2020 Honda Passport

2020 Honda Passport Test Drive Review: A Massive Mid-Sizer

The last time Honda sold a mid-size SUV called the Passport, it was actually a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo. Both the first and second generation Passport models built from 1993 to 1997 and from 1998 to 2002 weren't actually manufactured by Honda at all, which is why we were surprised when the nameplate was brought back for the 2019 model year. Now in its third generation, the Passport is actually produced by Honda in Lincoln, Alabama where the company also builds the larger Pilot SUV.

Honda noticed that it was missing out on an important segment between its compact CR-V and three-row mid-size Pilot, so it decided to fetch the Passport name out of the junk drawer to slap on a new two-row mid-size model. Think of the Passport as a sportier, more rugged, and slightly smaller version of the Pilot that costs a bit less and only includes two rows of seats. It shares its engine and platform with the larger Pilot and has been carried over unchanged from the 2019 model year.

2020 Honda Passport Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Passport?

Fresh from its 2019 arrival as an all-new model, the Honda Passport continues into 2020 without any major changes.

Pros and Cons

  • Interior is massive and premium-feeling
  • Loads of cargo space
  • Powerful V6 provides smooth, athletic performance
  • Sportier styling than the larger Pilot
  • Off-road ability exceeds that of the average crossover
  • Honda Sensing comes standard
  • Infotainment system is fussy to use
  • One of the pricier entrants in this segment
  • No Apple CarPlay/Android Auto for entry-level model
  • Adaptive cruise control doesn't work at low speeds
  • The transmission can be caught loafing

Best Deals on Passport

2020 Honda Passport Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Sport
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$31,990
EX-L
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$36,410
Touring
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$39,280
Elite
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$43,780

Passport Exterior

Based on the third-generation Honda Pilot, the Passport strikes a sportier and more rugged figure than its three-row cousin. It's a handsome SUV and the generous application of black body cladding adds to its adventurous demeanor. All versions get LED brake lights, LED fog lights, dual exhaust finishers, and 20-inch wheels in either gloss black or gray. A one-touch power moonroof and a power tailgate are available higher up in the range. A variety of styling packages are available to further customize the look of your Passport.

2020 Honda Passport Front View CarBuzz
2020 Honda Passport Rear View CarBuzz
2020 Honda Passport Front Angle View CarBuzz
See All 2020 Honda Passport Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Shorter than the Honda Pilot but sharing the same 111-inch wheelbase, the Passport's overall length is 190.5 inches. The width is 78.6 inches and height is either 71.6 inches for the 2WD variants or 72.2 inches if you choose to equip the Passport with AWD. Ground clearance is an impressive 8.1 inches for the AWD versions (7.5 inches for the 2WD) and approach/departure angles are 20.6/26.8 degrees in 2WD guise and 21.4/27.6 degrees in AWD configuration. Curb weight varies between 3,959 pounds for the base 2WD trim and 4,237 for the AWD range-topper (around 82 lbs lighter than the equivalent Honda Pilot). The Passport feels large in this segment, so if you like the feel of a smaller crossover, this won't be for you.

  • Length 190.5 in
  • Wheelbase 111.0 in
  • Height 71.6 in
  • Max Width 78.6 in
  • Front Width 67.0 in
  • Rear Width 66.7 in
  • Curb Weight 3,959.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

A range of eight colors is provided for the Passport range. The pearl shades are Platinum White, Deep Scarlet, Black Copper, Black Forest (not available on the base Sport trim), Crystal Black, and Obsidian Blue, while the two metallic options are Lunar Silver and Modern Steel. The lighter shades emphasize the Passport's extensive black body cladding, while the darker hues make for quite an aggressive look that further sets this crossover apart from the Pilot.

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

Passport Performance

The Passport has only one engine option in Honda's 3.5-liter V6, but its robust outputs of 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque ensure that there's more than enough performance on offer. Completing the 0-60 mph sprint in around six seconds in either front- or all-wheel-drive guise, it's one of the nippier crossovers around. The strong engine also accords the Passport with a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds with the AWD, and 3,500 lbs with 2WD. Honda's Intelligent Traction Management system has a Snow mode, while the AWD models have Snow/Sand/Mud modes, increasing driver control under a variety of challenging conditions, although not being truly 4x4-capable off-road.

