Avenue Motors NJ Used
 Sales 973-319-8566
Service 973-313-5256
1453 Lawrence St Rahway, NJ 07065
Today 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Open Today !
Sales: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
All Hours

Honda CR-V vs. passport vs. pilot

Comparison of Honda CR-V, Passport, and Pilot

1. Introduction

The Honda CR-V, Passport, and Pilot represent a series of compact, two-row, and three-row SUVs, respectively. All built on the same basic set of bones, these three vehicles represent some of the most popular choices in the highly lucrative SUV segment. With so many options to choose from, it's hard to know which is the best fit. In this post, we take a closer look at this trifecta of family haulers compare in terms of space, accommodation, and utility when directly compared. First and foremost, it is imperative to understand that the CR-V and Pilot are typically classed in the "compact" and "minivan" subsections. That being said, in recent years as the crossover SUV has been gaining popularity. The line between what is considered a compact SUV and a midsize SUV has become increasingly blurred. This is only exacerbated when comparing specific models. For the intents and purposes of this comparison, we are more concerned with whether the two-row and three-row versions of these vehicles are a better alternative to a minivan.

2. Exterior Design

Cr-V's design is a safe, solid five-seat SUV which has 17-inch alloy wheels for the exterior and 2.0L I4 DOHC 16V i-VTEC for the engine. However, you can also choose the bigger engine that is 2.4L I4 DOHC 16V i-VTEC. The bigger engine is available for the second trim and saves the same fuel economy, but it delivers more power. For the drive-train of CR-V, you can choose between front wheel drive or the real time AWD with intelligent control system. With CR-V's rather big lower body, there is more airflow coming through the bottom, thus positioning the exhaust on the left rear side of the car. This design is finished by the rear divided door which opens in two pieces from left to right. As a result, the entire car is more sleek and sporty, and it's perfect for anyone who wants to go to any outdoor activities with style. Passport has a basic exterior design with standard 20-inch alloy wheels and a hands-free access power tailgate. Although the innovation on the exterior is the front grille/bumper which is higher compared to any type of Honda cars and it is designed to tackle rough road situations. For lift-assistance in Passport's stability, there is an extra 0.7 inch higher than the standard 2WD car, which makes the overall look become more robust. Step on to the back, you will find a hidden compartment under the cargo floor, and the rear door opens to the side. This exterior design makes Passport become the most suitable car for outdoor activities.

2.1. CR-V

Behind the wheel, the CR-V boasts a driver-centric cockpit design with exceptional outward visibility, a comfortable seating position, and the quality feel of soft-touch elements and metallic trim. Ex models and higher have an updated high-tech look with a 7-inch display audio touch-screen that serves as the command center for the available navigation system and other integrated telematics functions. The CR-V offers the most sophisticated AWD system in the group, with a capability far beyond what most compact SUVs in its class can deliver. The Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System, standard on all ex and higher models, can send power to the rear wheels the instant front-wheel slippage is detected, and continuously vary the power distribution based on conditions. This system gives the CR-V exceptional all-weather handling and an extra measure of off-road capability, while still delivering the inherent fuel efficiency and packaging efficiency of a front-drive system. With excelle

2.2. Passport

Passport has a noticeably more off-road focus than the CR-V or Pilot, and the shorter rear overhangs give it a look that is more upright and rugged. However, the versatile nature of all Honda light trucks is still present as the Passport features plenty of underfloor storage in the back. Passport has a unibody frame like the CR-V and Pilot, and its front and all-wheel drive configurations allow it to maintain the same off-road capabilities as the Pilot, something that is becoming increasingly rare in the midsize SUV segment. There is no denying that the rear-end favor of the vehicle gives it a distinct appearance from the CR-V and Pilot with its heightened rugged appearance and makes it unique from the rest of the lineup. This is a very smart move by Honda, as it will be essential for the Passport to establish its own identity in the crossover market. This comparison is made a little more interesting by Honda's intention to race a Baja prepped Passport as previously announced, for that will certainly make it a more credible threat to the Subaru Outback and other midsize crossovers. Even if you have no intentions of racing Baja, the new Passport sure looks like it can.

2.3. Pilot

The Pilot has been around since 2002. It has always been the biggest Honda SUV in the lineup. First-gen Pilots compared to today's Pilots are very different both inside and out. The first-gen Pilots had a boxy truck-like appearance and looked rather boring. They don't even look much like the Honda Pilot we all know. Second-gen Pilots have a rounder and softer look. These Pilots compared to the first-gen just look terribly outdated. This is largely due to their transmissions and their torque management systems. The older Pilots run off 5-speed transmissions and VTMs. These lacked in performance and greatly affected fuel consumption. Back to modern day Pilots, after its re-release in 2015, it has had a total new transformation in terms of style. The third-gens compared to second-gens have a much more aggressive and sporty appeal to it. With edges and sharp lines, it slightly looks like a bigger CR-V. In fact, it is very similar to its little brother CR-V. The front ends have many resemblances to each other and most of the appearance differences are just due to size. With the new Pilot taillights consisting of LED light bars, it has a luxurious touch to it. This feature is only available on the Pilot elite and Touring models so it may not be as easy to spot. All in all, however you put it, today's Pilots are a major upgrade in appearance compared to the Honda SUVs in the early 2000s and 2010s.

