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After nearly 15 years, Honda has finally renewed the Passport, and it’s far more than the rebadged Isuzu of the past. The new two-row midsized SUV will slot between the 8 passenger Pilot and subcompact CR-V. Honda claims it’s going to be one of the most off-road capable SUV’s that the automaker has ever built.

If you were thinking that the new Passport looks similar, you aren’t wrong. Honda has said that their new midsize shares around 80% of the components from its larger sibling. There have been some notable changes to both body length (cut by 6 inches) and ground clearance (up by 1.1 inches), which should help to improve it’s breakover/departure angles. Now even though Honda is marketing this new crossover to have off-road prowess, we remain skeptical of whether or not the new ride height or tweaks to body lines will deliver on this premise. Still, Honda has equipped plenty of plastic cladding and more aggressive tires to help round out this new rugged crossover.

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From inside the cabin, you could swear that you were sitting in a Pilot as the entire dashboard layout and center console are exactly the same. Honda has however chosen to place a physical volume knob on both the optional 8.0-inch touchscreen and base radio. Luckily the removal of the third row of seats hasn’t resulted in a big difference in cargo capacity. It’s 78 cubic feet of space with the second-row seats folded, outshines both the Grand Cherokee (68) and Ford Edge (73).

In an age of smaller turbocharged engines, it’s also great to see that Honda has decided to use their tried and true 3.5l V6, which produces a healthy 280hp and 262lb-ft of torque. The main change for the powertrain will be a standard 9-speed transmission, which was an optional extra on the Pilot. Towing capability is solid as well with FWD models capable of 3,500lbs, while the AWD versions have been rated up to 5,000lbs.

Every Passport will be getting Honda’s Sensing suite of active safety features. This includes things like adaptive cruise, emergency braking, forward collision warning, and lane keep assist. The optional 8.0-inch touchscreen is also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Honda has yet to release official pricing information, but we can make some estimations based upon where the current Pilot and CR-V sit. This should mean a starting MSRP somewhere around $30,000. With it set to go on sale early next year, we should be getting some numbers from Honda in the coming weeks. It will rival models like the Ford Edge, Jeep Cherokee, Chevy Blazer, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Nissan Murano.
 

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Honda needs to do more about the Passport. Just showing it off like any regular model does zero justice. At one of the upcoming shows they need to show us tuned versions.
 

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I heard on a website, that they will be testing this car this week in Oregon.
Hopefully this car being shorter, lighter, and more slope on the rear window.
should be a little quicker, and should get 19 and 27 MPG for the AWD, compared to the Pilot.
 

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I heard on a website, that they will be testing this car this week in Oregon.
Hopefully this car being shorter, lighter, and more slope on the rear window.
should be a little quicker, and should get 19 and 27 MPG for the AWD, compared to the Pilot.
It’s rated at 19/24/21

There will also be a media drive in Utah January 23-25
 

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I wonder what Honda did wrong? All the same as pilot, but shorter, lighter, and more sloped
back window. Must be a aerodynamic drag issue. AT 19/24. What good is the plagued 9 speed now?
The heavier Highlander AWD LE plus V6 is rated at 20/27 MPG. With a more reliable 8 speed.
I will now consider the more reliable and (still) better shifting (Honda made) 6 speed in the Pilot EX.
Now I can get more room, 18" wheels, cloth seats with the 8" inch screen, with the new LED back up lights for a better deal. The 2019 Pilot AWD is plenty good for my dirt road in the mountains.
 

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My guess is slightly wider tires and the fact it's an inch higher. Usually lifting a truck/SUV comes with a small MPG penalty. I've lifted/leveled previous vehicles and always had a small hit. Bigger if heavier tires were added as well.
 

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My guess is slightly wider tires and the fact it's an inch higher. Usually lifting a truck/SUV comes with a small MPG penalty. I've lifted/leveled previous vehicles and always had a small hit. Bigger if heavier tires were added as well.
That has me wondering how a hybrid off roader would perform especially with electric-only modes to help on challenging trails.
 
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