The two-row SUV category is a tough segment to compete in and it seems that the Honda Passport would know that all too well. With stalwarts like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Ford Edge still soaking up a lot of sales and even crossovers like the Nissan Murano still alive and kicking, the competition for the Passport is stiff. However, upon examining the Passports sales numbers for September 2020 alone, it looks like there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Honda’s two-row SUV.
Don’t count the Honda Passport out yet
We actually really like the Honda Passport. So much so that we have written multiple stories about it, detailing its features and flaws and even its low sales numbers. However, we’re actually subtly cheering for it to do well because it’s not too often that nameplates get a second chance after an almost 20-year hiatus. But as of August this year, we were wondering if the second-generation Passport could be considered a flop.
But we’re the first to admit when we are wrong and will always handily eat our words when needed. Such was the case when looking at Honda’s sales reports for September 2020, when the company reported that the Passport set a news September sales record of 4,281 units sold, which is a whopping 48.1% increase month over month from September 2019.
What does this mean for the Honda Passport?
While the Honda Passport’s fate is not up to us, we would like to think that it will stick around for a while and perhaps evolve as the years go on. Although the two-row SUV segment has some stiff competition, Honda can definitely make it a winner if it keeps tweaking to fit consumer demands. For example, for the 2021 model year, the Passport now comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple Carplay capability.
And while that doesn’t seem like much of a change, we think that it will pay off in the long run as the Passport’s competitors not only offer the same standard equipment, but prospective Passport buyers are more likely to opt-in at the base trim level, which means more sales.
There’s definitely some hope
With strong sales numbers, the Passport is definitely making some progress, although it’s still not pulling in the same numbers as it’s stablemates the Pilot and the CR-V. Honda sold 10,643 Pilots and 33,572 CR-Vs last month, however, we can’t expect the Passport to pull those numbers yet, considering it just came back for the 2019 model year.
Either way, there’s still hope for Honda’s two-row SUV as consumers are still gravitating toward larger transportation as opposed to compact cars or sedans nowadays. And as time goes on, the Honda Passport could prove to be the perfect solution for anyone looking for something larger and more capable than a compact crossover like the CR-V, but don’t need the seating capacity of the Pilot, just like Honda intended for it to be.