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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My wife has been driving a 2003 Chevy Avalanche since new and we decided it was time to find a better vehicle for daily driving and keep the Avalanche for as long as possible for towing duty. It has 153,000 miles and is going strong.

My wife really did not know what she wanted and I was open to just about anything. She wanted a decent size vehicle, preferably with 4 doors and having some storage capability would be desirable as well. She initially thought a small SUV might work.

I picked up the Consumer Reports New Car Preview 2011 with 280+ vehicles rated. I instructed her to look at all of them, and I mean all of them. She had a list of vehicles that she wanted to look at and I had my own list as well. I researched repair records, pricing, features, exterior, interior, fuel mileage, and everything else I could think of.

We stopped at the following manufacturers and looked at a bunch of stuff in no particular order:

Jeep; Grand Cherokee
BMW; 1 series, 3 series, 5 series,X5, X3
Toyota; Rav 4, Sienna, Venza
Subaru; Outback Wagon Limited, Forester Limited, WRX, STI
Mazda; CX-9, CX-7, MazdaSpeed 3
Volkswagon; GTI, Tiguan, Jetta, Golf, Passat
Ford; Edge, Flex, Explorer
Mini
Lexus; IS250, RX350
Hyudai; Sante Fe, Veracruz, Genesis, Tuscon
Honda; CRV, Odyssey, Civic, Pilot, CrossTour
Acura; TSX Wagon, MDX, RDX
Chevrolet; Equinox
Buick; Lacrosse, Lucerne

After all this we ended up driving over a dozen cars. The only reason we drove the CT was because my wife asked if she could. I had somewhat discounted the vehicle because of everything I had read. We were there to take out the CRV and the Odyssey but we were glad we took out the CT. She drove it first and I thought it was pretty nice from the passenger seat. We went to look at a lot of other cars before we went back to the Honda dealer for me to drive it.

Of all the vehicles we looked at the two that were most impressive were the CT and the Odyssey. We have had minivans for over 20 years and there practicality and usefulness is hard to beat. I was fairly certain at some point our Dodge would be replaced with the Odyssey.

Back to the CT, it was easily the most impressive vehicle we looked at. It is a good size vehicle with plenty of room for 4 people and you can still stow some gear. The drive was very pleasant, the ride and handling were very good, and it was amazingly quiet. It has all the features we could possibly want. Up until last summer I had a 2006 Acura TL and I thought the CT was an upscale version of that car.

We have only had the car for 2 weeks but I have to say I am thoroughly impressed with this car. I almost considered buying two and getting rid of the minivan.

I see there a lot of people viewing this forum with not a lot of new posts. I typically scan the forums as well and have benefited immensely from the information I have learned by doing the same. I hope those folks that are considering a CT to go take one for a drive. There is no doubt you will be impressed but don't do it if you are not in the market for a car as it might push you over the edge.

Good Luck to all of those on the fence!
 

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Congrats. You and your wife sure did do your homework. I don't know if I could have survived visiting so many dealerships. I think you made the right decision. I know what you are saying about the possibility of getting a second CT. I am waiting for my wife to tell me should would rather drive my 2006 Accord V6 so I can take over the CT for everyday use instead of getting my wheel time in the CT on weekends only. However, I don't think that pipe dream will ever happen.
 

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Nice write up bmacz. Like Montauk said, I do my due diligence but not as thorough as you did, adds credibility to your opinion though.

My Ridgeline is 5 years old, thought about a 2nd CT also. Think I'll keep the truck though.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the comments.

I really think the automotive press missed the boat on this vehicle. Generally, I have held many of their opinions in high regard, but I will be a lot more skeptical in the future. I think they are so used to vehicles that fit in certain classes that they have difficulty handling one that does not nicely fit into any one category.

They like to complain about it not holding as much cargo as a wagon but they don't give it credit for being more versatile than a sedan. There are probably a bunch of folks out there that want a little more capability than a sedan but do not need all the capacity that a wagon or SUV provides. The sedan segment in the US is pretty large and I think Honda made a bold attempt at providing something a little different.

Judging by the comments on this site a lot of folks are very happy they took a good look at the CT.
 

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Thanks for the comments.

I really think the automotive press missed the boat on this vehicle. Generally, I have held many of their opinions in high regard, but I will be a lot more skeptical in the future. I think they are so used to vehicles that fit in certain classes that they have difficulty handling one that does not nicely fit into any one category.

They like to complain about it not holding as much cargo as a wagon but they don't give it credit for being more versatile than a sedan. There are probably a bunch of folks out there that want a little more capability than a sedan but do not need all the capacity that a wagon or SUV provides. The sedan segment in the US is pretty large and I think Honda made a bold attempt at providing something a little different.

Judging by the comments on this site a lot of folks are very happy they took a good look at the CT.
Great ‘real life’ review! Seems like all supposed ‘expert’ reviews follow each other’s leads and do the take away from the Honda Crosstour. Your review is from a researched buyers viewpoint and an excellent one at that. Glad to have you here…The cargo is a sticky point for some but we don't need the extra either.
 

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Kudos on the vehicle hunt!

I had an initial list of 42 vehicles (various makes / models) that I whittled down... although I only test drove a fraction that you did.

I agree to some extent that the media missed the boat on the Crosstour... but as I've said before, this is a very specific car for a very specific market.

Of course, while I never expected the critics to love it, they do seem to just bash it for the sake of bashing it now.

