The Honda Passport has received positive reviews since it debuted for the 2019 model year, however, its sales are much lower than its competitors. And while the lack of advertising, and possibly consumer interest, has played a major role in its stubborn sales figures, we can also point to the Passport’s lack of standard features as a downfall. But not anymore, as the 2021 Passport now comes with a feature that it should have had from the start.
The Honda Passport Sport is no longer stuck in the past
Honda recently announced the pricing and updates for it’s five-seat, two-row SUV and the additions should please anyone that’s in the market for a Passport. However, those who already bought one might be a little disappointed. We say this because Honda is finally including Apple Carplay and Android Auto capability in the base-trim Passport Sport.
This is big news to anyone in the market for one because the Passport’s entry-level trim was previously only available with an archaic five-inch, a non-touchscreen infotainment system that looked like it came from the early 2000s. However, for 2021, every Passport will now come standard with an eight-inch touchscreen with the handy smartphone integration none of us can live without. After all, who really needs navigation when you can just plug in your phone?
Will the new addition boost sales?
While we can’t say, and honestly don’t think, that Honda simply adding smartphone integration into every Passport will somehow miraculously boost sales. Honda only sold a little more than 36,000 units in 2019 and, according to Car Sales Base, the Passport is only selling marginally better year over year. By comparison, other two-row SUVs like the Chevrolet Blazer and the Hyundai Santa Fe are leaving the Passport in the dust as far as sales numbers go.
Having the ability to use Siri and utilize Google Maps might not pique your interest in buying a Honda Passport, but it’s safe to say that Honda incorporating the technology should at least make the SUV much more competitive in the segment. Prospective buyers have likely become more accustomed to having Apple Carplay and Android Auto as standard equipment and it was a major letdown that Honda didn’t include in the Passport Sport from the get-go. Especially considering all of its competitors come with it.
What else is new on the 2021 Honda Passport?
The bigger touchscreen and the smartphone integration are the biggest updates for the 2021 Passport. Although, prices have been adjusted accordingly. The 2021 Passport Sport will now have a starting price of $33,710 (including the $1,120 destination charge), which is $625 more than last year’s price of entry. While it’s great that it now has a bigger touchscreen, it’s too bad buyers will have to pay for it.
Pricing for the higher-trim EX-L, Touring, and Elite models has increased by around $225 to $285, however, there are no new changes for those models other than the price of inflation. All trim levels, except for the top-trim Elite, are primarily front-wheel-drive but an all-wheel-drive configuration is available for an additional $2,000.