Base MSRP price range: $23, 445 - $32, 895
If functionality and cabin space are what you seek, the Honda CR-V could be the way to go. Compact dimensions and responsive handling keep it maneuverable and easy to park. Plus, access, rear-seat room, and cargo space are generous. The popular EX trim gets standard heated seats, power driver’s seat, and Honda’s LaneWatch system, which uses a camera under the passenger side mirror to provide a video feed of your right blind spot when the right turn signal is engaged. The CR-V is available with other optional safety gear, including forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, autonomous braking, and adaptive cruise control. A recent freshening brought added equipment, a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and a complicated audio system.
Base MSRP price range: $21, 545 - $29, 220
For enthusiast drivers looking for the versatility of a small SUV with sporty handling, the CX-5 may be just what they're seeking. The CX-5 is taut and agile with well-weighted steering. Opt for the the larger 2.5-liter engine; it’s punchier and gets the same fuel economy as the 2.0-liter. There is even the option of a stick shift, but for that you have to go for the base model with only front-wheel drive and the smaller 2.0-liter engine.
We say stick with the Touring trim level. You get power seats, backup camera, push-button start, and blind-spot monitoring system. Our only knocks on the CX-5 are the constant wind noise, so-so ride comfort, and the need to choose a costly, high trim to get conveniences like heated seats and dual-zone climate control. The new infotainment system takes some learning to master.
Base MSRP price range: $24, 490 - $29, 630
The Rogue sets itself apart by being one of the only small SUVs available with a third row. This foldaway rear seat is snug, but in a pinch, it means the Rogue can accomodate up to seven. The Rogue is relatively spacious, with roomy second-row seating and easy access. Power comes from a 170-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers adequate performance, but it can get somewhat vocal under hard acceleration. Expect 24 mpg overall. Handling is sound, aided by prompt steering response and restrained body lean in corners. The Rogue is also one of the more comfortable riding of this bunch.A backup camera is standard; a clever surround-view camera is available, giving a 360-degree perspective—a real aid to parking in close quarters. Available safety gear includes rear cross-traffic alert and forward-collision, lane-departure, and blind-spot warnings.