When it comes to SUVs, it’s hard to find one as competent, roomy, and equipped as the Honda Passport. With lots of standard safety features, plenty of room for cargo and passengers, and a pretty potent V6 engine powering it, the 2021 Honda Passport is a top-rated midsize SUV according to Car and Driver. It’s also a lot of fun to drive.
The 2021 Honda Passport features a few small changes but nothing major. Why were there no major changes for the 2021 model year?
No major changes to the 2021 Passport
There were only a couple of small updates for the 2021 model year. The touch screen for the infotainment system in base models was a 5.0-inch display. In the 2021 models, an 8.0-inch display is now standard. The update means now the base models have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.
Beyond that, the starting prices are slightly higher. The 3.5-liter V6 engine that gets 280-hp is still used in all models.
There were no changes in 2021 for the EX-L, Touring, or Elite models but you’ll pay between $225 and $285 more for them. Front-wheel drive is still standard on the Sport, EX-L, and Touring versions. All-wheel drive is available for all three models for $2,000 extra. All-wheel drive is standard on the top-tier Elite models that start at $43,980.
The latest generation
Why didn’t Honda update the Passport for 2021?
When Honda introduced the all-new Passport in 2019, it really caught everyone’s attention. The Honda Passport had been on hiatus for many years. It was no longer the Isuzu clone from before. It was a new, bigger, and better SUV with a lot to offer.
The Passport is a smaller, two-row version of the Pilot and bigger than the CR-V. Competition in the segment is tough thanks to the likes of the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano, and the Hyundai Santa Fe. Honda brought their A-game and presented an SUV that’s more than a match for any of its peers.
The 3.5-liter V6 engine under its hood enables it to go from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. It has the same nine-speed automatic transmission used in the Honda Pilot and it shifts smoothly. The Passport in 2019 was front-wheel-drive standard though you could get the i-VTM4 all-wheel-drive system as an option. The drive settings were handy too including Normal, Mud, Sand, and Snow.
So the 2021 model is a carryover because it’s fairly new. But according to Motor Trend, we just might see a mid-cycle update in 2022.
The 2021 Honda Passport
The Passport offers 7.5 inches of ground clearance from front-wheel-drive models and 8.1 inches for all-wheel-drive. While it’s not the best SUV for off-roading thanks to its height, it can tow as much as 5,000 pounds. It handles easily, it’s quick, and the ride is comfy.
The interior isn’t anything special appearance-wise, but the materials used are good enough. The layout of the controls makes it easy to use. You can set up to five people in there with wide comfortable front seats and plenty of passenger space in the second row. And cargo space? You have 41 cubic feet of space behind the back seat.
With its great functionality, it’s fun to drive. The 2021 Honda Passport is a carryover model. But critics like it and for those looking for a good midsize SUV right now, it has a lot to offer.