Car Review: 2019 Honda Passport is a spacious, 5-seat off-road crossover

Longtime Honda owners might remember the Passport name. It was the first SUV from Honda. Fast forward to 2019, the new Passport is a midsize crossover for five — and with plenty of space to spare.

The V6 provides good pep and the ride is comfortable. Inside, the Passport Elite, the top-of-the-line model, is outfitted with leather, heated and ventilated front seats that provide enough support and comfort for the long haul. There’s a good view out of the driver’s seat that makes it easy to drive in the city. Rear seat space is a big plus too, with plenty of head and leg room. A handy tip for families: the seat needs to be moved forward to access lower anchors for car seat installation.

The Honda Passport can also be outfitted with some off road add-ons to make it more capable on the trail. Off-roading goodies from Jsport USA can be added at certain Honda dealers and still keep the warranty in place. My test rig came with tough-looking wheels, all-terrain tires, a skid plate to keep the lower engine safe and side steps. The side steps look cool but aren’t very useful and hit rocks on the trail. With these parts, the Passport did a respectable job off road, only a lack of ground clearance hampered it. This ride carried a $2,600 Roof Nest that in less than a minute becomes a comfortable, roof-mounted tent and bed for two.

Cost: $43,680 or $49,000 for the off-road version
MPG: 20 city/25 highway — I managed 22.6 mpg of regular.
Safety: Honda Sensing includes Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Road Departure Mitigation System.

Pros:

  • Comfortable crossover that can be taken off the road
  • Plenty of power with a smooth V6
  • Space for five in an upscale interior in the top-of-the-line Elite model

Cons:

  • Odd push-button transmission takes time to get used to
  • The infotainment system doesn’t have knobs
  • Lower ground clearance limits its off-road potential

 

 

Mike Parris is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association. The vehicles are provided by DriveShop, FMI, NAVS DC or Motus One for the purpose of this review.

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