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2019 Honda Passport

$31,990 - $43,680
Price Range (MSRP)
Honda Passport

2019 Honda Passport Review

by Roger Biermann

After a 17 year hiatus, Honda has revived the Passport nameplate for an all-new midsize crossover slotting neatly between the CR-V and Pilot in the Honda line-up. But unlike before, this is no rebadged Isuzu, it's a Honda product through and through. Based on a shortened version of the platform that underpins the three-row Pilot, the Passport competes against crossovers like the Ford Edge and the striking new Chevrolet Blazer - tough competition, but the Passport is up to the task of becoming the top choice in this segment. Power comes from the same 3.5-liter V6 as the Pilot, developing 280 horsepower and driving either the front or all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission. Honda endows the Passport with high levels of standard specification and exceptional safety features in the guise of the Honda Sensing safety suite, but it comes at a cost: the Passport is pricier than the competition with prices ranging from $31,990 to $43,680 - nearly as much as the larger Pilot.

2019 Honda Passport Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 Passport?

The Passport is an all-new model for 2019, reviving the nameplate from the 1990s but casting aside the Isuzu shackles that bound it before by basing this generation on a platform and engine shared with the Honda Pilot. After nearly two decades in hiatus, the 2019 model signifies the start of the third generation Passport.

Pros and Cons

  • Powerful engine and rapid performance
  • Spacious, high-class interior
  • Class-leading cargo volume
  • Impressive off-road capabilities from a crossover
  • Up to eight inches of ground clearance on AWD models
  • Honda's infotainment system is far from class-best
  • Firmer ride quality than the Pilot
  • Base model lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Expensive

Passport Exterior

Despite sharing underpinnings with the Pilot, the Passport's exterior gets a rough and tough demeanor its three-row sibling doesn't. LED headlights, foglights, and running lights are standard across the range, and an assortment of black body cladding around the bumpers and wheel arches lends the Passport some muscle, while those arches are filled with 20-inch alloys in varying designs and finishes depending on your chosen trim. Turn signals are integrated into the wing mirrors on all but the Sport trim, while EX-L and higher trims also receive a power sunroof. Roof rails add extra practicality and style on the Touring and Elite models. Additionally, all trims can be equipped with up to six different styling packages for extra urban or offroad aesthetic appeal.

2019 Honda Passport Front Angle View
2019 Honda Passport Side View
2019 Honda Passport Rear Angle View
See All 2019 Honda Passport Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Essentially a shortened version of the Pilot, the Passport retains the 111-inch wheelbase but chops six inches off the overall length at 190.5-inches. It matches the Pilot for width at 78.6-inches, but unlike the Pilot, the Passport gets varying ride heights depending on drivetrain. Front-wheel drive models offer 7.5-inches of ground clearance for approach and departure angles of 20.6 and 26.8 degrees respectively, while all-wheel drive models ride higher with 8.1-inches of ground clearance and approach/departure angles of 21.4/27.6 degrees. With reduced dimensions, the Passport's curb weight is also lower, with weights ranging from 3,959 lbs to 4,237 lbs in its heaviest iteration.

Exterior Colors

The Honda Passport receives an exterior color palette with eight choices, including two metallic hues and six pearl colors. Lunar Silver and Modern Steel comprise the metallic duo, while the pearl choices are White Diamond, Deep Scarlet, Black Copper, Black Forest, Crystal Black, and Obsidian Blue. The range of colors pairs well with the strong body design of the Passport, with two colors looking particularly aggressive - Black Copper and Black Forest. Fortunately, there's no extra cost involved in equipping those, or any other colors for that matter.

