By on January 29, 2019

2019 Honda Passport

Honda really wants to prove that its 2019 Passport five-seat crossover has off-road chops.

To that end, it’s possible I had more wheel time on washboard-surfaced gravelly roads than I did on paved surfaces during my day with the newest trucklet on the block. Some of this was by my choice – I chose to get more time off-road for the sake of photos. Still, Honda definitely wanted to show that the Passport is capable off-road.

Which it was, at least on the route we drove. Frankly, most crossovers with decent ground clearance would’ve survived our trek through the cold and sunny high desert, although two of the Passport’s benchmarked competitors, the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano, might not be included in that “most.” More on that in a bit.

Thing is, and this refrain dates back to the earliest days of the SUV – few buyers will ever take the Passport off-road. Few buyers of any vehicle in this class take their rigs off-road. Only the owners of the highly capable Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota 4Runner are likely to, and even then, I’d bet the percentage who actually do is small.

Why all the hullabaloo from Honda about off-roading, then? Is the Passport truly on par with the JGC and the ‘Yota when out in the sticks? Is the Passport so bad on-road that Honda emphasized off-road driving? Or did someone on Honda’s PR team just really want to see southern Utah?

I don’t know the answer to the last of those three questions, but the answers to the middle two are “not quite” and “no, definitely not.”

(Full disclosure: Honda flew me out to a resort near Moab, fed me, housed me, and offered me booze and many laps in a racing simulator. They left us snacks in the room (which I ate), and a hat, (which I left.)

Honda unveiled its reborn Passport a few months ago in Los Angeles, specifically, at an off-site event during the auto show. The Passport is essentially a truncated Pilot – it only seats five and it’s more than six inches shorter. It also gains a little less than an inch of ride height when equipped with the available all-wheel drive (Honda expects a 70 percent take rate for AWD, especially since the top trim is AWD-only).

2019 Honda Passport

It shares the Pilot’s 111-inch wheelbase and it is essentially a Pilot beneath its skin from the second seating row forward. The biggest visual differences are a steeper rear window angle and more aggressive styling for the grille and front end. Twenty-inch wheels come standard.

Like the Pilot, the Passport is also on the company’s global light truck platform, which uses unibody construction with a fully boxed floor. Honda claims to have made the brakes more responsive, while giving the pedal shorter travel. Its suspension is tuned differently than on the Pilot, presumably to be more “sporty,” and the steering ratio is quicker, also in the name of sport.

You can have any engine you like as long as it’s a 3.5-liter V6 making 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. This ubiquitous mill pairs with the much-reviled nine-speed automatic transmission supplied by ZF. Yes, the same transmission that tainted countless Honda/Acura/Fiat Chrysler/Jaguar Land Rover products is the lone choice here. Honda promised us improvements but, as we’ll see, improvement is in the eye of the beholder.

2019 Honda Passport

Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive that has torque vectoring available as an option. This system sends up to 70 percent of the torque to the rear wheels and 100 percent to either the left or right side. It can also overdrive the outside rear wheel while cornering.

Honda sent us out in Elite-trimmed models with AWD. On-road behavior was initially disappointing, as the steering felt sloppy on-center in a manner that’s uncharacteristic of Honda. I did warm up to it eventually, but it was a little too light and displayed too much play for my tastes.

Curves were gentle at best, and the Passport never seemed to sweat in even the few tight corners. A trace of body roll and understeer were evident the one time I came in a little too hot, but nothing that would be out of place for this class.

The V6 sounds great, and it felt like it should provide stout acceleration, but the ZF has the same aversion to work as a teenager behind the fast-food counter. It doesn’t like downshifting unless it’s really, really forced into it. Zed F strikes again. At least there’s flappy paddles to prod things along.

2019 Honda Passport

Snow, Sand, and Mud drive modes are available for off-pavement excursions, but the trails were mostly tranquil enough that we never needed anything but the Normal drive mode. There’s no Sport mode for on-road driving, but there is an Eco mode.

Southeastern Utah’s paved roads were mostly smooth as glass, and the Passport provided a compliant yet not soft ride that showed its cruising chops. I’m curious how it handles potholed Midwestern roads, but if the pavement isn’t pockmarked, this is a good road-trip truck. Outside noise held to a minimum, and both the front and rear seats provided plenty of comfort.

Honda gets a demerit for continuing to use a push-button shifter in the center-console area – I miss the floor shifter. But hey, at least there’s a volume knob! And the infotainment system does nicely integrate into the center stack. Speaking of, the smartphone-like “tiles” setup for said system is pretty easy to use.

