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A Practical Guide to Honda SUVs

A silver 2020 Honda Passport Elite, one of the newer Honda SUVs, is off-roading in the mountains.

What sets Honda apart from other brands? As evidenced by their Best Brand Award of 2019, there must be something that distinguishes Honda from the rest of the non-luxury pack. Well, the breadth of their SUV lineup is a good place to start, a lineup that ranges from the fuel-efficient HR-V to the 3-row Pilot. Honda SUVs are designed for both first-time buyers and brand enthusiasts looking for the newest model and technology from Honda’s engineers. There is something for everyone in their lineup, so let’s take a look at which Honda SUV has the passport for your lifestyle.

Honda also won Best Value and Most Refined in the Kelley Blue Book (KBB) 2019 Brand Image Awards, which cited Honda’s “sterling reputation for quality” as one of the main reasons it came out on top for the second consecutive year. It’s not surprising that you’re interested in buying a Honda SUV. According to KBB, everyone should be buying a Honda. With an excellent reputation for offering reliable cars and trucks and SUVs for every type of budget, how can you go wrong? Not only are they known for their reliability, but regardless of whether you’re looking for a safety-conscious family SUV or a fuel-sipping Hybrid, these are fun SUVs to drive.

So let’s get to the fun part and see which SUV makes the most sense for you.

The Honda HR-V

A man is loading his bike into the back of a 2020 Honda HR-V.

The first of the Honda SUVs is a subcompact crossover known for its excellent resale value, though this could be said of any of Honda’s vehicles. Part of why Honda keeps winning awards for their vehicles is due to their reputation for reliability, and the HR-V is another example of this. When looking for a new car, resale and reliability should be at the top of your list. You want to know that there will not be too many surprises in the total cost of ownership.

The HR-V not only comes with the promise of strong resale value and phenomenal reliability, but it also gets great gas mileage. This is another factor when considering your total cost. At an estimated 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, you can be sure that you will be getting a break at the gas pump as well.

Another great thing about the HR-V is that while it is a subcompact crossover SUV, it has enough space to be the primary vehicle. While most subcompacts are relegated to second-car status, the HR-V has plenty of room for passengers and lots of cargo space for its class. The maximum cargo space is 58.8 cubic feet, which competes with the compact segment, so you will have plenty of space for soccer practice or a new bookshelf from IKEA. The HR-V actually does more than just compete with the compact segment for roominess—it has more legroom than the Mazda CX-3 and Jeep Renegade.

The Honda CR-V

A silver 2020 Honda CR-V is driving through the city at night.

Speaking of awards, the Honda CR-V won the KBB 2020 Best Buy Award. Not only is this the best-selling compact SUV on the market, but it’s also the most respected as well. That’s a rare combination. And it’s easy to see why. The CR-V comes with the built-in advantage of having Honda’s resale and reliability credentials, and now it also comes with Honda Sensing standard for all trim levels. Just when you thought this SUV couldn’t be any more perfect for you and your family, Honda went out and made it impractical to look anywhere else.

This means that every trim level will have the Honda Sensing suite of driver assists, including even the least expensive CR-V, which will feature adaptive cruise control, automatic low-speed emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist. This is one of the safest compact SUVs on the market, earning a 5-star crash-test rating from the government and a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. So if you are looking for a safe, reliable, and well-respected SUV, this is another SUV from Honda that should be at the top of your list.

New also for the 2020 CR-V is a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine and Honda Sensing standard across all trim levels. Consider that the price went up only $600 from last year’s model, and this is a great bargain. With a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price starting around $25,050, the CR-V has to be one of the best deals on the market. Watch out for the Hybrid model being released in 2020.

The Honda Pilot

Another winner of the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award, the Honda Pilot competes in the midsize segment, and is a great choice for a family vehicle, as it has 3rd-row seating and plenty of space for all of your family’s needs. This is an SUV designed specifically for the family, as it has all of the conveniences of a minivan, with the styling of an SUV. You’ll find comfortable seating, tons of storage and cargo space, impressive safety features, and excellent crash test ratings—all in an SUV that is fun to drive.

Honda’s terrific 3.5-liter V6 engine makes 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque and still gets 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. You will not be disappointed when merging into traffic or passing slower vehicles. This is a great engine with good fuel efficiency—this is the perfect SUV for taking the family on a road trip or shuttling the kids around town for their many activities. And starting at $31,650, this is an SUV the whole family can agree on.

A man and his son are loading up their teal 2020 Honda Pilot at a camp site.

The Honda Passport

Slotting between the CR-V and Pilot, the Passport combines the roominess of the Pilot with the versatility of the CR-V. The Passport might be out of order here, but it’s fitting that it’s mentioned last since it combines the best of both worlds. This truly is an SUV that gives you a pass to go nearly anywhere. With all-wheel drive as an option, the Passport is just as equipped to take the family on a road trip as it is to deal with almost any off-road trail, mud, sand, or snow you might run into along the way.

The interior space is among the top of its class, with 77.9 cubic feet of cargo space. And it’s not just the sheer amount of space but the creativity and thoughtfulness of the space. In the back are plastic bins that are hidden under the cargo floor, where you can easily store your gear and valuables. Just as with the Pilot, your family will thank you for the extra space.

They might also get a kick out of the Passport’s torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system, with 4-mode Intelligent Traction Management. You can find this system on the Pilot as well, but in the Passport, you can take it to the next level. With the increased ride height and approach angle of the Passport, you don’t have to worry about rough terrain so much, and are free to explore your inner-weekend warrior or take the kids to your favorite backpacking or fishing spot.

Starting at $31,990, it’s hard to say no to a Passport that can take you and your family nearly anywhere.

Reliable and Fun: The New Practical

Honda has truly redefined our expectations with their SUV lineup, and it’s easy to see why they have won so many awards and are continually recognized for their ingenuity and every-day practicality.

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