  • White Diamond Pearl
  • Obsidian Blue Pearl
  • Black Forest Pearl
  • Deep Scarlet Pearl
  • Lunar Silver Metallic
  • Modern Steel Metallic
  • Crystal Black Pearl
  • Black Copper Pearl

Passport Performance

Across the line-up, the Passport is one quick SUV. Front-wheel drive models lose little in the way of on-road speed, with both front- and all-wheel drive derivatives cracking the 0-60 mph sprint in six seconds flat. It does so with ample towing ability too, hauling up to 5,000 lbs when optioned with AWD, while the FWD models manage up to 3,500 lbs - thanks to the 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque on tap.

There's no low-range transfer case on AWD models, but all trims are equipped with the latest version of Honda's Intelligent Traction Management system, giving the FWD models a special Snow mode, while AWD variants get Snow, Sand, and Mud driving modes to go with their additional ground clearance.

2019 Honda Passport Front Angle View
2019 Honda Passport Rear Angle View
2019 Honda Passport Engine

Engine and Transmission

Under the hood of every Passport you'll find the same 3.5-liter V6 as equipped to the Honda Odyssey, Ridgeline, and Pilot, plating up identical outputs of 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. The VTEC-enabled naturally aspirated motor sends its power through a nine-speed automatic gearbox before it reaches either the front or both axles, depending on trim and drivetrain choice.

The engine is strong, more so in this than in any other model, largely due to the reduced weight and size compared to the Pilot. Around town, there's loads of 'get up and go' from the traffic lights, while the engine's responsiveness and depth of power reserves will keep you surging up to highway speeds and beyond with ease. Being naturally aspirated there's phenomenal throttle response, and the nine-speed auto - a point of contention in the Pilot - has been rejigged here to a highly acceptable standard. It slips through the gears quickly and efficiently, manages gas mileage brilliantly, and when you need it, it drops down to select the right gear promptly. In this segment, the Passport gives buyers one of the most complete powertrains about.

  • Engine
    3.5-liter V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Pilot boasts exceptional driving manners, and the Passport takes those even further with an engaging drive, responsive chassis, and additional nimbleness afforded by the reduced overall length. Championed by the strong performance from the V6, the chassis plays its part too. Handling is adept for a vehicle with a ride height geared towards mild offroading, with minimal body roll and exceptional composure through the twisties. However, in order to compensate for the additional ride height over the Pilot, the suspension feels a little stiffer on the Passport. While this benefits handling, it does little in the way of enhancing ride comfort on poor surfaces. In general, the suspension is comfortable, but particularly bumpy surfaces bring out the Passport's unyielding attitude to the harshest of bumps. The firmness is amplified by the 20-inch alloy wheels on all trims, leaving no room for error when it comes to avoiding potholes and ruts in the road - if you hit those, you'll feel it.

But in spite of the compromise in ride comfort, both the wheels and stiffer suspension yield favorable results when it comes to the overall feeling of the Passport. The steering doesn't ooze feedback, but there's a good amount of heft to the wheel and it responds keenly from just off-center without being overly sharp. Turn-in is quick, changes of direction are swift, and the Passport feels lighter and nimbler than its size and measurements on the scales might suggest. Additionally, the all-wheel drive system works fluently without feeling any heavier, making light of most driving situations and poor surfaces like mud and snow.

Passport Gas Mileage

The Passport pairs great performance with impressive gas mileage in front- and all-wheel drive guises. A FWD Passport boasts EPA mileage estimates of 20/25/22 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles, yielding an estimated driving range of 429-miles in mixed driving conditions from a 19.5-gallon tank of gas. The all-wheel drive derivative sacrifices only a small amount of the Passport's frugality, with one mpg lost from all figures (19/24/21 mpg). The Passport's figures are on par with several competitors that reside at the top of the segment for fuel economy, but not all provide the same potency and refinement when driving.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    19.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 20/25 mpg
* 2019 Honda Passport Sport FWD

Passport Interior

Honda's propensity for generous, well-appointed interiors is a trait retained by the Passport, which in lopping off six inches from the Pilot may lose the third row of seats but makes gains in standard trunk volume without compromising on a generous seating area. Material quality is once again high for the segment, bordering on premium in nature, while build quality seems impressive, dash rattles minimal, and panel gaps tight. There's an abundance of storage throughout the cabin and high levels of interior specification and numerous creature comforts. The Passport's seats are comfy and easy to climb in and out of, and up front, the driver's perch has a wide range of adjustment resulting in a commanding driving position and great visibility. More compact dimensions may lend themselves towards urban life, but the Passport gives occupants enough comfort to soak up the miles without fatigue.

