Crossover & Midsize

Why You Should Skip the 2020 Honda Passport, According to Consumer Reports

Meeting the needs of eco-friendly/family-conscious car buyers presents a wide range of challenges to automakers competing in the midsize SUV crossover market. As car manufacturers scramble to carve out their piece of a larger market share, many of their offerings are redundant within their own lineup or fall behind their competitors in reliability and performance. Consumer Reports views the 2020 Honda Passport as fitting into this category and advises buyers to avoid it.

What does the 2020 Honda Passport offer?

The 2020 Honda Passport squeezes into a particular niche in the crossover SUV market by adding space to a two-row midsize. Most reviewers do not look at it as a particularly stylish offering when considering its exterior or interior. In addition to more than adequate seating and cargo space of over 41 cubic feet, the 2020 Passport’s performance and safety features stand out when discussing this crossover.

The Honda Passport offers all-weather capabilities with standard front-wheel drive or the added security of AWD. The Passport includes an impressive 280-hp 3.5-liter V6 power plant driving a nine-speed automatic transmission. This allows for plenty of pep during acceleration as well as accommodating a 5,000-pound towing capacity. However, its fuel economy rating of 20/25 city/highway mpg is below the grading curve for this automotive class.

An impressive list of safety features on the Honda Passport also garners the attention of family-conscious buyers. The NHTSA awarded the 2020 Passport five stars on its overall safety rating while the IIHS graded it “Good” overall and gave it a superior rating for standard system front-crash prevention.

The Honda Passport’s list of crash avoidance and driver-assist technology is impressive, including forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control features on their standard models.

Consumer Reports cautions skipping over the 2020 Passport

111th Annual Chicago Auto Show opens its doors for the media preview at McCormick Place
The Honda Passport | Bilgin Sasmaz/NurPhoto via Getty Images

RELATED: 2020 Honda Passport vs Ford Edge: Is the Edge Really Better?

Because it rates well in regard to space, performance, safety, and value, many car buyers are taken in by the Honda Passport, but there is a significant list of pros and cons to work through before buying this SUV. Consumer Reports throws more weight toward its cons.

One of CR’s main cautions relates to how the Passport compares to its bigger brother the Honda Pilot, citing the Passport as a “stiffer ride” with “vague steering,” making it somewhat ponderous to drive. Additional drawbacks included by CR are a tricky gear selection and a slow-to-respond infotainment system.

However, topping their list of reasons to skip over the 2020 Passport is its low predicted reliability. Having received an overall Consumer Reports rating that is barely above average at 59 – compared to the Honda Pilot’s 75 and the Honda CR-V’s 77 – it is apparent that those set on buying a Honda might be better served to look up or down the automaker’s lineup.

What are some suggested alternatives to the Passport?

There are several alternatives to the Passport that provide similar or more advanced features along with greater reliability while accommodating similar space, performance, safety and price-range requirements.

Consumer Report’s alternatives include the 2020 Ford Edge, which remains steady in predicted reliability and owner satisfaction, meeting space and comfort needs while providing better handling, ride, and performance.

An additional CR alternative is the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe, which they rate slightly higher than the Edge at 78 overall due to steady predicted reliability and increased predicted owner satisfaction, but it is not a close-to-perfect match in accommodating buyer needs for those considering Honda Passport.

The 2020 Jeep Cherokee leaves Honda Passport in the dust by meeting or exceeding many of the features that attract buyers to the Passport, but it also adds better off-road capabilities and increased reliability and owner satisfaction, which will only cost buyers an extra grand.

Consumer Reports advises that buyers skip the 2020 Honda Passport

The 2020 Honda Passport fits the needs of a very specific niche buyer looking for a spacious two-row SUV. Because of its predicted reliability, sluggish handling, and below-average fuel economy, Consumer Reports cautions buyers to skip over this model.

Crossover buyers dedicated to Honda might meet their needs by moving up to the Honda Pilot or down to the Honda CR-V, but if make is not a big concern, there are plenty of alternatives available to meet or exceed the same needs sought in the 2020 Passport.