Is the Honda Passport Past Its Prime?

Earlier this month Honda announced the new TrailSport trim for the 2023 Passport. It’s a more rugged version of the Passport, and adds some off-road goodies. But is it enough? Sales for the Passport have not been strong, and this year Passport sales are down quite a bit, as are all Honda’s sales.

Passport sales are down 25%

A 2022 Honda Passport TrailSport midsize SUV in the sand
2022 Honda Passport TrailSport | Honda

Honda reported in August that it sold 3,524 Passports. But, in August of 2021 it sold 4,681. Year to date, it has sold 27,136 while by this time in 2021, it sold 35,969. Overall, that’s a 25% dip in sales this year. But overall, Honda’s sales are down quite a bit in 2022 thanks to supply chain issues, Honda said.

For 2022, Honda has sold 28,200 Passports, which is a respectable number but for comparison, it sold 156,500 CR-V SUVs during the same period. The Passport is barely outselling the Acura MDX SUV, and that flagship SUV sells for more than $70,000 in some trim levels, according to Honda.

The Passport was all-new in 2019

Honda has sold the Passport since 1994, and today’s version is the third generation for the company’s largest SUV. The new Passport is a huge upgrade over the second generation and first generation, which were simply a rebranded Isuzu Rodeo SUV. It was replaced by the pilot in the early 2000s and then

The Passport returned for Honda in 2019 as an all-new vehicle. The Pilot filled a gap in Honda’s SUV lineup between the CR-V and the Pilot, which has three rows. It did get a facelift for 2022 that included a new grille and lights, but it kept its core 280 horsepower V6 that you get in the Passport and optional all-wheel drive and the TrailSport package.

The Passport still competes well

2023 Honda Passport Cabin
2023 Honda Passport Cabin | Honda

When you’re buying an SUV, the utility part of that acronym is often the most important. Compared to others in its class, the Passport stacks up well to rivals like the Chevy Blazer, Ford Edge and Nissan Murano, thanks to its powerful motor, standard options, and generous interior room.

The $38,370 Passport comes with a 280-horsepower V6, while the Blazer comes with either a 228 horsepower four cylinder, or optional 308 horsepower optional V6. While the Blazer starts at $36,740, that optional engine only comes on the 3LTPackage for $42,095. The Edge is similar, in that it starts at about $38,000, but the optional 335-horespower V6 is only available on the ST package. The Murano has a 260 horsepower V6, and the basic version starts at $33,310, and comes in a mind-boggling 20 different trims.

The max cargo room in the Blazer is 64.2 cubic feet. The Edge holds 73.4 feet. The Murano. The Murano splits the difference with 67 cubic feet, while the passport trumps them all with 77.9 cubic feet with the seats folded.

What trims does the Passport come in?

A 2022 Honda Passport Trailsport SUV model driving on a dirt trail as a cloud of kicked up dirt and dust trails it
2022 Honda Passport Trailsport | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Passport comes in basic Sport, EX-L, Touring and the luxury Elite trim. You can order all-wheel drive on every Passport, but it’s standard on the Elite, as is traction management. All versions also get several active safety features. The Sport has a tiny five-inch screen, while all other versions get an eight-inch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, HondaLink, and other options like voice activated navigation are available.

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