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Performance

With the Passport back again and making its mark as an off-roader and the most rugged Honda product, here we'll quickly outline what exactly is going on, and many of them are strong selling points for those still on the fence. Starting with dessert first, 262 lb.-ft. of torque and 280 horses comes via a 3.5-liter V6 engine Honda's 9-speed auto pairing. Honda's all-wheel drive system (i-VTM4) and Intelligent Traction Management (ITM) complement the powertrains output to deliver superior terrain control and up to 5,000 pounds towing capacity when you most need it.

All 2019 Honda Passport trims are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 280 peak horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE net), placing Passport in the top of its class for standard horsepower in a segment where some competitors offer less powerful 4-cylinder engines as standard equipment. The Honda i-VTEC® V6 is mated to the latest-generation of Honda's 9-speed automatic transmission (9AT) that is among the most advanced in the class, offering smooth and responsive power delivery.

At the heart of the robust all-weather and off-road driving capabilities is Honda's available i-VTM4™ all-wheel drive system. Unlike most competing systems, i-VTM4™ uses active torque vectoring to send up to 70 percent of engine torque to the rear axle and 100 percent of that torque to either the left or right rear wheels. This capability gives Passport excellent handling in all conditions, such as rain-slicked or snowy roads or sandy trails, while also contributing to more responsive performance by overdriving the outside rear wheel in turns. In addition, the Intelligent Traction Management (ITM) is standard on both the front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive Passport. In all-wheel drive applications, the four-mode ITM systems works in conjunction with i-VTM4™, allowing drivers to customize powertrain performance for different weather and terrain, including sand, snow and mud. In front-wheel drive models, the system has two modes for normal and snow conditions.

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2019 Honda Passport Technical Specifications
  • Engine Type: V-6
  • Displacement: 3471cc
  • Horsepower (SAE Net): 280 @6 000 rpm
  • Torque (SAE Net): 262 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
  • Fuel Injection: Direct
  • Transmission: 9-speed automatic (9AT)
  • All-Wheel Drive System (AWD Models): Intelligent Variable Torque Management™ (i-VM4™) with Intelligent Traction Management with Normal, Sand, Snow and Mud modes
  • Front Suspension: MacPherson strut
  • Rear Suspension: Multi-link
  • Steering: Electric power-assisted (EPS) rack-and-pinion
  • Wheels: 20-inch alloy
  • All-Season Tires: 245/50R 102H (Sport, EX-L); 265/45R 102H (Touring, Elite)
  • Towing Capacity, 2WD (AWD): 3,500 lbs (5,000 lbs) with tow package
Source: Honda USA










Exterior

Honda had a lot to prove and it shows with the Passports bold character that's hard not to notice. Separating it from other Honda products, even the Pilot it resembles, featuring a true off-road stance with wheel/tire combination to complement and a blacked out theme with matching accents. This results in a 1.1 inch gain in ground clearance compared to its sibling allowing us to further explore the highly rigid unibody's potential.

Honda's most rugged light truck yet, Passport's expressive design leaves no doubt of its adventure-seeking mission and is highlighted by its higher ride height, standard 20-inch wheels, 245/50R all-weather tires and sporty styling cues, including a matte black grille and bumper, blackout headlights and black wheels. LED headlight accents, gloss black trim, a "floating" C-pillar, and chrome exhaust finishers hint at Passport's around-town sophistication. Trim-exclusive wheel designs are available across the lineup, and Touring and Elite trims offer upsized 265/45R20 tires as standard equipment.

Beyond good looks, Passport's design offers superior functionality as well. Ground clearance is up 0.5 inches on front-wheel drive models and 1.1 inches on all-wheel drive models compared to Passport's three-row sibling, Pilot, while its shorter overall length and shortened rear overhang offer improved approach, departure and breakover angles, suitable for more rugged terrain.

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Source: Honda USA










Interior

Step inside and the consistent capable theme continues with a class-leading passenger and up to 77.9 cu. ft of cargo volume so you'll never have to worry while out on long getaway. If that's not enough, 2.5 cu. ft of underfloor storage is easily accessible. Utility aside, high quality interior finishes are available on EX-L, Touring and Elite models might make you forget for a moment that the 2019 Passport is an off-roader.

Passport's modern and sophisticated interior design offers ample space for five people and provides class-leading passenger volume of 115.9 cu.-ft. and best-in-class total interior volume of 157.1 cu.-ft. From Sport to Elite trims, Passport features high-quality interior appointments including attractive and durable cloth on Sport or perforated leather on EX-L, Touring and Elite trims, a blackout headliner, and generous use of soft-touch surfaces on the dash and doors.

