Honda Debuts All-new 2019 Passport SUV at L.A. Auto Show!
Honda Passport offers more rugged, outdoorsy looks and greater off-road capabilities than CR-V or Pilot.
Just days ahead of the Los Angeles auto show, Honda has already cut to the chase by revealing it’s all-new 2019 Passport SUV. This new model actually resurrects the Passport name, which has lay dormant since 2002. It was then succeeded by the original Honda Pilot, a model which has become a popular mainstay for the brand.
The original Passport, which was sold in the United States from 1993 to 2002, was Honda’s first foray into the growing North American SUV segment. It was marketed as a rough-and-tumble, ready for all weather conditions SUV with optional all-wheel drive, body cladding and a potent V6 engine.
This new Passport is being marketed as an off-road ready, all-weather ready, outdoor lifestyle SUV, with optional all-wheel drive, body cladding and a potent V6 engine. Clearly a fitting return to the Honda Passport name.
To be specific, the new Passport slots into the Honda model range in between the CR-V and the upscale, larger Pilot. As Pilot has continued to become larger, and more luxury-oriented, Honda has seen that increasing gap between the two models as the perfect place to expand the model line-up. This, of course, also follows the current industry trend of buffing up SUV and light-truck offerings as consumers continue to demand, and buy them in droves.
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The 2019 Honda Passport is, according to Honda, some six-inches shorter than Pilot, with all of that being lopped the ends. These shorter overhangs improve off-road ability, and give Passport a tougher-looking aesthetic. However, the unchanged wheelbase means that it will continue to offer smooth on-road performance. This uncompromising duality is something Honda stressed repeatedly at the unveiling. It may sound like a bit of an oxymoron, but Honda has been on a roll with all of their new products, as of late, so we don’t doubt them.
Passport is powered by Honda’s ubiquitous, and bulletproof J35 engine. That 3.5-liter V6 is good for 280 horsepower, and is paired to Honda’s new 9-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, while i-VTM4 all-wheel drive is available. That advanced i-VTM4 system also affords Passport different driving and traction modes. While “snow” mode is available on all Passport trims, the Intelligent Traction Management system adds “mud” and “sand” modes, to better help navigate any tricky terrain.
Additionally, like all new Honda products, the brand’s Honda Sensing safety technology is standard equipment. This includes collision-mitigation braking (auto-emergency braking); road departure mitigation; lane keep assist technology and adaptive cruise control.
Pricing has yet to be formally announced, but our well-calibrated educated guess system says you can expect a base MSRP to come in around $28-29,000.