The image you see above looks a lot like a Land Rover. It is not a Land Rover. Except it is. Mostly. What it really is, though, is a Honda Crossroad — resurfaced today by the folks over at Reddit’s r/cars — an SUV from the early ’90s that you probably never, ever heard of. Confused? Allow me to explain.
The Honda Crossroad is, in fact, a Land Rover Discovery in pretty much every single way, save the badge. It has a Discovery body, a Discovery chassis, and even a Discovery engine — a 3.9-liter gasoline V8 from Rover, which made it the first and only production Honda with a V8 engine. The V8 was based on an old Buick engine block from the ’60s and made only 182 horsepower. So how the hell did it end up in a Honda?
The Crossroads came about through a deal between Rover Group and Honda, who at the time owned a 20 percent stake in the British marque. Most Rovers sold in the UK were built with Honda’s help (the Rover 600, for example, was a rebadged Accord). But Honda, seeing the growing success of SUVs at the time, and not willing or able to produce its own ground-up effort, did the reverse and sold the then relatively new Discovery as a Honda in Japan starting in 1993.
But the Crossroads didn’t really fit in with Honda’s reputation for sound build quality at the time; for example, the Ministry of Transportation forced Honda to recall thousands of Crossroads due to a faulty lock on the driver’s side door that could open while driving. In fact, the whole deal came into jeopardy when Honda learned Rover would be sold to BMW. Eventually, the car was discontinued in 1998, and Honda soon developed its own SUV platforms.
Being a Japan-only, badge-engineered car shared between two very different companies, it goes without saying that the Crossroads is an automotive oddity of the highest caliber. Since the car debuted in 1993, it’s just turning old enough to import into the United States — an alternative option for those who have a love for the first-generation Discovery. Just don’t expect typical Honda reliability.
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