Honda used a mild surge in light-truck demand to end an embarrassing streak of four consecutive double-digit declines in monthly year-over-year U.S.-market sales, according to WardsAuto data.

The auto maker’s September light-vehicle tally of 89,532 deliveries also lifted it past Hyundai-Kia into sixth place in the U.S. market.

September sales of the Honda Pilot and CR-V cross/utility vehicles climbed 27.9% and 9.5%, respectively, compared with like-2010.

Together, they accounted for 65.9% of the auto maker’s light-truck volume, which ticked up 3% to 45,723 units.

The new-for-’11 Honda Odyssey minivan’s 8,818 deliveries, up 14.7% from prior-year, also contributed mightily.

The performance of Honda’s light trucks – none of its Acura-brand models were in positive territory – helped offset a 17.3% plunge in demand for the auto maker’s car lineup and limited its overall monthly sales decline to 8%.

The performance marked a dramatic turnaround from Honda’s 27.2% nosedive in August.

Of core-brand light trucks, only the outgoing Element CUV and the maligned Crosstour CUV and Ridgeline pickup were in the red – as were all Honda cars, still reeling from inventory woes linked to the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March.

The Acura TSX was the lone car to record a sales jump – 13%.

“As inventory levels and vehicle logistics return to normal, we are confident sales will continue to improve for the remainder of the year,” Jeff Conrad, vice president-Acura sales, says in a statement.

Through September, total Honda sales were 859,797, lagging like-2010 by 5.8%.

emayne@wardsauto.com