2019 Honda Pass­port

Honda’s new SUV sits be­tween the CR-V and Pi­lot

Motor Trend - - Trend 02.19 - Miguel Cortina

Honda crossovers aren’t known for play­ing in the rough stuff off-road. But with a rugged de­sign, seat­ing for five, and more ground clear­ance than a CR-V or Pi­lot, the Pass­port brings more than a touch of ad­ven­ture to those who seek it.

This new model has noth­ing to do with its pre­de­ces­sor, the clunky but ca­pa­ble Isuzu Rodeo–shared Pass­port of the ’90s. Honda’s new SUV shares its chas­sis, engine, AWD sys­tem, and trans­mis­sion with the three-row Pi­lot.

The Pass­port will sit be­tween the com­pact CR-V and the three-row Pi­lot in Honda’s grow­ing SUV lineup. It’s pro­pelled by the same 3.5-liter V-6 from the Pi­lot. The V-6 pro­duces the same out­put as in the Pi­lot, as well—280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque—and it’s mated to a stan­dard nine-speed transaxle. (LX, EX, and EX-L Pi­lots still get a six-speed.)

Honda’s torque-vec­tor­ing all-wheel-drive sys­tem is an op­tion on all trims (front­drive is stan­dard) ex­cept the Elite, where it comes stan­dard. Just like in the Pi­lot, driv­ers can se­lect from four drive modes—nor­mal, Snow, Sand, and Mud—and the sys­tem can send up to 70 per­cent of the torque to the rear wheels and up to 100 per­cent of that torque to ei­ther wheel.

The Pass­port will come in four vari­ants: Sport, EX-L, Tour­ing, and Elite. Each one comes with a black grille and LED head­lights, fog­lights, tail­lights, and day­time run­ning lights. The glossy trim around the grille, front fas­cia, up­per part of the mir­rors, and hatch are stan­dard in the Elite

grade; other vari­ants get a matte fin­ish.

If you don’t like the glossy 20-inch black wheels, EX-L and Tour­ing grades will come with sil­ver 20-inch al­loy rims. From Sport to Elite, you’ll get dual chrome ex­hausts and re­mote start. This also means that ev­ery grade has a push­start but­ton and key­less en­try. Honda said there will be two ap­pear­ance pack­ages—ur­ban and Ad­ven­ture—and they will of­fer dif­fer­ent wheels and ex­te­rior de­tails.

In­side, there’s plenty of room for five. Back-seat pas­sen­gers get six cuphold­ers, a flat floor, and up to two USB ports. The sec­ond row can slide for­ward and back­ward, mak­ing space for more legroom if nec­es­sary.

The Pass­port’s in­stru­ment clus­ter uses a stan­dard mul­ti­color 7.0-inch TFT screen that looks modern and dis­plays im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion. The Sport trim has a 5.0-inch non-touch LCD in­fo­tain­ment screen in the cen­ter con­sole. Other trims have an 8.0-inch touch­screen with an in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem that sup­ports Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto. Tour­ing and Elite grades in­clude a Wi-fi hot spot, nav­i­ga­tion, and a 10-speaker pre­mium au­dio sys­tem.

As an­other push to bring up­scale el­e­ments to the Pass­port, all trims ex­cept Sport have leather seats and a leather-wrapped steer­ing wheel. All vari­ants get an eight-way power driver’s seat with lum­bar sup­port and a stan­dard three-zone auto cli­mate con­trol; EX-L, Tour­ing, and Elite also fea­ture a power pas­sen­ger seat, heated front seats, and a sun­roof. The Elite trim adds a wire­less phone charger, a heated steer­ing wheel, ven­ti­lated front seats, and au­todim­ming side mir­rors.

With 41.2 cu­bic feet of cargo space, the Pass­port can hold plenty of gear. The EX-L and above trims in­clude a power tail­gate; Tour­ing and Elite are equipped with a hands-free sen­sor to open the tail­gate. Sec­ond-row seats fold com­pletely flat in a 60/40 con­fig­u­ra­tion and can be folded from the cargo area or the sec­ond row. With the seats down, cargo space ex­pands to 77.9 cu­bic feet.

All Pass­ports get for­ward col­li­sion warn­ing, col­li­sion mit­i­ga­tion brak­ing, road de­par­ture mit­i­ga­tion, lane de­par­ture warn­ing, lane keep as­sist, and adap­tive cruise con­trol. EX-L and above also get blind-spot mon­i­tor­ing and cross-traf­fic alert.

Pric­ing will be an­nounced soon. We ex­pect it to stay close to its com­pe­ti­tion, which in­cludes the Ford Edge, Nis­san Mu­rano, Hyundai Santa Fe, Chevy Blazer, and Jeep Grand Chero­kee. Stay tuned for driv­ing im­pres­sions.

SPECS 2019 Honda Pass­port Base Price $30,000-$47,000 (est)

Ve­hi­cle Lay­out Front-engine, FWD/AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV

Engine 3.5L/280-hp/262-lb-ft SOHC 24-valve V-6

Trans­mis­sion 9-speed au­to­matic

Curb Weight 3,900-4,150 (est)

Wheel­base 111.0 in

LxWxH190.5x78.6x 71.6 in 0-60 MPH 6.0-6.3 sec (MT est)

EPA City/hwy/comb Fuel Econ Not yet rated

On Sale in U.S. Fe­bru­ary

Sur­pris­ingly, Honda was able to keep the new Pass­port a se­cret from the au­to­mo­tive press and pesky spy pho­tog­ra­phers.


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