Quite the Grilling

When Honda first released images of the Crosstour, it didn't take long for web denizens — across Facebook, Twitter and blogs like our own Kicking Tires — to cry foul. Readers called the car "hideous," "disgusting" and, my personal favorite, "a Crossturd." Not long after Honda launched a Crosstour Facebook group, a rival page appeared: the New Accord Crosstour Haters' Group. (It's still a flyspeck, with 95 members as of Oct. 28. That same day the Crosstour page had 6,703 fans.)

The lightning rod seems to be the car's grille, a supersized version of the Accord sedan's. In most photos it looks pretty garish. Honda's response: The Crosstour is bigger than the sedan, and in person that grille — and the rest of the car — doesn't look so bad.

Honda's right. In person, the Crosstour is not, in fact, ghastly. The brand's recent design controversies — from the Ridgeline pickup truck to the Accord sedan — usually find eventual acceptance, mostly by dint of tens of thousands of those cars hitting the road. No doubt the same will become true of the Crosstour. But it's still a very odd-looking creature. The nose is heavyset; the profile looks forced, with a bulbous tail and too much front overhang. I found the rear to be the lone good angle, so you may want to always park snout-in.

Dual tailpipes, chrome exterior appointments and 17-inch alloy wheels are standard. EX-L models add 18-inch wheels.

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