Honda Passport - five-seater Pilot makes LA debut

2019 Honda Passport

Honda Passport returns as a ruggedly styled, 5-passenger SUV

The 2019 Honda Passport is scheduled to go on sale early in 2019. Commonalities include a scratch-resistant matte-black grille, blacked out headlights, aggressive-looking wheel arches, and a tailgate that Honda says emphasizes the SUV's width.

Honda hasn't announced fuel economy figures for the new Passport.

All variants of the 2019 Honda Passport get Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistive technologies and advanced safety features including road departure mitigation, collision mitigation braking system with forward collision warning, lane keeping assistance system, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control. Front-drive Passports can lug a 3,500-pound trailer, while all-wheel-drive versions are rated at 5,000 pounds.

The cabin of the Honda Passport is claimed to be class leading due to its larger size and five-seat layout.

2019 Honda Passport 1

The Passport's interior boasts a 100 cubic-foot maximum cargo capacity with the rear seat folded flat. The off-road capability offered by the Honda i-VTM4 torque-vectoring all-wheel drive and its four-mode Intelligent Traction Management system (included standard) allow the Passport to handle harsher terrain normally reserved for less refined body-on-frame or off-road focused SUVs like the Toyota 4Runner, for example. The Passport Touring and Elite trims also come with a 590-watt 10-speaker premium audio system. Pilot Sports use a basic 5.0-inch display for their audio system, but other trims use an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard for all Passports except the Sport, while Touring and Elite trims include front and rear parking sensors.

Inside, it feels much like a Pilot does, albeit lacking the third row of seats. The AWD system delivers 70% engine's power to each rear wheels and offers three driving modes - Mud, Sand and Snow. And while it could be seen as a replacement for the Accord, as more and more auto buyers opt for SUVs, Honda Assistant Vice President of Product Planning Jay Joseph says the company expects it to add overall sales rather than cannibalize them from other models.

And this time around, the Passport is built in Alabama.

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