The Passport has long been the better bet for a large, capable SUV from Honda. If you don’t need a third row of seats that is. It’s sculpted more aggressively than the boxier Pilot. With sharper features and more streamlined proportions. It shares the same 280 hp, 3.5L V6 engine as the Pilot. It has the same nine-speed automatic transmission as well. Even the overall platform is the same, just shortened by 6 inches. Most of the lost length comes from a chopped off tail end. Due to the absence of a third row. The tightened dimensions and reworked handling for quicker inputs definitely give the Passport a more agile feel.
For all the shared hardware, the 2019 Honda Passport is easier on the eyes, more engaging on the senses and more thrilling behind the wheel. Talented Honda engineers massaged the 3.5L engine with reprogrammed engine software. The difference it makes is remarkable. Better throttle response and a livelier engine helps the Passport accelerate with more gusto than its bigger brother.
Their may only be seating for five, but each passenger will get plenty of head and leg room. Cargo room and hidden storage compartments can be found everywhere as well. One of my favorites being beneath the rear cargo floor. Where two sizable cubbies could easily conceal laptops, purses, backpacks and other valuables while you’re away. The list of safety features is incredibly long too. From the rigid ACE body structure down to the curtain airbags, there’s an obvious emphasis placed on keeping everyone on board perfectly safe and sound.
The Honda Passport is clearly the more impetuous and playful of the two Honda SUV’s. But it’s not perfect. Interior materials ranged from one plastic to another in more places than one would hope to find. Off-roading abilities are limited due to only mild ground clearance. A necessary trade-off for more responsive handling on the road. Fuel efficiency will leave lots to be desired as well. The Passport is only able to squeeze 21 miles out of every gallon of gas. Above all though, the price tag seems a little high for everything you get.
I get it. Honda’s are typically more expensive. They’re popular, reliable, dependable and have a high resale value when all is said and done. You’ll have to get behind the wheel and discover for yourself if the pros out-weigh the cons. And if the whole package justifies the higher cost.
Price as tested: $44,725.00
By: Brandon Randall