A thorough study of the thermal performance of multipass parallel cross-flow and counter-cross-flow heat exchangers has been carried out by applying a new numerical procedure. According to this procedure, the heat exchanger is discretized into small elements following the tube-side fluid circuits. Each element is itself a one-pass mixed-unmixed cross-flow heat exchanger. Simulated results have been validated through comparisons to results from analytical solutions for one- to four-pass, parallel cross-flow and counter-cross-flow arrangements. Very accurate results have been obtained over wide ranges of NTU (number of transfer units) and (heat capacity rate ratio) values. New effectiveness data for the aforementioned configurations and a higher number of tube passes is presented along with data for a complex flow configuration proposed elsewhere. The proposed procedure constitutes a useful research tool both for theoretical and experimental studies of cross-flow heat exchangers thermal performance.