2019 Honda Passport
The name may sound familiar, but rest assured: this is not the Honda Passport of the 1990s that was the sister vehicle to the long-gone Isuzu Rodeo. Today’s Passport is a clear winner. It’s the smaller sibling to the well-regarded three-row Honda Pilot, but with a bit more ground clearance, making it a capable five-passenger utility vehicle that can tow up to 5,000 pounds. People have been excited about its debut, and with good reason.
The four trims – the Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Elite – offer nice standard equipment, with even the least expensive Passport getting standard tri-zone climate control, dual exhaust, push-button start, remote start, and sophisticated crash-mitigating technology. They all have the same powertrain, a 280 hp V6 mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for manual-mode shifting when the mood for more gear control strikes. Torque-vectoring all-wheel drive is standard on the top trim and optional on the other three; all trims receive intelligent traction management system with modes for snow, sand, and mud.
Safety and Technology
Hondas are built for safety, and the Passport is no different. Honda Sensing, the automaker’s impressive active safety technology suite, comes standard on all trims. It consists of dynamic cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, auto emergency braking, lane keep assist, and road departure mitigation. Every trim also gets automatic high beams and a multi-angle reversing camera for safer backing; the standard guidelines on the base version of the camera are upgraded to dynamic guidelines on the higher three trims. Those trims are also equipped with a blind spot monitor.
The reborn Passport is equipped for the connectivity that these times demand. All but the base trim receive the upgraded audio/information system with an 8-inch touchscreen, a USB port, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth, SiriusXM satellite radio, and mobile hotspot capability. The Elite trim gets wireless charging, a navigation system, and a premium sound system with ten speakers.
Passenger Comfort and Cargo Space
The 2019 Honda Passport offers a generous amount of interior volume so that all five occupants are comfortable and have space to stash their stuff. The cargo area is set up with tie-down anchors for items that may shift, bag hooks for groceries, and clever under-floor storage compartments.
All but the base trim get a one-touch power moonroof for overhead light and ventilation. While the base Sport gets cloth upholstery, the others all get leather. To keep everyone comfy in extreme weather, the EX-L trim receives standard heated front seats, the Touring and Elite get both rows heated, and the Elite also gets perforated leather seats that are ventilated in the front row. Remote start is also standard on every Passport, so that nobody has to get in until the interior temperature is ideal.