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Los Angeles 2018: 2019 Honda Passport gets stamped

2019 Honda Passport
Photo: D.Rufiange
World premiere for the newest Honda SUV Automotive expert , Updated:

Honda’s newest utility model is making its world debut today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The SUV can fit five and slots in to the Japanese automaker’s SUV lineup between the smaller CR-V and the larger Pilot.

Designed in its entirety by Honda’s U.S.-based R&D teams, the V6-powered Passport is clearly intended to appeal to consumers on this continent.

“The all-new 2019 Honda Passport provides the on-road comfort and nimble handling buyers will appreciate on their daily commute with the robust off-road and all-weather capability that make for a great weekend adventure vehicle.”

- Jean Marc Leclerc, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Honda Canada

All-purpose and off-road ready
The model’s reinforced unibody frame, direct-injected i-VTEC V6 engine, fully independent suspension and nimble steering are designed to make it ideal for driving both long distances and shorter commutes. 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.

Photo: D.Rufiange

The look
20-inch wheels and tires covered by aggressive wheel arches, a higher ride height and a matte-black front grille set the tone for the Passport, as it seeks to reinforce the message delivered by the mechanics, which is that this vehicle is ready to off-road as many urbanized SUVs are not. The SUV also gets a floating roof design and a tailgate that emphasizes width.

The powertrain
The 2019 Honda Passport runs on a 2.5L V6 engine with direct injection that delivers 280 hp, in conjunction with a new-generation 9-speed automatic transmission, and with the aforementioned AWD and traction management systems. The latter includes Snow, Sand and Mud modes help optimize performance for varying surface conditions.

Notable standard features on the Passport SUV include 20-inch alloy wheels and tires on all trims, heated steering wheel, ample underfloor cargo storage (best in class, according to Honda) and Adventure and Urban accessory packages.

Photo: D.Rufiange

The trims and extras
The 2019 Passport will be offered in three trims: Sport, EX-L and the tech-oriented Touring. All trims will feature the Honda Sensing suite of safety and drive-assist systems, LED headlights, fog lights, taillights and DRLs, Smart Start and Smart Entry and three-zone automatic climate control, as well as AWD. Honda’s latest Display Audio interface with an 8-inch touchscreen, a physical volume knob and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is also standard.

Additional exterior upgrades, depending on trim, include a power tailgate with available hands-free operation, heated auto-dimming and power folding side mirrors. The blind spot information system, rear cross traffic monitor and front and rear parking sensors are available drive assist functions.

Photo: D.Rufiange

Available premium features include wireless phone charging, embedded Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System, 4G LTE in-vehicle Wi-Fi, premium audio, and HondaLink cloud-based services, including remote unlocking, concierge services and stolen vehicle tracking.  

The 2019 Honda Passport is scheduled to go on sale early in 2019. Canadian consumers will get their first look at the SUV when it is presented at the Montreal auto show in January.

2019 Honda Passport
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2019 Honda Passport
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Derek Boshouwers
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Derek Boshouwers
  • Over 5 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 50 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 30 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists