Crossover & Midsize

Does the 2020 Honda Passport Have Enough to Beat the Nissan Murano?

If you’re looking for a quality midsize SUV, there are plenty on the market to choose from. Two that are definitely worthy of your consideration are the 2020 Honda Passport and the 2020 Nissan Murano. The Passport seats up to five and it has plenty of cargo and passenger space. It offers a dynamic V6 along with Honda’s reputation for quality and reliability. The Murano also seats up to five and also packs a V6. It’s a study in style and premium features.

Which SUV is the better choice? The team at Kelley Blue Book took a look at both.

The 2020 Honda Passport

The 2020 Honda Passport is a roomy two-row crossover that offers a solid ride, according to Car and Driver. There’s room for up to five passengers and a generous portion of cargo space. Maybe it’s not the most stylish SUV on the market but its interior is comfortable. It’s hardy and has a great standard list of driver assists like adaptive cruise control, auto emergency braking, and more.

There’s only one powertrain choice and it’s the same one used in Honda’s Pilot. It’s a 3.5-liter V6 engine that gets 280 horsepower and paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. It doesn’t get the best gas mileage. But there’s an available torque-vectoring all-wheel drive that’s standard on Elite models. It lends the Passport pretty good off-roading capabilities. 

On top of a smooth ride and solid power delivery, the Passport also includes Honda’s Sensing suite of safety features. Yeah, the Passport may cost a little more. But its resale value looks strong thanks to Honda’s reputation for reliability. With an impressive balance of power, space, and value, the Passport is worth it.

The 2020 Nissan Murano

RELATED: The 2020 Nissan Murano’s Unique Style Is Misleading

The 2020 Nissan Murano is a midsize crossover SUV that also seats five.

Like the Passport, it’s powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that gets slightly fewer horses at 260. It’s paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and it’s front-wheel-drive standard. All-wheel-drive is available with all trims though according to Car and Driver report

The Murano is different from the Passport in good ways and bad. First, the good. The Nissan Murano has luxury and style with a slew of available premium features. It feels like a luxury SUV with its distinct styling and gorgeous cabin using top-shelf materials like quilted leather.

The bad? There’s not a big difference between the Murano and the Passport when it comes to horsepower but the CVT hurts its case.  The KBB team found it’s just not as refined as the automatic transmission. Its suspension is tuned for ride comfort as opposed to off-roading. It feels more like a car than an SUV.

The interior looks nice but it’s actually got less room than many of its box-shaped peers. Also, the base models don’t come with the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of driver assists and safety features. That means it’s going to cost more to get what’s standard in the Honda Passport.

The better SUV is…

While both are good SUVs and comparable, the KBB team favored the 2020 Honda Passport over the 2020 Nissan Murano.

While it doesn’t have the styling or upscale vibe of the Murano, the Passport has a slight edge on power and better off-roading capabilities. While the two SUVs have similar V6 engines, the team felt the driving dynamics were better in the Passport with its automatic transmission. The CVT used in the Murano just doesn’t offer the same performance.

Thanks to Honda’s reputation for reliability, its cost of ownership, and resale value, the option to purchase the Passport is rather good. While the 2020 Nissan Murano has a lower base price tag, the 2020 Honda Passport offers overall better value.