2019 Honda Passport Sunroof
2019 Honda Passport Infotainment System
2019 Honda Passport Rear Passenger Seats
See All 2019 Honda Passport Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

By shortening the Pilot's platform, the Passport seats five occupants in two rows of seating. Suspension may be firm, but the seats are generous throughout with enough thigh support for taller passengers and a comfortable position for occupants of all sizes. The front seats offer 40.9-inches of legroom with ample space to stretch out, while the wide range of adjustment, including ten-way power adjustment from the EX-L trim, and a standard tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel ensure a perfect driving position for even taller drivers. The rear seats cater for marginally less in the way of legroom, but space is still generous, as is the headroom, with five adults finding no reason to complain about their accommodation. The back seats house two full sets of LATCH anchors, while the amount of space in the rear of the cabin allows for both front- and rear-facing child seats to be easily equipped.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

The interior of the Passport borrows largely from the larger Pilot, with a similar upper dash in black, a central wing in satin silver, and a lower dash colored to correspond with the door panels and seat color. The base Sport model is the only derivative equipped with cloth seating surfaces, but black is the only available color. The EX-L and Touring trims get leather seats available in black or gray based on the exterior paint color. The top-of-the-range Elite model receives additional soft-touch surfaces throughout the cabin, while the leather interior boasts perforation on the front seats to accommodate the ventilation function.

Passport Trunk and Cargo Space

In losing the third row of seats, the Passport gains much in the way of cargo volume behind the rear seats. With seating in place for five, the cargo area caters for a minimum 41.2 cubic feet of storage - capable of hauling enough luggage for a full family vacation - more than the 36.3 offered by the Jeep Grand Cherokee and right near the top of the class. With the rear seats folded the Passport provides 77.9 cubic feet with the front seats as far back as they can go, again larger than a Grand Cherokee and showing Honda's propensity for smart cargo configuration. Beneath the cargo floor, there's an additional 2.5 cubic feet of cargo space around the spare wheel. Access to the rear is through a large tailgate opening, power operated on from the EX-L trim and with hands-free functionality from the Touring trim. Inside the cargo area, there are four tie-down hooks for added convenience.

Throughout the rest of the cabin, there are large storage bins, large door pockets, seatback pockets, and numerous cupholders, and the push-button gear selector allows easy access to the center pair of cupholders without risking spillage.

2019 Honda Passport Maximum Cargo Space
2019 Honda Passport Maximum Cargo Space
2019 Honda Passport Rear Passenger Seats

Passport Infotainment and Features

Features

Priced on par with the larger Pilot, the Passport affords buyers masses of interior tech and features, including a power sunroof from the EX-L trim, while all variants receive push-button start, a reverse camera, adaptive cruise control, sliding sun visors, and tri-zone climate control. From the EX-L, the Passport is equipped with an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ten-way power driver's seat adjustment, four-way front passenger adjustment, an available Wi-Fi hotspot, rear USB ports, and heated front seats, while the Touring and Elite get heated outboard rear seats. The Elite model receives ventilation for the front seats, while the steering wheel is heated. All Passport derivatives benefit from the inclusion of Honda Sensing, an advanced suite of driver aids like collision mitigation braking, lane keep assist, and road departure mitigation.

