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This Popular SUV Earned the Consumer Reports ‘Avoid’ Label

Crossovers and family SUVs are a raging automotive segment. There are a lot of popular models out there that are actually quite good. However, this popular mid-size two-row SUV earned the Consumer Reports ‘avoid’ label.

a couple in hiking gear walking away from a 2021 Honda Passport
2021 Honda Passport | Honda

In a sea of options, this Honda model actually stands out. It looks great in marketing photos (in my opinion) and I can understand why many buyers find it compelling. So why did Consumer Reports give this mid-size two-row SUV the ‘avoid’ label?

A popular mid-size two-row SUV

A size down from the Honda Pilot, the 2021 Honda Passport is attractive. It’s easy to see why people like it. In addition, the 2021 Honda Passport runs the same 3.5-liter V6 that we find in the Pilot. It’s a widely appreciated V6 Honda engine, but this popular mid-size two-row SUV has some down sides.

A close up view of the V6 engine under the hood of the 2021 Honda Passport
2021 Honda Passport | Honda

In fact, Consumer Reports saw enough negatives to outweigh this mid-size SUV’s positives. So much so that the 2021 Honda Passport earned the Consumer Reports ‘avoid’ label. Let’s take a look at what Consumer Reports says about the 2021 Honda Passport.

The 2021 Honda Passport didn’t impress Consumer Reports

The fuel mileage for the 2021 Honda Passport was an average of about 21 mpg in the Consumer Reports test. This isn’t great, but it is about average for the mid-size two-row SUV segment. So what is it about the 2021 Honda Passport that Consumer Reports is so down about?

a dark red Passport driving in the forest on a dirt trail with a hard case up top.
2021 Honda Passport | Honda

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First, the review for this family mid-sizer notes that handling is lackluster. In addition, the ride is described as “rather stiff.” So it’s not smooth. It’s not athletic. It also has an awkward infotainment setup that lags a bit and could be a little more user-friendly. According to Consumer Reports, it just falls too short of what others in the segment have to offer.

In addition, the standard safety features are missing blind-spot warning. This is a pretty basic feature in 2021, and we pretty much expect to see it standard on every new model these days. It is available in higher trim levels, but the entry-level Honda Passport doesn’t have it. To top it all off, the 2021 Honda Passport received a low reliability rating of 2 out of 5 from Consumer Reports.

What should you buy instead?

There are several other options than the 2021 Honda Passport. Consumer Reports suggest both the 2021 Ford Edge and the 2021 Nissan Murano. On the other hand, there’s also the 2021 Toyota RAV4.

a new red ford edge driving on a scene road near lake Huron
2021 Ford Edge | Ford Motor Company

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Hyundai also has some great options for a mid-size two-row SUV. The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe and the 2021 Hyundai Tucson are more reliable, have more standard features. Plus they come backed by Hyundai’s phenomenal warranty. The 2021 Kia Sportage is also a popular option.

U.S. News and World Report disagrees with the ‘avoid’ label

Another well-regarded source for automotive consumer information is U.S. News and World Report. This publication disagrees with Consumer Reports in terms of avoiding the 2021 Honda Passport. While U.S. News agrees that the infotainment could use some improvement, the Passport earned the praise of “balanced” in reference to ride and handling.

U.S. News rated the Passport pretty high, even giving it two awards. It’s this year’s winner of both the 2021 Best Two-Row SUV for the Money and the 2021 Best Two-Row SUV for Families. This just goes to show that regardless of all the specifics, each model is going to present differently to each person.

a blue model of this crossover driving in the city
2021 Honda Passport | Honda

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Consumer Reports suggests we avoid the 2021 Honda Passport. But U.S. News and World Report give it high praise. Overall, it’s best to keep in mind that ratings aren’t the bottom line. At the end of the day, the choice is yours to make when it comes to buying a new mid-size two-row SUV.