2019 Honda Passport - Only the Name Is Old

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

LOS ANGELES – Chevrolet brought the Blazer name back, and Ford is about to bring back the Bronco. What’s next, a Honda Passport?

That’s not a joke – the company really is resurrecting the Passport moniker. It will be slapped on an all-new five-seat crossover for the 2019 model year.

(Full disclosure: Honda paid for Uber rides for journalists to attend their event in Los Angeles).

Set to slot in between the CR-V and the Pilot in Honda’s utility lineup, the Passport will get V6 power to the tune of 280 horsepower/262 lb-ft of torque and a nine-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive with torque vectoring is available, front-wheel drive is standard. The torque-vectoring system can send up to 70 percent of the torque to the rear axle and up to 100 percent to either rear wheel.

A drive-mode selector that includes Snow, Sand, and Mud modes will be available, and 20-inch wheels are standard. Also standard is Honda’s suite of driver-assist and safety tech, including such features as adaptive cruise control and collision-mitigation braking. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available, as well, and so is an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot.

Trims include Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Elite. Available features not already listed above include navigation, satellite radio, leather seats, power liftgate, heated rear seats, cooled front seats, heated front seats, and wireless cell-phone charger. Satellite radio and premium audio are also available.

As with other Hondas, the volume knob returns to the radio, but the shifter for the transmission continues to be one of the silly push-button units the company seems so fond of these days.

My initial take on seeing it in person is that it’s a bit plain-looking yet handsome, and it’s going to sell like crazy. One of the two Passports on hand for assembled media to crawl around in had leather seats, and the interior looked quite upscale. Given the success of the CR-V and the general market shift to crossovers, I think Honda has a winner on its hands — and I haven’t even driven it yet.

Sorry for the pics, folks, but event spaces don’t make for the best backgrounds. Trust me when I say this thing is gonna sell.

[Images © 2018 Tim Healey/TTAC]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

More by Tim Healey

Join the conversation
4 of 63 comments
  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Nov 28, 2018

    Wait isn't this the CR-V? Oh silly me we make the same exact thing four times, change a teency bit, and tell you its different.

    • See 1 previous
    • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Nov 28, 2018

      @gtem Yeah..that POS ZF takes it out of the running for me! I’d rather have an exploding turbocharger than deal with that mess of a transmission!

  • Wdburt1 Wdburt1 on Nov 28, 2018

    I have been waiting for years (since 2008, to be specific) for Honda to return to the 8-and-4 spokes in the steering wheel. I want to drive with one hand locked around one of those spokes. I feel weird trying to drive with one hand on a centered spoke, and refuse to keep my arms in the air (inviting carpal tunnel) at 10-and-2 like the nannies insist. My arms are attached to the side of my body, not the center. Trying to drive with one hand in your lap looks like--well, you know what. So I am driving a 2007 Honda Accord EX-L V6 approaching 40,000 miles and a higher-mileage 2006 CR-V, to deal with western New York's winters. Love e'm both, but maybe there's hope for a new Honda after all.

  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
  • El scotto So now would be a good time to buy an EV as a commuter car?
  • ToolGuy $1 billion / 333.3 million = $3 per U.S. person ¶ And what do I get for my 3 bucks -- cleaner air and lower fuel prices? I might be ok with this 🙂🙂
  • VoGhost Matt, I'm curious why you write that inventory levels are low at 74 days. Typically, 60 days is the benchmark for normal inventory.