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We drive the Honda Passport Elite AWD

by Ali Arsham
Friday, July 12, 2019

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2019 Honda Passport Elite AWD
2019 Honda Passport Elite AWD
Honda makes some of the best cars in the world and they are also focused on the huge SUV market and their latest creation, the Passport, is a sweet ride.  Honda already has many SUVs in their fleet but the Passport was designed to be more rugged looking and adventurous. Most people don’t buy SUVs to go off roading and do adventurous stuff; they just want to look like they are active while on their way to the mall.

The Passport offers rugged styling that captures its role as an adventure vehicle. The blackout grille and headlights, and black wheel arches are durable and rugged looking and the proportions are perfect for everyday use. At 190 inches long, the Passport is not too big and not too small. 

The body features a small frontal area and low coefficient of drag for better fuel efficiency and interior quietness, and the high torsional rigidity helps improve ride and handling. Interior quietness and overall noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) is further improved by the use of acoustic windshield glass on EX-L trims with the addition of acoustic front and rear door windows on the Touring and Elite trims.

Inside, the Passport is packed with modern amenities like available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and a digital gauge cluster.  There is also the usual 110v power ports and even a cell phone charger. The instrument panel features a 7-inch TFT screen with a customizable interface that allows drivers to view different vehicle or audio/connectivity functions. Placed in the center of the dash on EX-L trims and above is a high-resolution 8-inch display.

The interior is clean and very comfortable.  If you have ever driven a Honda from the past 20 years, you would feel at home in the Passport.  Everything is logically placed and easy to understand.  Passport's interior also offers lots of space for five occupants.

Behind the rear seats is a fully carpeted cargo area including the wheel wells and side walls. The cargo area offers 41.2 cu.-ft. of cargo space, not including the additional 2.5 cu.-ft. of hidden storage under the floor. Press a button in the cargo area 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.

Front passenger dashboard
Front passenger dashboard
Passport's underfloor storage is easily accessed by lifting the rearmost section of the floor. And, unlike many competitor vehicles that make you choose between underfloor storage or a spare tire, Passport's packaging incorporates both.  

There's also plenty of space for small stuff. Passport offers storage space for front seat occupants, headlined by a large center console bin between the front seats with a rolling cover that also serves as a tray when closed. There are also plenty of cup holders all over the place to make sure that the Passport is great vacation vehicle.

Every Honda Passport is powered by a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine, connected to a 9-speed automatic transmission. The direct-injected i-VTEC V6 engine can be had with two wheel drive or four wheel drive.  The four wheel drive system does not have a low range mode and is primarily for bad weather driving, although Honda claims that the Passport is a capable off roader with dynamic torque vectoring four wheel drive system.

This SUV eats up tough terrain and spits it out
This SUV eats up tough terrain and spits it out
Passport's handling and off road prowess are enhanced by its available Intelligent Variable Torque Management (i-VTM4) all-wheel-drive system that gives it strong off-road capabilities. i-VTM4 uses an electronically controlled rear differential and dynamic torque vectoring capabilities that aids both handling and dynamic cornering performance.

To further enhance performance, both the front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive Passport models include Intelligent Traction Management with push-button control to allow the driver to choose between Normal, Snow, Mud and Sand modes with AWD, and Normal and Snow with 2WD for optimal performance in varying road and surface conditions.

The 280 hp V6 is strong and smooth but it has a lot of weight to pull.  At around 4000 pounds, the Passport is not super heavy but it is not a sports car either so don’t expect to win many drag races. 

Honda claims that the AWD Passport can tow 5000 pounds which we had to confirm.  The Passport handled the trailer with confidence but that much weight is pushing it on a small SUV like the Passport.

If you plan on towing 5000 pounds, you may want to consider something bigger. Otherwise for smaller loads, the Passport is a delight that can do almost everything.

Cargo Space
Cargo Space
Pricing for the Passport is very reasonable with $31,990 getting you in a base Sport 2WD model.  Our top of the line Elite AWD model cost $43,680 and there are many choices in between.  Our Elite’s fuel economy was also acceptable at 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

We started to see a pattern with the Passport. It seems to be able to do almost everything you ask of it and it does it well.  The price is not a bargain but it is still reasonable. It gets good fuel economy but does not produce stellar numbers. It is not super fast but you won’t complain about needing a bigger engine.

It is roomy without being huge.  It can do a job of a truck, but not a very big one. Most families can’t or don’t want to have many vehicles and if you had to have one vehicle in your garage, the Passport is it. It can be a truck, a sports car, a luxury car, a family car or an economy car and it will do it with comfort and Honda reliability.  Isn’t that a perfect vehicle?

