Honda’s versatile SUV and CUV lineup currently offers buyers five distinct choices to choose from, but later this month, they will be joined by a sixth entrant that not only brings back an iconic moniker to the scene after several decades, but also the versatility and off road prowess that has been noticeably absent from Honda lineup, the 2019 Honda Passport.
We will admit, the first teasers that Honda released don’t show much to the untrained eye, with the Passport’s rear end obscured by a plume of tire generated dirt, and a brief video segment of the Passport tackling an off road trail, with Honda stealing a page out of Jaguar’s playbook by rewarding the viewer with a birds eye view of the off-roader in motion. What is known is that the Passport will bear a very slight resemblance to the larger Pilot, with unique taillights serving as the key visual difference that make themselves readily apparent. A sunroof and a handsome roof rack are also part of the package, but it is unknown what will exactly power the Passport. We suspect that base Passports will use the same four cylinder as the CR-V, with higher trims taking a cue from the past, and arriving to the market with stout V6 power.
Honda appears to be positioning the Passport in between the CR-V and the Pilot, which would put it in the firing line of other soft roaders including the highly popular Subaru Forester, as well as more on-road oriented fare like the Ford Edge, Chevrolet Blazer, and the Nissan Murano. This would be a welcome move for Honda since the Passport would allow them to fill a noticeable hole in its SUV ranks, and also bring something to market that can be a balanced entry both on and off the beaten path. It would also be a viable option for some families that want some of the efficiency of the CR-V, but don’t want to move up to the larger and more expensive Pilot to obtain maximum passenger space.
“The new Passport is a more personal, powerful, and off-road-capable SUV that hits the sweet spot between daily driving comfort and weekend off-road, all-weather adventure capability,” said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., Senior Vice President of American Honda Motor Company. “With customer demand for SUVs continuing to grow, the new adventure-ready Passport is going to further solidify our lineup, attracting new buyers and keeping existing customers in the Honda family.”
Look for the 2019 Honda Passport to make its formal debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show later this month, with information including fuel economy, powertrain, and optional extras being made known at that time. With in-between models slowly entering an already crowded segment that is bursting to the seams with entries, the Honda Passport will have its work cut out for it if it wishes to become a top selling model in the SUV ranks.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.