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2019 Honda Passport Presents Serious Sporting Capability

For off road weekend warriors Honda presents a reborn safe and sane tech-rich 2019 Passport sandwiched between CR-V and Pilot in American Honda's light truck lineup. What features give Passport serious off-road sporting capability?

Without question the current Honda Pilot and CR-V when equipped with AWD can do some dirt time. Honda’s leading sellers can also trailer haul a toy or two. So, why is Honda marketing a reborn Honda Passport? Simply put, they can, and if priced right, 2019 Honda Passport will be successful.

2019 Honda Passport more than a shortened and raised Pilot

Passport comes to market built on Honda’s universal light truck platform, sharing most attributes, options, and chassis engineering with the longer Honda Pilot. That’s fine. Pilot’s a mechanically bulletproof, well priced contender in the midsize 3-row SUV segment, and continues to lead that class in annual sales.

Yet, off road, there's a problem or two. And looking to CR-V, while capable enough, off-road isn't CR-V's thing. So, in rolls Passport, featuring shorter body overhangs, fat fender flares, and a bit more ground clearance than Pilot. Read my latest Pilot drive review here

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The advantage of shorter overhangs and clearance off road

While Honda unibody primary front wheel drive technology when equipped with i-VTM4 (torque vectoring all-wheel-drive) works very well on all surfaces and weather conditions, insufficient ground clearance and relatively long front and rear body overhang is not cool when transitioning in or out of a steep inclines.

That painful under-body road and rock crunch takes the fun out of mild off road adventure, sometimes resulting in cowling and cosmetic panel damage. But hey, you already know that. The all new Honda Passport shares a manufacturing platform with Honda Ridgeline Pickup

So, our engineering design friends at Honda R&D,Torrance,California and Raymond, Ohio, collaborated on launching a made in America Honda Passport with greater ground clearance, shorter body overhangs, nimble, power steering, and front and rear independent suspension. Passport will tow 5,000 lbs when properly equipped, and takes to the open and off road with the best in the segment.

2019 Honda Passport is 3.5L i-VTEC direct injected powered

Buyers won't find a turbocharged engine option for 2019 Honda Pilot. Instead, America’s #5 car maker looks to the 3.5L 1-VTEC direct injected SOHC V6. Developing 280 H.P. @ 6,000 rpm and 262 ft-lb torque@4700 rpm, we like this gasoline engine for Passport. When standard equipped with dual exhaust and shifted through Honda’s 9 speed automatic transmission, fun will be had by all on or off the road. Fuel economy, while yet to be stated, should approach 19 mpg city, and 24 mpg on the highway. We further anticipate a beginning FWD standard Passport package MSRP of $29,000 +, we’ll see.

Passport’s look screams sinister Honda

Black out grill, 20 inch wheels, and a sporting rugged theme, delivers a reborn made in America Honda Passport. I’ve driven thousands of miles on and off road in CR-V, Pilot and Ridgeline, all exceptional in their own right -- yet compromised just a tad when driven off the pavement. Honda presents a re-imagined Passport for consumers shopping for an affordable answer to civilized do-anything attainable truck-like SUV ownership. I believe Honda has a winner here, and look forward to presenting a comprehensive drive review in January.


  • Powertrain
  • Engine Type - V-6
  • Displacement - 3471cc
  • Horsepower (SAE Net) - 280 @6 000 rpm
  • Torque (SAE Net) - 262 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
  • Fuel Injection -Direct.


  • 9-speed automatic (9AT)
  • All-Wheel Drive System
  • (AWD Models)
  • Intelligent Variable Torque Management™ (i-VM4™) with Intelligent Traction Management with Normal, Sand, Snow and Mud modes.


  • Front Suspension - MacPherson strut
  • Rear Suspension - Multi-link
  • Steering - Electric power-assisted (EPS) rack-and-pinion.


  • 20-inch alloy All-Season Tires
  • 245/50R 102H (Sport, EX-L);
  • 265/45R 102H. (Touring, Elite)

Towing Capacity, 2WD (AWD)
3,500 lbs (5,000 lbs) with tow package.

111.0 in.
190.5 in.
71.6 in.
78.6 in.

Track Front/Rear, 2WD (AWD)
67.0/67.0 in. (66.7/66.7 in.)
Ground Clearance, 2WD (AWD)
7.8 in. (8.4 in.)

Approach/Departure Angles, Degrees, 2WD (AWD)
20.6/26.8 (21.4/27.6)

Cargo Volume (Behind 2nd Row) SAE J1100
41.2 cu.-ft.
Cargo Volume (Behind 1st Row) SAE J1100
77.9 cu.-ft.

Cargo Volume (Behind 1st Row) SAE J1100 plus floor space between seating rows and seats in their forward-most and upright position.
100.7 cu.-ft.

Passenger Volume
115.9 (114.9 w/sunroof)

Photo attributes American Honda Motors 2018


Kayla (not verified)    January 14, 2019 - 4:51PM

They look cool. 3.5L with that much HP is awesome too for the trails and a 9 speed auto. 29K price tag supposedly? Not bad.

Brian (not verified)    January 14, 2019 - 4:52PM

Looks like it's almost perfect, and it's a Honda. The AWD with towing package is better than I foresee the Forester being equipped for quite some time.

Gary O. (not verified)    January 14, 2019 - 10:54PM

In reply to by Brian (not verified)

I would have bought a Forester this year, if only the engine wasn't so anemic. Even with the small HP bump this year, the Forester can't get out of its own way. The Forester would be perfect, if only they created a small displacement (3.0 or 3.2L) modern, fuel efficient, direct injection V6 to put in it.Since that is not an option, I am very much looking forward to buying a Passport when it comes out.

Slocum (not verified)    January 15, 2019 - 9:12AM

In reply to by Gary O. (not verified)

Neither the Forester (nor Outback) will be the main Subaru competitor for the Passport -- it will be the Ascent (even though it has 3 rows). Similar price, dimensions and power with the same 5000# max tow rating as the Passport.

mintas lanxor (not verified)    February 11, 2019 - 6:03PM

We must have not driven the same Passport.

I just drove the Honda Ridgeline, Passport and Pilot - all V-6 with 280 hp. The Ridgeline's and Passport's responsiveness off the dime and when you punch them up on the highway is terrible. However, the Pilot acquits itself quite well in that area even though it seems to be the largest and heaviest of the three. Hard to believe, especially if you consider the fact that beginning of the line Audi, Mercedes, or BMW 4-cylinder SUVs with about 200 horses accelerate much faster. If you're looking for a fun-to-drive SUV that won't break the bank, the Ford Escape and Kia Sportage may be your best bets.