2024 Honda Passport Review: Old box, new paint


Pros: Tons of cargo room; reasonably efficient V6; standard AWD

Cons: Unremarkable cabin and infotainment; expensive; not particularly sporty as rival SUVs; dated platform

No, it’s not just your imagination: The 2024 Honda Passport is essentially a sawed-off, last-generation Pilot. Not only does that mean the Passport’s not as long and doesn’t have as many seats, it also doesn’t benefit from the new Pilot’s re-engineering. To many, that will seem like disadvantages, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t remain a modern and capable midsize two-row crossover.

Yep, it’s a midsize SUV; wider than Honda’s bread-and-butter two row, the CR-V, but with a less-cluttered cabin than the aforementioned Pilot thanks to the deletion of its third row. In its place? Just more cargo space. The result is a vehicle geared toward those who don’t need six rear seats to haul around two kids. Or those who don’t have kids at all. Or those who’ve already sent them off to a farm upstate. Wait, is that the wrong metaphor? In any case, if gear hauling matters more to you than people hauling, the Passport may just be what you’re looking for.

It also stacks up well to its diverse group of competitors. It’s more on-road friendly and fuel efficient than the Toyota 4Runner, yet more rugged and utilitarian than the similarly sized Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. It also has more space than the admittedly more luxurious Jeep Grand Cherokee and sportier Chevy Blazer. It’s also an SUV, unlike the Subaru Outback, which nevertheless has a similar skillset.

Interior & Technology   |   Passenger & Cargo Space   |   Performance & Fuel Economy

What it’s like to drive   |   Pricing & Features   |   Crash Ratings & Safety Features

What’s new for 2024?

The 2024 Passport benefits from the lessons Honda engineers learned redesigning the 2023 Pilot. The TrailSport gets a new suspension and a set of true all-terrain tires provided by General, giving it more off-road credibility than last year’s TrailSport. Honda also took the opportunity to redesign the Passport’s center console (current owners said they wanted it more normal and SUV-like rather than the more minivan-like outgoing version), resulting in room for both a wireless charging cradle and a second wireless device side-by-side beneath the main stack. There’s also a new Black Edition, which replaces the old range-topping Elite model and offers some blacked-out trim elements for additional panache. Underneath it all, though, this is the same old Passport.  

2024 Honda Passport Black Edition 

What are the Passport’s interior and in-car technology like?

The Passport’s interior used to be a carbon-copy of the Pilot’s, but now that Honda’s larger SUV has been redesigned, the siblings have less in common. The Passport’s interior is a bit dated and not as visually interesting as what you’d find in a Chevy Blazer or Hyundai Santa Fe (or the new Pilot for that matter), but materials quality is very strong for this segment and everything is put together exceedingly well.

Despite diverging in aesthetics, the Passport still inherited much of the Pilot’s exceptional interior storage, although changes since its arrival have reduced the Passport’s total capacity. Still, there are multiple door bins, two cupholders in each rear door, two areas to store a smartphone up front, a redesigned smartphone cubby next to the optional wireless device charger, and the center bin is big enough to hide a purse under its giant lid. That center bin used to be even bigger, but people didn’t like the garage-style rolling cover and minivan-style seat-mounted armrests. There’s even more storage underneath the cargo floor, including a plastic bin that can be easily cleaned and drained.

Interior tech is less impressive. There is a lot of it standard, true, but the means bye which it is controlled can frustrate. There are insufficient menu buttons, no tuning knob and/or direct tune function, and the process for going between Honda and Apple/Android interfaces is excessively annoying. The systems found in other Hondas, minus the identically equipped Ridgeline, are superior.

2024 Honda Passport Black Edition

How big is the Passport?

For a midsize two-row crossover, the Passport provides an enormous, space-efficient interior. Only the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport comes close to its passenger and cargo space. The second row offers abundant head- and legroom, while also sliding considerably to bring kids closer to parents up front or to free up cargo space. Need to fit a rear-facing child seat? No problem. There’s more than enough space between rows and lower LATCH anchors for all three positions.

The cargo area is not only the biggest in the segment, but arguably the most versatile as well. Besides expanding thanks to the sliding back seat, it also houses a large bin under the floor that can hide valuables or secure dirty items from the clean interior (it can also be removed to be cleaned). The cargo area itself is deep, wide, tall and offers 41.2 cubic feet of space — far more than anything else in the segment not named Atlas. The same can be said when the seats are lowered, with 77.9 cubic feet of maximum space. You’d have to step up to a longer three-row model like the Pilot to get more.

What are the Passport fuel economy and performance specs?

The Passport has only one engine and transmission offering: a 280-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 paired to a nine-speed automatic. These are paired with standard all-wheel drive (front-wheel drive was dropped as the standard powertrain in for 2023). This engine is strong, smooth and, according to the 0-60 times posted by various publications, acceleration can be the strongest in the segment. Fuel economy ratings are typical: 19/24/21 with the standard AWD (including TrailSport). Confirming the highway number, we achieved 24.8 mpg in 340 miles of mostly rural highway driving.

