Production for Honda’s new SUV has begun at the automaker’s Alabama plant.
Honda has announced the all-new 2019 Passport has started mass production at the automaker's Alabama plant, just over a week after the rugged SUV's world debut at the LA Auto Show. Slotting between the compact CR-V and three-row Pilot, the new Passport will go on sale in early 2019. Honda also builds the Pilot, Ridgeline, and Odyssey at its Alabama factory, with the Passport to be built on the same Global Light Truck platform as the Pilot and Ridgeline.
"Today, we celebrate the dedication of our Honda team in Alabama in delivering this new, adventure-ready sport utility vehicle to our customers," said Mike Oatridge, vice president of HMA. "I congratulate all of our associates for their commitment to our customers as we begin production of the new Passport, which is Honda's most rugged light truck model with features that deliver more of what today's adventurous customers want and need."
The new Passport is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that sends 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque through a nine-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive comes as standard enabling the SUV to tow up to 3,500 pounds. Honda's i-VTM4 torque-vectoring, all-wheel-drive system is also available, which increases the towing capacity to 5,000 pounds.
"The positive response to Passport really signals Honda is poised to compete in this segment," said Lara Harrington, Chief Engineer and Passport Development Leader. "I think we are hitting the market at just the right time for this vehicle. The Honda Passport is designed to bring a more personal, rugged and off-road SUV to our award-winning light truck lineup and we are all excited to see where this new product will take us."
Inside, the base model includes a five-inch infotainment screen, while higher grades have an eight-inch display. All models come with an extensive list of driver assists as part of the Honda Sensing package including collision mitigation braking with forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. Higher trims add blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors. Pricing for the 2019 Honda Passport hasn't been announced yet, but it should be cheaper than the entry-level Pilot's $31,450 starting price.