2024 Honda Passport review: Your ticket to a (light) adventure.

2024 Honda Passport review: Your ticket to a (light) adventure.

Honda Passport Trail Sport 2024 | Cars.com photo by Leslie Cunningham

Written by Damon Bell

December 19, 2023

Verdict: The basic design of Honda’s Passport midsize SUV is getting a bit long, but some subtle and effective updates for 2024 — including off-road-focused improvements to the adventure-ready TrailSport model — help keep it a viable option in its class.

vs competition: If you’re looking for a roomy midsize SUV but don’t need three-row seating, the Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Edge, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport are alternatives. The Passport (and especially the TrailSport) offers better off-road chops than midsize crossovers, but if you want more aggressive off-road capability, check out the Grand Cherokee or the soon-to-be-redesigned Toyota 4Runner.

Before the current generation Honda Passport came out, there was a big gap in Honda’s SUV lineup. The company had nothing to offer shoppers who needed more cabin space than the compact CR-V but didn’t want to add size and price to the three-row Pilot. When creating the new Passport that debuts for the 2019 model year, Honda chose a quick and practical path: It simply took the Pilot, which has an overall length of about 6 inches, and dusted off the name it last used in 2002 on a rebadged Isuzu SUV. Name it and fill that gap with a new two-row SUV that could hold back customers who would have bought, say, a Hyundai Santa Fe or a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Related: Honda Passport Trail Sport 2024 and Black Edition: exterior and interior

Since all of the Pilot’s extra length has been removed from behind the rear wheels, the Passport ends up with a short rear overhang that improves the departure angle for off-road driving. Honda also raised the ride height slightly compared to the Pilot (to 8.1 inches of ground clearance on all-wheel-drive models) and positioned the Passport as a more capable off-road alternative to the typical two-row midsize SUV. . For its 2022 update, Honda has beefed up its off-road aspirations, giving the front end a larger, more truck-like appearance and adding a TrailSport trim level with sleek exterior trim accents, standard all-wheel drive, a slightly wider track and 18-inch wheels instead. From 20 inches.

For 2024, the Passport gets another round of subtle but welcome updates, and the TrailSport gets some special updates aimed at enhancing its off-road capabilities. We recently tested a 2024 Passport TrailSport, and while we couldn’t drive it off-road, we were able to try out the Passport’s other updates and see how the TrailSport’s modifications affect its on-road manners. For a full catalog of the Passport’s updates for 2024, including a new Black Edition that replaces the line-topping Elite model, see our overview article.

Trail Sport improvements

TrailSport updates center on new all-terrain rubber: General Grabber A/T Sport tires mounted on unique 18-inch wheels with a pewter gray finish. Honda says the new tires improve traction in a wide range of off-road driving conditions but remain quiet and comfortable while driving off-road. The TrailSport’s off-road suspension has been retuned to take advantage of the new tires: it gets revised spring rates, enhanced damper valving tuning and improved stabilizer bars, which Honda says increases articulation and improves off-road ride quality.

We weren’t able to use the Passport TrailSport off-road to test these claims, but the modifications didn’t noticeably disturb its on-road manners or composure. The General’s tires are actually quite quiet driving around town, and if they do increase road noise on the highway, it’s by a very small amount. Although the tread pattern on the tire contact patch is not overly aggressive, the sidewalls feature a rugged-looking serrated pattern that makes look more stronger. Fashion fashion, you know.

If you want to enhance the look of your Passport TrailSport even more, Honda will gladly sell you a $2,800 HPD+ package (from Honda’s Performance Development division) that includes a unique grille treatment, matte black bumpers, taillight accents and 2-inch alloys. 18 inches. Black spoked wheels. Our test car wasn’t equipped this way, but it did have a bolt-on underbody guard (an official Honda accessory that costs $300 plus dealer installation costs) that protects the oil pan from damage off-road. And since we’re talking about options: If you like the features of the Passport TrailSport but prefer a minivan to an SUV, you’re in luck. The Honda Ridgeline gets essentially the same updates as its Passport sibling for 2024 and gains its own TrailSport model that mirrors the content of the Passport edition.