2020 Honda Passport Rear Angle View CarBuzz
2020 Honda Passport Wheel CarBuzz
2020 Honda Passport Engine CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

Honda's 3.5-liter V6 is well-known, doing duty in a number of the marque's other models. The naturally-aspirated i-VTEC engine delivers 280 hp and 262 lb-ft and is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Passport is lighter than the Pilot, so its performance is even better. The nine-speed transmission has been re-tuned for the Passport and features paddle shifters for manual control and a more hands-on driving experience. The new transmission tune is better than previous iterations but it can still be caught loafing in too high of a gear when you need a quick burst of acceleration. Once the transmission is in the correct gear, the V6 engine delivers adequate acceleration. An advanced idle-stop system is fitted to all Passports for improved efficiency.

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

Handling and Driving Impressions

Big. That's how we'd describe the Passport driving experience. By basing it on a three-row SUV platform, Honda has created a mid-sizer that feels large from behind the wheel. This will be great for drivers who feel more comfortable when they are at the helm of a massive cargo ship. Drivers who prefer a more nimble, car-like experience may be disappointed, especially when it comes time to park this big brute without an option for a bird's-eye camera system. On the road, the Passport exhibits a comfortable ride with minimal road noise, so it is great for long road trips. Honda also touts the Passport's off-road capability with several terrain modes but we didn't have the chance to get it dirty during our week of testing.

We still love Honda's VTEC V6, which delivers smooth yet brisk acceleration and a delightful engine note. The nine-speed transmission it's mated to is not perfect but it feels smarter than the last Acura MDX we tested. Honda has tuned the transmission to kick down more readily when the throttle is applied, though it can still get buried in too many gears when a quick burst of acceleration is needed. Placing the transmission into sport mode will force the transmission to hold gears longer, making it easier to perform quick passing maneuvers.

Honda has done a great job making Honda Sensing standard on all Passport trim levels but some of the technology doesn't feel like the company's best. The adaptive cruise control shuts off at low speeds (when we like to use it the most) and the lane keep assist does not provide as much steering intervention as some other Honda models we've tested.

Passport Gas Mileage

Considering the performance on offer, the Passport's gas mileage is thoroughly decent. EPA-rated mileage figures work out to 20/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined for the 2WD variant, and a slightly thirstier 19/24/21 mpg for the AWD model. The size of the gas tank on the Passport is 19.5 gallons, and with it filled to the brim with regular unleaded, the FWD will manage a combined cruising range of about 429 miles. Overall, it's a good showing from Honda's crossover. In our week of driving, we averaged 19-mpg on our AWD tester.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    19.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 20/25 mpg
* 2020 Honda Passport Sport FWD

Passport Interior

There's a lot to like about the Passport's interior. The impression of space and airiness is immediate - even though it's six inches shorter than the Pilot, the Passport's lack of a 3rd row means that roominess is maximized for the two remaining rows. There's also a clear commitment by Honda to use only high-quality materials; from the dashboard to the seats and door panels, the trim feels both solid and soft to the touch. With standard tri-zone climate control, comfortable seats that are easy to get into, and loads of storage space, the Passport's cabin is a great place to be, even on extended trips. Of course, the driver hasn't been neglected, with good visibility and a widely adjustable seat.

2020 Honda Passport Dashboard CarBuzz
2020 Honda Passport Steering Wheel CarBuzz
2020 Honda Passport Gearbox Controls CarBuzz
See All 2020 Honda Passport Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The Passport is strictly a five-seater, so buyers with larger families will have to opt for the Pilot or the Odyssey minivan. Front occupants have plenty of space with plenty of little nooks for smaller items to be stored in the center console and on the doors. 39.6 inches of rear legroom is available for rear seat occupants and those seats can slide or recline for additional comfort. The Passport offers identical legroom in the back as the Chevrolet Blazer but is slightly less spacious than the Ford Edge. The headroom is a pretty great 40.1 inches in both rows.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 40.9 in
  • Front Head Room 40.1 in
  • Rear Leg Room 39.6 in
  • Rear Head Room 40.1 in

Interior Colors and Materials

The base 2020 Honda Passport Sport trim includes black cloth seats but the EX-L, Touring, and Elite trims all come with leather. Those leather chairs are heated up front on the EX-L trim and rear seat occupants can have their buns toasted on the Touring trim. Stepping up to the Honda Passport Elite trim adds ventilated seats for front-seat occupants. No matter which trim level you opt for, black is the only color choice for the leather.

