Honda Pilot vs. Honda Passport: Compare the crossover SUVs

With two crossover SUVs in the mid- and large-size segments, Honda has tried to appeal to drivers who might be steered toward the likes of the Ford Explorer or Toyota Highlander. But there’s a dividing line between the brand’s own offerings, and the choice is up to you: Will it be the three-row, eight-seat 2023 Honda Pilot that debuted this year after a comprehensive makeover, or the older five-seat 2023 Honda Passport, due for a makeover of its own?

Each of these crossovers has its high points, and each has room for improvement. In the end, one wins resoundingly, for the reasons you might expect: technology, safety and space. Here’s how they rank, and what to consider if you’re shopping Pilot vs. Passport.

Honda Passport 2023

Honda Pilot for the price of the Passport and trims

  • A basic passport costs just over $42,000

  • A basic pilot costs well under $40,000

  • Top picks: Honda Passport EX-L and Honda Pilot EX-L

Which Honda Passport should I buy?

It’s hard to see a passport as a bargain when compared to a pilot. The base Passport EX-L costs $42,445, which is high because Honda removed front-wheel drive and lower-priced models from the Passport lineup this year, the last year in its current iteration.

The EX-L comes with plenty of equipment, including all-wheel drive, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wireless smartphone charging, heated front seats, leather upholstery, and a power liftgate. At the $47,905 Passport Elite level, Honda fits heated rear seats, cooled front seats, a hands-free liftgate, and a high-quality sound system. Covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.

Which Honda Pilot should I buy?

For $37,295, the entry-level 2023 Honda Pilot comes with eight seats, four USB ports, power features, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen that is compatible with Android and Apple smartphones.

We’ll skip the Pilot LX and at least go for the $40,495 Sport, which gains heated front seats with power adjustment — but most drivers opt for the $43,295 Pilot EX-L. It has leather upholstery, wireless smartphone charging, a 9.0-inch touchscreen, a power liftgate, and for $300, its middle seat is replaced with captain’s chairs. The $49,695 TrailSport Off-Road Edition gets off-road equipment and a panoramic sunroof. The $53,375 Pilot Elite has navigation, 20-inch wheels, a removable second-row center seat, 12-speaker Bose audio plus a 10.2-inch digital display, a surround-view camera system and a head-up display. .

Advantage: The pilot costs less, even though it is newer and larger.

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Pilot 2023

Passport vs. Interior and exterior design of the pilot

  • The pilot has a bit of a bounce

  • The passport looks old now

  • Both have modest interiors

Is the Honda Passport a good-looking SUV?

It wears a retro look and is clearly a shorter version of the last generation Pilot – which it is. It may be familiar, but it’s tidy and manages to slim down the car to the eye even though it’s still about 190 inches long. Most of the changes made to differentiate the Passport come at the rear of the car, which was designed to make it shorter and stand out from Honda’s larger SUV. They also wear the Passport’s grille, and TrailSport versions get their own bumpers, grille and wheels.

Inside, the Passport has a pleasantly utilitarian design and is covered in dark plastic and leather in some versions. It has a spacious center console with plenty of storage space for small items, a saddle-shaped set of shift paddles, and a central touchscreen surrounded by large air vents.

Is the 2023 Honda Pilot a good looking car?

It’s a huge improvement over the previous Pilot and Passport. Longer and wider, the Pilot has a honeycomb grille and slim LED headlights supported by C-shaped air intakes. The grille blends with the thicker fenders that lead to a pair of upturned A-pillars at the rear that mimic the look that the Honda Passport wore The first, which was a copy of the Isuzu Rodeo. The taillights are sculpted into the tailgate engraved with large letters of the car’s name, the latest Honda model.

The Pilot’s interior takes a clean approach to design. Base models have a 7.0-inch touchscreen that stands above the dashboard’s slim air vent strip, but higher trims adopt a 9.0-inch touchscreen. Honda sprinkles buttons and knobs where they’re needed, reversing its trend of burying controls inside touchscreen commands or in rocker switches and scroll controls. Smartphone pockets, a wireless charging pad, and double-needle stitching dress up different versions. At first glance, it doesn’t look all that different from the previous version, but it has been completely simplified to a clearer human-machine interface.

Feature: The pilot, thanks to its combination of past and present.

Honda Passport Trail Sport 2022

Honda Passport Trail Sport 2022

Honda Passport Trail Sport 2022

Honda Passport Trail Sport 2022

Honda Passport Trail Sport 2022

Honda Passport Trail Sport 2022

Honda Passport Trail Sport 2022

Honda Passport Trail Sport 2022

Pilot versus passport size, seating comfort, and cargo capacity

  • The pilot has three rows of seats

  • The two-row passport has plenty of luggage space

  • A removable pilot seat might make sense for your family

How big is the Honda Passport?

the The Passport can seat five adults comfortably In two wide rows of buckets and benches. It’s a core strength for this SUV, although on longer trips front passengers may want a little more lumbar support. In the back seat, the Honda offers 39.6 inches of legroom for three people with good tilt for the lower cushion and a good degree of recline for the seatbacks.

