MT looked at six different categories ranging from overall design to efficiency – both fuel economy and carbon footprint – to safety and value to pick its winner, singling out the refreshed Honda while paying particular praise to its new 2.4-liter Earth Dreams four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission. A tighter steering ratio was also cited as a big source of improvement.
"There was a lot of contentious debate," MT Technical Director Frank Markus told Autoblog, indicating that nearly half the judges approached the final round of voting with an eye towards the redesigned Jeep Cherokee. "This year's field included some pretty fancy and fast iron, but the thoughtful changes made by Honda to hone its best-seller entry in that crowded compact cross-over segment really did the trick."
What are your thoughts on Motor Trend's decision? From the large field of competitors, would you have chosen the Honda? What SUV do you think deserved the calipers? Have your say in Comments.