Accord to Ridgeline

The Complete Honda Buying Guide: Every Model, Explained


August 16, 2019 Buying Guides By

Honda products have long been synonymous with reliability, efficiency, and affordability. Honda Motor Company was co-founded by Soichiro Honda and Takeo Fujisawa in 1949 with the introduction of the D-Type motorcycle, followed by the T360 small pick-up truck in 1963. Things took off in 1972, however when Honda released the Civic in the United States. It proved a game-changer for the Japanese company, launching it on a path towards global success.

With over 18 million cars sold over the past 47 years, the Civic has become one of the best-selling cars in the history of automobiles — as has its big brother, the Honda Accord. Today, Honda Motor Company has grown into one of the world’s most successful companies; while Honda remains Japan’s second-largest automobile manufacturers, the company also develops products ranging from gardening equipment to marine engines, personal watercraft and power generators.

Honda doesn’t have a traditional alphanumeric naming system like Lexus or Cadillac; instead, like Porsche and Lincoln, each model uses a more traditional name. Vehicle designations are followed by package monikers. “LX” models are the most affordable base models, with the fewest features. “Sport” variants vary, but generally receive sport-inspired internal and external visual upgrades on top of the basic LX features. “EX” includes all base-level features as well as upgraded safety systems, interior and exterior amenities. “EX-L” includes all EX items, with added higher-spec features or luxury features such as leather trim. “Touring” and “Elite” variants are fully-loaded vehicles with high-quality interior packages, lighting, audio systems, navigation and so forth.

Honda Terminology

Honda Sensing: Honda’s full suite of active safety technology, which includes: Collison Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Lane Keep Assist (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). It is either standard or available on mid-level trims and higher on most models. Honda Sensing is not available on the Civic Type R.
VTEC: Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control. A Honda-developed technology to improve the efficiency of their four-stroke internal combustion engines. The result is an engine that produces high performance at high RPM and better fuel efficiency at low RPM.
Atkinson Cycle: A type of engine combustion where the intake valves are held open for a portion of the compression stroke. The result is an increase in the expansion ratio on the power stroke, which creates an increase in fuel efficiency but a decrease in power output. Often used on hybrid vehicles, as the power loss can be made up for with electric motors.

Civic

The Civic is Honda’s compact car, and comes in three body styles: coupe, sedan and hatchback. The Civic debuted in 1972 and today is one of the world’s best-selling cars. There are two engine options: a 174-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder or a 158-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Both engines are only available with front-wheel drive, but can be optioned with a six-speed manual transmission or continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Body Style: Sedan / Hatchback / Coupe

Models:

• Sedan: LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, Touring
• Hatchback: LX, Sport, EX, EX-L Navi, Touring
• Coupe: LX, Sport, EX, Touring

Engines:

• 2.0-liter four-cylinder
• Turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder

Base MSRP: $19,550

Civic Si

The Honda Civic Si is a sportier version of the regular Civic. It comes in both coupe and sedan forms. The biggest upgrade over the regular Civic line-up is it 205-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The Civic Si is only available with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission.

Body Style: Sedan / Coupe

Engines:

• Turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder

Base MSRP: $24,300

Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Type R is regarded as one of the best-performing, most entertaining front-wheel-drive vehicles on sale. The Civic Type R came to the United States in 2017 — and with it, a 305-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine, a refined chassis and aggressive styling. The Type R is only available with a six-speed manual transmission.

Body Style: Hatchback

Engines:

• Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder

Base MSRP: $36,300

Fit

The Fit is Honda’s practical, entry-level subcompact. With a boxy design, spacious interior and lay -lat rear seats, the Fit prioritizes space and utility in a small package. The Fit is only available with front-wheel drive and a 130-hp 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It can be optioned with a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission.

Body Style: Hatchback

Models:

• LX
• Sport
• EX
• EX-L

Engines:

• 1.5-liter four-cylinder

Base MSRP: $16,190

Accord

The Accord is Honda’s midsized family sedan. It first debuted in the United States in 1976, and over the years, has amassed an impressive roster of accolades. The Accord comes with three engine options: a 192-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four-cylinder, a 252-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder, and a hybrid 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine with two electric motors. The Accord is front-wheel drive only and can be optioned with a six-speed manual (not available on the Hybrid), a CVT or a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Body Style: Sedan

Models:

• LX
• EX
• Touring
• Hybrid

Engines:

• Turbocharged 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder
• Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder
• 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine with two electric motors

Base MSRP: $23,720

Insight

The Insight is Honda’s compact hybrid sedan. The Insight is similar to its sibling, the Civic, in wheelbase and handling, but bests it in fuel efficiency thanks to a two-motor drivetrain. The Insight produces a combined 151 hp from its 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine and electric motor. The Insight is only available in front-wheel drive with a continuously variable transmission.

