The Honda Passport has some great features, a distinctive exterior style, and performs well on road tests, making you think it’s an off-roading vehicle. Does it mean it can pass for an all-terrain midsize SUV, or are its rugged stylings and features only an image it presents to the potential buyer? Let’s see what it does offer in its car class and whether it can handle off-roading adventures.
What does the Honda Passport SUV offer?
The Honda Passport isn’t a bad SUV, but it isn’t exactly one of the best in the midsize car category. Consumer Reports recommends its acceleration performance, minimal cabin noise, and above-average interior room. It comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that can produce 280 horsepower. Paired with it is a nine-speed automatic transmission, which helps it go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds.
As far as standard features go, the Passport offers a pretty decent amount compared to some of its rivals. This model provides blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, electronic stability control, rear-view camera, traction control, adaptive cruise control, and rear cross-traffic warning. For towing, it lets you haul up to 5,000 lbs of weight, which is pretty good if you have a small trailer to pull along to your designation.
Cargo capacity offers ample space for your luggage, some sports equipment, and groceries. If needed, you can always slide the rear seats forward to give more room for lengthier items. This model can seat up to five passengers, with three in the rear seat area.
As Consumer Reports revealed in its tests, the Honda Passport does have some drawbacks that could be a deal-breaker for some. The main issue is its fuel economy ratings, which are OK but don’t hold a candle to some of its competition. It’s rated to get about 21 mpg overall. While the interior has ample space, the rear seat area doesn’t offer any more than its smaller sibling, the CR-V.
Furthermore, CR didn’t care for the stiff ride the Passport offers. Bumps and road imperfections can be easily felt by the passengers, especially if you’re on a long road trip. Handling isn’t all that great either since this SUV had pronounced body leans when going into corners. However, the Pilot, its larger sibling, is the same way.
Pricewise, the Honda Passport ranges from $38,370 to $45,930, depending on which trim you choose to buy. While it’s a recommended vehicle, you might want to test out the CR-V or the Pilot, as you can get a better buy with either one of them.
Is the Passport considered an off-road vehicle?
The Honda Passport comes with mud, sand, and snow driving modes, but the vehicle isn’t meant to be a hardcore off-road SUV. You can handle some light all-terrain conditions, but don’t expect it to go rock-crawling on steep hills or trudging through mud pits. Still, with its all-wheel drivetrain, you can handle slippery road conditions quite well.
When it comes to design, the Passport does look like it could be a rugged off-roader. It sports an 8-inch ground clearance, enabling it to travel over many types of terrain without issue. It also comes with a four-wheel independent suspension, which can help drive over uneven surfaces. However, it lacks what other off-roaders have for thrill-seeking adventures.
A proper all-terrain vehicle should be able to traverse rugged areas, muddy surfaces, and trails with all sorts of debris, like fallen branches, according to It Still Runs. An off-roader typically has large tires and a softer suspension, so it can adjust easily for the terrain you’re driving over.
One common off-roading vehicle is the Toyota 4Runner, which has 9.6-inches of ground clearance. If you choose a TRD trim, you will get more features to make the next all-terrain adventure that much more thrilling in a build like this. It’s also a three-row SUV that can store a lot of camping equipment and other gear needed for an off-the-grid journey.
The Honda Passport Trailsport is a superior off-roader
Traditionally, the Honda Passport isn’t meant to be a hardcore off-roading vehicle. However, with some ingenuity, you could make some modifications to help it handle areas off the beaten path. Some users on the Passport Forums recommend getting the AWD version and installing an aftermarket lift kit and skid plate, which could give you approximately two more inches of clearance. You could also get a set of 18-inch wheels with heavy-duty off-roading tires.
If you’re not into modifying your Honda Passport, there’s another option. This SUV model comes with a new trim, which is the Trailsport. This version offers a more rugged off-roading experience than the regular model does.
The Honda Passport Trailsport offers a uniquely designed grille and bumpers that can handle an aggressive ride over rough terrain. Its all-wheel drive system controls the amount of power needed for each of the four wheels, depending on what’s necessary for the terrain you’re traversing. This model also comes with a wider track to help improve stability on the trail.
While the Honda Passport doesn’t really fall under the categorization of an off-roader, you can still add some improvements to the layout to help it perform the way you need it when traversing rough terrain. You could also take advantage of the new Trailsport trim if you want to spend up to $47,000 for a fully loaded model.