2019 Honda Passport

The lower center-stack area includes user-friendly HVAC controls, a storage area with available wireless charger for cell phones, the shifter, cupholders, and a deep storage well. It all looks good, but some hard plastics that felt out of place in a $40K+ crossover put a damper on the festivities. These plastics are more prevalent in the rear seating area. At least the 41.2-inch (seats up) cargo area swallowed three journalists’ gear, including cameras and related hardware, with ease. There’s some hidden storage there, too, which we did not use.

The Passport can tow up to 5,000 pounds — a rating trumped only by the V6 Jeep, at least among the competitive set.

Count me a fan of the Passport’s sportier look as compared to the Pilot, although I could live without the black body cladding up front. The Passport at least looks the part.

Honda’s made four trims available: base Sport ($31,990, $33,890 with AWD), EX-L (expected to be the volume seller at around 50 percent), Touring, and top-trim Elite.

Standard features include the Honda Sensing safety package (collision mitigation braking with forward-collision warning, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning with road-departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control), 20-inch wheels, auto stop/start, LED headlights/taillights/fog lights/DRLS, dual exhaust, remote start, keyless starting and entry, tri-zone climate control, eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar, six-speaker audio, rearview camera, and two USB ports.

The EX-L ($36,410, $38,310 with AWD) adds leather seats and steering wheel, sunroof, power tailgate, blind-spot warning, driver memory seat and mirrors, four-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, display audio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a third USB port, satellite radio, HD radio, HomeLink, auto-dimming for the rearview mirror, second-row sunshade, and heated mirrors.

2019 Honda Passport

Stepping up to Touring ($39,280, $41,180 with AWD) gets you navigation, HondaLink, hands-free power tailgate, front and rear parking sensors, LED inline headlights, turn-signal mirrors, roof rails, 10-speaker premium audio, heated rear seats, power-folding side mirrors, ambient lighting, and tires that are 20 millimeters wider with a half-inch wider wheel.

The Elite ($43,680) adds AWD as standard, along with cooled front seats, heated steering wheel, wireless phone charger, rain-sensing wipers, and auto-dimming side mirrors. As per usual with Honda, there’s also a few dealer-installed packages available.

The above listed prices do not include destination and delivery fees, which are $1,045 across the board. Fuel economy numbers clock in at 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway/22 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 19/24/21 with AWD.

2019 Honda Passport

Honda PR told me they see the competitive set for the Passport as the Chevrolet Blazer, Edge, Murano, Grand Cherokee, and, to a lesser extent, the 4Runner. On-road, the Passport feels nimbler than the Edge and more engaging than the Murano, and I’m not sure either would have felt as at ease on the desert dirt trails as the Passport. It’s been a while since I’ve driven the Grand Cherokee, but I remember its on-road manners being excellent. Not to mention that the Grand Cherokee is a wizard off pavement. Given the 4Runner’s off-road focus, the Passport feels most on par with the Jeep (a V6 Limited is pretty close in price, too, depending on how you option it out). Of course, we haven’t yet driven the Blazer – we didn’t get invited to its launch, occuring at the same time.

It’s a neat trick performed by Honda: Build a Passport that shows some mild flaws but is still good enough to jump to the top of the class right from launch, thanks to competing vehicles that set a low bar. Doesn’t hurt that the Pilot, which I’ve yet to drive, is considerably well-reviewed.

Tweak the steering a bit and address the transmission’s recalcitrance to behave as asked by the driver, and you’d have perhaps the best five-seat mid-size crossover in the class. As it stands now, you have a vehicle that is on par with the aging Jeep for top honors.

2019 Honda Passport

That may not represent a “passport to adventure” (seriously, that’s the tagline Honda slapped on its media materials) but it will be a passport to sales for the brand’s dealers. Like most Hondas, the Passport is well-rounded enough that buyers will likely forgive its flaws. I may personally want sportier steering and a transmission that’s awake, but Joe Car Shopper will overlook those issues.

Be prepared to see many of these on the road starting in February. I’m sure Honda dealers are already toasting as we speak.

[Images © 2019 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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103 Comments on “2019 Honda Passport First Drive – Passport to Sales...”


  • avatar
    jatz

    I simply do not comprehend the rush for off-road cred with buyer demographics that will never get closer to mud & rocks than soccer fields or new home sites.

    Is it Jeep Derangement Syndrome?

    • 0 avatar
      Hydromatic

      It’s all about “potential.” Even if you never unleash it, you’d like to think it’s there.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      If any vehicle screams mall warrior, this is it.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “Yes, I paid ten grand more than I should for a vehicle like this, but if the zombie apocalypse happens, I’m set.”

      You’d be surprised how many people I know who drive vehicles like this and spout off this kind of “reasoning.”

      I’ve said it before, though: if car buying were rational, we’d all be driving Corollas. At the end of the day, it isn’t my money. I’m sure the same folks who buy these probably think my car makes zero sense too.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        I was thinking for the longest time, what it is all about. I think, it is all about profits, etc. Honda could remove half of those features from this car and make one with 17″, manual seat and climate control; and sell those for $28K. But over there they have CRV. So, from the beginning, this car wasn’t about people needs but rather about Honda making more money. Best example – 3-zone climate. Who needs it in 2-row car? Rear vents more than enough and only because of cargo area. Would be much useful to have phone integration in base but no – this is only if you go up. In fact, this is how it should be – luxury features should go into higher trims. But then of course, people will say, “we don’t need large wheels and 3-zone control, lets stick with the base”.

    • 0 avatar
      phila_DLJ

      People often buy vehicles with internal combustion engines in America because they want FREEDOM. The more places the vehicle can potentially take them, the more freedom you’re buying. This is why Nissan keeps rolling out cars with caterpillar tracks.

    • 0 avatar
      vehic1

      Jeeps are Deranged, and suffer from a Syndrome? Only the Orange ones.

    • 0 avatar
      ccc555

      Looking rugged and cool has a value. While few use the features, most care about how their cars look. This will likely sell well for Honda.

  • avatar
    deanst

    So this costs more than a Pilot? Because sporty?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    This ain’t my kind of ride, but I give a high-five to Honda for all that glass. Well done, sirs and madams.

    • 0 avatar
      jatz

      Bravo. Eyes on the prize. And thinner A-pillars save lives.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Yeah I love the upright styling with lots of glass. My biggest qualm is with those 20 inch skates, damn them for making those things standard. I suppose you could trade with someone and swap over some more rationally sized base model Pilot or Odyssey rims. Some black 17 inch steelies with snow tires would make this thing look great.

  • avatar
    teddyc73

    “‘Yota”? Good lord. I didn’t think there was anything more stupid than “Taco”. I was wrong.

  • avatar
    teddyc73

    The photo of all those boring silver Hondas put me to sleep.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Not bad looking but why o why 20inch wheels??? My wife 05 Pilot came with 16 inch wheels and we managed just fin for the 14 years we have had it, gonna be damm expensive to replace that rubber, to me this looks better than the new pilot but I would take the new pilot one this if the prices are similar for the added room in the back.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Yep I had an ’03 Pilot with 235/65R16 rubber, very practical sidewall height, narrow enough to do decently in the snow (I had Michelin LTX M/S all seasons), and not horribly expensive to replace.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Car companies should really play up the fact that although no one is likely to take this off-road AWD really comes in handy if you have to drive in snow. We’ve gotten 2 feet of snow where I am in the last 2 weeks and I am forever grateful that I have an AWD crossover with good tires.

    Say what you want as long as I’m in the midwest I’ll ALWAYS own an AWD vehicle

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Eugh, thanks for reminding me this exists, great way to start the morning.

  • avatar
    BobWellington

    I don’t really get why this exists. Soon we’re going to have a crossover for every inch in difference between 50″ and 150″.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      With sedans dying left and right, you better welcome our new 2-row crossover overlords.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        That’s the spirit, Dan, drink the Koolaid

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          lol I’m almost defiantly set on buying a sedan or wagon come summer just to be different.

          Then when those body styles no longer exist at a popular price point (or at all) and someone mentions them my (now 4 year old) daughter can say: “Ummmm I think my Dad had one when I was little…”

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            When I was little station wagons were what all the moms drove, my mother wouldn’t be caught dead in one. I remember as a kid feeling somehow deprived because WE didn’t have a station wagon

            Think of the trauma you might be causing your daughter by wanting to be different ;-)

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      I totally get it, it’s in the same slice of crossovers as the Edge and Murano (and incoming Blazer). Wider and more comfortable for passengers than compact crossovers, and in general feel and drive more solid/expensive on the road than the compacts, but without going all the way to midsize crossover length and third row which many don’t want/need. I think this thing will do very well for Honda.

      • 0 avatar
        formula m

        Gives people an option between CRV and Pilot that can also tow 5000lbs and hold its own in a winter storm. Should be a useful combination.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        This would have been on my short list versus an Accord, since it’s obviously where we’re going to end up. However I’ll have to resign myself to having to replace a turbocharger at some point (which supposedly is LESS than a J35 T-belt/water pump — perhaps your brother could confirm) because:

        1. Old electronics architecture = no full-stop adaptive cruise (first-world problem, yes), and more importantly…
        2. This is saddled with the POS ZF 9-speed!

        And by the time Honda does a mid-cycle refresh, the next Pilot will be out for a year, unless they short-cycle this Passport.

    • 0 avatar
      phila_DLJ

      If Lexus can have *FIVE* utility choices (LX/GX/RX/IX/UX) than surely Honda’s allowed to have four (Pilot/Passport/CR-V/HR-V).

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      It benefits every automaker that sells in the U.S. to reclassify all their sedans as “light trucks” to avoid punitive regulatory measures in the next 6 years. Crossovers are how to do that.

  • avatar
    johnny_5.0

    Why doesn’t this have their 10AT? Is it just a production capacity constraint? I figured this would launch with it and the Pilot would be getting it now(ish). That ZF is atrocious. I’m not buying any car where the transmission frustrates me on a daily basis, no matter how much I like the rest of the package. I’m still not sure how ZF goes from making one of the best automatics on the market (8HP) to churning out garbage like this.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      My sentiments exactly, considering that this would have been on my short list to replace my Accord, on account of my paranoia about the lifespan of a slightly undersized, turbocharged four-pot after eighteen years of Honda J-series TORQUE! The 2.0T’s got 95% of the V6, albeit without the baritone snarl, but will it hold up like my other four Hondas have?

      That transmission was a no-sale for me from the get-go! As stated above, I’ll take my chances with the turbo over the ZF!

    • 0 avatar
      HuskyHawk

      Tow rating they wanted would not be possible with the 10AT.

  • avatar
    darex

    Would rather have an X1 than this ugly thing, even if it has more power. Interior looks like an ergonomic disaster, and Honda’s reliability is no better than BMW’s these days, if not worse. Price is the same, but Honda gives you less for the money.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      A company that’s going to be charging people subscription fees to use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay delivers more for your money?

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      X1 is a much smaller car, not sure if the comparison is valid.

      For comparison: X1 cargo space behind rear seats: 14.8 cu ft, 47.7 seats down

      Passport: 41.2 cu ft seats up, 77.9 cu ft seats down

    • 0 avatar
      baggins

      You might be the only person cross shopping this mildly shoretened HOnda Pilot and the BMW X1.

      Totally different sized cars.

      Passport – 41 cubic feet cargo, 115 cubic feet passenger volume 190″ long by 78″ wide

      X1 – 27 cubic feet cargo, 101 cubic feet passenger volume 175″ inches long by 71.7″ wide.

  • avatar
    Rnaboz

    Two things keep me NOT buying this.
    a) 20″ wheels
    b) Auto stop/start

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      You can turn off the stop/start. It wasn’t really intrusive.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Honda packaging was and is one thing that kept me from buying any of their cars

      I would rather have this
      delete Honda Sensing safety package
      delete 20-inch wheels, install 17-18″,
      delete auto stop/start,
      delete remote start,
      delete keyless starting and entry
      delete tri-zone climate control
      delete, eight-way power driver’s seat but keep [power] lumbar support

      This would cut price by $4,000. And the car would be so much more attractive to me. That is only if I can close my eyes and not look into gauge cluster. I would invest myself into JGC but I am loosing my sleep over that Mexico-made engine.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    Tomorrow marks the first day in my adult life when we haven’t had at least one Honda/Acura in our driveway. Four vehicles and 485K combined miles, all purchased new, including two on one generation or another of this platform. To me, only the Odyssey and Accord aren’t too hamstrung by bad styling to be selected now, and we don’t have a need for either.

    The Pilot and Passport could have been interesting if it wasn’t for their gelatinous minivan-esque shapes. Kind of a shame.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    The X1 would just about fit in the trunk of this thing. It’s a compact and not a big one at that. The X2 is positively titchy and should be able to clamber over a 3 inch rock given a head of steam. Then there’s that oh-so-smooth BMW four clattering away compared to the Honda V6, an actual great engine. Yes, BMW’s B48 is their second try at a 2.0t since 2011, as the N20 like to munch cam chain guides, in time-honoured BMW fashion.

    Get real. The BMW is for people prancing around a badge as a means of projecting social status, not taste. Now see if you spot the ifference between a clementine and a grapefruit.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    It seems that the “free hat” offered at new car introductions is often not taken by TTAC reviewers – is this because you don’t like hats or is it supposed to indicate to us readers that the reviewer hasn’t been bought off?

  • avatar

    It’s interesting that Honda offers three different Pilot things now:

    Pilot SWB
    Pilot LWB
    Pilot Truck

    And all of them are very nearly the same price. I guess I question buying the Passport over the Pilot, because you’re spending the same money for less vehicle, which has bigger tires and rides harder. And it has a W/T look at the front with all that black plastic.

    Also, you could easily pop a Ford badge on the rear end, so I don’t think they were trying too hard in the rear styling meeting.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      I agree. The cheap black plastic on the front makes all of them look like a $20K base model.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      This. Don’t have little kids for that 3rd row? Just leave it folded flat forever and enjoy the cargo space. This isn’t smaller enough to be meaningfully better in the city. I mean I get why they made it, and it will print money for them. I would just go the half size up.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Except, the Passport is not really a “SWB” as it has the SAME WB as the Pilot (they just chopped off the rear overhang, basically the inverse of what Toyota did for the RX-L – both half-arse jobs).

      On top of that, the Passport as a (slightly better) generic/bland look of the Pilot w/ the same awful/cheap looking dash.

      A Sorento in SX or SXL trim would be a better option, or for something a little bigger, the CX-9.

      But I’m sure Honda will find enough Honda loyalists to pony up for the Passport.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    This is one of the most ill-proportioned vehicles of recent memory.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    The evil ZF nine-speed would be enough to make me avoid it. Will these be as bulletproof and unkillable as the old Isuzu Rodeo-based Honda Passport? I doubt it.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Ironically enough, the biggest weakness of the old Passport/Rodeo was the automatic transmission.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        gtem,

        are you sarcastic? Old Passport/Rodeo were famous for gulping oil. They had lemon law on that issue and people were getting $$$$ payback just by filing a complaint.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      I really don’t get it. That transmission is one of the worst parts of the overall experience with every vehicle it is in. Everyone complains about it. It’s proven to be explody. Yet it keeps spreading across lineups like a cancer.

      • 0 avatar
        cimarron typeR

        My SUV has it , it’s not great but personally I think no car should have more than 7speeds. Our 8spd Sienna , our 9spd Disco Sport arent as smooth as our previous 6spd Sienna, 7spd ML 350.
        This trans. does respond to paddle shift kickdowns fairly quickly. I think there was a reprogram from the 15 Disco Sport to the 17 we have. It’s really not intrusive, occasionally it’ll kickdown harshly going downhill on a coast but I think most testers drive like idiots – I mean I would too if I didn’t have to keep it 100k miles.
        BTW I agree on the aspect ratio issue on SUVs. I was thrilled to have 18s on an HSE mid level spec . I dreaded replacing the 19s on our ML.

        • 0 avatar
          johnny_5.0

          Everyone seems to be able to tune the 8HP well (from Dodge to BMW). Automakers generally seem to suck at all things software related, including shift programming. But the fact that every brand struggles with the 9HP and none of them have with the 8HP makes me believe there are some inherently poor characteristics of the former. The reports of transmissions greanding with less than 30k miles reaffirms that belief.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            In my experience with transmissions…

            EVEN > ODD number of gears

            The most notable exceptions being the unkillable 3-speed autos that reigned supreme for years and the fragile 4-speed autos of the early days of the automatic trans.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        When Honda didn’t get rid of that POS at the Pilot refresh, I figured it’d be included here, as the fact that the Passport was going to be a shrunken Pilot was probably the worst-kept secret in the industry!

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    Let’s see…fwd based, lots of low hanging and fragile body parts, 20” wheels with stupid low profile sedan tires. Yup, this thing’s ‘off-road chops’ are about as hardcore as Nickelback is a legit metal band. Just throw this thing over with the other crossovers in the sedan replacement bullpen. Notice all these pics show this car on a flat gravel area that wouldn’t challenge an accord’s ‘off road chops’.

  • avatar
    James2

    “the much-reviled nine-speed automatic transmission supplied by ZF. Yes, the same transmission that tainted countless Honda/Acura/Fiat Chrysler/Jaguar”

    Not to be that guy, but the ZF 9-speed is a front-drive transmission while, unless one slipped under the radar, Jaguar doesn’t (yet) make a front-driver.

  • avatar
    sckid213

    This thing has ZERO STYLE. It reminds me of a gen-2 CRV base model with that blacked out grille. Edge and Murano look a class more expensive on looks alone.

    This is Honda’s Cadillac XT6.

  • avatar
    Slocum

    We might be in the market for a vehicle like this in 2019. We live in the snowbelt and also will take it off the paved roads in places like Moab where higher-clearance and 4WD are handy. Like this for example. A Grand Cherokee would be great if only I trusted the long-term reliability. But I’m not sure why Honda doesn’t just sell a Pilot with more ground clearance — no need to chop off the rear end and delete the 3rd row (especially given that it it’s going to reduce cargo space and isn’t going to save any $$). So we’ll take a look at the Passport but more likely we’ll end up with a Subaru Ascent or Outback, the new Explorer, or maybe a 4Runner (but I’m not sure we’d want to put up with that as a daily driver).

  • avatar
    Carrera

    Not a big fan of the Passport, and this coming from a guy that owned many Hondas. I still have a 2006 Pilot with 200,000 flawless miles. No VTM issues, no exploding transmission. I also owned a first generation Ridgeline for about 127,000 miles and has been flawless as well. I think the new Pilot isn’t competitive anymore, the Ridgeline is terrible looking and makes the first generation look macho. The Passport is probably the answer to a question not many people asked for. Honda isn’t going to sway anyone into believing this has any off-road capability whatsoever. There are a lot of people turned off by the lack of V6 in the Accord and by it being so low to the ground. May be they will get a Passport? ( since the V6 Camry is also very low to the ground and hard to get into) Also, why the dreaded 9 speed ZF? Does Honda have a lot of them piling up in a warehouse somewhere? Kind of a fail in my book. I have actually met a ZF engineer not too long ago. He was not working on the transmission side of the house, but on suspension. He told me that it is well known around the company that the 9 speed was a design failure and there’s nothing that can be done to fix it.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I’m sure this is fine for what it is.

    But I don’t get this OFF ROAD!!!!!!! thing from Honda. Every passport has rubber band tires. On a minivan platform.

    Give me a break. They’d score more points from me if they were just being honest.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      It is made for idiots. And there are plenty in this country. In fact, I think, it is made by idiots themselves for their brothers – idiots. But Jeep GC is not far away. It also gets 20″ wheels as soon as you up your base Laredo

  • avatar
    NiceCar

    This will be among the many mid-size sedans and small/mid CUVS in the running when my Camry lease is up in August. I wonder if I could get a good deal on a mid-trim 2WD model since most people will want the AWD. I won’t be doing anything rugged with it. I like it’s blockiness; though not thrilled about the standard 20s. 18s would be fine.

    • 0 avatar
      NiceCar

      I think you can get more for your money with the new Santa Fe, which is really nice in person – though the base engine is middling compared to this V6. But, according to the article the new Santa Fe isn’t a competitor to this.

  • avatar
    HuskyHawk

    I was and am, immediately interested in this. I have been wanting a 4Runner or GX460, but really don’t want the antiquated interior or to put up with the MPG and body on frame limitations on-road.

    So what does that leave? The Grand Cherokee, which is very small inside, with horrible cargo room, is a car I see every 30 seconds on the road, is old and aging platform with lousy reliability.

    That’s it unless I go Land Rover. There is nothing else that isn’t a raised sedan or a truck. I’m waiting for the new Bronco, but this one could be a contender. I think Honda really nailed it here. What you guys should ask is what does somebody get with a much more expensive LR Discovery Sport over this? It’s not any more luxurious and is probbaly similarly capable.

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    Very smart move from Honda this new Passport.

    I saw this thing at the LAAS and I found it to look a generic, by-the-numbers crossover design, yet, I have repeatedly heard and read about its “sporty” looks. So, out of honest curiosity (no sarcasm nor criticism meant) what makes this a “sporty” looking design? I can barely tell the difference between this and the Edge, CR-V and several others.

  • avatar
    johnitahoe

    Disappointing like most US Honda’s that failed to offer advanced safety features in anything but the top models which force you to get a sun roof. Does anyone really want a sun roof anyway? Wouldn’t you rather have more headroom. Honda Ridgeline would be cool too but once again Honda fails to allow advanced safety features in anything but the top models! Honda needs to rethink their packages to increase their sales!


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