2019 Honda Passport Touring Review

The all new 2019 Honda Passport is slotted between the compact sized CR-V and the three row family-focused Pilot in Honda's current lineup. It is especially suited for those adventure seekers who need larger cargo space and legitimate off road capabilities.

The new passport shares the same unibody midsize light-truck platform with the Ridgeline which I have recently reviewed. Thanks to Honda Canada, I had one week to test drive this well equipped mid-size SUV. Below is my unbiased review.

Of all the Honda vehicles I have test driven so far, the Passport looks the most comfortable in its skin. It doesn't tries to stand out through funky styling, but its rugged, highly functional features make it stand out nonetheless.

The front fascia is dominated by a large X-shape assembly that consists of a black grille in its center, a black bumper with fog lights as its lower wings, and linear jeweled eye LED headlights as its upper wings. This highly integrated appearance makes the Passport look not only rugged but also polished.

The Passport is an inch higher compare to the Pilot. That gives the side profile an off-road feel that is only further enhanced by its 20" black rims. With an approach angle of 21.4 degree and an departure angle of 27.6 degree, the Honda Passport doesn't only look the part, but is actually ready to tackle the rough terrains of Canadian outback.

The wide stance and large lift-gate gives the Passport a planted rear view. Chrome dual exhausts and a linear chrome trim that runs across the entire life-gate add a touch of sophistication to the otherwise rugged look.

The interior of the passport reminds me of the Ridgeline. It is a spacious, functional, and comfortable. The Passport has an identical wheel base as its larger sibling, the Pilot. Because it isn't required to fit three rows of seats in its cabin, there is plenty of room for the passengers and their belongings.

The decision to use buttons instead of a stick shift lever gives the center console a roomy feel. Two fold down armrests provide resting places for the front passengers. The heated and vented front seats are nicely bolstered. They are plush and supportive at the same time, perfect for bumpy roads and long journeys.

The interior material impresses as well. Soft-touch materials are generously appointed on the dash and doors, but hard, durable plastics are chosen for the lower surfaces.

The rear cabin provides an impressive amount of leg and head room. There is a dedicated climate system for rear passengers, and both rear seats are heated.

Our Touring trim tester comes with a large, easy to read 8" touch screen that is a joy operate. It is a good thing that those on-screen buttons are big, because there is only one physical knob that controls the volume. The user interface is snappy and easy to navigate. I prefer this implementation to the complicated touchpad interface of the new Acura RDX. Sometimes simpler is better.

Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. There is a wireless charging pad in the center console, and plenty of USB charging points for both the front and rear passengers.

The 7" TFT gauge situated in the middle of the instrument cluster is big and sharp. It displays real time vehicle information such as vehicle speed and RPM as well as customizable features such as audio information, phone information, and turn-by-turn route guidance.

Safety and Driver Assistance
Honda is very generous at providing active safety features with the Passport. The followings are standard for all trims:

  • Brake Assist
  • Multi-Angle Rearview Camera
  • Tire Pressure Monitor
  • Collision mitigation Braking System
  • Road Departure Warning 
  • Forward Collision warning
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Automatic High Beams

Blind Spot Monitoring System is provided for all trims above EX-L.

It earns 5 star safety rating from NHTSA and Top Safety Pick+ from IIHS.

The 2019 Passport is powered by a 3.5L SOHC direct injected V6 with a second-generation 9-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 280HP of power and 262 lb-ft of torque. it offers brisk acceleration and up to 5,000 pounds of towing capacity.

The 9-speed transmission benefits from a number of refinements from its initial introduction. It is smoother and more responsive through all gear ranges. On the road, the Passport provides good low end torque and a surprisingly refined driving characteristic. Thanks to the Intelligent all-wheel-drive system, and the 4-wheel independent suspension, the Passport does well both off-road and on pavement.

The intelligent torque vectoring management system keeps up to 100 percent of available torque to the front wheels during normal cursing, and sends up to 70 percent of that torque to the rear wheels in hard cornering and under acceleration. The result is a fuel efficient yet capable driving machine. The 2019 Passport is rated at 12.5L/100km city and 9.8L/100km highway. Our mostly city test drive returns a fuel economy rating of exactly 12.5L/100km.

Cargo Space & Storage
The unibody platform of the Passport give the car class-leading interior space. Behind the rear seats is a fully carpeted cargo area that provides 41.2 cu.-ft. of flexible cargo space. Press a button in the trunk and the rear seatbacks fold flat for a total of up to 77.9 cu.-ft. of space, more than enough to accommodate a bicycle or a week's worth of camping gear. Our tester came with a roof box that can accommodate longer items without sacrificing passenger seats.

There is a clever 2.5 cu.-ft. hidden storage under the floor near the rear bumper. It is easily accessed by lifting the rearmost section of the floor, and proofs to be very useful for keeping smaller items hidden from the prying eyes. Unlike many competitors that make you choose between underfloor storage or a spare tire, Passport's smart packaging incorporates both.

There's also plenty of space for smaller items in cabin. Passport offers a large center console bin between the front seats with a rolling cover that also serves as a tray when closed. Additional storage is found in the doors and ahead of the push-button gear selector.

I am very impressed with the 2019 Honda Passport. It is fuel efficient for its size, and comfortable to drive as a daily commuter. It also posses legit off-road capabilities, and plenty of storage options for a nadventure seeker and weekend warrior like myself.

I like the rugged exterior, the well equipped interior, and the modern infotainment system of the Passport. The only thing that would keep me from getting one is the price. With the starting price of $42,000, it is almost the same as its bigger sibling, the Honda Pilot. Although I enjoy the exterior styling of the Passport more, the three-row seating of the Pilot can come in handy at times.

Test Vehicle
2019 Passport Touring
$50,925 with freight and PDI
Deep Scarlet Pearl


Popular Posts