Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A red 2020 Honda Passport Elite is shown driving through a desert.

3 Travel-Ready Certified Honda Models For You

When you start looking for a certified Honda for sale, you may become overwhelmed with just how many choices there are. The good news is that when it comes to family-friendliness and travel, Honda is the brand for you, so you’re on the right track there. But what happens when you don’t know exactly which Honda model suits you best? We made this guide to help you out in times like these. We’re making it easy by showing you side-by-side model specs. We’re going to be taking a closer look at three travel-ready Honda models you’ll want to check out today.

What Do We Mean By “Travel-Ready?”

Technically speaking, all vehicles are ready to hit the road, so what exactly does the term “travel-ready” refer to? Great question! When we say “travel-ready,” we simply mean that a model is spacious and easy to navigate. It’s the type of model that you can take on a long family trip or simply cruise with the kids on a Sunday drive without feeling claustrophobic. Fighting is much less likely in a model like this because everyone has breathing space.

Your typical “travel-ready” models include SUVs and minivans, which often get lumped into the same categories. We’re here to show you the differences between three of Honda’s most travel-friendly minivan and SUV models and why they’re not all the same. You may think you want a minivan instead of an SUV or vice versa, but until you understand the core differences between these body styles, you don’t want to rush your purchase just yet.

A red 2020 Honda Odyssey is shown parked in the driveway of a family home.

The Honda Odyssey: Family-Friendly Travels

While SUVs are growing in popularity, minivans still aren’t out of style just yet. Although SUVs and minivans appear to have similar perks, there are actually some key differences that may influence your decision. When you choose the Honda Odyssey over an SUV option like the Pilot or Passport, you’re choosing the most family-friendly city commuter possible. Minivans like the Odyssey have lower ground clearance, which means they’re easier to get in and out of.

This is a plus when it comes to accessibility. Folks who use wheelchairs or mobility scooters, for example, will have a much easier time getting in and out of the Odyssey than Honda’s SUV options. Sliding doors also add to the Odyssey’s user-friendliness, and while SUVs do offer plenty of seating, you’re going to find more passenger space in a minivan than in even the largest SUVs.

We love the Odyssey’s accessibility perks, along with its tech-friendly design. The fifth-generation Honda Odyssey (which was introduced in 2018) includes several entertainment options which vary by trim. The lowest trims offer basics such as Bluetooth connectivity and USB charging, while higher trims include wireless headphones, a wireless phone charger, rear-seat entertainment screens, and more.

This is the best model for town and city drivers looking for family-friendliness. Whether you’re riding solo or with the fam, it’s important to note that minivans aren’t for every driver. If you travel a lot in bad weather or live on backroads, you may want to consider one of the next models: a Honda SUV.

The Honda Passport: Your Adventure-Ready SUV

SUVs come in many shapes and sizes. The main reason to choose an SUV over a minivan is its capability. You’re going to see a better towing capacity and more efficient off-road and weather-friendly driving. The Honda Passport is a great example. Unless you need to haul eight passengers and tow larger items, this midsize SUV is perfect for you.

The Passport is great for small families and solo drivers. The third-generation Honda Passport (introduced in 2019) seats up to five passengers, has all-wheel drive capability, and it can tow up to 5,000 pounds. This makes it a great option for weekend nature adventures. While it’s no Jeep Wrangler, the Passport can handle unusual terrain, making it a solid choice when you go tent camping or kayaking.

We recommend the Passport to those who venture outside the city limits, but you don’t have to be an outdoorsy type to enjoy this model. The Passport includes all the modern conveniences you hope for, such as heated and ventilated seating, remote start, standard driver-assist features, and much more. It’s an all-around commuter, but it’s an especially good fit for the adventurous travelers out there.

A silver 2020 Honda Pilot is shown at a game stadium after viewing certified Hondas for sale.

The Honda Pilot: A Balance Between the Odyssey and the Passport

What if we told you that you can snatch up a Honda model that balances the perks of both the Odyssey and the Passport? Well, you can, thanks to the third-generation Honda Pilot. This midsize SUV includes seating for up to seven people, just like the Odyssey minivan, while towing up to 5,000 pounds like the Passport. Put simply, you can ditch the minivan exterior while still having plenty of interior space.

The best part about the Pilot is that it is available with all-wheel drive. The front-wheel drive version is more affordable and is perfectly suitable for minor, inconvenient weather conditions such as rain and mild snow storms. That said, we recommend the all-wheel drive version just in case, especially if you’re using this as a family commuter. The all-wheel drive AWD capability will give you added security during flash floods and other adverse road conditions. It will also help the Pilot handle the muddy roadways that can come along with state park visits and cabin stays.

Finally, the Pilot comes with a tremendous amount of interior storage space. By folding down the two rear rows of seats, you can fit up to 109 cubic feet of cargo. By comparison, the Odyssey provides 158 cubic feet, while the Passport has 100 cubic feet of cargo space. Given its midsize classification, this is plenty of space. Overall, the Pilot is easy to navigate while ensuring plenty of passenger and cargo space.

Which Honda Model is Best for You?

Now that you’ve seen the specs side-by-side, it’s easier to understand just what differentiates these three popular Honda models. When you need accessibility, or you’re a city-only traveler, the Honda Odyssey is your best bet. It also offers the most interior space. However, when you need the towing capacity and all-wheel drive capability for outdoorsy travel, you’ll want to stick with the Passport or the Pilot. The main differentiating factor between these two models is that the Passport is best suited for rural drivers and has fewer seats. The Pilot can also handle adverse roadways, but the Passport is lighter and includes a TrailSport version to help tackle whatever comes your way.

It’s important to keep in mind that while the Pilot is the perfect balance between the Odyssey and the Passport, each model comes with several customizable features and trim levels. This leaves room for a broad spectrum of choices on all three models. Put simply, there is a certified Honda model for any driver type. But generally speaking, cargo and passenger space will stay the same no matter what trim level you choose.

Now that you know the specs and have an idea about which Honda model you want, it’s time to start shopping! Just make sure you ask about specific configurations and trim levels because the specs can vary when you’re looking at certified used models. If you have particular specifications in mind, be sure to clarify those with your dealer.