2019 Honda Passport
Honda’s new SUV sits between the CR-V and Pilot
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.
PHOTOS BY BRANDON LIM