It was once a capable SUV. Soon it'll be heading to mall parking lots.
The 1990s, if not already, needs to be remembered as the heyday for mid-size body-on-frame SUVs. Both domestic and foreign automakers embraced them due to high public demand. One of those was the Honda Passport, which was really a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo. According to Automotive News, Honda is planning to revive the Passport moniker but it won’t be for an SUV. Instead, it’ll be a new two-row crossover that’ll fit in the lineup between the CR-V and the Pilot.
Size wise, the reborn model will be roughly 6 inches shorter than the Pilot and will face off directly against the likes of the Ford Edge and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. At the same time, Chevrolet is also planning to revive a 90s era SUV nameplate as a crossover, the Blazer. An inside source has learned from Honda dealers that the Passport will debut next November at the LA Auto Show and will hit showrooms in early 2019. And just to confirm the 2020 Passport won’t be an SUV, it’ll ride on the same platform as the Pilot and will also be built alongside it in Alabama, where the automaker also builds the Odyssey and Ridgeline.
But hang on, wasn’t the Pilot the supposed mid-size crossover in the Honda lineup? It was, but over the years it has increased in size. Dealers have since been pressing Honda for something to sell in the mid-size category. Crossovers are also big business for Honda. For example, Auto News highlights the fact that US sales last year of the HR-V, CR-V and Pilot all increased by more than 5 percent from 2016. Business is business.