While the 2019 Honda Passport may be a brand-new entry into the segment, it already rises near the top of the crowded pack of mid-size crossovers. The Passport nameplate makes a reappearance in the Honda lineup after 17 years. Previously, the Passport was essentially a rebadged Isuzu body-on-frame SUV from 1993-2002. Now, in 2019, Honda brought back a completely redesigned crossover that fits snugly between the CR-V and the Pilot.
In fact, you might mistake the new Passport for a Pilot from the front. Head around back, and you'll notice the lack of a third row. The blacked-out grille of the Passport differentiates it from the rest of the vehicles in the Honda lineup, many of which feature a substantial chrome "belt" above the headlights. And with four trims to choose from, there's a Honda Passport for both off-roaders and urbanites.
All versions of the 2019 Honda Passport come with a 3.5L V6 engine capable of 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. Plus, there's an AWD version of each trim, something that can't be said for competitors. While the Honda Passport Sport is the least expensive option, we wouldn't necessarily call it the "base" trim. Since it has a more rugged focus, it lacks many of the comfort and convenience features of the other trim levels.
Missing are power windows with auto-up/down, vanity mirrors, and a HomeLink remote system. Nor does it have a leather steering wheel or leather-trimmed seats. Most importantly, the Sport trim lacks roof rails, which we think is a major oversight for a sporty-focused model.
So what does it have? The Honda Passport Sport comes with Intelligent Traction Mangement and the Honda Sensing system. This combines a Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation System, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. That's impressive for this least-expensive trim. Additionally, there is a push-button start and a remote engine start. The entire vehicle sits on 20-inch alloy wheels, and there's an innovative cargo area underfloor storage compartment in the rear.
The 2WD version starts at $31,990, and the AWD version begins at $33,890.
The 2019 Honda Passport EX-L seems more like a typical "base" trim to us. That said, it is a big jump up in price from the Passport Sport, though buyers will find a lot to like at this level. Firstly, leather-trimmed seats come standard on the Passport EX-L. This trim also has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integrations. Another nice addition is a one-touch power moonroof.
Additional convenience features include heated front seats and a power tailgate. On the safety front, a blind spot information system with cross-traffic monitor is added to the Passport EX-L's array of standard equipment. It also includes the things missing from the Passport Sport, like HondaLink, Sirius XM radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and 8-inch display audio touchscreen.
The 2WD version starts at $36,410 while the AWD version bumps the price up to $38,310.
Right off the bat, the 2019 Honda Passport Touring stands out from previous trims thanks to its roof rails. The interior is also greatly updated thanks to a premium audio system with 10 speakers and heated front and rear seats. The power tailgate also has hands-free access. Furthermore, the infotainment system has satellite-linked navigation that features 3-D renderings of terrain, buildings, and road signs. There are also parking sensors in the front and rear for the first time. Finally, the Passport Touring has mobile hotspot capability.
That's quite a lot of features, but it's also quite a lot of money. With a starting MSRP of $39,280, the 2WD Passport Touring is bumping up on the higher end of the price spectrum compared to competitors. The AWD version is even more expensive at $41,180.
The top-of-the-line 2019 Honda Passport Elite has all the creature comforts a driver could want. Seating is upgraded in the front to be both heated and ventilated. Even the steering wheel is heated at this trim level. The center console also sees the addition of a wireless phone charger. Even the exterior of the vehicle isn't left out of the tech upgrades. The windshield wipers on the Passport Elise are rain-sensing and activate when they detect moisture.
The Passport Elite starts at $43,680 and comes standard with all-wheel-drive. A two-wheel-drive model is not offered at this trim.
(Featured image via Facebook)