2019 Honda Passport Review

The all-new 2019 Honda Passport is going to lure loads of new buyers to Honda for sure.

Because some of those new buyers will be after the Passports off-road capabilities.  But, some will be after the size.  And, some will be after the athletic styling.

I picked up a top-of-the-line Passport for my recent test drive.

2019 Honda Passport – Reintroduction

As I mentioned in my preview podcast of the Honda Passport, while 2019 is all-new the model is technically being reintroduced to the lineup after being removed nearly tw0-decades ago.

The first two generations of the Passport were produced by Honda from 1993 until 2002.  And if you recall, that was back when an SUV was simply that a sports utility vehicle.  That was before the concept of a crossover/SUV.  So, the former Passports were off-road-ready by default design.

Fast-forward to 2019 and the all-new Honda Passport, now in its third generation, is being positioned as an off-road-ready entry into Honda’s crossover/SUV lineup.  The new Passport slots between it’s larger sibling, the full-sized Honda Pilot and it’s hot-selling smaller sibling the compact Honda CR-V.

Passport Enters The Honda Crossover SUV Line-Up

And, for the record, Honda also offers the subcompact Honda HR-V.  So, here’s Honda’s crossover/SUV lineup, lined up:

Honda’s 2019 Crossover SUV Line-Up:

  • Pilot | full-size
  • Passport | mid-size
  • CR-V | compact
  • HR-V | sub-compact

The all-new 2019 Honda Passport was revealed at this past year’s LA Auto Show.  And Honda reps told me then that the Passport designed to lure more sporty-type off-road enthusiasts to the Honda line-up rather than take away from the super-hot-sales numbers of the CR-V.

The Passport that Honda revealed at the show definitely looked like it was ready to play that role in the lineup.

Gray 2019 Honda Passport

2019 Honda Passport @ the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show

And that appears to be exactly the same Passport that dealers have to sell.  Pic above pic I took @ the LA Auto Show.  Below the model, I test drove.

  2019 Honda Passport Trim Levels

Honda keeps the trim levels of their vehicles pretty straight-forward, for the most part.  That’s one of the things I like about the brand when you are talking about one trim level or another, you know, for the most part, what features are included with that trim.

Here are your trim options and the manufacturer suggested retail prices for the 2019 Honda Passport.

2019 Honda Passport Trim Levels & Starting Prices (MSRP):

  • Sport $31,990
  • EX-L $36,410
  • Touring $39,280
  • Elite $43,680

Every trim level, except the Elite, front-wheel drive is the standard and all-wheel drive is available.

For the Elite trim level, all-wheel drive is standard.

And the engine is the same across the board as well.  Each trim comes with a V6 putting out 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque.  And depending on your configuration the Passport is rated to deliver a range of 19 to 25 MPG.

Forget About Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price – It’s a Reference

You need to get yours equipped to your liking.  And with all the off-road versatility in the 2019 Honda Passport, there are lots of fun accessories you can add-on to dance it up for whatever you fancy.  They all help to enhance the sporty/rugged look of the vehicle too!

“…the Elite trim that I drove, was packed to the gills with technology features that you’d expect to see in a luxury vehicle.”

On that note, the 2019 Honda Passport is, by far, not just an off-road vehicle.  While the vehicle definitely looks rugged and athletic both inside and out it also has a stylish touch of class.  It really brings the ‘utility’ into SUV.  During the week you could be hauling around clients and colleagues in style and, if you like, come the weekend you can easily go off-road for fun or desolate camping trip.

Honda Passport Features

The Elite trim level that I drove, was packed to the gills with technology features that you’d expect to see in a luxury vehicle.

Of course, each trim level is going to include an increasing array of functionality features and creature comforts but again the Elite was packed.  Aspects that most impressed me included the wireless phone charger located in the center console just below the center stack of dashboard controls.  Also, the heated steering wheel was a really nice touch as it was a chilling late morning test drive out in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana and it had actually snowed the day before!

2019 Honda Passport cockpit

Easy to use available 8-inch touch-screen display.  Plus heated AND ventilated front seats!

And as you know, I seriously love my ventilated seats.  Just as much as my wife loves her heated seats the 2019 Honda Passport offers both for the driver and passenger!  And the Passports rear seats are heated on both the Elite and Touring models as well.

Comfort and Safety Technology – Honda Sensing

I was impressed to realize that all trim levels of the 2019 Honda Passport come with tri-zone automatic climate control, humidity control, and air filtration. You usually see this across all trim levels for a luxury vehicle but not necessarily non-luxury.  Another nod to Honda Passports’ prowess in its class.

