By on December 7, 2021

Honda Passport

If you’re looking to get behind the wheel of Honda’s entrant in the two-row midsize crossover segment, be prepared to open your wallet a bit further than last year. A first blush, it might appear as if Honda jacked prices skyward by five grand but the reality is actually a lot simpler – they simply binned the base model.

In the 2021 model year, it was possible to find an entry-level Passport Sport (PasSport?) wearing a sticker of $32,790. If you were able to slum it with the poors and endure the ignominy of cloth seats and a manually-operated hatch, it may have been a good fit. For 2022, the Passport EX-L now represents the entry point of Honda’s 5-passenger rig, priced at $37,870.

The company asserts this decision is “reflecting customer demand” which generally means no one was buying the cheapest model. However, we will point out the Sport had several unique bits, including those cloth seats mentioned earlier. Surely economies of scale dictate that installing the same seats in all Passports will be pleasing to Honda’s pencil-necked beancounters. There’s no need to order manual tailgates from the supplier anymore, either.

To be sure, there is a price hike to the tune of about $1,000 across the board, but that’s par for the course these days. Inserting itself into the Honda lineup, and ostensibly replacing the Touring trim in the Passport pecking order, is the new TrailSport. That variant is designed in the image of machines such as the Outback Wilderness, adding 0.4 inches of track width and more aggressive-looking front and rear bumpers. Ground clearance is exactly the same as other all-wheel-drive trims, however, at 8.1 inches. All Passports wear new clothes ahead of the A-pillar for 2022, incorporating a fresh squared-off nose and more upright grille. If you think it’s attempting to shake a minivan-ish image, you’re probably right.

Every ’22 Passport is equipped with a 3.5L V6 engine making 280 horsepower, hooked to a 9-speed automatic (no CVTs here, thankfully). American-spec models have the choice of front-wheel drive on the EX-L only, where all-wheel drive is a $2,100 option. TrailSport and top-rung Elite trims have power going to each corner as standard equipment. Passports are good for 5,000 pounds of towing, making them one of the burlier options in this segment, at least without adding extra-cost equipment.

In this topsy-turvy year of car sales, Honda has shifted 45,733 Passport through to the end of October. That’s better than Ridgeline, but well off its best-selling CR-V which found 315,533 homes over the same timeframe. The more expensive Pilot was good for 124,147 sales.

[Image: Honda]

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17 Comments on “2022 Honda Passport Drops Base Trim, Wears New Higher Price...”

  • avatar

    Shocking (/s).

  • avatar

    I kind of like this in white with the black rims. The base model of the prior year was actually the most compelling model though that got you most of the goodness at a reasonable price. I have a more difficult time as this vehicle approaches the mid to high $40’s with all the kit. Also, liked it much better before without the new “trucky” grill.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    “no CVTs here, thankfully”. Isn’t this trope old? For all the fanboys, don’t Teslas have a CVT?

    • 0 avatar

      No, Teslas have a single-speed transmission.

      But I agree the anti-CVT stuff is tiresome. CVTs are fine in cars that are more about smooth driving than responsiveness, and if they’re not, the problem is usually a NVH problem, not a transmission problem.

  • avatar

    If you can only make so many, why sell them for less than you can get?

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    There are some good CVT’s out there. But anti-CVTs are a “car forum thing” and doesn’t represent the real world. Most people (except maybe a few of the relatives of those on here) get in a vehicle for a test drive. If the seats seem comfortable and the vehicle is what they are looking for otherwise they could less about the powertrain-and especially the transmission.

  • avatar

    Two Indisputable Facts for a Tuesday:
    0. Honda is dead to me.
    1. Losing me as a customer/potential customer should (and does) concern them exactly Zero.

  • avatar

    Why do people buy this? The only thing the Passport is better than is the Murano which really isn’t something to brag about.

    • 0 avatar

      “Why do people buy this? The only thing the Passport is better than is the Murano which really isn’t something to brag about.”

      what did you buy?

    • 0 avatar

      I’d take this and its J35 over a 2.0T Edge or a Blazer every day and twice on Sunday.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Because my Santa Fe needed a motor at 48k and while the Highlander may have lasted longer in the long run, I’d have had to stare at that dash for a decade which would just make me mad. Additionally, the Passport had windows that you can see out of…seriously, visibility is like 90’s SUV good. My only issue has been an infotainment popping that required some serious dissassembly to repair but it seems fixed.

  • avatar

    I agree that the new grill looks much better on the Ridgeline than here. They should’ve left it alone on the Passport. Also, since nobody cares, this is last time I’m going on this site until intrusive ads that I can’t get off my web browser goes away.

  • avatar

    I’m anti-leather, so dropping the cloth seats is bad. Some vegan friendly seat options are needed, Honda

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not up on the materials HMC uses but I haven’t seen real leather used for a long time in mid to low level marques. Are you against simulated leather aka “pleather” as well? Because that is likely what they are providing in Honda products.

  • avatar

    I’m anti-leather, so dropping the cloth seats is bad. Some vegan friendly seat options are needed, Honda

  • avatar

    I can’t think of anything more singularly silly than electric opening and closing tailgates. Doubly so on a car which is supposed to be for rugged, and cold/snowy, environments. Get some ice around the gate area, and the tailgate won’t open. Happened to me several times on a Q7. The motors are also slow as molasses. I’m sure they may make some sort of sense on tall CUVs; if you’re a 95 year old, 4 foot tall Japanese woman. But if you’re a normal sized person and can’t operate a bloody tailgate without issue, you really shouldn’t be driving a car.

    Here’s to hoping Akio Toyoda’s battle to let cars be cars, succeed (the guy even insists on H2 ICEs. And does donuts in his company’s parking lots, instead of sitting inside babbling mindlessly about “mobility” nonsense).

    The waiting lists for the (manual tailgate, wow!! And manual transmission. And mechanical parking brake. And more buttons than touchscreens and menus. And…..) GR Yaris looks promising. Here’s to hoping even people less concerned about sporty handling and performance, will still clamor for the comforting mechanicalness which is just as wonderful about it, as its horsepower and grip.

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