Passport Trunk and Cargo Space

The benefit of dispensing with the third row of seats is of course in being able to dedicate the space exclusively to cargo. It's paid off in the Passport: a generous 41.2 cubic feet of space can accommodate a full family's luggage behind the second row, making the Honda one of the most capable cargo/people haulers in the segment - at least if you only need to transport five. Fold down the rear seats and you'll free up at least 77.9 cubes of space. It's not just the space available, but the extra features that add to the Passport's versatility. There's decent underfloor storage for smaller valuables, four tie-down anchors in the cargo area, and cargo area bag hooks to prevent items from noisily flying around. Honda has also made the task of folding the second row remarkably easy. Two buttons in the cargo area automatically drop the seats down with a spring-loaded mechanism, meaning you don't have to fiddle with any complicated levers.

Small-item storage in the cabin is just as impressive. A lockable glovebox, up to 11 cupholders, seatback pockets on the front seats, and a massive multi-function center console storage compartment will ensure that nobody complains about where to stash their valuables.

2020 Honda Passport Trunk Space CarBuzz
2020 Honda Passport Maximum Cargo Space CarBuzz
2020 Honda Passport Trunk Floor Storage CarBuzz

Passport Infotainment and Features

Features

Across the range, the Passport's high feature count goes some way towards softening the blow of its rather hefty price. All models get tri-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, a rearview camera, cruise control, and a host of Honda Sensing driver aids from a collision mitigation braking system to adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning. Further up in the range, buyers will get access to features like white ambient LED lighting, power-adjustable front seats with heating and a driver's memory system, a Wi-Fi hotspot, ventilated front seats, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The top two trims have heated outboard rear seats.

Infotainment

Honda's touchscreen infotainment is simple to use and is housed on an eight-inch touchscreen on all except the base Passport - the Sport makes do with a five-inch unit that lacks many advanced features, but is at least equipped with seven speakers including a subwoofer. Touch response on the upgraded eight-inch system is fairly quick, though some of the menu buttons can feel small. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM, and HD Radio come standard on all except the base model and the Touring trim adds a 10-speaker audio system. Built-in navigation is also added on the Touring trim but with CarPlay and Android Auto, doesn't feel necessary to use. A wireless phone charging pad is added at the Elite level.

Passport Problems and Reliability

It's difficult to assess the Passport's reliability at such an early stage in its life, but sharing components with the Pilot can only be a good thing - the engine is also proven in several Hondas and should prove trouble-free for many miles. Last year, J.D. Power rated the Passport 82/100. The NHTSA issued one recall for the 2019 Passport for incomplete body welding - but at the time of writing, the 2020 model is recall-free.

Honda's limited vehicle warranty covers the Passport for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. There's also a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and a five-year warranty for corrosion with unlimited miles. While not the best coverage in the segment, when coupled with Honda's traditional reputation for reliability, most owners should have peace of mind.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

Passport Safety

The 2020 Honda Passport was named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. It achieved a spread of Good ratings, except for the headlights and the small overlap front (passenger-side) test, where it was rated as Acceptable. The NHTSA's review of the Passport resulted in high scores, with the authority awarding it a full five stars for overall safety. Vehicles like the Passport are built for carrying families, so safety scores of this caliber are important.

Key Safety Features

The Passport's high safety ratings aren't a surprise considering the comprehensive safety specification, with many standard active and passive safety features to protect occupants. Every trim gets six airbags, a rearview camera, auto high-beam headlights, vehicle stability assist with traction control, LED daytime running lights, and a tire pressure monitoring system. A blind-spot information system is fitted to all trims besides the base Sport. Honda Sensing technologies encompass standard collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning.

Verdict: 🏁Is 2020 Honda Passport a good car?

The mid-size SUV segment is one of the most competitive on the market but Honda has entered the market smartly with the 2020 Honda Passport. It offers the most cargo space of any vehicle in the two-row portion of this segment and near-class leading passenger room on the inside. Honda's V6 offers more character than most engines in this segment and most of our qualms with the nine-speed automatic transmission seem to have been ironed out.

We wish the Passport's safety technology was a bit more advanced but seeing as it all comes standard across the range, we'll give Honda a pass for now. Buyers who don't enjoy driving a large SUV won't feel at home in the Passport but if you prefer the feel of having tons of metal surrounding you, this should be a better alternative to the less expensive American and Korean options for sale. The Honda Passport feels like a well-rounded option in a highly competitive space and we would have no trouble recommending it.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Honda Passport?

The most affordable new Honda Passport is the Sport, which carries an MSRP of $31,990, excluding tax, licensing, registration, and the brand's destination charge of $1,095. Next are the two mid-range trims - the Honda Passport EX-L will cost you $36,410 and the Touring goes for $39,280. The top-spec Elite will require you to part with $43,780.

