Tried & Tested

Tested: Roofnest Sparrow rooftop tent for SUVs, crossovers

The Roofnest Sparrow rooftop tent fits snugly on the Honda Passport.

Photo by Nicole Wakelin

The 2019 Honda Passport splits the size difference between the CR-V and the Pilot, giving those with an adventurous spirit a more rugged two-row SUV to shop for. Honda recently highlighted that idea by customizing a Honda Passport Elite with all-wheel drive to include a higher ride height, underbody cladding, and larger tires. It also put a Roofnest tent on top for a unique way to stop for the night.

AutomotiveMap put the Roofnest Sparrow, which retails for $2,795 and comfortably sleeps two adults, to the test. The Sparrow collapses to 11 inches and expands to 85" by 50" with canvas sides. A collapsible ladder attaches to the bottom shell for easy access, although adding duct tape to the rungs to prevent slipping is a good idea.

Roofnest Sparrow on a 2019 Honda Passport

2019 Honda Passport Roofnest Sparrow stowed

Photo by Nicole Wakelin

The Roofnest rests on the Honda Passport's roof rails.

Opening this Roofnest is easy and requires only one person. Pistons hidden inside the tent do the bulk of the work, but those on the shorter side might find opening the door and standing on the sill necessary to reach all four clips

Each side has a zippered panel to let in fresh air and there's a soft mattress on the floor that's easily as comfortable as an air mattress. There's room for sleeping bags, necessities, and a handy net on the roof to hang things you want within easy reach, but out of the way.

The trickiest part of the Roofnest is closing it up, which calls for two people. Pull down the front strap, secure the front clips, then pull a similar strap in back to partially collapse the tent. Next, tuck in the fabric sides and slowly pull the front fully closed.

Since it needs to be collapsed before driving, the Roofnest isn't ideal for those who plan to be in one spot for a weekend and drive to favorite hiking trails. If, however, you're on the go and want to stop anytime and anywhere, then the Roofnest is an appealing option.

Roofnest tents aren't just for the Honda Passport. The company offers a number of tent options that can be placed on top of more robust SUVs including the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota FJ Cruiser, and even crossovers like the Subaru Crosstrek.

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New electric SUV

Honda teases its first EV

The Prologue will go on sale as a 2024 model.

Honda

Honda is nearing the unveiling of its first electric vehicle, the Prologue, and today the automaker gave us our first glimps of the new vehicle. It's just a sketch, but Honda did share some production details and information on its product roadmap.

Honda DealerHonda plans to sell half a million EVs by the end of the decade. Honda

Honda says the Prologue will be an adventure-ready SUV "capable of satisfying everyday driving and weekend getaways with a strong hint of the well-received Honda e in the front fascia." The SUV was developed in Honda's Design Studio in Los Angeles, and was designed with an eye on Honda's global EV models. Honda said it focused on aerodynamics and fine-tuning the body to reducelines and improve range.

The Japanese automaker developed the Prologue alongside GM, but it has other EVs coming to market by 2026. By 2030, Honda says it will release 30 new EVs globally with a production volume of two million units. The co-developed vehicle is the first, but the rest will be built on Honda e:Architecture. In 2027, the automaker will begin building and selling a line of affordable EVs using the architecture developed with General Motors. Honda says it plans to sell half a million EVs in North America by the end of hte decade.

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VW purchased the rights to the iconic Scout name and plans to make new EVs under the brand.

Volkswagen

Automakers bring back names and brands from the past all the time, but it's not every day that a major company purchases a brand name specifically for the purpose of reviving it. That's exactly what Volkswagen just did with Scout, the name of an ultra-popular off-road SUV that was built by International Harvester in the 1960s and 1970s.

As for the types of vehicles we'll see from the brand, we currently only have the renders to go on. The pickup truck and SUV both feature throwback styling that is reminiscent of the original Scout shapes. Beefy off-road tires and lifted suspension are the only other clues available in the drawings.

Volkswagen has its own EVs, and its other brands like Audi and Porsche have made significant progress with electric vehicles as well. That said, VW doesn't really have a solid off-road option from any of its brands at the moment, so the Scout purchase opens doors for the automaker in that arena.

The announcement sounds exciting, but we've still got plenty of time to wait before there's a Scout-branded EV on the roads. Volkswagen said the plan is to release vehicles by 2026, but it won't be sitting idle between now and then. The VW ID.4 is still very fresh and the automaker says it will launch a total of 25 new EVs in the U.S. by 2030.

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