In the highly-competitive compact SUV wars, automakers are finding out what Subaru and Jeep have known for decades. There’s a whole lot of people who like to take their SUV off-road. Subaru has the new 2019 Forester Sport, Toyota brings the RAV4 Adventure trim, and Honda has just introduced the more rugged Passport SUV that’s more mid-size than compact.
Cars.com has released their Best Mid-Size SUV of 2019 list and the new American-made 2019 Honda Passport scores an impressive second place. The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate 2.0T AWD takes first place, the 2019 Honda Passport top-trim Elite AWD second, followed by the Ford Edge Titanium AWD, Nissan Murano Platinum AWD, Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD, and Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited X 4×4.
2019 Honda Passport
The Honda Passport is an all-new model for 2019 and is based on Honda’s uni-body, midsize light-truck platform. Trim levels include Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Elite. Car and Driver scores it the Best Mid-Size Two-Row SUV.
Passport slots between the smaller CR-V and three-row Pilot. Even though the Passport and the Pilot ride on the same platform, Passport has two rows of seating and is six inches shorter. Honda wants the 2019 Passport to be the adventure vehicle for outdoor enthusiasts. It has an inch greater ground clearance, but with identical room inside as its larger stablemate Pilot.
2019 Honda Pilot
The Honda Passport is powered by Pilot’s 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft. of torque. Its nine-speed automatic allows for second-gear starts which will help when it comes to towing. When properly equipped, the 2019 Honda Passport can tow 5,000 lbs., making it a true adventure machine for the weekend warrior.
We drove the new 2019 Honda Passport when it was first introduced and thought the V6 had plenty of power and appreciated the steering wheel shift paddles to give manual control for driving enthusiasts. The ride in the Passport is not as comfortable as the Pilot, but this SUV is designed for those wanting to use it more for off-road use than a grocery hauler. The suspension feels a bit stiffer as it seems tuned for those who want to get away from civilization.
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Photo credit: Honda USA