- 2020 Honda CR-V receives a mid-cycle update.
- Honda Passport was all-new for 2019 and is a shortened version of the Pilot.
- Both vehicles offer seating for up to five.
Honda offers four SUVs — the subcompact HR-V, the compact CR-V, the midsize 5-passenger Passport and the midsize 3-row Pilot. The two vehicles in the middle of that list, the CR-V and Passport, both offer decent cargo space and room for up to five passengers. Therefore, you may find yourself stuck when it comes to deciding which one is right for you. Below we’ll compare the two in a number of categories to help provide some clarity.
The CR-V and Pilot both wear rather sedate crossover styling. Honda at least attempts to give the Passport some added character via black accents on the grille, body panels and tailgate. Functional roof rails are standard on the Touring and Elite trims, while the base Sport and top-spec Elite models come with black wheels. The CR-V keeps things pretty conservative. Exterior highlights include taillights that extend upward into the D-pillars and silver accents on the new hybrid models.
In terms of size, the Passport is bigger than the CR-V in just about every dimension. The CR-V measures 180.6 inches long, 73 inches wide and 66.5 inches tall, while the Passport is 190.5 inches long, 78.6 inches wide and 71.6 inches tall with front-wheel drive or 72.2 inches tall with all-wheel drive. See the 2020 Honda CR-V models for sale near you
Honda makes a considerable effort to sell the Passport on its adventuring capabilities, advertising added ground clearance over the Pilot on which it’s based. While this is accurate, the Passport still doesn’t offer as much clearance as the CR-V, which offers 8.2 inches to the Passport’s 8.1 inches. See the 2020 Honda Passport models for sale near you
The CR-V’s interior looks a little dated, especially given that most trim levels incorporate rather in-your-face wood trim, which is odd in 2020. The new CR-V hybrid gets a push-button transmission, while the non-hybrid sticks with a traditional gear lever.
The Passport shares its interior with the Pilot, which is a good thing. The seats are comfortable, the ergonomics are good and it’s loaded with storage compartments. There’s no wood to be found — only piano-black plastic, which better fits with the Passport’s sleeker aesthetic.
In terms of space, the Passport again dwarfs the CR-V. While the discrepancy isn’t as apparent in the passenger areas, where the two vehicles are somewhat similar, the size difference becomes clear when you move onto the cargo area. With their second rows in place, the CR-V comes with 39.2 cu ft of room while the Passport offers 50.5 cu ft. Fold the second row and the CR-V expands to 75.8 cu ft and the Passport grows to a whopping 100.7 cu ft.
The CR-V comes in four different trims: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. As of the 2020 model year, every non-hybrid CR-V comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine making 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque and paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission. FWD is standard, while AWD is optional across the board. With FWD, the 2020 CR-V returns 28 miles per gallon in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg in combined driving. AWD models net 27 mpg city/32 mpg highway/29 mpg combined.
New for 2020 is a CR-V Hybrid. The hybrid uses a 2.0-liter VTEC 4-cylinder paired with a 2-motor hybrid system for a total output of 212 hp — 22 more than what you get in the non-hybrid CR-V. AWD comes standard. The EPA rates the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid at 40 mpg city/35 mpg highway/38 mpg combined.
The Passport comes with just one engine. It’s the same 3.5-liter V6 used in the Pilot, and it makes 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. Every Passport comes with a 9-speed automatic sending power to either the front wheels or all four via optional AWD. Four trim levels are offered: Sport, EX-L, Touring and Elite. With FWD, the Passport is good for 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway/22 mpg combined, while AWD models lose one mpg in all three categories, according to the EPA.
Both the CR-V and Passport offer an available foot-activated hands-free power tailgate, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a programmable garage door opener, power front seats, LED lighting, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The Passport does offer a number of features unavailable on the CR-V though, including ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, front and rear parking sensors, power-folding side-view mirrors, a wireless charging pad, a large storage compartment under the rear cargo floor, roll-up sun shades in the second-row windows and more.
Both vehicles come with a basic touchscreen infotainment system in their lowest trims but gain an upgraded unit once you move away from the base trim level. The upgraded unit comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
Both the CR-V and Passport perform well in crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Both vehicles come standard with forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and automatic high beams. Blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic detection is included on all but the base trim levels.
Factoring in destination fees, the 2020 Honda CR-V has a starting price of $26,170 and tops out at $35,870 in loaded Touring trim. The Hybrid model, which is offered in the same four trim levels as the regular CR-V but comes exclusively with AWD, starts at $28,870. It reaches $37,070 in loaded Touring trim, representing a $1,200 price premium over the non-hybrid.
The CR-V and Passport are both compelling vehicles that sit at or near the head of their respective classes. The CR-V is smaller than the Passport, offers less equipment and comes with a lower price. It also adds a hybrid model for 2020 that returns respectable fuel economy. The Passport isn’t available as a Hybrid. The Passport does offer considerably more space than the CR-V though, along with more equipment and a slightly more exciting overall demeanor, but that all comes at a cost of about $8,000-$10,000 more, depending on trim level. Altogether, if you just want an economical SUV, the CR-V has broader appeal, but if you’re looking for more room and more features, the Passport is tough to beat. Find a Honda CR-V for sale or Find a Honda Passport for sale