Body Style: Sedan

Models:

• LX
• EX
• Touring

Engines:

• 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine with two electric motors

Base MSRP: $22,930

Clarity

The Clarity is Honda’s premium alternative fuel sedan. It’s available in three drivetrain options; fully electric, hybrid plug-in, or hydrogen fuel cell. The Clarity Electric utilizes a 161-hp electric motor with a 25.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack delivering 89 miles of range per charge. The Clarity Hybrid Plug-in produces a combined 212 hp courtesy of an AC motor and 17.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack coupled with a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine. The Clarity Fuel Cell utilizes hydrogen as a fuel, and produces 174 hp courtesy of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell connected to a direct-drive transmission. The Clarity Fuel Cell is only available for lease, and only in California. All Clarity models are front-wheel drive.

Body Style: Sedan

Models:

• Electric
• Plug-in Hybrid
• Fuel Cell

Engines:

• 120-kW Electric motor with 25.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack
• 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine and two electric motors
• Proton exchange membrane fuel cell

Base MSRP: $33,400

HR-V

The Honda HR-V is a subcompact crossover with a spacious cabin. The HR-V has one engine: a 141-hp 1.8-liter inline-four paired with a continuously variable transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard across all trim levels, with the exception of the Touring trim, which receives all-wheel drive standard. However, all-wheel drive is an available upgrade on all lesser HR-V trims.

Body Style: SUV / Crossover

Models:

• LX
• Sport
• EX
• EX-L
• Touring

Engines:

• 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder

Base MSRP: $20,620

CR-V

The CR-V is Honda’s compact crossover. The fifth-generation version now on sale was new for the 2017 model year. There are two engine options for the CR-V: The base LX features a 184-hp 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder, while all other trims offer a 190-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine. The CR-V features a continuously variable transmission and comes standard in FWD form, with AWD available as an upgrade.

Body Style: SUV / Crossover

Models:

• LX
• EX
• EX-L
• Touring

Engines:

• 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder
• Turbocharged 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder

Base MSRP: $24,450

Passport

The 2019 Honda Passport returns after an 11-year hiatus from the Honda SUV lineup, slotting in above the CR-V and below the Pilot. While the Passport shares the same chassis and drivetrain as the Pilot — a 280-hp 3.5-liter V-6 paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission — the more compact Passport only seats five. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available as an optional upgrade. (All-wheel drive comes standard on the Elite.) The Honda Passport is also capable of towing up to 5000 pounds.

Body Style: SUV / Crossover

Models:

• Sport
• EX-L
• Touring
• Elite

Engines:

• 3.5-liter V-6

Base MSRP: $33,085

Pilot

The Pilot is Honda’s full-size SUV that seats up to eight people. Compared to the Passport, the Pilot is billed as a more family-focused SUV, with a larger cargo area and kid-friendly rear-seat entertainment package. The Pilot is powered by a 280-hp 3.5-liter V-6 paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard across lower trims;  all-wheel drive is available as an optional upgrade, except on the Elite, where it comes standard. It can tow up to 5,000 lbs.

Body Style: SUV / Crossover

Models:

• LX
• EX
• EX-L
• Touring
• Elite

Engines:

• 3.5-liter V-6

Base MSRP: $32,545

Ridgeline

The Ridgeline is Honda’s only pickup, and comes with one powertrain: a 280-hp 3.5-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is an optional upgrade on Sport, RTL and RTL-T trims; it’s standard on RTL-E and Black Edition trims, and unavailable on the base RT. (Front-wheel drive is standard on RT, Sport, RTL, and RTL-T variants.) The Ridgeline’s tow rating ranges up from 3,500 lbs with front-wheel drive and to 5,000 lbs with all-wheel drive. The bed length on the Ridgeline is limited to 5.3 feet across all trims, with a volume of 34 cubic feet. It also features a 7.3-cubic-foot in-bed trunk with locking mechanism and weather sealing.

Body Style: Pickup Truck

Models:

• RT
• Sport
• RTL
• RTL-T
• RTL-E
• Black Edition

Engines:

• 3.5-liter V-6

Base MSRP: $31,085

Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey, which received a full update in 2018, is built to ferry families around with comfort and safety in mind. The Odyssey features three-row seating and a spacious interior as standard, and options like an onboard vacuum, a video monitor to observe the aft rows and rear-seat entertainment system. Only one engine is available across all trim levels: a 280-hp 3.5-liter V6. The Elite trim gets a 10-speed automatic transmission, while all other trim levels use a nine-speed transmission. The Honda Odyssey is only available in front-wheel drive.

Body Style: Minivan

Models:

• LX
• EX
• EX-L
• Touring
• Elite

Engines:

• 3.5-liter V6

Base MSRP: $31,085

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