There’s No Room For The New Honda Passport

Just because I like something, doesn’t mean it’s right. I laugh when my friends fall down. I enjoy making my car’s exhaust louder. But worst of all, I like the Honda Passport.

 

The 2019 Honda Passport has a 3.5L v6 engine and 9 speed automatic transmission. 2019 is the first year back for the passport, since it’s early 2000’s send-off. The engine is the same bread and butter found in a lot of other Honda and Acura products, so there’s no new ground to break. The story with the transmission is the same, a 9 speed is pretty average nowadays. You have to remember though, the passport is smaller than the Honda Pilot, but it has the same engine. That makes the Passport feel sportier and more agile, without changing too many parts.

 

The interior is fresh. Really fresh. The gauge cluster excites me, having a fun mix of digital and physical gauges. The fuel and engine temperature gauges look like health bars in a video game. The tachometer can be turned on or off to please both the enthusiast and the soccer moms. The dash is laid out in a meaningful and useful way. I really like it over all.

 

So let’s talk about the Passport as a whole. I really like it. It’s fresh, it’s different, and it feels more like a Subaru Forester and less like a Honda Civic. The only issue is that I’m not sure there is a need for it. That’s why I don’t think it’s right. If you want a 2 row SUV, get a CRV. If you want a 3 row, get a Pilot. I’m just not sure the Passport is filling any vacant section of the market. Is it really that much more capable than the CRV? Is it really that much sportier than the Pilot? The Passport’s situation reminds me of a similar situation Honda found themselves in back in the early 2000’s with the Honda Prelude. If you wanted a 2 door economy car in the 2000’s, you could get a Civic. If you wanted a V6, they had a V6 Accord 2 door. The Prelude didn’t have enough edge to be different enough to have people choose it over the Accord and Civic. So the Prelude died. But similar to the Passport, the Prelude was a great car. It just doesn’t have its own spot in the market. For once, I hope that this “SUV Craze” currently going on in the auto industry creates a new seat for the Passport at the table. The Passport is great! I just don’t know if we really need it.

 

 

Watch my video review:

 

Written by Zack Pradel