The new Passport from Honda has many great features. However, what caught our attention were the many family-friendly features the Passport has. Not all families want a three-row vehicle. Five-passenger, two-row crossovers are now the largest selling family vehicles in America. The Passport is on the larger side of the mainstream and that size may be perfect for many.
Honda Passport - What Is It?
Crossovers the size of the CR-V are now the top-selling vehicles in America, having passed trucks a few years back. They hit the sweet spot for budget, practicality, safety, and size. However, some families want or need a bit more space. Perhaps those who frequently make road trips to a vacation home or to see family. These upsized crossovers lack a definitive name. Midsized may be one name, but it is not a great one. Full size would work better, but there are bigger vehicles. Perhaps "right-sized" may be better? Or maybe, "Fits in the garage-sized?"
Honda Passport - Space, Glorious Space
You notice the added space EVERYWHERE in the Passport. Up front the center console is massive. The seats feel bigger. The cabin feels roomier. In the back row, the space is obvious. The middle seat is large enough for an adult and the legroom is plentiful when the front seats are all the way back. The cargo area is also dramatically bigger. About 25% larger in volume with the seats up and about 30% larger than a CR-V with the seats folded. The Passport offers a whopping 100 cubic feet of cargo volume with the rear seats folded, just to give you an idea of its spaciousness.
However, the great cargo capability doesn't stop there. May we speak frankly? Panoramic sunroofs in family vehicles are the most ridiculous, useless, and stupid creation ever invented by automakers. To its credit, Honda doesn't put one in the Passport. Instead, its roof is available for use with a soft cargo bag in which one can store bedding, tents, babby joggers, Pack-N-Plays, lawn chairs, and anything else soft and relatively light. That frees up space in the interior for other cargo. My family has used one for decades on top of our 2007 Highlander and it is the absolute easiest way to travel with kids to a vacation spot with all the kids' stuff.
Smart Family Content
Honda Passport -Kids Features
We tested the Elite trim of the Passport. The first thing we spotted was a pair of USB ports in the back row. Let's face it; rear-seat DVD players have totally jumped the shark. Kids want their own Kindles, iPads, and phones, not a goofy and expensive built-in DVD player. Rear seat USB ports will power those things the entire time your kids are in the back.
The LATCH anchors are super easy to find and use. The rear side windows also had built-in sunshades. A lot of families add these using aftermarket ones. I've lowered the rear windows and sucked those into the space between the door and glass and then had to pull them out of the rear window/door gap on many occasions while my wife glared at me. No more.
In addition to all the normal great Honda content like Android Auto and Apple Car Play, the Passport has a spare tire. There is also a ton of added under-the floor space for stuff like emergency supplies or more cargo. That little cone you see there is an emergency fuel nozzle for when you (or your teen) runs the vehicle out of gas. You need one with capless fuel systems (bravo Honda).
Honda Passport Safety
The new Passport scored well in IIHS safety testing. Its size will also help it in real-world crashes. The Passport is about 20% heavier than a CR-V sized crossover. In IIHS' analysis of real-world crash data, larger crossovers prove safer than smaller ones.
The new Honda Passport is an outstanding two-row crossover. It starts in the mid $30Ks and the top-trim Elite we tested had an as-tested price of $44,775. If you are shopping for a two-row crossover and feel like the RAV4, Forester, CX-5, and CR-V are just a bit smaller than you want, this is the perfect place to start. If you are looking for a three-row crossover, consider the Pilot from Honda. It has many of the same family-friendly features as the Passport.
In addition to covering green vehicle topics, John Goreham covers safety, technology, and new vehicle news at Torque News. You can follow John on Twitter at @johngoreham.