Will the availability of the best-selling Honda CR-V soon be limited by ongoing troubles in Japan? The recent earthquake and tsunamis there have reduced vehicle production in Japan itself and limited the number of auto parts that can be shipped from the ravaged earthquake area to assembly plants here in the U.S. A typical new vehicle is composed of 20,000 individual parts. Japanese auto parts makers have been hard hit with many of them temporarily shut down. Sales of the Honda CR-V may soon be limited as a result.
It’s not a surprise that the CR-V was the top-selling small SUV in the U.S. in 2010: great gas mileage, a high safety rating, and stylish design. It also has the Honda name, which offers confidence when it comes to mechanical reliability.
If supplies of the Honda CR-V become an issue, what alternatives are available? It turns out that there are three very good substitutes to the CR-V that offer similar benefits in the areas of fuel economy, safety, and design.
2011 Chevrolet Equinox
Who would have thought a few years ago that Chevrolet would have a small SUV that could compete with Honda’s CR-V? The Chevy Equinox is a recent entry in the small SUV class and its impressive gas mileage and luxury-laden features are turning heads. The Equinox leads the way in fuel economy with 22 miles per gallon in the city and a remarkable 32 mpg/hwy.
It has also been tested under the more stringent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 5-Star Crash Test Rating system where it earned an impressive four out of five star overall score. The Equinox is pricier than the competition. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) begins at $22,745. You can read TheCarConnection.com’s full review of the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox here.
2011 Hyundai Tucson
Hyundai is the up-and-coming automaker in the North American market. Hyundai’s Sonata has received rave reviews and is turning into a strong competitor of the Honda Accord. Now, the Tucson is receiving excellent reviews as it goes head-to-head against Honda’s CR-V.
The 2011 Tucson is the second generation of this small SUV. It has received the prestigious Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, it's not yet been tested under the tougher NHTSA crash test system.
The Hyundai Tucson beats out the CR-V when it comes to fuel economy. The Tucson has an EPA rating of 22 mpg/city and 31 mpg/hwy for its FWD, 2.4 liter, 4-cylinder engine. This compares with the Honda CR-V’s rating of 21 mpg/city and 28 mpg/hwy for a comparable model.
The Tucson is easy on the pocket book with an MSRP that begins at $18,895. Read TheCarConnection.com’s full review of the 2011 Hyundai Tucson here.
2011 Ford Escape
The Escape’s 2.5L, 4-cylinder engine achieves the same gas mileage as the CR-V: 21 mpg/city and 28 mpg/hwy. However, the Escape has a hybrid model option that blasts it to the front of the fuel economy line for city driving: 34 mpg/city and 31 mpg/hwy. It has not been tested under the new NHTSA crash test system.
The 2011 Ford Escape’s MSRP begins at $21,215. TheCarConnection.com’s upbeat review of this domestic SUV can be found here.