The 2021 Honda Passport rolls on with only one minor change. The base trim now gets the same 8-inch infotainment touchscreen as the rest of the lineup, complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility. Last year's base model only had a 5-inch non-touchscreen.
This is a welcome change, shoring up the value in an already formidable midsize SUV. The Passport is mechanically related to the three-row Honda Pilot, and although it’s 6 inches shorter and lacks a third row, the Passport is the wider and taller of the two.
Choosing Your Honda Passport
Like last year, the Passport comes in four trim levels: Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Elite. Prices start at $33,710 including destination for the base Sport model, while the Elite is priced from $45,100.
All Passport models use a single engine, a 3.5-liter V6 making 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. That’s above average for the class, with more power than competitors like the Ford Edge or Nissan Murano.
The engine teams up with a nine-speed automatic transmission, and with all-wheel drive (a $2,000 addition) it’s capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds. The Elite trim gets standard AWD.
Efficiency isn’t a standout: the EPA estimates that the Passport gets 20 miles per gallon city, 25 mpg highway, and 22 combined, or 19/24/21 mpg (city/highway/combined) with AWD. The Hyundai Santa Fe does better with 25 mpg combined.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The Passport lacks a third row, which means that passenger capacity is capped at five. Cargo capacity is a strength, with 41.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats or almost 78 with them folded. That’s good for the class, and nearly as much as the larger Pilot.
The Passport starts with an impressive suite of safety technologies, including standard lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. All except the base trim add blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, while the Touring adds parking sensors.
Crash test scores are equally favorable. The NHTSA gave it a five-star overall safety rating, while the IIHS declared last year’s model a Top Safety Pick, which should carry over.
Tech gets a much-needed upgrade in the Passport’s base trim this year. The Sport now equips an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen. The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the front row gets two USB ports.
Touring and Elite trims get navigation, wi-fi hot spot capability, and two rear USB ports; the Elite adds a wireless charging pad.
In addition to the new infotainment system, the Sport comes with remote start, keyless entry, and cloth upholstery. On the outside, 20-inch alloy wheels combine with fog lights and LED running lights for an adventurous look.
Honda likes to divide features by trim, rather than offering extra bundles. Various accessory packages dial up the look with roof rails and exposed fender flares, but there are otherwise no options or packages.
The EX-L replaces the Sport’s cloth upholstery with leather and heats up the front row. Tech gets an upgrade, with standard blind-spot monitoring and a power liftgate. The heated side mirrors gain integrated turn signal,s and a power moonroof tops it all off.
The Passport Touring pushes into luxury territory with heated rear seats, LED headlights, and a premium sound system. The infotainment system gets a boost from navigation, wi-fi capability, and two more USB ports in the second row. Front and rear parking sensors add peace of mind, and a hands-free tailgate adds convenience.
The Passport Elite pulls out all the stops, including wireless charging, perforated leather upholstery, and ventilated front seats. The exterior gets rain-sensing wipers and auto-dimming and power-folding side mirrors.
The 2021 Honda Passport EX-L is our pick for value. It’s around $40,000 with all-wheel drive, and the added features are worth the price bump from the Sport.