There are certain things in life that I am very opinionated about, and my transportation arrangements are one of them.
Besides the fact that I refuse to drive a minivan on sheer principle, I also apparently like very polarizing, niche vehicles.
For instance, you may remember my love affair with the Ford Flex. Of which you all screamed out your hatred of it’s unique appearance.
Although I still like how it looks, after riding in one for a weekend earlier this summer, I no longer feel that it fits my extremely limiting requirements for a vehicle. It just didn’t FEEL right, besides the fact that it was gigantic.
My latest crush is on the Honda Crosstour, another not-so-popular ride. And I have to say: I’m completely ashamed at my marketing-suckered reason for noticing this car.
Chris and I have developed an intense infatuation with Anthony Bourdain and his Travel Channel show No Reservations. We’ve been catching up on seasons past, and there’s a 2008 episode of Anthony touring the southwest in an extremely obvious product placementized BMW X6.
As they continued to plaster this car in my face throughout the entire show, I began to fall prey to their marketing whoredom. It had a nice shape…looked like it would be more fun to drive than my current boxy SUV…was low to the ground to make it easier for kids to get in and out…looked nothing like a stationwagon (like most crossovers do, in my opinion)…was definitely not a minivan…
But the value of their marketing dollars took a nasty nosedive when I noticed the extreme similarities between it and the Honda Crosstour.
my favorite brand of car,
and exactly HALF the price.
I mentioned my new interest to our friend the Serra Honda Man (of the prior Minivan Challenge), and he offered to let me borrow a Crosstour for a day or two.
At first, I was all like “eh, I don’t need car fever.”
But then he mentioned that he had two new 2010’s still sitting on his lot, that were just like the 2011’s and 2012’s, that he needed to get rid of before the end of the year.
And that he would make me a killer deal.
That piqued my interest enough to drift into vehicular temptation.
Our first test drive attempt was a miserable failure, since Ali started puking right before we took the keys.
Two weeks later, when we were getting our make-up date night from The Puketastrophe, we decided to give it a try again, vowing to each other that if we got another vomitous phone call, we would take that as a sign that we were NOT to look at the Crosstour, ever.
No hurling commenced, so we drove this car for the rest of our date:
We discussed the pros and cons of it…
We loved that it handled like a car, but didn’t so much love the poor visibility in the back.
The stereo system was pretty awesome, but we would have to give up the option of having our third row for additional guests.
We liked it being low to the ground, but – what?? No cupholders in the back?? Doesn’t Honda know that I feed my kids a diet of nothing but Chick-Fil-A drive-thru??
(We did finally realize that there were some cupholder-like openings at the bottom of the backseat doors…its saving grace for sure.)
We fully appreciated the gigantic discount of buying a two year old new car, but were sorely disappointed that it had lost it’s new car smell somewhere along the way – a nasal experience nearly worth the 2012 full price.
We discussed the fact that this was, in all practical terms, a CAR. Which means that we’re basically saying that we’re done having kids – if we bought it, we’d be giving ourselves an automotive vasectomy.
(Or at the very least, a five year vehicular IUD.)
We tested out the trunk space – which was as deep as my Pilot, but not as tall.
Obviously, the engineers knew their target market: perfectly fit to our pack and play and stroller.
The next morning, we drove it out to my parent’s and picked up our passengers.
They were giddy about the test-driving experience.
Ali enjoyed the benefit of getting to lean on Noah’s seat and the added closeness to her beloved brother,
and Noah tested out the car’s Poopability.
Which, I must say, was very impressive – I never smelled that turd until I got him out.
We returned the car on Saturday night with the intention of thinking about it for a few days.
A great deal – definitely.
A rare opportunity to buy a two year old new car – uh huh.
But we weren’t head-over-heels-completely-in-love-obsessed-we-can’t-stand-the-thought-of-not-having- it.
Does that just mean we’re growing up into mature decision making adultish-type responsible parenty people, or that we shouldn’t buy it?
Thoughts on the Crosstour? Cool like an X6 or funky like a Flex?
Disclaimer: Serra Honda did not compensate me in any way or ask me to write this post. In fact, they probably wish we would stop driving their cars for days on end and just buy one already.
42 thoughts on “Serial Vehicular Experimentation.”
Well its definitely better looking than the Flex!!
Sounds like a great deal! Serra Honda Man gave me a great deal a few weeks ago, but on much older car….lol. (2000 Accord with 200K on it) Love Serra Honda Man!! ;)
And I love Bourdain!! He’s so crazy and I love it…he eats all the stuff and goes places I never would.
Although, his NYC French restaurant is one of my favs…if yall are ever in NYC!
That’s awesome! I’m so glad you were able to find something!
We’re going to NY next summer – what’s the name of his restaurant? I can’t remember from the show. We may have to go!
I actually like the look of the Honda better than the BMW. Other than that, no real advice for you, sorry. :\
Good luck making your grown-up decision. :)
I do too!! The BMW looks squished up a bit after seeing the Honda.
