If dealers get their way, the Chevy Tahoe and Cadillac Escalade could get new competition.
To add to its growing SUV lineup, Honda revived the Passport nameplate for a new two-row midsize model slotting below its three-row Pilot. Speaking with Automotive News, Honda dealerships say they'd like to see the company fill another hole, this time at the top of the lineup. The 2021 Honda Pilot is already a large vehicle with seating for eight passengers, but people within the dealer network believe there's room for something even bigger.
Honda National Dealer Advisory Board chairman, William Feinstein says there's a market for an SUV with a longer wheelbase than the Pilot. Such a vehicle would offer more space in the third row and in the cargo area. If Honda were to build a full-size SUV, it could potentially steal sales away from the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, GMC Yukon, Nissan Armada, and Toyota Sequoia.
Feinstein also expressed interest in a Honda-badged all-wheel-drive sedan. Both the Civic and Accord are only offered with front-wheel-drive, but adding an AWD option could help Honda capture more customers in the Northeast and Midwest regions. There's just one issue with this idea; such a car may come close in price to the 2021 Acura TLX, which offers Super-Handling AWD.
Speaking of Honda's luxury arm, Acura Dealer National Advisory Board representative John Connelley also spoke with Auto News about what models he'd like to see added to the lineup. To no one's surprise, Connelley believes Acura needs more SUVs and crossovers.
"When you look at the MDX and RDX, and you see those sales, they're consistently selling 50,000 to 60,000 per year, and people love and trust them year after year. Acura has so much equity in their SUVs that it would make complete sense to have both a crossover that would slot below the RDX and slot above the MDX. I think there is plenty of room there for that."
Acura already has the meat of the SUV market covered with the compact RDX and midsize MDX. Still, most of the European luxury automakers offer options above and below these size classes. Sub-compact crossovers like the Audi Q3 and BMW X1 tend not to outsell their larger compact siblings, and Acura's sales may not be substantial enough to justify adding more models. If Acura were to go above the MDX, it would likely require a new platform shared with the aforementioned Honda full-size SUV.