The Honda Passport and Honda Pilot Are Different SUVs for Different Families

Honda offers several SUVs for buyers to choose from. The two biggest ones are the Honda Pilot and the Honda Passport, both of which are good options for families. Which is best for you? Here’s a look at the two SUVs.

What are the differences in appearance?

The biggest difference between the two is in their sizes. The Honda Pilot is larger than the Honda Passport. It has three rows and is able to seat eight people, while the Passport is a five-passenger SUV. The Passport is 6-inches shorter in length, about an inch wider, and sits about an inch higher. Both SUVs have the same wheelbase though. 

Kelley Blue Book says the Honda Passport is not too big or too small and has a roomy interior with plenty of space for passengers and cargo. The Passport has 41.2 cubic feet of space behind the seats and 77.9 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down. The Pilot has 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space. With the third row folded down, there are 46.8 cubic feet, and with both rows folded down, there are 83.9 cubic feet of cargo space. Both have additional storage space under the cargo floor.

The interiors and exteriors of the Pilot and Passport are very similar. The Passport has different exterior metal and a more sloped rear window. Overall, it’s more rugged and sporty than the Pilot. Kelley Blue Book says the Pilot has a “boring design resembling a minivan.”

Performance differences between the Honda Pilot and Honda Passport

Carl Pulley of Honda introduces the 2019 Honda Passport at the 2019 New England International Auto Show Press Preview at Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
The Honda Passport | Paul Marotta/Getty Images

The Honda Passport has the same platform, vehicle architecture, and drivetrains as the larger Honda Pilot. They both have the same engine, a 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. In addition, both SUVs are available with either front- or all-wheel drive.

Both the Pilot and the Passport have similar fuel economy ratings. The Passport gets 25 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in the city. The Pilot is rated at 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. They fall slightly short of the 2020 Subaru Outback, which Edmunds lists as the most fuel-efficient midsize SUV. That SUV gets 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Edmunds does include the Pilot in its top four on the list.

The Pilot can go off-road, but Kelley Blue Book recommends sticking to well-traveled trails. The Passport is better for off-roading than the Pilot, but neither is designed for extreme terrain. The Passport does have more ground clearance, with 8.1 inches, while the Pilot has 7.3 inches. Both the Passport and the Pilot can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

The Pilot and the Passport both have good safety ratings, with a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Both also have a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In addition, both SUVs include the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assist features.

Which Honda SUV gives better value?

The Pilot and Passport are both in the same price range. The Passport has a slightly higher starting price, but the Pilot offers more trim levels going up to a higher starting price. The Passport has a starting price of $31,990. It has four trim levels: Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Elite. The Elite’s starting price is $43,780. The Pilot has a starting price of $31,650. It has six trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, Elite, and Black Edition. The top starting price is $49,720.

Picking between the Honda Passport and the Honda Pilot for your family

Both the Honda Pilot and the Honda Passport are good options for families. Which to pick depends on what your family’s priorities are. The Pilot is best for larger families with more than five people. It also offers more cargo space when the third seat is folded down. The Passport is best for families that don’t need the third row of seats. It has more cargo space without needing to fold any seats down. It’s also considered more stylish, and it’s better for off-road driving.