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1997 Honda Passport Overview Two curious facts distinguish the Passport from every other sport/utility on the market. First, it wears the Honda emblem, marking the first time Honda has ventured outside the realm of cars and motorcycles. Second, unlike any other vehicle you¿ll find in a Honda showroom, the Passport isn¿t really a Honda at all. Rather, the Passport is an Isuzu. An Isuzu Rodeo, to be exact. Both vehicles are built on the same assembly line at the Subaru-Isuzu joint venture facility in Indiana and share everything except minor trim, emblems and grilles. We hasten to add that curious doesn¿t equate with bad in this case. There¿s nothing wrong with the Rodeo. But over the years we¿ve come to look for technological leadership, recognizable style and intense attention to fit-and-finish details from Honda. As a result, finding the Honda emblem on a vehicle made by another company is surprise. The Passport is a good vehicle. But it may not meet everyone¿s expectations of what a Honda should be. In choosing Isuzu for a supplier, Honda got what it needed: A vehicle that could go on sale immediately, built by a company capable of producing a best seller (which the Rodeo is). And Isuzu has plenty of experience in building body-on-frame vehicles, as distinct from the unit-body construction used in most passenger cars. Honda does not. Choosing the Passport over the Rodeo does have one major advantage: Honda¿s dealer network is significantly larger than Isuzu¿s. More dealers means wider access to service and parts. On the other hand, Passport prices are slightly higher than those for equivalent Rodeos, and Isuzu¿s basic warranty covers the Rodeo for an additional 15,000 miles during the same 3-year period.
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