Internal updates fix foot defects

All 2024 Passports have a redesigned center console that fixes some minor ergonomic annoyances. Instead of the awkward rear-lidded console box and thin seat-mounted armrests of previous Passports, there’s a larger box under a traditional hinged lid that’s also a padded armrest. That trunk is now large enough to hold a full-sized tablet, according to Honda, and the console’s dual cup holders have been expanded as well; Most plus size Nalgene bottles and the like now fit easily. Honda’s push-button gear selector (which some drivers find awkward to use) is still there, but the storage tray in front of the shifter has been expanded so two large smartphones can be placed side by side. The tray also includes a standard Qi wireless charger on the driver’s side.

As before, the TrailSport’s interior gets specific touches including orange contrast stitching, amber ambient lighting, a black chrome gauge bezel, TrailSport logos on the headrests and all-weather floor mats. The basic layout of the Passport’s cabin continues to impress, and driver visibility is commendable thanks to large windows (particularly the rear window) and relatively thin windshield pillars. Passenger space is also excellent: the back seat is generous in terms of headroom and legroom, and has an airy feel thanks to the long roofline and oversized windows.

Although the cargo floor in the cargo area is slightly raised for loading items, the overall space is spacious and the rear seatbacks fold to create a smooth, flat surface. There are handy bins behind the rear wheel wells for small items (the driver’s side bin is just the right size for a gallon milk jug), plus ample storage space “hidden” under the cargo floor, complete with a removable and washable plastic bin.

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The powertrain remains the same

The Passport’s 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 and nine-speed automatic transmission are unchanged for 2024. It’s a smooth, enjoyable engine that makes enough power to merge and pass with confidence on the highway, and the transmission is responsive, too. Shifts to get more power are timely, and I never noticed the transmission stumbling or searching for a gear. It’s worth noting that TrailSport off-road upgrades do not affect EPA fuel economy estimates; It has the same 19/24/21 mpg city/highway/combined rating as the other Passports. Those numbers are 1 mpg better across the board than the three-row Pilot TrailSport SUV, but not great for a two-row midsize SUV. And unlike some competitors in its class, neither the Passport nor the Pilot offers an economical four-cylinder engine or a hybrid powertrain of any kind.

We will also notice that the passport and the pilot are now less closely linked than they used to be. The Pilot has been completely redesigned for the 2023 model year, while the Passport continues with the same basic platform and powertrain that has been there since its launch in 2019. This means that the Passport is not as up-to-date in some ways as the Pilot or its competitors from the newer design class – especially in the area of ​​technology features Available and size of the infotainment touch screen. The Pilot TrailSport gets a TrailWatch front-facing camera that the Passport doesn’t have, for example, and the Passport’s 8-inch touchscreen feels particularly small after the 10-inch (or larger) screens offered by some competitors.

Pricing and on-sale date

The 2024 Passport arrives at Honda dealers now. As before, the model lineup is short and sweet: the entry-level but well-equipped EX-L ($43,275, including $1,375 destination charge), TrailSport ($45,875) and Black Edition ($49,345). Although none of them are bargains, they are in line with similarly equipped competitors, and are significantly less expensive than similar Pilot models; For example, the 2024 Pilot TrailSport starts at $50,175 — $4,300 more than its Passport sibling.

The Passport will likely be redesigned on the new-generation Pilot platform in the near future, but for now, it’s still an attractive option if you need a roomy two-row SUV and have a desire for a car for a little off-the-beaten-track adventures.

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The Cars.com Editorial Department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In keeping with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers do not accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The editorial department is independent of the advertising, sales and sponsored content departments of Cars.com.

Damon Bell, Senior Research Editor, has more than 25 years of experience in the automotive industry, starting as a researcher/engineering draftsman at model car manufacturer Revell-Monogram. From there, he moved on to various roles at Collectible Automobile magazine and Consumer Guide Automotive magazine before joining Cars.com in August 2022. He served as president of the Midwest Automotive Media Association in 2019 and 2020.

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