3. Interior Features

The first word that comes to mind when reviewing the CR-V interior is usability; every control, function, and storage bin seems to have been designed for maximum ease of use and convenience. An adjustable cargo floor similar to the one that comes with the Fit is a CR-V option. It can be set at different heights for loading (so you slide heavy items into the cargo area rather than lifting them over the bumper) and can create a hidden storage area underneath. The CR-V also avoids the traditional SUV layout with a comprehensive center console and gear lever on the steering wheel instrument panel, creating a more open design in the forward cabin. The Passport interior is very similar to that of the Pilot, which in turn closely resembles the Honda Odyssey. Less utilitarian than the Element and more luxurious than the Civic, both the Passport and Pilot include an easy-to-use meadow of controls, levers, and compartments. However, there are luxury features that come with higher trim levels. Most notable is the Odyssey's disappearing 2nd row, a feature that is one of a kind in the minivan market. Step on the lever and the 2nd row magic seats will slide to the front, the seat back will fold forward, and the entire seat will slide on the floor, out of the vehicle. The 3rd row will do the same, leaving a completely flat surface for cargo and tons of space for travel necessities such as bicycles or camping equipment. The lower LX trim levels of the Pilot are very utilitarian with hard plastics and a 2nd row bench, but the EX trim levels and above start to take on a more luxurious feel with soft-touch surfaces throughout and the option for 2nd row captain's chairs.

3.1. CR-V

All CR-Vs except the base LX model have a standard backup camera. It seems that every new car sold in North America by 2015 will have one but for now, the CR-V is the first compact SUV to make it standard across all trim levels. The screen itself is placed in the rearview mirror of LX model and in the i-MID for higher trim levels. Honda says this is a pre-emptive regulatory measure designed to better alert drivers and pedestrians who might not expect large blind spots on a compact SUV. If you've ever seen a CR-V driver parallel park in a busy parking lot, you know just how long they take and how little attention they pay to anything other than not scraping the bumper of the adjacent car (I can say this; I own a CR-V!) so this is probably a good call. Speaking of parking, turn a CR-V 90 degrees to the left and you've got a Honda Accord. Dimensions are within a few inches all around. There's enough room for a midsize sedan but even adult passengers aren't likely to praise the accommodations for long journeys and CR-Vs aren't subject to the same wear and tear.

3.1 CR-V Honda CR-V was designed to most closely resemble a traditional 5-passenger, car-based SUV. In this regard, it has a number of car-like interior treatments in addition to some practical attributes. The dash is deepest in the center where it integrates with the dual-level console. An armrest/storage compartment is placed low for a car-like feel and below that is a hidden, stowaway beverage table, perfect for a mobile phone or iPod. Upper dash controls are easy to reach and are a mix of common and Honda-centric design. For example, a big audio knob is placed above inboard HVAC controls and system menus rely on an i-MID display. Although not always the smoothest or easiest to navigate, i-MID has steadily improved in both graphics and user friendliness.

3.2. Passport

The Passport, being in the same category as the Honda Pilot, shares a lot of the same interior features. The first is the push button start, which is merely a convenience feature. The Passport also comes with tri-zone automatic climate control. This feature gives every passenger in the car independent control of their climate zones. It is useful in controlling arguments between siblings about whether it is too hot or too cold in the vehicle. It also allows for more personal comfort for every passenger. The Passport also has an E-con button, Efficient control, which is a feature that adjusts the performance of the engine, the climate control, and the cruise control system to conserve fuel. When activated, the push button to the left of the steering wheel will show a green light; otherwise, it will be blue. The Honda Passport also comes with the HomeLink Remote System. This feature is essentially a remote system that can be programmed to operate any 3 devices. An example of these devices could be a garage door opener, home lighting, or an automatic gate, although the possibilities are almost endless. It is a good feature to have for the convenience of your vehicle. The final feature for the Passport is the power tailgate. This feature is very desirable, especially for those with their hands full. With the key fob in use, the press of the button will open and close the tailgate, if set to do so with the press of the button.

3.3. Pilot

The most spacious of the three, the Pilot seats up to eight passengers. The second-row seats are 182 cm long and 4 kg lighter than the previous generation of seats. The weight reduction allows for easier maneuvering when accessing the 3rd row using the one-touch functionality of the second-row seats. The 2nd row has two sets of LATCH anchors for child seats and on the driver's side, the middle seat can slide forward to put a child in a car seat within arm's reach. Where the Pilot really stands out is in cargo space. The Pilot has 18.5 cubic feet behind the third row, 55.9 cubic feet behind the second row, and 109.2 cubic feet behind the first row. That being said, 18.5 cubic feet is still a lot of space so it's not a bad thing that the Pilot prioritizes passenger volume over cargo volume. Rounding off the interior, the Pilot includes several large storage compartments. From the center console to the glove box and each door having storage capable of fitting a water bottle, the Pilot offers more convenience when bringing items on the go.

