Buy This 2022 Honda Passport Instead of the TrailSport for Off-Road Thrills

The 2022 Honda Passport TrailSport is the Japanese automaker’s attempt at an off-roading trim. Off-roading has been all the rage in recent years. The Toyota Tacoma and similar off-roading trucks and SUVs experienced stellar sales because of their unique capabilities. Honda is looking to get in on the automotive industry’s latest trend. The question is, will the TrailSport be a legitimate off-road trim, or is the name just a marketing tactic to make a quick buck? Here’s a Honda Passport you can buy that provides even more off-road thrills than the 2022 Honda Passport TrailSport.

The 2022 Honda Passport EX-L with AWD has TrailSport-like capability

A gray 2022 Honda Passport TrailSport is on display.
A gray 2022 Honda Passport TrailSport is on display | Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

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The 2022 Honda Passport TrailSport is currently the second trim that consumers can choose from for Passport models in America. The first option is the 2022 Honda Passport EX-L. The EX-L starts at $37,870. It uses a 3.5-liter V6 engine to make 280 horsepower. It achieves 20 miles per gallon in the city and 25 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Honda Passport EX-L features Intelligent Traction Management as well as parking sensors, a multi-angle rearview camera, and plenty of safety features. According to MotorTrend, the 2022 Honda Passport EX-L with all-wheel drive delivers nearly the same performance as the TrailSport trim.

The Passport was already a semi-capable off-road SUV long before the TrailSport trim was even an idea for the Japanese automaker. The TrailSport is $4,600 more expensive than the EX-L. So is it really worth buying?

The 2022 Honda TrailSport could offer more value for its price

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The 2022 Honda Passport TrailSport starts at $42,470. The TrailSport, along with all all-wheel drive models, has 8.1 inches of ground clearance. The Passport typically has 7.5 inches of ground clearance.

The Passport Trailsport comes with roof rails and a navigation system. It also features Intelligent Traction Management with snow, sand, and mud modes. The SUV comes with leather-trimmed seats with orange stitching, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with orange stitching, and 18-inch alloy wheels. It includes a power tailgate and a one-touch power moonroof as well.

As far as enhancing off-road capability, the Japanese automaker did little to make the TrailSport more competent off-road than a standard Passport model. Passports aren’t the gnarliest off-road SUVs, but they can tackle a mildly challenging trail or two.

Is the 2022 Honda Passport TrailSport a good SUV?

A gray 2022 Honda Passport TrailSport is driving in shallow water.
The 2022 Honda Passport TrailSport | Honda

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The 2022 Honda TrailSport nails the exterior appearance of a capable off-roader. Sadly its performance isn’t impressive. Unlike other automakers, Honda fails to add any serious suspension upgrades, off-road tires, or particularly trail-specific accessories to its off-road trim. An extra $4,600 should at least get consumers some decent off-road tires.

The TrailSport just isn’t remarkable off-road. In fact, it could still benefit from modifications to make it more capable. If consumers need to buy off-road tires and a lift kit to make Honda’s off-road trim more capable, then you have to ask yourself, is it even an off-road trim?

The 2022 Honda TrailSport is a decent SUV; just don’t plan on taking it on any real off-road adventures. If you want a real large off-road SUV model, go for a Jeep Grand Cherokee instead.

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