The latest Honda SUV resurrects a familiar name. Yes, the Passport is back, and after its introduction at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show this week, it will arrive in the US showrooms. UU Early next year.
The Passport travels on the Honda Global Light Truck platform, the same that supports the SUV Pilot and the Ridgeline truck. It also uses the same V6 engine as its platform: a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, coupled with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Both front and all-wheel drive will be available, the latter of which uses Honda's four-mode traction management system to improve performance in bad weather and off-road conditions.
Speaking of off-road, the Passport seems ready to go on the track. The well-known design cues clearly show the relationship of this SUV with the Pilot and the Ridgeline, but the Passport stands out with a higher driving height, shorter rear overhang and standard 20-inch wheels.
With all-wheel drive, Honda says the passport can tow up to 5,000 pounds, which is enough for a small boat or caravan, or a pair of jet skis. For all types of active hashtag lifestyle, Honda will launch a full catalog of specific accessories for the passport, including roof boxes; bicycles, kayak and ski racks; and even weatherproof covers for various parts of the cabin.
The Passport will be offered in Sport, EX-L, Touring and Elite models, with fabric or leather upholstery, and what Honda affirms is the space for passengers and cargo leader in its class. With the rear seats upright, the Passport offers 41.2 cubic feet of cargo space, which expands to 77.9 with them folded.
On the infotainment front, the exclusive Passport trims get an information and entertainment system with an 8-inch Display Audio touch screen, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard, as well as a 7-inch TFT indicator group screen, similar to what we have seen in Pilot and Ridgeline. Other available amenities include charging cordless phones, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and integrated navigation.
Each passport will be equipped with the Honda Sensing security technology package. Honda Sensing includes collision mitigation brakes, forward collision warning, highway exit mitigation, lane departure warning, lane maintenance assistance and adaptive cruise control. If that is still not enough to give you peace of mind, Passport's higher trim levels include blind spot monitoring, rear-end traffic detection and parking sensors as well.
Given the appetite of American buyers for everything related to SUV, Honda is smart to add another utility vehicle to its line in the US. UU Also, it's great to see– Certainly adequate, given the key rival of the passport, the Chevy Blazer. The new Honda SUV will be located between the compact CR-V and the medium-sized Pilot when it goes on sale at the beginning of next year, and should have an appropriate price between the two. Stay tuned for our first 2019 Honda Passport trip early next year.