Review: 2019 Honda Passport
Built for the outdoors
Like the nimbleness of a CR-V but the utility of a Pilot? Then the 2019 Honda Passport may be the answer. Revealed in California at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year, the five-passenger mid-size crossover offers a sporty look and ride as well as a load of interior room.
Honda calls their latest model the “most rugged light truck yet,” built on the brand’s unibody Global Light Truck Platform shared with the Pilot mentioned above and the Ridgeline pickup. Riding on a fully independent suspension and driven by all four wheels via i-available VTM4 torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, handling is tight and more car than SUV-like.
Conditions from rainy roads to muddy trails are no problem as the system is able to send up to 70 per cent of torque to the rear axle, splitting between the left and right wheel as needed. In addition, AWD trims have 213 millimetres of ground clearance — 27 more than Pilot — to clear any pesky obstacles when encountering rough terrain.
A 3.5-litre V6 engine is standard equipment, pumping out a healthy 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, mated to an efficient nine-speed automatic transmission. Power delivery and shifting are both fairly quiet and smooth.
Providing a tow capacity of 3,500 pounds hauling recreational toys along is a cinch, especially since the cabin display can show a birds-eye view while backing up to aid in connecting up a trailer. For more serious loads, opt for the towing package bumping up the rating to 5,000 pounds.
Open up the tailgate and 1,166 litres of space awaits, or 2,205 if the rear seats are folded with the single touch of a button. Lift up the cargo floor and there’s another 70 litres, perfect to stash valuables out of sight. A large centre console cubby affords additional covered storage.
As opposed to other stable mates, the Passport has a mostly blacked-out front fascia and dark 20-inch wheels giving the vehicle a uniquely distinct look in the growing lineup.