Vehicle decisions are so tough. I wouldn’t do it if you weren’t totally pleased with it. Might be regrets? I got over my mini-van stigma. I just don’t care what people think or how I look anymore :)
I’m impressed with your strength to be able to put that aside. It’s just too engrained into me to let go of.. it could have something to do with the baby blue Ford Aerostar that I had to drive as a teenager.
We just went through the whole car buying experience. Thought for 2 seconds about a minivan (we’ve always been opposed like you) b/c.of their price and space. Took a long time to choose due to affordability, gas mileage and space. We ended up with a used mazda tribute and i love it!
I get the minivan hate. I had to drive one in high school. I went to Vestavia. All of my friends were driving BMWs and Mercedes. And I had a minivan. It scarred me for life.
As far as the Crosstour, I have no experience with them, but I have a co-worker who just bought one and loves it.
I can see how that could scar a person. Mine was a baby blue Ford Aerostar. But I did not go to Vestavia – I homeschooled, so my vehicle was quite common. It didn’t lessen the scars, though.
I think you would be surprised at the ease and space of a minivan. Its easy for my kids to climb in and buckle themselves. I have my youngest in the middle and I can reach directly in to buckle her (no bending over and banging my head on the top of the door). The Honda minivans are looking less like a “minivan” these days as well. (We have an 09 Sienna we love!)
I test drove a 2012 Odyssey for three days a few months ago. You’re right – the space is unbelievable. And the superpower features are awesome. But I still couldn’t make myself do it… obviously, I have issues.
I, too had a minivan aversion. But guess what I just bought….. a 2012 Honda Odyssey! I LOVE it. It is the least van looking of all the vans and we decided if we were taking the plunge into vandom it needed to come fully loaded so we got the touring elite version.
I was really thinking of a Yukon XL or a Suburban but to get one loaded was like $80,000!!! Plus they get horrific gas mileage. I am happy we went with the Odyssey.
P.S. I’m 26 and driving one and I still think I’m cool ;)
That’s what I test drove (as a challenge) this summer. It was nice – and it had amazing features. You’re just a better person than I am to be able to put aside it’s minivan identity.
I definitely like the look of it, but if you don’t absolutely love it I would keep looking. The poor visiblity would worry me since we are always somewhere with lots of kids around (Awana, dance class, church, the park, the Library…) and I have to check about ten times before I start backing up very slowly.
Noah’s face cracked me up. Too funny. Good luck with the decision!
I have to say I like the looks of it.
So wait, the Crosstour is supposed to be a cross-over? I never knew that! I like Honda vehicles as well, will more than likely get another one if I see a killer deal.
What’s the front to back room like in the rear seat? My kids are both still rear-facing so I gotta be able to fit their carseats back there and have room enough to drive without my knees in the dash!
The rear floorboard room is supposed to be really great. I went ahead and put Noah front facing (17 days early – shame on me!!) because I don’t think it would have fit so good rear-facing. We have a huge car seat, though. My biggest problem with the back seat was that once I had a booster seat and a car seat back there, no full-sized adult could have sat in the third spot.
I really like the way the Crosstour looks. I saw one on the road the other day. It’s an attractive car. But what do I know? I own a minivan and a station wagon! And I LOVE them both :) I know they’re dorky but the function far out-weighs that for me.
Can’t add anything to the car discussion, but I gotta tell you, the “automotive vasectomy” had me rolling. :D
I like you. :)
Thanks!! That was a thought contributed by my dear husband. He is responsible for much of the good stuff on this blog.
Sorry, can’t help. Never bought a new year (even a two year old one!). All my cars have been at least 10 -15 years old. Luxury for me would be buying a five year old second hand car! (I’m not poor, I just wasn’t brought up to spend twice or three times the money on cars ‘cos they’re brand new. And I don’t like paying things off – would rather save up.)
So, is the Pilot coming to the end of its usefulness, or do you just have car fever? If you really need a new car, I’d say keep looking. Although there is no perfect car, find one that you like the looks of AND has cupholders. I’ve probably been behind you 20 times in the CFA drive-through. Our daughter was just complaining this weekend about the lack of kid’s cupholders in my husband’s 2006 Scion XB. Now that’s a funny looking car – much odder than the Flex. It’s bright green – look for us in the drive-through. :)
A little of both. The Pilot was actually really hard for me when Noah was in his infant seat. Lifting his chunky butt + car seat up and in was really hard. But now that he’s in a free-standing car seat, it’s not as awkward. It is getting old, though, and we’ll have to get something eventually. We were mainly thinking about doing it now because the deal on the Crosstour is so good.
