Crossover & Midsize

The Honda Passport Is Proving to Be Better Than Expected

When Car and Driver experts evaluate vehicles, they don’t just take them for a spin down a closed course. They put cars to the ultimate road-tripping test. They recently checked in on an adventure review of the Honda Passport. At the 10,000-mile mark, this SUV is proving to be better than expected in a few key areas. How the Honda Passport is handling road trips might have you considering taking one of your own.

Where the Honda Passport fits in the lineup

Honda is no lightweight when it comes to vehicle portfolios. It often earns high reliability and safety ratings in categories from sedans to midsize SUVs and pickups. Some vehicle options may be more popular than others, and sometimes, the Honda Passport can be overlooked.

It fits neatly between the fuel-efficient crossover Honda CR-V and the third-row seating of the Honda Pilot. Marrying some of the best features of its sibling models, the Honda Passport may just be the goldilocks vehicle you need for your lifestyle.

What this SUV has going for it

Not much is new this year compared to the 2019 model. The Honda Passport is a champion for interior space, storage compartments galore, and super comfortable front seats. It’s equipped much like the larger Pilot, only without the third row. And, it has tons more room than the downsized Honda CR-V.

Fuel efficiency is average, and interior quality is high throughout. There are four trim levels to call your own and to make sure you have just the right amount of features and extras. Many reviewers suggest that the mid-level EX-L trim is the Passport’s most valuable and its best configuration. It’s ideal, especially if you need it to include must-haves like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Plenty else comes standard, though, including the 3.5-liter V6 engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and a 5-inch touchscreen with a healthy suite of driver aids.

Where the Honda Passport could stand to improve

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One of the notable mentions for areas of improvement, both on the Car and Driver road trip review and others, is the hyper-sensitive nature of a few driver assistance systems. The lane-departure warning feature, for example, seems to prematurely flash alerts before venturing off the centerline.

Another complaint logged across the multi-state adventure is the road noise generated by the OE-sized Yokohama IceGuard winter tires. The stock Continental CrossContact LX Sport tires were much less noisy in the cabin. An added inconvenience came to light, with complaints that the cup holders are too small. Overall, from Ann Arbor, MI to New Orleans, LA, the Honda Passport did better than expected.

Ready to buy one for yourself?

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

You’ll find buying a 2020 Honda Passport simple with its price point selection. The base Sport model starts around $33,110, which is a little more than the Honda CR-V, but also a little less than the price tag on the Honda Pilot. An EX-L trim – again, highly recommended – will cost $37,530, and the next level Touring trim starts at $40,400. For anyone looking to get all the bells and whistles on this charming and capable SUV, there is also the Elite model with an MSRP of $44,900.

For many consumers, the Honda CR-V is just a little too small, and the Honda Pilot is a bit too big. For them, the Honda Passport is just right. It offers performance, handling, and convenience in a perfectly sized SUV. It’s the first pick for many consumer garages, and as for the experts at Car and Driver, they like it too. It’s actually performing better than expected, at least in this latest road trip assessment.