More than arguably any other Japanese manufacturer, Honda Motor Company has had a sterling and long-standing reputation for reliability and innovation. Honda has never been shy about casting caution to the proverbial wind with such trailblazing vehicles as the original NSX and the Insight (the first hybrid sold in the US). So Honda’s track record is stellar, but how is the company measuring up in the super-competitive SUV market in 2020? Let’s take a gander at all the Honda models that fit within the crossover/SUV category and see if they are holding up the company’s honor in today’s crowded marketplace.
2020 Honda HR-V
The smallest, least-expensive, and thriftiest Honda crossover/SUV is the H-RV, a front-wheel drive-based mini 5-door that is weirdly attractive, although not elegant in a classical sense. It debuted in North America for the 2016 model year to fill the line-up gap below the wildly popular CR-V. The HR-V packs more than a respectable amount of cargo within its slimmer shape (shorter by 10 inches, and lighter by some 400 lbs than its bigger brother). Although the HR-V is a subcompact crossover, its versatility quotient remains impressive, mostly due to its second-row Magic Seat. The ingenious system takes the 60/40 split configuration up a couple of notches to allow multiple ways to store copious amounts of luggage/cargo, including bulky items.
Beyond versatility and practicality, the HR-V aims to please, with Honda’s traditional ergonomic thoughtfulness, as well as quality material that should withstand the test of time with aplomb. The HR-V’s not-so-impressive facets are few but include an engine that tends to be overly raucous, especially when pushed hard to extract all of its available 141 horses. The ride/handling compromise is perfectly acceptable for most folks, but should you wish to traverse less-than-smooth roads or explore the upper limits of its handling, you may be in for a bit of disappointment.
The base HR-V LX starts at $20,820, equipped with a nice selection of standard items including Bluetooth, the aforementioned Multi-Angle rearview camera, and the must-have Magic Seat. You can up the ante with the $22,520 Sport model, with its paddle shifters and Apple Carplay and Android Auto integration, or pick what we think is the best value for the money, namely the EX model that starts out at $23,970. It will get you a moonroof and heated front seats among a few other niceties. Those who want to splurge can opt for the EX-L, starting at $25,570 or the range-topping Touring model at $28,890. As mentioned previously, AWD is available on all models for $1,500 except on the touring on which it’s standard.
The HR-V remains a safe, value-packed, and miserly bet in the small crossover realm that will remain reliable and retain its resale value for years to come. If you can make your peace with its buzzy engine and somewhat mediocre acceleration, you will be rewarded with the knowledge that your SUV dollars were well-spent.
2020 Honda CR-V
Honda’s best-selling SUV and a perennial award-winner needs no introduction. Now in its 5th generation, the CR-V has continually raised the bar and redefined what it means to be a compact SUV by bringing advanced safety, technology, versatility, and fuel economy to the masses at an attractive price. The 2020 Honda CR-V continues its trailblazing ways with a new standard 190-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, providing about-average acceleration while delivering impressive fuel economy (28 MPG City/34 MPG Hwy). The styling of the Crossover SUV has also come of age, looking more mature and purposeful than ever before. As can be expected in all Honda vehicles, a suite of convenience and safety features is either standard or available to help buyers tailor the vehicle to their individual tastes.
The CR-V packages an interior that is blessed with all manners of thoughtful touches while offering cavernous cargo room. The infotainment display, however, while replete with much useful technology and needed features, is not the most intuitive one on the market, and is a bit idiosyncratic.
The big news for 2020 is Honda’s offering of a hybrid powertrain, which comprises a 2.0-liter gasoline engine supplemented by two electric motors, altogether delivering a very impressive 212 horsepower and 40 MPG city/35 MPG highway.
Starting out at $25,050 for the LX trim, and about $2,700 more for the base Hybrid LX model, you can get your CR-V fix across the four different trim levels, each trim level upgrade setting you back about $2,500 and getting a bunch more goodies for your hard-earned buck. Again, AWD is a $1,500 option across the range (AWD is standard on all the Hybrid models).
Most likely, disappointment will not be standard or optional if you find yourself signing on the dotted line for a Honda CR-V.
2020 Honda Passport
The Passport carries the midsize SUV torch for Honda with rugged-looking aesthetics and many positive attributes. Essentially a shorter, 5-passenger version of its big brother Pilot with visual enhancements to bestow a bit of a rugged/off road creds, the Passport nonetheless sports a spacious interior with a prodigious capacity for cargo. A standard 280-hp, 3.5L V6 engine also delivers impressive acceleration, albeit at the expense of fuel economy. The ride is also a bit suspect over rough or bumpy roads, and the looks can be described as somewhat unadventurous. However, the Passport shines with its standard driver assist features such as adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking, and can tackle mild off-road scenarios with poise, partially living up to its brawny looks.
Starting at around $31,990 for the base LX model, you can opt for AWD for a $2,000 upcharge. Higher trim levels will bring you Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, leather and heated seats, and a whole host of other niceties, culminating in the range-topping $43,780 Elite model with its standard AWD.
Brawny and brisk, a capable and willing passport to adventure awaits you in the 2020 Honda Passport, as long as your pursuits don’t entail any hardcore off-road endeavors.
2020 Honda Pilot
A true 8-passenger family-hauler and the hip alternative to a minivan, the Honda Pilot carries itself and its passengers in luxury and comfort thanks to its remarkable appetite to inhale cargo and Honda’s feature-packed ways. While certainly not an inexpensive proposition, it delivers on many of the points midsize SUV owners consider as non-negotiable, including a smooth ride, decent fuel economy, and cargo capacity, all thanks to Honda’s remarkable technological brilliance. The standard 280-hp V6, in FWD or AWD configurations, a standard 9-speed automatic and good, if not sparkling, fuel economy really sets the Pilot apart from its ilk.
Starting out at $31,650 for the base FWD LX model, the price quickly goes up with the addition of AWD and with each higher trim level that will deliver you goodies such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, leather seats, LED headlights, etc. The high-end Elite trim will easily exceed $50,000 should you opt for a few additional accessories.
While some rivals offer more space, a better infotainment system, or downright better looks, none can completely overshadow the Pilot in terms of the totality of the package.
Go Test Drive a Honda Model Today
All in all, Honda has seemingly covered every facet of the SUV/Crossover spectrum. Intelligently-designed and remarkably long-lasting, any of these vehicles would make a very safe bet for a buyer looking to stretch her or his SUV dollar while enjoying all the amenities and reliability of a Honda product.