The first three trims are 2WD by default, but AWD is a $1,900 option on each. The range-topping Elite is only available with the AWD drivetrain.

2020 Honda Passport Models

The Passport range is made up of four distinct trims: Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Elite. No matter which trim you opt for, you'll get the same 3.5-liter V6 gas engine with 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission is common to all trims, but only the Elite gets all-wheel-drive as standard - the cheaper three trims can be optioned with AWD.

The base Sport trim is fitted as standard with 20-inch alloy wheels, remote engine start, tri-zone automatic climate control, LED daytime running lights and fog lights, push-button start, collision mitigation braking system, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, a five-inch color LCD screen, Bluetooth streaming audio, and a seven-speaker audio system.

For 2020, the Honda Passport EX-L adds amenities like leather upholstery, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, a one-touch power moonroof, an eight-inch touchscreen, and a blind-spot information system.

Next is the Touring, positioned just below the range-topper, and it adds handy features like a hands-free power tailgate, satellite-linked navigation, LED headlights, and heated front/rear seats.

The top-line Elite gets heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, auto-dimming and power-folding side mirrors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

See All 2020 Honda Passport Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Honda has made a wide selection of packages available that beef up the Passport's looks. On the base model, the cheapest option is the Urban Package C at $1,449 which has apparently been designed to help you "tackle the concrete jungle". It contains unique door sill trim, front/rear underbody spoilers, and side/tailgate welcome lights. On the other end of the spectrum, the Adventure Package A goes for $3,166 and is equipped for rougher work with inclusive fender flares, roof rails, a trailer hitch, and cargo side lining protectors. For the Sport trim, five other similar packages with subtle differences are priced between these two. The packages are also different per trim, but all are either Urban- or Adventure-skewed.

There are also a couple of standalone extras available. On the Sport, you can option backup parking sensors for $500, wireless phone charging for $225, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink for $141.

🚗What Honda Passport Model Should I Buy?

As with most Honda models, the mid-level EX-L trim is the one we recommend most. This trim level will keep you under the $40,000 mark for both front- and all-wheel-drive models while offering the strongest assortment of options. It includes features like leather, heated power-adjustable front seats, a power sunroof, power tailgate, blind spot monitoring, rear sunshades, and an upgraded eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system. You'll miss out on a few niceties like ventilated seats, heated rear seats, and parking sensors, but you'll save about $5,000 compared to a fully-loaded Passport.

2020 Honda Passport Comparisons

Honda Pilot Honda
Honda CR-V CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Honda Passport280 hp20/25 mpg$32,790
Honda Pilot 280 hp20/27 mpg$32,550
Honda CR-V 190 hp28/34 mpg$25,350

2020 Honda Passport vs Honda Pilot

Despite being larger and offering a 7-seater and 8-seater configuration with a 3rd-row of seating, the Pilot's pricing actually starts at just below the base Passport Sport. Both of these are superb SUVs with the same competent V6 engine, smartly trimmed and spacious cabins, and loads of features across the range. If you don't need the extra seating capacity, the Passport has even more second-row legroom than the Pilot, although both have expansive cargo areas. The Passport is also a little faster as it carries less weight, but the Pilot rides more smoothly. There's a more extensive range of trims for the Pilot, and the Elite model has features like second-row captain's chairs and a panoramic roof which you can't get on the Passport. For more rugged use, the Passport's better ground clearance is preferable. Still, you can't go wrong with either of these SUVs from Honda.

See Honda Pilot Review

2020 Honda Passport vs Honda CR-V

Another excellent alternative from Honda itself shows just how competitive the brand is in the SUV segment. As a car priced lower than the Passport (starting at just over $25,000 for the base model), the CR-V is smaller, yet cargo capacity is only slightly below the Passport - both have excellent trunk sizes and loads of room for all occupants. For the best fuel economy, you'll want to choose the CR-V because its smaller turbocharged engine can manage a combined 30 mpg (about eight miles-per-gallon more than the Passport), but of course, the Passport's V6 has nearly 100 more horsepower and is the much better option if you'll be towing anything. If cost is a secondary concern, we'd happily recommend going for the Passport with its better engine and added features, but the CR-V is also a brilliantly well-rounded SUV.

See Honda CR-V Review

Honda Passport Popular Comparisons

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2020 Honda Passport Video Review

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$31,990 - $43,780
Price Range (MSRP)
Honda Passport
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