2019 Honda Passport: First Impressions – Cars.com


how do makers these days have taken a
kind of Field of Dreams approach to SUVs and that is if you build it they will
come and Honda is no exception and at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show they’re
introducing their latest vehicle the all-new 2019 Honda Passport
now while the passport is an all-new vehicle there will be some things about
it that are familiar it shares Honda’s light truck platform with the pilot and
the ridgeline and while there are a few key differences a lot of what here will
look familiar now the passport slots in between the
CRV and the pilot in Honda’s lineup and this is supposed to be the most rugged
of Honda’s SUV offerings and we can kind of tell that from the styling which is a
bit more rugged a bit more off-road kind of sporty it even comes with this matte
finish on the lower part of it that Honda says is scratch resistant for when
you do go off-road and the passport does offer a bit more ground clearance and
you’ll find in both the pilot and the ridgeline it also comes with Honda’s
all-wheel drive system which we found to actually be pretty capable off-road and
it’s not a traditional four-wheel-drive system but what it can do is send
seventy percent of available torque to the rear wheels and split that torque
100% to the left or to the right and this is a system that we’ve tested
before in the ridgeline of the pilot and we found that in loose situations where
the surface isn’t a pavement so gravel sand it actually does quite well we took
a ridge line up at Hill Climb and the only thing that really held it back was
his lack of ground clearance the all-wheel drive system is very smart it
does a very good job shifting torque around and so we have no
doubt that the same will be true here in the passport now the passport will kind
of look and feel pretty similar to those who have any kind of familiarity with
Honda’s current lineup of SUVs there’s a lot of pilot in the passport and that
starts under the hood where the two actually have these same powertrain so
it’s a 3.5 liter v6 that makes 280 horsepower made it to a 9 speed
automatic transmission and honda tells us that it is the exact same setup that
you’ll find in the pilot front-wheel drive is standard with all-wheel drive
optional all-wheel drive will only be standard on the top elite trim level and
that’s what we’re in right now as we look around the interior of the passport
a lot of these parts also seem familiar it has the same basic multimedia setup
as a pilot with the 7-inch display here in the instrument panel that can be
customized it also keeps the same center mounted gear selector that you find in
the pile and we’re not really big fans of it it’s
a little bit complicated to use and since you have it here it doesn’t
actually save any space it just adds more complication now there are some
definite pluses to be passed for interior you basically have a pilot
without a third row and arguably the weakest part of the pilot’s interior was
that cramp third row so what we’re left with is a very spacious first and second
row with comfortable seating for all five passengers another plus for this
interior lots of charging options so there are four total USB ports here in
the elite trim as well as a household outlet in the second row for passengers
so if you wanted to plug in something like a laptop or a game console you’d be
able to do that the cargo area for the passport is also a big plus is very
flexible and it has a few features that will make it more usable beyond being
actually pretty large it also has this sort of underfloor storage area that’s
revealed when you flip up the floor and it’s big enough to fit a small backpack
or a purse so that gives you a bit more secure storage
now there’s also these two handy buttons on either side that allow you to drop
the second row from the back here without having to move around and pull
any handles or anything you just tap on this button and the seats fold down
one other thing Hannes is that what the second row is folded down you can
actually take the cargo floor and flip it all the way over and it makes it
turns from carpet into this kind of plastic surface that’s much easier to
clean so if you have anything dirty or muddy and you don’t want to get the
carpet messed up it’s much easier to just clean this plastic surface off so
that would be helpful for those who plan to take the passport off the beaten path
no details yet on pricing or fuel economy for the passport but we do know
that it will go on sale sometime early next year you