Infotainment

Even on a vehicle of this price, Honda equips the base Sport trim with a compact five-inch infotainment display. The system accepts inputs via AM/FM radio, USB, Bluetooth, and auxiliary input, boasts two USB ports, seven speakers, but only caters to Bluetooth hands-free telephony. From the EX-L trim, Honda gives the Passport an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment display - with a volume knob - that boasts enhanced functionality like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, SiriusXM, and HD Radio. Seven speakers are retained for the EX-L trim, but Touring and Elite models receive a 540-watt ten-speaker audio system and also benefit from the addition of satellite-linked with voice recognition. Standard on the Elite model, but optional on lower trims, is a wireless charging pad for compatible devices.

Passport Problems and Reliability

The earlier generations of the Passport were fraught with problems, something Honda is no doubt looking to cure with the current iteration. The Passport is entirely new to the market, so at this early stage, it's difficult to predict reliability and potential problems. However, Honda has based the Passport on much of what underpins the Pilot, including the engine, gearbox, and much of the interior, which bodes well for the Passport as the Pilot has been relatively trouble-free.

The Passport is covered under the Honda Limited Warranty, which gives a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty, five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, five-year/unlimited mileage corrosion warranty, and multiple warranties for accessories and replacement parts. It's no Hyundai/Kia warranty, but it's impressive nonetheless.

Passport Safety

The IIHS has not yet crash tested the 2019 Honda Passport, while the NHTSA has not yet completed a full evaluation to give an overall safety score. The NHTSA has only completed partial testing, yielding four and five stars for frontal passenger and driver impact tests respectively. This section will be updated once government authorities complete their evaluations.

Key Safety Features

A high standard of safety is equipped across the Passport line-up, with Honda sensing on all trims comprising forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and road departure mitigation. Additionally, all models except the Sport get full blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, while the Touring and Elite receive front and rear parking sensors. All this is in addition to the standard seven airbags (dual front, front side, side curtain, and driver knee airbags).

Verdict: Is the 2019 Honda Passport a good SUV?

With a foundation in the already exemplary Honda Pilot, the Passport is a sure bet as one of the best five-seater midsize SUVs in the segment. With extensive standard safety features and high levels of specification like tri-zone climate control and LED headlights from the base trim, the only thing really missing is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is equipped from the EX-L trim onwards.

The Passport's 280-horsepower V6 is a true gem of a motor, and while others may offer better figures on paper, the Passport is one of the swiftest SUVs around. It pairs potent performance with endearing driving dynamics, while the choice between front- and all-wheel drive - both with terrain management - caters to a wide audience with varying requirements. The all-wheel drive derivative is particularly impressive, with a ground clearance of more than eight inches paired to multiple driving modes (snow, mud, etc) for impressive offroad capabilities for what is essentially a soft-roader.

But what seals the Passport's supremacy is the abundance of interior space, the high-quality materials and build, and the impressive ride composure and handling dynamics. A well-connected, great to drive SUV from Honda - well that's no surprise.

What's the Price of the 2019 Honda Passport?

The cheapest model in the new Honda Passport line-up is the Sport trim in front-wheel drive, which carries a base MSRP of $31,990. One rung up is the EX-L with a base price in the USA of $36,410, while the Touring is priced from $39,280. All three derivatives can have all-wheel drive equipped for an additional $1,900. Topping the range is the full loaded Elite AWD, with a price of $43,680. All prices are base MSRP and exclude license, registration, taxes, a $1,045 destination charge, and any discounts or incentives individual dealers may offer.

2019 Honda Passport Models

The 2019 Honda Pilot range comprises four trim levels: Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Elite. All models are powered by a 280-horsepower V6 with a nine-speed automatic gearbox. Front-wheel drive is standard on the Sport, EX-L, and Touring models, with optional all-wheel drive. The Elite model is AWD-only.

The Sport may be the entry-level model but still comes well-equipped. Features include black 20-inch alloy wheels, LED low-beam headlights, keyless entry, cruise control, a reverse camera, tri-zone climate control, and a five-inch color infotainment screen with seven speakers.

