2019 Honda Passport - Only the Name Is Old
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]
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