The Passport has 41.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seat, and when folded down, opens up to 77.7 cubic feet. There’s also underfloor storage hidden beneath a panel that can isolate messy camping gear or hide valuable electronics out of sight.

How big is the Honda Pilot?

She’s big. the The 2023 Pilot can seat up to eight Passengers, with two pieces of luggage. Front passengers get supportive seats with electrical adjustment, which, in all but the base version, also come with lumbar support and heating. Leather upholstery is available, as is a wireless smartphone charger located in front of the shift lever. Honda also molds into a storage area in front of the rider for smartphones and sunglasses.

In the second row, the Pilot offers a three-section bench seat, but on EX-L models and above, dual captain’s chairs can be had. Touring and Elite versions have a removable center seat that stows in the cargo compartment and weighs about 25 pounds. It’s an interesting offering that gives access to the third row of seats, where two 6-foot-tall passengers can fit in reasonable comfort.

Cargo space has increased to 22.4 cubic feet behind the third row. Fold the second row down for 60.1 cubic feet; With all seats folded except the front, the Pilot offers more than 112 cubic feet of space.

Advantage: The Pilot seats more people and swallows more cargo.

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Passport vs. demo towing, off-road and performance

  • TrailSport versions give both moderate off-road capability

  • V-6 engines provide powerful grunt

  • 10 speeds are better than 9

Is the Honda Passport 4WD?

It’s standard on all 2023 Passports, and because it has shorter overhangs than the larger Pilot, the Passport could be more aggressive than its bigger sibling. Its moderate off-road capability comes with the help of driving modes like Snow, Mud and Sand.

Honda specs the Passport with 8.1 inches of ground clearance, and it’s capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds.

How fast is the Honda Passport?

The Passport may have rugged looks and equipment, but one of its best attributes is its quietly composed ride and well-insulated cabin. It’s a long-distance puffy cruiser. It’s quick enough thanks to a 280-hp 3.5-liter V-6 with plenty of mid-range revs and smooth revs. However, the 9-speed automatic transmission that comes with the Passport sometimes lags when it needs to shift.

Is the Honda Pilot 4WD?

Front-wheel drive is standard on base models, but all-wheel drive can be offered on every model. It’s a new system that splits torque between the front and rear wheels, and then also splits it between the rear wheels to provide more efficient and effective power. Pilot TrailSport uses standard hill descent control to help control the vehicle during downhill trips. Honda says its TrailSport is more than adequate to handle easy and moderate trails. It can also tow up to 5,000 pounds.

How fast is the Honda Pilot?

It’s quick enough thanks to a revamped 285-hp 3.5-liter V-6 mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Power is similar to that of the Passport, but here the extra gear allows a wider spread of ratios, and it has less precise shifts. With up to seven driving modes – ranging from Sport to Snow to Tow – the Pilot can handle almost any driving situation with good traction and above-average acceleration.

Ride and handling are another demo feature. Its light steering feels responsive even on the base 18-inch all-season tires, while the comfortable ride doesn’t get as shaky when fitted with the available 20-inch tires.

Advantage: The Pilot is better on the road, although the passport size works to its advantage.

Honda Passport Trail Sport 2022

Honda Passport Trail Sport 2022

Honda Pilot vs. Passport Fuel Economy

Is the Honda Passport good on gas?

not very much. The EPA sets the speed limit at 19 mpg city, 24 highway, and 21 combined.

Does the 2023 Honda Pilot have good fuel economy?

It’s worse than the previous Pilot despite the more precise transmission, but it’s slightly better than the Passport, because it comes in front-wheel-drive model. This version is EPA-rated at 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 22 combined, while other models drop to 20 mpg combined in the TrailSport.

Advantage: Better pilot.

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Pilot 2023

Passport in exchange for pilot safety

  • The NHTSA gives the Passport five stars

  • Automatic emergency braking is standard on both

  • The pilot has not yet received the results of the crash tests

How secure is the Honda Passport?

The NHTSA rated the 2023 Passport five stars overall, with a four-star rating for front-passenger side-impact protection. However, the IIHS is not giving it a Top Safety Pick award, due to a “marginal” score in the group’s updated side-impact test. All models get automatic emergency braking, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and adaptive cruise control, but there’s no option for a surround-view camera system.

How safe is the Honda Pilot?

The IIHS gives it a Top Safety Pick+ award, but the NHTSA has yet to test it. All versions have automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control and automatic high beams. Base models lack blind-spot monitors, and the base LX and Sport trims also don’t have parking sensors.

Feature: Passport, for now.

Honda Pilot 2023

Honda Pilot 2023

Which is better: Honda Pilot or Honda Passport?

With a TCC rating of 5.8 out of 10, the Honda Passport offers an above-average offering, thanks to its generous safety features and spacious interior. But the Pilot had a resounding win even before the crash test: It’s larger, has a better infotainment system, a more aggressive design, and even has better fuel economy. It has a TCC rating of 6.8 out of 10. (Read more about How do we rate cars?.)

Winner: Honda Pilot, by a wide margin, but a new Passport is in the works.

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