For example, the Inside Line long-term road tests of the Crosstour are rampant with nit-picky problems... and on more than one occasion, a reviewer has complaind about something that is either 1) Completely incorrect or 2) correctable had they read the owner's manual.

Not to mention a few reviewers go as far as to admit that they can't find anything wrong with the car... and actually enjoy it, only to conclude in the next paragraph that it's a terrible vehicle that no one should spend a dime on.

It's sometimes clear to me that the consensus is that it's in vogue to dislike the Crosstour, and thus it doesn't get the respect it would otherwise deserve.
 

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As others have said - thanks for the write-up. Capturing that much detail of the process is not trivial business. There are many here who have had the same experience in their search (myself included) but didn't put the fine point on it that you did. I have to agree with you whole-heartedly on the quiet cabin. The CT was by far the most quiet (and smoothest) ride of the CUVs I test drove. I'm a musician/composer and that stuff really matters, and even for those that aren't - it goes to how well you can handle long hauls, because of noise/vibration suppression in the CT it prevents you from feeling worn out by the driving task. Those details matter.

Anyway, your post is a great thing to do as "a message in a bottle" for the Internet-surfing community that might be looking for that voice of reason in the wilderness - so thanks again for taking the time. :)

I've had my CT since Christmas Eve, and it has been a consistent experience of "Buyer's Remorse in REVERSE". The more I drive it - the more things I find to enjoy about it.
 

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We stopped at the following manufacturers and looked at a bunch of stuff in no particular order:

Jeep; Grand Cherokee
BMW; 1 series, 3 series, 5 series,X5, X3
Toyota; Rav 4, Sienna, Venza
Subaru; Outback Wagon Limited, Forester Limited, WRX, STI
Mazda; CX-9, CX-7, MazdaSpeed 3
Volkswagon; GTI, Tiguan, Jetta, Golf, Passat
Ford; Edge, Flex, Explorer
Mini
Lexus; IS250, RX350
Hyudai; Sante Fe, Veracruz, Genesis, Tuscon
Honda; CRV, Odyssey, Civic, Pilot, CrossTour
Acura; TSX Wagon, MDX, RDX
Chevrolet; Equinox
Buick; Lacrosse, Lucerne
Wow..Looks like you did not know what you want at all... I think it was a huge relieve once you found your way out of the dark :)

I thought I was in the dark, but it was just a joke -
I started from Nissan Maxima and did not choose one because the armrest was too far behind me and the driver position was too low.

After this I checked out Murano, Venza, CX-7, RDX.
CT worked better than anything else for me.

Altough I did not test CX-9, but my husband selected and purchased it in 3 weeks after we purchased CT and I have top tell that probably I would go with CX-9, especially knowing that it will be $1500 less compare to CT.
 

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The CT was by far the most quiet (and smoothest) ride of the CUVs I test drove.
My test-driving list and experience was nowhere near as exhaustive as bmacz's, but I 100% vouch for the ride and cabin quietness as a huge selling point. In fact, I just happened to drive the Lexus RX450h and the Crosstour back-to-back (the Honda dealer was just up the road from Lexus), and I can tell you there was no difference in that department. All the Lexus RX had over the CT was plushiness, e.g., thicker and softer leather, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, etc., none of which justified in my mind the $20,000 price difference.

The CT is the best-kept secret in the automotive world. It just goes to show the power of bad marketing and press, and the gullibility of the average car buyer. Those of us willing to ignore the naysayers and form our own opinions have been rewarded with a fantastic vehicle. I can honestly say it's the best car I've ever owned, and I've been buying cars since 1973.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow..Looks like you did not know what you want at all... I think it was a huge relieve once you found your way out of the dark :)

Altough I did not test CX-9, but my husband selected and purchased it in 3 weeks after we purchased CT and I have top tell that probably I would go with CX-9, especially knowing that it will be $1500 less compare to CT.
I had a pretty good idea of what we should look at but my wife had no clue as to what she wanted. After looking through Consumer Reports she wanted to see and drive a lot of stuff. After all that we both agreed the CT was the best of the bunch.

I had a lot of interest in the CX-9 as well as the CX-7 and I was eager to drive both. The CX-9 seemed a little harsh over the rough road I test drove it on and it was not as quiet as the CT although it seemed pretty good. I crawled in the 3rd row seat and quickly determined that if you are over 4 feet tall (I am 6'3") that you might want to re-consider sitting back there. If we were shopping for a single vehicle that could do it all we may have looked beyond the CT but we also have a minivan for those situations.
 

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I had a pretty good idea of what we should look at but my wife had no clue as to what she wanted. After looking through Consumer Reports she wanted to see and drive a lot of stuff. After all that we both agreed the CT was the best of the bunch.

I had a lot of interest in the CX-9 as well as the CX-7 and I was eager to drive both. The CX-9 seemed a little harsh over the rough road I test drove it on and it was not as quiet as the CT although it seemed pretty good. I crawled in the 3rd row seat and quickly determined that if you are over 4 feet tall (I am 6'3") that you might want to re-consider sitting back there. If we were shopping for a single vehicle that could do it all we may have looked beyond the CT but we also have a minivan for those situations.
You are absolutely right about CT vs CX-9 suspension difference. To evaluate the difference it is enough just to go over the speed bump.
CT is definetely car-like feel. CX-9 still better than most SUV's.

3rd seat is not as bad - my husband is 6' and he said he can make 2 hrs trip easily... with no pay.
:)

And yes, CX-9 is a replacement for minivan - when we shopped for CT we had an Odissey and we had no space concern, but then we traded Odi for CX-9.
 
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