It’s been almost two decades since the Honda Passport has seen any attention. This means that the new design is better in almost every way.
The old Passport wasn’t a Honda designed or engineered vehicle. Isuzu was the real original engineer behind this small SUV that falls between a Pilot and CR-V.
Today though, Honda is the company with the know-how and reputation to make the Passport comeback a success. Curious how the new Passport is different? Keep reading for the latest in-depth review.
What Is a Passport?
The new Passport is a mid-sized crossover SUV with two rows of seating. Honda is hoping to set it up to compete with Jeep’s Grand Cherokee, Nissan’s Murano, and Ford’s Edge.
Honda intends to have the Passport fill the gap in their lineup. The CR-V is their compact, while the Pilot is the large three-row option.
Production of the SUV will take place in Honda’s Lincoln, Alabama factory. The very same factory that produces the Odyssey, Ridgeline, and Pilot. You’ll see why this makes sense in the next section.
It Isn’t Entirely New
Once you start looking underneath that beautiful outer shell, you’ll realize that it isn’t entirely new. The drivetrain on the passport is almost exactly the same as the Pilot.
This would include almost every element, from the V6, 3.5-liter engine, to the 9-speed automatic transmission, and almost all of the suspension.
Then it uses the i-VTM4 torque vectoring that is already well loved in the Ridgeline and Pilot. This means you’ll have all-wheel drive towing up to 5,000 pounds.
Let’s Get Sporty
When Honda let Isuzu design the Passport, it was plain, boring, and just boxy. It stuck out among its fellow 90s SUVs, and not in a good way.
Now with Honda at the controls, those days are long gone. Today’s Passport has a cool mix of crisp lines bending into expertly placed curves.
We All Love Features
It is pretty much expected on all new vehicles these days, we want all of the latest technology packed in. Honda doesn’t let us down with the Passport.
Centered in the dash is a large 8-inch screen display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both ready to connect in the upper-level trims. You’ll also get navigation and a whole host of car related data.
Don’t take your hands off the wheel with the conveniently placed steering wheel controls.
You also have the option for full connectivity with a 4G LTE system and Wi-Fi for up to seven different devices. This is optional on the base model, but come standard on the Touring and Elite trims.
The old Passport lacked the “cool factor.” There weren’t a lot of options to make it cool with aftermarket accessories.
That isn’t the case today. Owners today can add lighted door sills, undercarriage door seats, or roof boxes and racks. You can even buy a custom graphics package.
Honda has also embraced the accessories and customization trend with their own packages. Select the Adventure Package and Honda will add fender flares, a trailer hitch, and running boards.
Or, how about the Urban Package? That will add underbody spoilers to the front and rear of the vehicle. It will also add storage bins, 20-inch wheels, and roof crossbars and rails.
Three Trim Levels
You’ll have your choice of four different trim levels. Trim starts out at the lowest level of Sport, and moves up through EX-L, Touring, and finally Elite.
The Sport comes equipped with driver assist, zoned climate control, and LED headlights. You will also enjoy the blacked out trim and driver’s seat with 8-way adjustment.
With the EX-L you will get everything from the Sport, plus leather seating, and a sunroof. Technology gets a big upgrade with an 8-inch center screen plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Driver assist also gets an upgrade with cross traffic and blind spot alerting. Creature comforts get an improvement with heated front seats and a powered tailgate.
The Touring package will be an upgrade to the technology and entertainment system in the SUV. This includes navigation and 10- speaker audio system.
Instead of heated seats in just the front, the Touring package gives the rear seating heating also. Parking will be easier with the front and rear sensors.
Then there is the touch of luxury with acoustic glass, wider tires for a better ride, and folding mirrors.
The Elite package is the highest level of trim and brings the most features and luxury to this SUV’s makeover. Instead of just heated seats, you’ll get the heated and cooled seats. Your steering will be heated.
Instead of plain black trim, it will be gloss black. The wipers will be rain sensing, making driving in inclement weather a breeze. The side mirrors will not only fold in, but they will auto dim for you while driving.
There is a wireless phone charger included too.
If all of that wasn’t enough for you, the exterior of the Elite model will look noticeably different. It is the only trim model that looks different. The trims leading up to this one all remain the same.
Get Your Honda Passport
If you are familiar with the Honda Passport of the 90s, forget everything you know. The Passport of today is nothing like the SUV you used to know.
The new 2019 Passport has better styling, new technology, and improved performance. We sure you’ll agree with us that the Passport will find its rightful home among the Honda SUV lineup.
Start shopping for your next car today!