But yes, cupholders are of utmost importance – and I like the Xb’s! I’ll keep an eye out for you next time I’m in line. ;)
Hmm…while I LOVE my Honda, I do see that the lack of cupholders in the back (well, inconvenient placement of them, rather) could be a problem in my future (I have a CR-V). If it were me, and I already had a car with the third row seating option, I don’t think I’d be very willing to give that up…especially as your kids get older. Whether it’s to have a place for additional friends to ride, or just so each kid can have their “own” space, I think it would be very nice to have. And, the two carseats for the time being did seem a little squished, IMO (I know Ali & Noah do love each other very much, but as they get larger their personal space needs might increase! My brother and I always got along great growing up, but I tell ya, we LOVED each having our own row when we got a van!)
I do like the look of the Crosstour!
The third row was definitely a thought, but we currently use it about 3 or 4 times a year, and it’s really awkward to get to. Which got me thinking: is it wise to buy a car that is big enough for your absolute maximum usage? Or is it cheaper to have a smaller car that works perfectly for your everyday usage, and just rent a bigger car (even a minivan, perhaps) when you need that max output for a vacation?
But after doing my first Vault party last night and using almost every square inch of my Pilot, I’m not so sure a Crosstour would work for my “new normal” usage.
I should have mentioned in my previous post…the Odyssey has 17 cup holders…just saying :)
I look at that backseat and go, pssh, you could TOTALLY fit a 3rd car seat in there ;-)
Are you kidding?
I’ve already said that I will throw my vanity to the wind and get a minivan if we ever have a third child. I’ll probably cry a good bit, but I’ll have to do it.
17 cup holders in the Odyssey?! Well, I might re-think my dislike of the Minivan… One thought: In Alabama, do you need to be “up” off the ground like you do here in AZ? There are so many trucks/SUVs around here, I was scared they wouldn’t see me in my old sedan! So I got the CR-V. Plus I have the body size of a small Japanese man, so it all works. Now I’m eye to eye (almost) with those big trucks! Cool looking car though. Maybe it’s like fancy handbags? No one will really be able to tell you’re driving a “knock-off” BMW. =)
I get that – there are a lot of bigger vehicles around here. And yes, cupholders can TOTALLY sell a car.
Seeing as I have no out-of-utero children yet, I’m not sure how effective my advice will be but here goes anyhow:
1. I really like the look of it. Very sleek & cool!
2. The trunk space was awesome for a car!
3. It’s stressing me out how little “extra” space there wasn’t. Ali’s 4 almost 5, right? Just think, in the next year or 2 you’ll be driving her with a friend in tow to & from sleepovers. & Sleepovers with a friend mean 2 packed bags, 2 sleeping bags, 2 pillows in addition to your carseat & stroller-filled trunk. The bigger the kids get, the bigger their stuff gets.
Like I said, I have no out-of-utero children so idk for sure but that’s just what I think :)
Yes – the two carseats in there did a good job of filling the backseat. Of course, their seating will get smaller as they get older, but still…
Oh my goodness… a quote for posterity please!!! “we’d be giving ourselves an automotive vasectomy. (Or at the very least, a five year vehicular IUD.)”
LOLOLOLOL!!! Love it!!!
I have to say that I think you might regret locking yourselves into a vehicle that precludes you having any more kids or guest riders. We have a minivan that seats all six of our family members, but anytime we want to take even one child’s friend with us, or my sister, or one of my parents, we have to bring a whole separate car. It’s kind of a pain in the butt … just my two cents.
Yes, that is one of the definite drawbacks. I think we’re going to wait…for now.. again. (sigh) – we always talk ourselves out of new vehicles!! Does that mean we’re destined for a minivan? :)
Have you checked it out on Consumer Reports? That’s where my love for it died. You also have to wonder where the love is at all if they still have a “brand new” older model that’s been sitting there for nearly 3 years! :}
Really? I don’t subscribe to Consumer Reports (although I always love reading it – I really should).
I just figured they had such an old model because I’m drawn to strange looking cars that no one else likes.
I love the look of it, but I would say that, if you’re not head-over-heals for it, keep looking. The backseat DID look a little cramped (but, you won’t have the car seats forever). I like the trunk space. It DOES sound like a good deal, but there will probably be another good deal out there on a vehicle that you will be in love with. I totally understand your minivan views. I can’t bring myself to drive one either. We have a 2000 4Runner with 264,000 miles on it, and I plan on getting another SUV when the 4Runner is gone.
Might I suggest a Buick Enclave. I drove one while my vehicle was being serviced (a loaner car for a few hours), and I must say… I DON’T CARE if it’s a granny car.
I. AM. IN. LOVE!
I have heard before that those are awesome cars!! The American car makers put all kinds of fun bells and whistles on their cars…
Not a big fan of the body style, looks like a stretched out Civic hatchback :)
The photo of Noah doing his business is pricelss
I’ve had mine for almost 2 years now and I get a lot of compliments on it. When I read that people don’t like the styling, I believe they haven’t seen it in person and are relying on the not so flattering pictures at bad angles (which I really can’t explain). In a nutshell, the vehicle is so solid on the road and the cabin is awesome, though I just have one child who is no longer in a car seat. I’m seriously considering buying it when my lease is up.