The midsize SUV segment is a crowded field. Every automotive manufacturer has numerous examples, from standard grocery getters and luxurious cruisers to off-road-ready rigs. One of the newer faces in the segment is the 2022 Honda Passport, a derivative of the slightly larger Pilot. But does it stack up to the folkloric, four-wheeling 2022 Toyota 4Runner?
2022 Honda Passport and 2022 Toyota 4Runner powertrain options
Whether shoppers choose the 2022 Passport or the 2022 4Runner, only one engine is available. For Honda, a 3.5-liter direct-injected V6 will provide 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. Power is put through a nine-speed automatic transmission to the front wheels or the all-wheel drive (AWD) system in higher trim levels. The EPA estimates the front-wheel drive version will achieve 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. AWD drops those numbers by one mpg, respectively.
Toyota relies on its tried-and-true 4.0-liter V6 to propel the 2022 4Runner with 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic will put power to the rear wheels, but many 4Runners have a part-time four-wheel drive (4WD) system. The EPA fuel economy figures aren’t very promising. The SUV will achieve only 16 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway.
2022 Honda Passport and 2022 Toyota 4Runner interior amenities
Toyota brings eight trim levels to the table against the 2022 Honda Passport’s three. Base trim Passports will begin just north of $38,000, and AWD is $2,000 optional extra. The standard EX-L is absolutely loaded inside. Leather seats, which are heated in the front, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, and a slew of active safety features, among many others.
The mid-level TrailSport trim is a new, $1,500 addition above the AWD EX-L configuration. Navigation is added, as well as a 115-Volt power outlet, LED fog lights, roof rails, heated windshield wipers, and illuminated cup holders. And you get a compass, which is great for those still navigating with an atlas. Another $3,000 will provide the Elite trim level, but there really isn’t much more to be had. Honda says it includes courtesy door lights, perforated, heated, and ventilated front seats, Wi-Fi, and a premium sound system.
Shoppers may have a tougher time selecting a trim level on the 4Runner. They are the SR5, Trail Special Edition, SR5 Premium, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, Limited, and the TRD Pro. The base Toyota 4Runner SR5 starts at $39,980, including the $1,875 4WD option, but not including the $1,335 destination fee. With that, you get an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth, fabric seats all around, LED headlights, and much more.
For those who want to keep their 4Runner firmly planted on the asphalt, the Limited is available for $49,725. The cabin is packed with leather trimmings, a moonroof, dual-zone climate control, a panoramic view monitor, navigation, and a 15-speaker JBL sound system. But if off-road prowess and a locking rear differential are wanted, the TRD Pro tops the trim list at $52,920.
2022 Honda Passport and 2022 Toyota 4Runner safety standards
Either SUV is likely to become a family hauler. Therefore, shoppers want to be sure either vehicle prioritizes crash safety and driver assistance tech.
With active safety features, all Passport trim levels are identical. They have active cruise control, auto-dimming headlights, blind spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, and a rear seat reminder. On the other hand, each 4Runner comes with the wildly-impressive Toyota Safety Sense suite, packing more than the Honda. The only items the SR5 doesn’t have the high-priced Limited does are blind spot monitoring, and parking assist sonar. Interestingly, the more expensive TRD Pro doesn’t include parking assist.
Although the Toyota is heavy on safety tech, National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash test results aren’t good. The NHTSA rated the 4Runner with only four stars, culminating in lackluster rollover protection. On the other hand, the NHTSA passed the Honda with flying colors and a five-star rating.
Why would shoppers prefer the Honda Passport over the Toyota 4Runner?
The Honda Passport is a rugged-looking midsize SUV without the rugged midsize SUV problems. It has a much more comfortable on-road ride than the trail-focused Toyota. Better yet, the fuel economy is good for the segment. Although the 4Runner is a larger vehicle, the Passport has more cargo room, CarConnection shows. Given the notable amount of standard kit, there’s also no need to fork over thousands of dollars for upgrades.
Why would shoppers prefer the Toyota 4Runner over the Honda Passport?
While the Passport is much better for a daily driver, it’s limited in a significant way. The 4Runner has an extra row of seats, carrying seven instead of the Passport’s five. Additionally, if customers intend to take their 4Runners off the beaten path, it’s no hassle as the Passport doesn’t have a low-range gearbox.