General Specs

  • All Wheel Drive
  • Automatic Transmission
  • MPG: 19 City / 24 Hwy
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Trim: Elite AWD

Exterior

  • Body
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Dimensions
  • Wheelbase (in.): 111
  • Width, Max w/o mirrors (in.): 78.6
  • Height, Overall (in.): 72.2
  • Doors & Windows
  • Rear Defrost
  • Privacy Glass
  • Power Windows
  • Doors & Windows
  • Rear Defrost
  • Privacy Glass
  • Power Windows
  • Exterior Features
  • Sun/Moon Roof
  • Sun/Moonroof
  • Running Boards (Optional)
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Measurements
  • Base Curb Weight (lbs.): 4237
  • Tires & Wheels
  • Tires - Front Performance
  • Tires - Rear Performance
  • Compact Spare Tire
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Aluminum Wheels
  • Wheel Locks (Optional)
  • Towing
  • Trailer Hitch Receiver (Optional)
  • Maximum Trailering Capacity (lbs.): 5000

Interior

  • Convenience & Comfort
  • Alarm
  • Back-Up Camera
  • Cruise Control
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Vehicle Anti-Theft System
  • Fog Lamps
  • Auto-Off Headlights
  • Interior Cargo Shade (Optional)
  • Keyless Start
  • Luggage Rack (Optional)
  • Rear Parking Aid
  • Power Liftgate
  • Hands-Free Liftgate
  • Remote Engine Start
  • Adjustable Steering Wheel
  • Steering Wheel Controls
  • Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Trip Computer
  • Remote Trunk Release
  • Universal Garage Door Opener
  • Intermittent Wipers
  • Rain Sensing Wipers
  • Variable Speed Intermittent Wipers
  • Keyless Entry
  • Power Door Locks
  • Electrochromic rearview mirror
  • Heated Mirrors
  • Mirror Memory
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Folding Mirrors
  • Driver Vanity Mirror
  • Driver Illuminated Vanity Mirror
  • Passenger Vanity Mirror
  • Passenger Illuminated Visor Mirror
  • Power Steering
  • Dimensions
  • Passenger Capacity: 5
  • Passenger Volume (cu. ft.): 114.9
  • Front Head Room (in.): 39.5
  • Front Leg Room (in.): 40.9
  • Front Shoulder Room (in.): 62
  • Front Hip Room (in.): 59.1
  • Second Head Room (in.): 40
  • Second Leg Room (in.): 39.6
  • Second Shoulder Room (in.): 61.9
  • Second Hip Room (in.): 57.3
  • Cargo Volume to Seat 1 (cu. ft.): 100.7
  • Cargo Volume to Seat 2 (cu. ft.): 50.5
  • Cargo Volume to Seat 3 (cu. ft.): 50.5
  • Entertainment
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • HD Radio
  • MP3 Player
  • Satellite Radio
  • Premium Sound System
  • WiFi Hotspot
  • Smart Device Integration
  • Heating & Cooling
  • Climate Control
  • Dual Zone A/C
  • A/C
  • Rear A/C
  • Navigation & Communication
  • Navigation System
  • Onboard Hands-Free Communications System
  • Wireless Cell Phone Hookup
  • Seats
  • Leather Seats
  • Cooled Driver Seat
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Heated Rear Seat
  • Driver Lumbar
  • Seat Memory
  • Power Driver Seat
  • Power Passenger Seat
  • Pass-Through Rear Seat
  • 2nd Row Bench Seat
  • Bucket Seats

Mechanical

  • Engine & Performance
  • All Wheel Drive
  • V6 Cylinder Engine
  • Engine Type: Regular Unleaded V-6
  • Displacement: 3.5 L/212
  • Horsepower (Net @ RPM): 280 @ 6000
  • Torque (Net @ RPM): 262 @ 4700
  • Transmission: Automatic w/OD
  • Turning diameter: 39.5
  • Fuel
  • Gasoline Fuel
  • EPA Fuel Economy Est - City (MPG): 19
  • EPA Fuel Economy Est - Hwy (MPG): 24
  • Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx (gal.): 19.5
  • Suspension
  • Suspension Type - Front: Strut
  • Suspension Type - Rear: Multi-Link
  • Suspension Type - Front (Cont.): Strut
  • Suspension Type - Rear (Cont.): Multi-Link
  • Transmission
  • Automatic
  • Automatic Transmission w/Manual Mode

Safety

  • Airbags
  • Driver Air Bag
  • Passenger Air Bag
  • Front Head Air Bag
  • Rear Head Air Bag
  • Front Side Air Bag
  • Brakes
  • 4-Wheel ABS
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
  • Safety Features
  • Brake Assist
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Child Safety Locks
  • Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors
  • Traction Control
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Cross-Traffic Alert

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