There may be no car market area more competitive than the SUV segment. These vehicles are hugely popular in the United States thanks to their impressive spaciousness, innovative safety, and unique style. As a country, we can’t get enough of them. Whereas sedan numbers have been dwindling in automakers’ lineups, the number of available SUVs seems to grow every year. Public demand allows automakers to have several SUV offerings for a single model year, even if there are just slight variations in size and capability.
Aside from a wide range of options, the competitiveness in the SUV segment breeds quality. In order to keep up, automakers have to deliver nothing short of the best, and that’s exactly what Honda is doing. This year, Honda’s SUV lineup is full of exciting new versions of well-loved classics. The 2023 Honda CR-V starts off a new generation, for example, as does the 2023 HR-V and the 2023 Pilot. The Passport is in the fledgling years of a new generation, having started its third in 2019 and getting a facelift in 2022. Needless to say, all of Honda’s SUVs feel pretty fresh in 2023, but which reigns supreme? There are no wrong answers to this question since each of Honda’s SUVs knocks it out of the park. The very best will depend on each driver’s personal preferences, so here are Honda’s SUVs ranked based on mine.
#5. The 2023 Honda Passport
The 2023 Honda Passport is a 2-row SUV with rugged, outdoorsy styling and a capable powertrain, making it the perfect partner for adventure tackling. It has one engine option in the form of a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, and that power translates to a respectable towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. The Passport also has Intelligent Traction Management with different driving modes, including snow, sand, and mud, that, when engaged, tune the SUV’s performance to handle challenging terrains with ease. It has three trim levels, all of which come standard with the Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance features and leather-trimmed seats.
The 2023 Passport isn’t ranked last on this list because it’s a bad vehicle; that’s far from the case. It’s a jack-of-all-trades type of SUV that can fit well into a number of different lifestyles, which speaks volumes to the quality of Honda’s SUV lineup. Some of their other vehicles are more specialized or have a few areas where they really excel as opposed to being solid in all of them. While the Passport is an all-around reliable vehicle, it doesn’t quite stand out in Honda’s star-packed roster.
#4. The 2023 Honda Pilot
In Honda’s lineup, the award for largest SUV goes to the 2023 Pilot. This indomitable SUV is the only model with three rows of seats, accommodating up to eight passengers. It comes newly redesigned for the 2023 model year and receives fresh styling that feels cohesive with the rest of Honda’s vehicles that have been recently facelifted. Like the Passport, the Pilot is powered by a 3.5-liter V6, but it’s slightly more powerful, generating 285 hp. Unlike the Passport, the Pilot is available in both all-wheel and front-wheel drives, giving buyers more flexibility while shopping. The availability of front-wheel drive also helps give the 2023 Pilot better fuel economy than the Passport, getting 19 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway.
The Pilot ranks above the Passport simply due to having more tools in its toolbox. It seats more while getting better gas mileage, gives drivers the option of choosing between all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, and has five different trim levels to choose from instead of the Passport’s three. The Pilot’s redesign for 2023 also helps its ranking, as its boxy new aesthetic makes this SUV both capable and handsome.
#3. The 2023 Honda CR-V
Debuting its sixth generation, the CR-V enters 2023 with a bold new design. It’s larger than the outgoing model with a 106.3-inch wheelbase, a growth of 1.6 inches from the prior year. The new CR-V is better-looking, too, with a boxier frame akin to the Pilot that’s a far cry from the somewhat generic crossover styling the old CR-V sported. It’s powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder, good for 190 hp, and paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
There’s a major difference between the smaller and larger SUVs in Honda’s lineup that help the little guys stand out: fuel efficiency. While V6 engines power the bigger vehicles on this list, the pared-down engine in the CR-V makes efficient use of its power for a vehicle that is both fun to drive and economical. The addition of the CVT also helps since it’s one of the most efficient transmissions a car can have. While the Pilot gets 19 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway, the CR-V is considerably more fuel conscious, getting up to 28 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway when equipped with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive variants get 27 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway.
#2. The 2023 Honda HR-V
The HR-V is another Honda SUV that benefits from a redesign in 2023. It’s probably the most stylish Honda on this list, with a sophisticated, clean design that extends from bumper to bumper. Outside, the HR-V sports a fastback-adjacent body style that gives the vehicle a premium look. Its interior is also significantly elevated with just the right amount of flair. A bar vent extends along the dash, and there’s a good mix of tactile controls between the 7-inch color touchscreen and several dials and buttons. The HR-V’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine gets you up to 158 hp and is mated with a CVT. Despite not having a hybrid powertrain option, the HR-V gets respectable fuel economy at 26 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway. It does have an all-wheel drive variation, and the extra grip will cost you just a little at the pump. The HR-V with all-wheel drive will get 25 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway.
#1. The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid
The CR-V is knocking it out of the park in 2023, and the hybridized version enjoys all the upgrades the sixth generation is bringing with it. It has two trim options, the Sport Hybrid and Sport Touring Hybrid, and the list of standard features feels endless, with things like ambient interior lighting, leather accents, and plenty of driving assistance features included on both trim levels. Opting for the Sport Touring Hybrid will add some extra goodies, like a heated steering wheel and Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System.
I ranked the CR-V hybrid number one on this list because it delivers what so many drivers are after right now: exceptional fuel economy. Being a hybrid, its fuel consumption is significantly reduced compared to the other SUVs on this list. Its powertrain, made up of a four-cylinder engine and lithium-ion battery, produces up to 204 hp while getting up to 43 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway. Its all-wheel drive model gets 40 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway. Regardless of which model you choose, you’ll be sure to get unparalleled efficiency that’s perfect for those long road trips and daily commutes.