Passport's interior also offers class-leading utility. Behind the second row of seats is a cargo area generously sized for weekend camping trips or excursions to the home improvement store, with 41.2 cu. ft. of space, expandable to 77.9 cu. ft. with the second row folded flat, which is more than enough to accommodate mountain bikes or a week's worth of camping gear. From the cargo area, the second-row seatbacks fold with the push of a button, and Passport's main cargo floor is reversible between carpeted and easy-to-clean hard plastic surfaces. Passport features class-leading underfloor storage, with 2.5 cu. ft. of easily accessible compartmented storage, which can be accessorized with removable washable bins, including a custom bin for storing the available accessory trailer hitch receiver.

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Source: Honda USA
 

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When we bought our 2005 LR3, one of our favorite features was the Terrain Response system with settings for snow, mud, sand & rocks. Land Rover pioneered this genius idea and it worked great for our family trips. In snow mode it kept the revs low and prevented aggressive upshifts. In sand it allowed just enough wheel spin to get traction from a stop. So glad Honda now has a similar ITM system. Just hope I don't miss having a 2-speed transfer case with low gear.
 

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Did not realize that even the FWD model also has two different drive modes. Would love for Honda to provide a proper breakdown of this tech and how each differs aside from power delivery.
 

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Can anyone explain the differences in the above chart?
The chart describes the behavior of each variable during each awd setting.
DBW: Sensitivity of electronic throttle. (How touchy the gas pedal is.
Shift Map: How high of rpms the transmission holds the gears before shifting or down shifting.
AWD Rear Bias: How much power is sent to the rear wheels.
AWD Vectoring: How much and how actively the AWD sends power to the left or right wheels.
VSA: Vehicle Stability Assist (how active the braking based traction control is).

All of these variables adjust constantly in real time based on conditions. Each setting biases the AWD according to this chart.

Snow mode more or less softens everything, especially throttle response to give you less of a chance of spinning your wheels.

Mud and Sand modes are sort of the opposite. They send a lot of power to the rear wheels, hold gears higher, and give you bitey throttle. Sand is more aggressive.

Mud and Sand modes disable vectoring as this allows the rear wheel to lock at 50/50 distribution and effectively provide a limited slip differential on the rear (LSD). The LSD effect is preferable for traction in bad conditions. A lot of AWD and 4WD systems have locking diffs or mechanical LSDs. The Honda system achieves this electronically and in real time.

Econ and Sport modes likewise globally adjust the car’s settings. Econ softens like snow mode while sport sharpens like mud or sand. In winter snow storms I use econ and snow simultaneously to give me very gentle throttle.

The hondas also adjust steering and braking sensitivity based on speed which I quite enjoy. Those who complain about spongy throttle/brakes make that judgement at low speeds.

Hope that helps. I worked for honda for a few years and learned about these systems as they evolved. I found the graphic on a ridgeline forum so it could be different on the passport’s 9 speed, but I’d guess its pretty much the same.

Hope that helps. Happy to answer any questions.
 

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I’ll
The chart describes the behavior of each variable during each awd setting.
DBW: Sensitivity of electronic throttle. (How touchy the gas pedal is.
Shift Map: How high of rpms the transmission holds the gears before shifting or down shifting.
AWD Rear Bias: How much power is sent to the rear wheels.
AWD Vectoring: How much and how actively the AWD sends power to the left or right wheels.
VSA: Vehicle Stability Assist (how active the braking based traction control is).

All of these variables adjust constantly in real time based on conditions. Each setting biases the AWD according to this chart.

Snow mode more or less softens everything, especially throttle response to give you less of a chance of spinning your wheels.

Mud and Sand modes are sort of the opposite. They send a lot of power to the rear wheels, hold gears higher, and give you bitey throttle. Sand is more aggressive.

Mud and Sand modes disable vectoring as this allows the rear wheel to lock at 50/50 distribution and effectively provide a limited slip differential on the rear (LSD). The LSD effect is preferable for traction in bad conditions. A lot of AWD and 4WD systems have locking diffs or mechanical LSDs. The Honda system achieves this electronically and in real time.

Econ and Sport modes likewise globally adjust the car’s settings. Econ softens like snow mode while sport sharpens like mud or sand. In winter snow storms I use econ and snow simultaneously to give me very gentle throttle.

The hondas also adjust steering and braking sensitivity based on speed which I quite enjoy. Those who complain about spongy throttle/brakes make that judgement at low speeds.

Hope that helps. I worked for honda for a few years and learned about these systems as they evolved. I found the graphic on a ridgeline forum so it could be different on the passport’s 9 speed, but I’d guess its pretty much the same.

Hope that helps. Happy to answer any questions.
I’ll add that, like vectoring, VSA is disabled in mud and sand modes. The graphic kind of suggests the opposite but it’s inverted in that value. It’s a more aggressive setting, meaning less traction control. Not disabled entirely, though. There is a trick to fully disabling vsa though... ;)
 
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