2020 Honda Passport
2020 Honda Passport
The 2020 Honda Passport crossover SUV fits into the size slot between the CR-V and Pilot. It’s more like the Pilot, only six inches shorter and lacking a third row.
The Passport was new last year so it doesn’t change for 2020. It uses a smooth 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission.
Five adults easily fit in the Passport, with plenty of legroom in the rear and about 41 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row. It has a smooth ride and quiet cabin.
The EPA rates the 2020 Passport at 20 mpg city, 25 highway, 22 combined with front-wheel drive, and just 1 mpg less with all-wheel drive.
The NHTSA gives the Passport five stars overall in its crash tests, with four stars for front crash protection and rollover protection. The Passport has standard automatic emergency braking, active lane control and adaptive cruise control. Blind-spot monitors are standard on the EX-L and higher.
The 2020 Passport is available in Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Elite trim levels. All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option, except Elite where it’s standard equipment.
The Passport Sport costs $33,085 including destination, and includes 20-inch wheels, cloth upholstery, keyless ignition, active safety features, two USB ports, and a 5.0-inch display for audio with Bluetooth connectivity but no smartphone software.
For $37,505 including destination, the EX-L adds leather upholstery, power-adjustable heated front seats, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a moonroof, power liftgate, and roof rails. Notably, the EX-L also adds sound insulation for a quieter cabin.
The Elite is $44,875 including destination. It has a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, cooled front seats, premium audio, a wireless smartphone charger, a household-style power plug, and navigation.
The Passport draws heavily from the Pilot. It’s long for a two-row crossover, at 190 inches from bumper to bumper.
It looks best from the side, where its roofline and doors appear integrated even over tall glass. The roof rack on EX-L and higher trims looks good, as do the standard 20-inch wheels. However the flat-black cladding in front looks maybe too rugged for a family crossover.
The Passport is spacious inside for both passengers and cargo.
Most of the interior panels are dark, but the low dash brings in light. The 8.0-inch touchscreen on the EX-L is more satisfying than the 5.0-inch audio display on the Sport models. The same goes for the front seats, which are power adjustable and shod in convincing leather in the EX-L, but cloth and adjustable in the Sport.
Another big thing about the EX-L and above: the cabin is quieter, as those models get more sound insulating material.
The front occupants get good outward vision and plenty of head room and leg room. Wide doors make for easy access, and there’s 39.6 inches of leg room that feels like even more, thanks to an upright seating position.
The 41 cubic feet behind the rear seat expands to nearly 78 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. There’s also a storage space beneath the floor for valuables.
The Passport is easy to drive. Its 3.5-liter V-6 makes 280 hp and 262 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard with all-wheel drive optional.
The 9-speed automatic transmission has a pushbutton gear selector, and it sometimes hesitates trying to find the proper gear.
The ride is composed, even on 20-inch tires with thin sidewalls, which hold the road well in curves. The all-wheel-drive Passport has Snow, Sand, Mud, and Normal modes that control shift behavior, traction control, and throttle for each type of terrain. The Passport isn’t designed for hardcore offroading, so it doesn’t have a low-range transfer case; but as we found in Moab, it will take moderate offroad situations in stride. Ground clearance with front-wheel drive is 7.5 inches, while it’s 8.1 inches with all-wheel drive.
Front-wheel-drive Passports can tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped, while all-wheel-drive versions can handle 5,000 pounds.
The 2020 Honda Passport has a smooth engine and good cabin space for cargo and people, and composed ride. The Sport is tempting for its name and low price, but the EX-L offers more value.
—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection