Ace of Base: 2019 Honda Passport Sport
Yeah, I know. It’s a crossover. Most of the B&B would prefer I write about some hawt hatch or a 1993 Ford Ranger but the reality is this: more consumers than ever before are signing a note on vehicles such as this Passport, making them worthy of our attention. Hey, at least this one doesn’t have a CVT.
Designed as a foil to the likes of the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano, the two-row Honda Passport not only revives a name but jumps onto a very profitable bandwagon. With the same powertrain throughout the entire range, is the base model your best bet?
Starting at $31,990, the entry-level Passport is powered by a 280 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine that sends power to the front wheels only via a nine-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is a $1,900 option. We’ll leave it to your good judgement if AWD is necessary in your part of the country, but suffice it to say your author weathered several Canadian winters in a front-drive Edge with good winter tires, suffering not a moment’s worth of traction-related calamity.
The nanny set of Honda Sensing safety technologies is standard on the base Passport, a suite of kit that combines lane keeping, adaptive cruise, and collision mitigation braking (otherwise known as “brakes”). A remote starter is on board for those cold mornings. If you do forget to fire up the Passport before heading out the door, drivers will just have to thumb a starter button instead of digging for keys.
Interior design will look very familiar to anyone who’s been in a Honda recently, which is not a bad thing. I must be the only person in auto journalism, by the way, who doesn’t mind the company’s push button gear selector for the nine-speed auto. A nifty false floor in its rear cargo area keeps valuable away from prying eyes. This is likely the only instance in the history of automobiles that the base infotainment system is preferable, thanks to its easy-to-grab buttons.
LED lighting peppers the exterior, at least from a daytime running light and fog lamp point of view. Those are dual exhaust “finishers,” by the way, and the wheels measure twenty inches in diameter. Be sure to budget for tire replacement if you spring for a Passport, even this base model. In keeping with the gotta-have-an-off-road-look design language of this segment, the Passport deploys a black fascia and wheel arches to give the impression that your family is gearing up for a day at Moab.
All eight colors are gratis, including the tasteful Deep Scarlet shown above and a weirdo green. To make amends for slagging on the color brown last week, I will say that the Black Copper hue looks good on this car. Lighter shades like Lunar Silver and Modern Steel contrast too much with the black trim.
So, yeah, it’s another crossover. But people buy ‘em and, on occasion, we do like to provide some real world advice around here. Given the financial walk up the Passport food chain, sticking with the base model is a wise idea. It has all the power and safety features of its more expensive brethren at a significantly lower sticker price.
I just wish the word “sport” didn’t appear twice in its name.
Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.
The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less.
Slavuta on Apr 03, 2019
Here how I see Ace of Base - remove all the nannies, remove 20" wheels, put 17". Remove remote start and push button start. Remove automatic 2-zone climate control. This should result in well under $30K price But I would be ok to pay $32K for AOB but instead above put - heated mirrors - CD/MP3 player - navigation-ready entertainment (I could insert separately purchased chip/sd card) - Better upholstery - Lumbar support (mechanical) - Leather steering wheel
Carrera on Apr 03, 2019
Honda will sell plenty of these. A lot of people go to the dealership with the intention to get into an Accord but then they find out that the driving positions is much lower than previous model and that there's no V6 available. What to do, what to do? We have a Honda Passport for you.
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