4. Performance and Handling

The CR-V, Passport, and Pilot don't share any powertrain components, but Honda's largest SUVs are similar in many other respects. The CR-V's 184-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder and continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) carried over from the 2016-2018 models; the powertrain is standard on the base LX and the volume-selling EX trims. From our testing of a front-drive EX model, the four-cylinder has adequate oomph for normal driving. The CR-V Touring and all other trims now feature a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder, which is one of the best available in a compact SUV. This engine is smooth, refined, and potent, feeling more like a six-cylinder than a turbo four, and the CVT is less noticeable with this engine due to its broader torque curve. In our test of a front-drive EX-L model, the 280-hp 3.5-liter V-6 delivered strong performance, in addition to being smooth and refined. The six-speed automatic, which has long been a Honda hallmark, is notably tied to this specific engine compared with the nine-speed unit in the Pilot and the potentially problematic ZF nine-speed in the Acura division. The Pilot's available all-wheel drive has a front-wheel bias and lacks a low range, and the system and the transmission have traction-management modes with settings for mud, sand, and snow. The Pilot's 262 lb-ft of torque (versus 262-280 for the turbocharged CR-Vs) and considerably heavier weight give it the powertrain feel of a typical three-row SUV—meaning that it's more functional than fun.

4.1. CR-V

The CR-V is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine which produces 184 hp, or by a slightly peppier 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder pumped up to 190 hp. All CR-Vs ride and handle well, smothering rough pavement and absorbing impacts; they even do okay on the dirt, although none of them are what you'd call off-road machines. Even with a fairly soft suspension and a bit too much body lean for our tastes, it's safe to call the way it operates endearing. The base engine brings a fuel economy of 26/32 mpg with the front-wheel drive and 25/31 with all-wheel drive, while the turbo engine nets 28/34 mpg with front-wheel drive and 27/33 with all-wheel drive. With light steering and sound handling, the CR-V feels assured and composed in most driving situations. And remember, the EX model and above offer Honda Sensing, a suite of driver assist features such as adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist. While the CR-V certainly isn't a quick or sporty machine, its looks are deceiving of its pleasant driving experience.

4.2. Passport

Passport comes only with a 3.5L V6 backed by a 9-speed automatic transmission. This is up from the CRV's 2.4L I4/1.5T I4 and the Pilot's 3.5L V6/9-Speed Auto or ZF 9-Speed Automatic Transmission in the lower trim levels. The combination of the V6 and 9AT gives the Passport a max tow rating of 5,000 lbs on the AWD model. This is significantly more than the CRV's 1,500 lbs and Pilot's 3,500 to 5,000 lbs depending on AWD or 2WD. This tow rating is the largest in the midsize 2-row SUV class. Also standard on the Passport is Honda's i-VTM4 all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring. In the base Sport trim, it is purely a traction-enhancing system with normal and snow modes. Once you step up to the EXL and above, it will have different terrain modes designed for off-road use. This makes the Passport a sportier, off-road-ready vehicle compared to the CRV and much more aggressive-looking than the Pilot. The greater power, larger size, and AWD system do come at a cost of fuel economy. The Passport has an MPG rating in two categories, one for the FWD and another for AWD. The EPA MPG rating for the FWD is 20/25/22 city/highway/combined. For the AWD model, the rating is 19/24/21. This is significantly lower than the CRV and a little less than the Pilot, which utilizes cylinder deactivation in 3 of its 6 grades to achieve slightly higher MPG when not in VCM mode. V6 Passport and Pilot models do not use cylinder deactivation.

4.3. Pilot

Overall, while the Pilot isn't a class leader in performance and handling, it still performs quite well for a vehicle of its size and is a suitable choice for those who need the extra space and 3rd row seating.

The Pilot's fuel economy is also quite poor for a non-luxury mid-sized SUV, with an average of 21 mpg. This is partly due to the Pilot's age, as it uses the same Earth Dreams J35 engine as the Passport but with a less efficient 6-speed automatic transmission or a 9-speed automatic on higher trims.

Like the Passport, the Pilot comes standard with 18" wheels and all-season tires, and all models have the option of all-wheel drive. The AWD system is different from that on the Passport, as it uses Honda's older Variable Torque Management (VTM-4) system. This system is generally less efficient and more front-wheel drive biased compared to the i-VTM4 system found in the Passport.

The Pilot, Honda's largest SUV, shares the same platform and powertrain as the Passport. However, the extra weight puts it at a disadvantage. The Pilot weighs about 400 lbs more than the Passport, due to its larger size and extra 3rd row of seating. This negatively affects performance and handling compared to the Passport. With a 0-60 mph time of 6.5-6.8 seconds, it is about 0.5-0.8 seconds slower than the Passport and about 0.7 seconds slower than the CR-V. The extra weight also affects the Pilot's handling, with a slightly more pronounced feeling of understeer. Despite this, the Pilot is still regarded as a good handling vehicle, especially for its size.

Read More About Honda CR-V vs. Passport vs. Pilot