This mad push to fill all gaps in SUV lines may be getting a little bit out of hand.
Honda seems to have no problem selling the CR-V, what is essentially America’s favorite mid-size SUV. However there is no denying that adding more SUVs into a brand’s lineup rather than subtracting seems to be the one of the crucial rungs on the latter to automaker success. Closing gaps between models is one common way to do that, and according to a recent report by Wards Auto, a smaller version of the Honda Pilot with a nostalgic ode to the brand's past is on the way Honda will do that.
Currently the Pilot is Honda’s largest SUV, seating seven people using three rows of space. To cut down on size, it’s reported that Honda will remove the third row and reducing wheelbase to create a bridge between the mid-size CR-V and full-size Pilot. Initially, it was suspected that Honda would leave the Pilot name alone, much like Hyundai does by making no distinction in the nomenclature of the three and two-row Santa Fe. That was shot down by a separate investigation made by Car and Driver, which dug through patents submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office to find that Honda had filed the name "Passport" into the system on December 2nd, 2016.
You may recall that Honda actually sold a Passport between 1993 and 2002. Unfortunately for Honda, the Passport was not a fan favorite given that the Japanese automaker essentially rebadged an Isuzu Rodeo with its own badges and sold it under the Passport moniker. It’s unclear whether the patent references a concept car, trim line, or something else entirely, but given the report that makes mention of a smaller Pilot, it doesn’t seem far-fetched to expect Honda to take another crack at the Passport with a shortened version of the Pilot. This would give Honda a car to fight the Nissan Murano and Ford Edge with. Don’t expect to wait around too long top see the Passport go into production given the current demand for SUVs.