The standard Passport can tow up to 3,500 pounds, which is about average in the segment. The TrailSport bumps that to 5,000 pounds with its inexpensive utility package, besting even the AWD Chevy Blazer, which boasts up to 4,500 pounds of trailering capacity.

What’s the Passport like to drive?

A lot like the Pilot! The springs are slightly stiffer than those found in the old boatlike Pilot it’s based on, so the Passport doesn’t bob and roll as much on the road. Its steering is also slightly sharper. Then again, it shows a reluctance to be hustled along a windy road. In many ways, the new Pilot drives more like the Passport now. Ultimately, think of Honda’s two-row midsize crossover as a more comfortable, refined and spacious alternative to the rugged, outdoorsy Toyota 4Runner. For those who are looking for that rugged edge, note that the TrailSport’s knobby 18-inch tires do contribute a bit more road noise but their taller sidewalls make for an excellent ride at the expense of some tactile feedback. It’s a sacrifice, but in a family car, a reasonable one.

The only real wart is the nine-speed automatic transmission. Though improved from other iterations that always seem to be in the wrong gear or slow to engage the correct one, there are still moments of unusual behavior. There can be a little too much engine braking off throttle, for instance, as if you’re in the wrong gear. The shift calibration remains a bit herky-jerky at times too, and it’s exacerbated around town by the Passport’s auto-stop/start feature, especially in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The cadence of seeing traffic move and trying to time it so that you smoothly roll onto the throttle just as the engine fires up ends up being a bit tedious at times just by itself; throwing in sluggish low-speed shifts mars an otherwise excellent driving experience.  

What other Honda Passport reviews can I read?

2024 Honda Passport gets more rugged TrailSport, stylish Black Edition

The only revision common to the entire lineup is a new center console with a larger storage bin. Among individual trims, the TrailSport received the most attention.

 

2019 Honda Passport Elite Review

We test the highest Passport trim level, featuring all the bells and whistles possible. We also took it on a road trip to see how it handles the sort of family-oriented outdoor adventures it was apparently designed for.

 

We go glamping in a Honda Passport

The Passport is squarely aimed at folks in their 30s, with or without kids, who want to take their SUV on outdoorsy weekend adventures. So we did just that. 

 

2019 Honda Passport First Drive Review

Our First Drive Review of the 2019 Honda Passport. We discuss why the Passport, which doesn’t break much new ground or stand out in the segment in any objective way, may move the needle for Honda in the great crossover wars.

How much is the 2024 Passport’s price? What features are available?

Pricing for the 2024 Honda Passport starts at $43,275 for the base EX-L trim (all prices include a $1,375 destination charge).

Standard equipment is above-average with 20-inch gloss-black wheels, the driver assistance tech listed in the safety section below, a power liftgate, a sunroof, leather seating, heated front seats, automatic LED headlights, LED fog lights, rear privacy glass, proximity entry and push-button start, tri-zone automatic climate control, a manually height-adjustable driver seat, cloth upholstery, USB charge points in both rows and the center console, an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a seven-speaker sound system.

TrailSport brings its own styling, a set of 18-inch all-terrain General tires and a unique suspension tune intended for off-pavement excursions.

The Black Edition takes the place of the previous Elite model and adds some visual flair. Checking in at $49,345, it adds popular equipment including ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, rear window sunshades and four USB ports. Every Black Edition also comes with black 20-inch alloy wheels, blackout treatments for the grille, headlight trim, side trim, door handles, window trim and fog light accents, and Black Edition badges on the grille and tailgate.

A full breakdown of each trim and its features, specs and local pricing can be found here on Autoblog.

  • EX-L: $43,275
  • TrailSport: $45,875
  • Black Edition: $49,345

What are the Passport’s safety ratings and driver assistance features?

The Passport comes standard with the “Honda Sensing” suite of safety features that includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning and adaptive cruise control.

While it’s great that all those systems are standard, they aren’t the best-executed driver assistance features. They are Honda’s previous-generation systems, as opposed to the updated ones in the Pilot and CR-V. The lane-keeping assist and road departure mitigation are far too sensitive or prone to false alarms with loud warnings of BRAKE! in the instrument panel accompanied by beeping. This can occur when not crossing either lane line. The adaptive cruise control system is also one of the least sophisticated and potentially annoying examples on the market. We go into more detail about this in our review of the Passport Elite.

In government crash testing, the Passport received a five-star overall score. It got four stars for frontal crash protection and five stars for side protection. Its rollover score was four stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Passport the best-possible rating of “Good” in all crash tests but the new IIHS small overlap front: passenger side test where it got a second-best “Average.”

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