Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A white 2023 Honda HR-V is shown from the front at an angle.

Which New Honda Is Right for You?

When talking about long-lasting reliable cars, one name that constantly comes up is Honda. With a background in motorcycles, Honda began making affordable cars that last in 1963, and has continued to do so ever since. From the original Civic to the modern HR-V, Honda has consistently produced cars that stand the test of time, and that are available for a reasonable price from your local Honda dealer.

When we are searching for a new vehicle, we usually have a certain kind of automobile in mind. Some people are fans of pickup trucks, while others prefer sedans or SUVs. Honda has options in all of these areas, all of which embody their commitment to quality and reliability at a fair price. Let’s take a look at some of these models to help you figure out which Honda is right for you.

2024 Honda HR-V

The 2024 Honda HR-V is an SUV for the times, with a reasonable starting MSRP of $24,100.
All HR-Vs come with a 2.0L I-4 engine, making 158 horsepower, 138 lb-ft of torque, and mated with a continuously variable transmission. This provides a quite reasonable fuel economy of 28 MPG combined for front-wheel drive models, and 27 MPG with all-wheel drive.

Every Honda HR-V, from the most basic LX to the top-of-the-line EX-L, comes with the Honda Sensing Suite as standard equipment. This includes safety features such as automatic braking, lane keeping assistance with traffic jam assist, adaptive cruise control with low-speed following, and traffic sign recognition that reads and displays road signs on your dashboard. No longer will you have to wonder, “What is the speed limit here?”

The HR-V’s technology isn’t limited to safety, either. The infotainment system comes with a seven-inch touchscreen and supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The EX-L trim enlarges this to a nine-inch screen, as well as a 180-watt eight-speaker audio system to fill the cabin with sound.

A grey 2023 Honda CR-V is shown from the side after leaving a Honda dealer.

2024 Honda CR-V

Starting at $29,500, the Honda CR-V is a significant price jump from the HR-V, but it’s also much more car for the money. It’s a larger SUV, providing up to 76.5 cu.ft. of cargo space with the back seats folded down. The CR-V’s standard engine is a 1.5L Turbo I-4 that makes 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque, quite a bit more than the HR-V. There are also CR-V Hybrid models available, something the HR-V does not offer. Its 2.0L I-4 engine combined with the electric drive system is even more powerful than the turbo engine, producing 204 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. Even more impressive is the Hybrid’s fuel economy, a combined rating of 40 MPG in front-wheel drive models and 37 MPG with all-wheel drive.

2024 Honda Civic

The venerable Civic has been a mainstay of Honda’s lineup since the 1970s. Now on its eleventh generation, the Civic is available as either a sedan or a hatchback, each with its unique qualities.

The Civic Sedan is the less expensive option, starting at $23,950. The Civic Hatchback costs $1,000 more, starting at $24,950. Both of these offer the same engine choices, a standard 2.0L I-4 making 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque, and an optional 1.5L Turbo I-4 making 180 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque. Once again, the Honda Sensing Suite is standard equipment across all trims of both models, as well as the seven-inch touchscreen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Beyond the body style, though, the sedan and hatchback do have their differences. The hatchback offers more rear cargo room, 25.4 cu.ft. with the back seats up instead of 14.8 in the sedan. The differences go beyond practical aspects as well. Only the continuously variable transmission is available in the sedan, while the hatchback offers a six-speed manual transmission for a more sporty driving experience. The sedan is not without a sporting nature, with the Civic Si including a 200 horsepower version of the 1.5L Turbo I-4 engine available only with a six-speed manual transmission. The Civic Si is only available as a sedan. However, the top-of-the-line Civic Type R only comes as a hatchback, and upgrades the driving experience even further with a 2.0L Turbo I-4 that makes 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.

A red 2024 Honda Civic Type R is shown from the front on a racetrack.

2023 Honda Ridgeline

Now, on to my personal favorite type of vehicle, the pickup truck. The 2023 Honda Ridgeline is ready to pack a punch and make a roar on your next adventurous drive. (Honda has not yet released information about the anticipated 2024 model.) Starting at $38,800, the Ridgeline differs from other mid-size trucks in that it has unibody construction, not a traditional body-on-frame design like most other trucks. This gives it a far more comfortable ride and makes it easier to drive on the street. Think of it as a Honda Pilot with a truck bed. It even uses the same 3.5L V6 engine that makes a generous 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque.

While the Ridgeline is not quite as tough or capable off-road as the traditional pickup truck body-on-frame design, the Ridgeline will still do everything most truck owners need when it comes to hauling cargo from place to place. It carries up to five passengers comfortably, and will tow up to 5,000 pounds. Its dual-action tailgate can either drop down like a traditional truck, or swing open to the side to provide easier access to the bed. The Ridgeline also includes a small lockable trunk inside the truck bed, something most other trucks don’t provide. It will likely be no surprise by now that the Ridgeline also includes features like the Honda Sensing Suite, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Most notable about the Ridgeline is that it includes all-wheel drive as standard equipment. Most pickup trucks offer rear-wheel drive, with four-wheel drive as an optional extra. The Ridgeline powers all four wheels at all times, providing superior traction in all road conditions. While a true transfer case and part-time four-wheel drive are tougher and superior for off-road travel, that’s not the Ridgeline’s purpose in life. Its all-wheel drive system is better for everyday all-weather use, and with all four wheels powered at all times, you don’t have to worry about whether you’re in two or four-wheel drive at any given time.

A Honda for Everyone’s Needs

No matter what your needs or desires, Honda has a vehicle for you. The HR-V is an economical daily driver that can haul your passengers and cargo without breaking the bank. The CR-V is a great choice if you need a little more room, plus it offers a fuel-sipping hybrid version. The Civic is a modern classic, offering SUV-like practicality in its hatchback model, plus a fun, sporty driving experience for enthusiasts at any level. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Ridgeline combines all the practicality of an SUV with the open cargo area and towing capacity of a pickup truck, not to mention the image. Whichever Honda is best for you, you’ll be getting a vehicle that will run reliably, last you for years, and not break the bank to buy.