The Honda Passport is an impressive two-row SUV that offers tons of space and a great driving experience. Is it a better buy new or used?
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The Honda Passport was reintroduced in 2019 after a 16-year hiatus. The two-row crossover slots between the smaller Honda CR-V and the three-row Honda Pilot. No longer a rugged SUV, the Passport was reimagined as an urbanized people hauler and proved a superior option to the likes of the Nissan Murano and Hyundai Santa Fe thanks to a refined and spacious interior and engaging driving experience (for a crossover). Though the Passport might get forgotten in the shuffle of the more popular Pilot and CR-V, it’s one of Honda’s best offerings.
The new 2022 Honda Passport received a visual update, including a new grille and new body lines that give the crossover a more aggressive demeanor, as well as some streamlining of trim levels and available features. Compared to the 2019, the differences are minor and much of the choice between buying a new or used Passport will come down to variations of price versus equipped features.
The powertrain of the Honda Passport saw no significant changes between the 2019 and 2022 model years. The same 3.5L V6 is featured, with 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque. This comes mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission and the choice of standard front-wheel or optional all-wheel drive. Ground clearance starts at 7.5-inches and goes up to 8.1-inches with AWD. Towing maxes out at 5,000-lbs. Fuel economy comes in at 20 city and 25 highway mpg with FWD and 19/24 mpg with AWD enabled.
Just as with the powertrain, there were no major changes to the Passport in terms of driving experience. The peppy 3.5L provides more than ample power and makes highway passing a breezy affair (consider this engine is also used in the larger Honda Pilot and Honda Odyssey). The optional all-wheel drive system does include torque vectoring, making the Passport fully adept in snowy conditions or on the occasional jaunt down a dirt road. Even so, if you’re looking for a more serious, off-road capable two-row SUV there’s always the Jeep Wrangler.
The Passport offers impressive handling for a sizable SUV, with well-controlled body roll in cornering and accurate, responsive steering. The one area where the Passport fails to impress is in fuel economy. The 3.5L’s added power does come at an expense to efficiency at 19 city when equipped with all-wheel drive.
The Passport’s cabin also stayed consistent between 2019 and 2022, with only minor changes to available features. Overall, the Passport offers a comfortable and modern interior with better-than-average cargo and passenger space. Materials are of a good quality and finish impresses. The seating is comfortable, though the rear could use a bit more cushioning. There’s also plenty of cubbies, cup holders, and storage options. Cargo is the same for both the 2019 and 2022 model years at 41.2 cu. ft. behind the rear seats and a total of 77.7 cu. ft. with them folded down. The Passport’s interior is among the best in this segment and one of the top reasons to consider it over the competition.
Here is where we find some daylight between the used and new versions of the Passport. The 2019 comes in four trims, the Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Elite. The 2022 simplifies things, dropping the base Sport trim and the Touring and replacing them with a new mid-level trim, the Trail Sport. The Passport distinguishes itself as quite generous in its base form, with many features and safety options that are reserved for higher trims in competing vehicles.
For the 2019 model year Passport, the base Sport trim starts with a 5-inch digital display, Bluetooth, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry, and remote start. The EX-L trim adds a power liftgate and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The Touring trim is perhaps the value sweet sport for the 2019 Passport with navigation, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a premium stereo system, heated front and rear seats, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The top Elite trim grants access to options like leather upholstery, a ventilated driver’s seat, and heated side mirrors.
Standard safety features in the 2019 Passport include lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, froward collision warning, automatic high beams, and a rearview camera. Additional options include blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alerts, and rain-sensing wipers. The 2022 model makes all of those options standard and adds a new rear-seat alert system.
2022 Honda Passport TrailSport – hondanews.com | Shop Honda Passport on Carsforsale.com
The 2022 Passport offers even more standard features in the now base EX-L trim including 20-inch wheels, power liftgate, wireless charging, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, a seven-speaker stereo, HD and satellite radio, proximity keyless entry, a moonroof, and power and heated front seats.
The new Trail Sport trim gets 18-inch wheels with all-season tires, rubberized floor mats, a 120-volt outlet, ambient lighting, navigation, roof rails, accent stitching, and rear sunshades. The Elite trim adds a 10-speaker stereo, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
As we’ve written here and here, today’s car market is a weird one where the typical gap between new and used cars just isn’t there right now. Breaking down the average prices of varying trims of the 2019 and 2022 you’ll find a lot more price overlap than normal. On the low end is the 2019 Passport Sport averaging around $32,500. Compare that with the new base-level 2022 EX-L which has an MSRP of $37,870. But dealer markups are adding between $1,000 and $3,000, depending on the local market. Higher trim 2019s, like the EX-L, Touring, and Elite are priced very closely to brand new 2021s and 2022s. The best Goldilocks balance is either the 2019 Passport Touring trim at roughly $38,000 or a comparably priced 2022 base trim EX-L. Both come with tons of modern features and loads of safety tech.