All-new crossover. The 2019 Honda Passport is an all-new vehicle, but its looks and running gear are not. The Passport is essentially a sawed-off Honda Pilot, so it shares much of its looks inside and out, and most of its greasy bits with its three-row brethren. While some may chalk this up as badge engineering, there are far worse crossovers to copy from than the Pilot.
Strong running gear but no off-roader. Sharing its running gear with the Honda Pilot and Honda Odyssey gives the Passport a powerful 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine to tinker around with, giving it all the power most buyers will need. This engine pairs with a nine-speed automatic transmission that delivers slick gear changes, but it may confuse some drivers with its push-button interface.
Honda bills the Passport as an off-roader, but its performance says otherwise. Sure, it has an extra 0.2 to 0.8 inches of ground clearance relative to the Pilot, but its standard front-wheel drive and lack of an available low range limit its off-road capabilities.
Roomy interior, but lacking standard tech. The Honda Passport is essentially a 6-inch-shorter Pilot, but lopping off those inches doesn’t do a ton of damage to its roominess. Its rear seats are adult-friendly with 39.6 inches of leg room. This measurement falls in line with much of its class, but it exceeds the Jeep Grand Cherokee by an inch.
Behind its roomy rear seat is a cargo area that hauls up to 50.5 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 100.7 cubes with the rear seats folded. This crushes every competitor, but it really lays the wood to the Chevrolet Blazer’s 30.5 cubes with the seats up and 64.2 cubes with the seats folded.
On the tech side of things, the Passport comes up a light in smartphone integration. It offers useful tech like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but they're only available in second-in-line EX-L and higher trims. This popular feature is now standard in many models, including the Blazer, Grand Cherokee, and Hyundai Santa Fe.
Loaded with safety equipment. While its competitors often make advanced safety tech optional, the Honda Passport comes standard with all the safety nannies the IIHS likes to see. These include automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, and lane keeping assist. Buyers looking for all the safety gadgets can opt for blind-spot monitoring.
We have yet to see how the Passport performs in crash tests, but its Pilot donor is an IIHS Top Safety Pick. We expect the same results from the Passport.
Final thoughts. Do you love the look, feel, and ride of the Honda Pilot but don't need a three-row crossover? The 2019 Honda Passport is a great option to consider. It's virtually identical to the Pilot under its skin, so it delivers a similar ride quality without the added bulk of a third row.
Keep in mind the Passport isn't is the off-road-ready crossover Honda markets it as. Yes, it has a higher ride height than the Pilot, but it lacks the off-road-ready goodies its rivals, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, have.