“…Honda Sensing is standard across all trim levels.  This includes Road Departure Mitigation and Lane Keeping Assist System…”

As for safety and driver-assistive technology, Honda Sensing is standard across all trim levels.  This includes Road Departure Mitigation and Lane Keeping Assist System – features such as these are becoming more the norm.

Of course, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were included in the Elite trim that I drove.  And they come standard across all trim levels except the Sport.  Those features coincide with Passport’s 8-inch touchscreen display that’s beyond crystal clear and easy to use.  SiriusXM radio and Passport’s mobile hotspot capability also come standard in all trims except the Sport.

Passport Spaciousness & Cargo Area

I was very comfortable driving the Passport and, as I always do, hopped in and out of all the seats to see what it would be like to be a passenger as well.

I thought there was ample legroom everywhere and loads of cargo space.

2019 Honda Passport interior rear partial seat down

Seats fold to create a flat surface.

One of the things I loved about the cargo capacity of the Passport is its ability to fold the rear seats down completely flat.  This makes it so much easier to haul whatever you need to get from points ‘A’ to ‘B’ – the getting stuff in and out portion especially.

2019 Honda Passport rear storage compartment

Hidden storage is next to but separate from the spare tire.


Honda’s Great Use of Space in Passport

And leave it to Honda to maximize space throughout their vehicles with handy nooks and crannies to store stuff.  For instance, there’s the completely hidden extra-storage area that’s adjacent to where the spare tire is stored.

But this extra storage area is separated into its own space so that even if you use the spare, and get it dirty, that mess won’t impact your stuff in the nearby storage area.

2019 Honda Passport rear storage & spare tire compartment

Hidden storage next to the spare tire.

And while we’re talking about the rear end of the 2019 Honda Passport I have to point out another feature that very much impressed me.

This is another one that you often find on luxury vehicles and that’s the push-button rear liftgate that operates it’s opening and closing functions.

Overall the 2019 Honda Passport has a class-leading maximum cargo volume of 100.7 cubic ft which is difficult to beat for a mid-sized crossover/SUV.  And this leads to yet another versatility element of the Passport – truly putting the ‘utility’ in the ‘sports utility vehicle.’

Driving the 2019 Honda Passport

When I got on and back off  Interstate 210,  I accelerated rapidly and both getting on and changing lanes and the Passport responded without breaking a sweat.

Driving surface streets to and from the Interstate I experience Honda’s Idle-Stop functionality.  It works like this… I’m at a stoplight and digital message appears on the center console instructing me to press the brake harder to activate the function.  And it worked great.  Best of all when it was time to go and I hit the accelerator there was zero delays.

White 2019 Honda Passport passenger profile

2019 Honda Passport Elite

Another feature I noticed, getting in and out of the Passport during my test drive was the key fob’s connectivity to not only the climate control and radio settings but also the driver’s seat settings.  I’m a slow learner so I realized this one after having to reset everything to my specifications the third time! 🙂  Awesome feature once it’s set though.  Especially if you’re like me and my wife where we’re constantly getting in and out of each other’s vehicles.

Another item of note regarding the 2019 Honda Passport is Honda’s proclaiming the vehicle’s off-road readiness.  Now, this was a test drive and I wasn’t about to head to the middle of the desert or the highest peak in Southern California and push the Passport to its limit.  But, as you can see, all the pics I took were on the side of the road and not on the pavement.

Getting on and off the road was a bumpy and off-road-ish experience. In fact, it felt as if I was entering into the element that the Passport wanted to be in… 🙂  I like the Passport – a lot!

2019 Honda Passport Top-3

There’s so much about the all-new 2019 Honda Passport that I like.  It’s hard to narrow it down to just three things but here goes:

1-The Styling

This is the best-looking Honda crossover/SUV in their line-up.  What they revealed at the LA Auto Show is what you can buy at dealers.

2-The Space

Honda is known to engineer smartly.  They maximize space and pay attention to detail.  I love the nooks and crannies to hide stuff out of sight.  My cars have been broken into for various silly items.  The ability to tuck stuff out of sight its key.

3-The Technology

The 2019 Honda Passport leaves very little to luxury alternatives in its class size.  Honda Sensing, push-button liftgate, ventilated seats… it’s all there except the price tag of a luxury vehicle!  I’ve said it so many times before, I’m a value buyer.  Maybe if I could afford a fancy badge that would change but I doubt it.  And in the case of the 2019 Honda Passport, the value delivered is without a doubt class-leading.