The EX-L adds a power sunroof, power tailgate, acoustic windshield, blind spot monitoring, leather upholstery, heated front seats, power driver's seat adjustment, and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Next up is the Touring, which equips a hands-free tailgate, full LED headlights, heated rear seats, satellite navigation, and a 540-watt ten-speaker sound system.

Last up is the Elite, with standard all-wheel drive, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and wireless device charging.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Sport
3.5-liter V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$31,990
EX-L
3.5-liter V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$36,410
Touring
3.5-liter V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$39,280
Elite
3.5-liter V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$43,680
See All 2019 Honda Passport Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

While most options are included in the four trims available, the Honda Pilot does have a few optional packages and standalone options to consider.

From an aesthetic perspective, all models are eligible for five styling packages, Adventure Packages A, B, C, and Urban Packages A and C - equipping a variety of fender flares, crossbars, running boards, underbody spoilers, roof rails, alloy wheel designs, and on the Adventure Packages A and B, a tow hitch. The Touring and Elite models also get the option of Urban Package B added. Prices vary depending on trim, with the cheapest being Adventure Package C at $900 on Touring and Elite models and the most expensive being $3,856 for the Urban Package A on the same trims. All of these upgrades are available as standalone accessories, the most important of which is the trailer hitch as a $695 option.

Other available options on the lower trims include an auto-dimming rearview mirror on the Sport model for $140, a heated steering wheel on EX-L and Touring models at $500, and on Sport, EX-L, and Touring trims, backup sensors at $500 (Sport and EX-L only, standard on Touring and Elite), wireless phone charging at $225, and a CD player at $310.

What Honda Passport Model Should I Buy?

A fully-loaded Elite model boasts a wonderful array of features, but it's pricey for what it gives you. The Sport trim, on the other hand, misses out on key items we feel are must-haves. For that reason we feel the EX-L is the pick of the range, giving buyers the choice between front- and all-wheel drive, equipping the standard safety of the Sport model, but adding blind spot monitoring as well as full smartphone integration via the eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Heated and power-adjustable front seats, leather upholstery, extra USB ports, and satellite radio all add to the wholesomeness of the EX-L, while the price is still on the affordable side of things.

2019 Honda Passport Comparisons

2019 Honda Passport
2019 Honda Passport

2019 Honda Passport vs Chevrolet Blazer

Both the Blazer and the Passport resurrect historical nameplates in an attempt to dominate society's newfound love of crossovers, and both are new for 2019 providing exceptional driving dynamics that show the driver's car hasn't died with the crossover boom. The Blazer is the more powerful of the two with a 308-horsepower V6, but the differences in acceleration are negligible at best. Base Blazers get a smaller engine, however, which lacks power but just edges the Honda on gas mileage. The Blazer starts off about $3,000 cheaper than the Passport, but fully-specced it ends up a little pricier, while both offer high levels of safety and specification. Chevrolet's infotainment system is easier to use, while the Passport gives users a higher quality cabin. The Passport also gives buyers more cargo volume, and passengers will be marginally more comfortable in the Honda too. Both are fantastic new additions to the top of the crossover game, but the Honda just edges this contest.

See Chevrolet Blazer Review

2019 Honda Passport vs Honda CR-V

Even though the CR-V is technically in a smaller category than the Passport, it's a champion of practicality for something of such compact dimensions. It offers nearly as much cargo space as the Passport and provides rear passengers with even more legroom. The CR-V boasts a suitably upmarket cabin and an impressive features list, but the Passport boasts more features and greater safety levels. While the CR-V is more affordable, it gives buyers a potent turbocharged four-cylinder engine and compelling driving dynamics, but the Passport has more power, greater towing ability, and better offroad performance. It all comes down to requirements, but if adventure ( offroad excursions, towing, etc) is your game, the Passport is the one for you.

See Honda CR-V Review

Honda Passport Popular Comparisons

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2019 Honda Passport Video Reviews