Honda Passport returns as a rugged styled, 5-passenger SUV



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Honda's latest SUV resurrects a familiar name. Yes, the Passport is back, and following its introduction at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show this week, it'll hit US showrooms early next year.

The Passport rides on Honda's Global Light Truck platform, the same one that underpins the Pilot SUV and Ridgeline pickup truck. It also uses the same V6 engine as its platform mates: a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Both front and all-wheel drive will be available, the latter of which uses a four-mode traction management system for improved foul-weather and off-road performance.


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Honda resurrects the Passport for 2019


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Speaking of off-road, the Passport certainly looks ready to hit the trails. Familiar design cues show this relationship between the Pilot and Ridgeline, but the Passport stands apart with a higher ride height, shorter rear overhang and standard 20-inch wheels.

With all-wheel drive, Honda says the Passport can tow up to 5,000 pounds, which is enough for a small boat or camper, or a pair of jet-skis. For all of you hashtag active lifestyle types, Honda will launch a full catalog of Passport-specific accessories, including roof boxes; bike, kayak and ski racks; and even weatherproof covers for various parts of the cabin.

Honda says the Passport can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Honda

The Passport will be offered in Sport, EX-L, Touring and Elite thanks, with cloth or leather upholstery, and what Honda claims is the leading passenger and cargo space. With the upright rear seats, the Passport offers 41.2 cubic feet of cargo space, which expands to 77.9 with them folded.

On the infotainment front, upmarket Passport features an 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen infotainment system, with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a 7-inch TFT gauge display cluster, similar to what we've seen in the Pilot and Ridgeline. Other available products include wireless phone charging, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and embedded navigation.

Every single Passport will be equipped with the Honda Sensing suite of safety tech. Honda Sensing bundles mitigation braking, forward collision warning, road mitigation, lane departure warning, lane keeping assists and adaptive cruise control. If that's still not enough to give you proper peace of mind, higher Passport trim levels come with blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic detection and parking sensors, as well.

Given American shoppers' appetites for all things SUVs, Honda is a smart to add another utility vehicle to its US lineup. Plus, it's cool to see the Passport name makes a comeback – certainly a given fitting, Passport's key rival, the Chevy Blazer. Honda's new SUV will be a slot between the compact CR and V Pilot when it goes on sale early next year, and should be appropriately priced between the two. Stay tuned for our first drive of the 2019 Honda Passport early next year.

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