried to make a simple Accord wagon, no jacking up/crossover/SUV bs. Especially since they don’t have the Acura Sportwagon to compete against. Sooner or later the tide will move back to cars.

  • avatar
    missmySE-R

    Hope this is sufficient proof that you can’t sell a Camcord wagon / crossover hybrid. Since you already have plenty of crossovers, can we please get back to having the option of a traditional wagon option on these cars? I would love one, bigger and less expensive than the euro options, better powertrain and handling than a H6 Outback.

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      they had to more or less give away the remaining TSX wagons because no one bought them, what makes you think an Accord wagon would do any better?

  • avatar
    ceipower

    Took Honda long enough to realize they had a dud on their hands , but what can you expect from a company who builds their Luxury division cars (Acura) that look hideous with the “beak” grill…and they STILL won’t let that one go! You have to wonder who at Honda green lights these duds? In true Dilbert fashion they need to promote the guy/gal to a position high enough he/she can no longer do any harm.

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