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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I decided to join the forum as a prospective owner some day. I have been strongly considering an Outback XT and now beginning to lean towards a Passport as well, 2022 or newer.

My wife drives a 2014 pilot which has served us well. It's not a perfect vehicle (if you find one, let me know) but it's been extremely reliable. I largely stayed away from the Passport because the interior still reminds me of a Pilot (a lot of plastic(y) bits, a bit of new stuff here and there and the silly buttons to shift the transmission - beats an RDX though).

I really like the Outback XT and I am happy to share my testdrive experience should anyone be interested. My local dealer doesn't have a Passport for me to try out although I did stop by and took a look at the Pilot which I am told has a similar interior. Would like to testdrive to make a determination and see if my lean angle changes from OBXT to PP.

Among many more, two main reasons I am considering a PP:
1. I do like a V6. What is real world mileage you guys are getting on the hwy? Subaru's numbers (per their owners) are inflated. No way it's close to 29mpg hwy, it's more like 25-26 hwy. If Honda isn't inflating it as much as Subaru is, maybe the difference isn't that big? I intend to do mostly highway driving and therefore the question.

2. I do intend to tow a trailer camper/toy hauler and prefer to have a higher upper limit of 5000 pounds vs 3500 pounds, just in case. I know all bets are off on mileage with either cars. Any experience in the mountains (turbos seems to do better there)? I do plan to gentle off road and potentially car camp / tow my motorcycle as well occasionally.

Look forward to lurking some more, testdrive soon and go from there - that's my plan.
 

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Hello everyone. I decided to join the forum as a prospective owner some day. I have been strongly considering an Outback XT and now beginning to lean towards a Passport as well, 2022 or newer.

My wife drives a 2014 pilot which has served us well. It's not a perfect vehicle (if you find one, let me know) but it's been extremely reliable. I largely stayed away from the Passport because the interior still reminds me of a Pilot (a lot of plastic(y) bits, a bit of new stuff here and there and the silly buttons to shift the transmission - beats an RDX though).

I really like the Outback XT and I am happy to share my testdrive experience should anyone be interested. My local dealer doesn't have a Passport for me to try out although I did stop by and took a look at the Pilot which I am told has a similar interior. Would like to testdrive to make a determination and see if my lean angle changes from OBXT to PP.

Among many more, two main reasons I am considering a PP:
1. I do like a V6. What is real world mileage you guys are getting on the hwy? Subaru's numbers (per their owners) are inflated. No way it's close to 29mpg hwy, it's more like 25-26 hwy. If Honda isn't inflating it as much as Subaru is, maybe the difference isn't that big? I intend to do mostly highway driving and therefore the question.

2. I do intend to tow a trailer camper/toy hauler and prefer to have a higher upper limit of 5000 pounds vs 3500 pounds, just in case. I know all bets are off on mileage with either cars. Any experience in the mountains (turbos seems to do better there)? I do plan to gentle off road and potentially car camp / tow my motorcycle as well occasionally.

Look forward to lurking some more, testdrive soon and go from there - that's my plan.
We've got a '21 Passport Elite which we traded a '16 Pilot Touring for. We loved the Pilot, but no longer needed an 8 passenger vehicle. That said, we didn't want to lose the power, space, comfort, ride, looks, & amenities that we had enjoyed with the Pilot. The Passport fit those needs perfectly for our road vehicle. Our second vehicle is a '15 Forester Touring. It's a great vehicle with decent fuel economy, (27 mpg estimated life average with just under 90,000 miles) and a very low cost per mile on maintenance. It's our local & shorter trip vehicle & my "workhorse" for hauling crap that I'd rather not use the Stormtrooper for. It drives very well and is a comfortable ride, but if we're going to take a road trip it's more like a lumber wagon compared to the PP. Getting out of the Honda after a 300 mile trip is like getting out of the Forester after a 50 mile trip. The PP is just a lot more comfortable & enjoyable to drive than the Forester.
I am OK with paying for the extra fuel on trips that the PP uses. I typically get 23-25 mpg on the Interstate with the CC set on 76-78mph. The best we've seen for mileage was just over 27 mpg on a 260 mile trip with the CC set on 63 mph on a 2 lane with gentle rolling hills. I typically get 25-26 mpg on that same trip... I got 13 mpg on one of those trips pulling a 3,000 lb. 14' enclosed trailer. I love the 3.5L V6 & the 9 speed transmission compared to the 2.5 L Boxer 4 with the CVT. Although I've had no issues with it, I really do not care for the CVT tranny. I plan on trading the Subaru in the next year or two on either a new CRV or Rav 4. A new Subaru is not in my plans at this time. It's my personal belief that Honda & Toyota build better vehicles than Subaru...
 

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2019 Touring: since March-2019
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We bought our daughter a 2019 Forrester and few months after I bought my Passport, it's ok, perfect for her, but the Passport is in another class all together.

There are plenty of people here who formerly owned Subaru's, perhaps they'll chime in...
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Getting out of the Honda after a 300 mile trip is like getting out of the Forester after a 50 mile trip. The PP is just a lot more comfortable & enjoyable to drive than the Forester.
I am OK with paying for the extra fuel on trips that the PP uses. I typically get 23-25 mpg on the Interstate with the CC set on 76-78mph. The best we've seen for mileage was just over 27 mpg on a 260 mile trip with the CC set on 63 mph on a 2 lane with gentle rolling hills. I typically get 25-26 mpg on that same trip... I got 13 mpg on one of those trips pulling a 3,000 lb. 14' enclosed trailer. I love the 3.5L V6 & the 9 speed transmission compared to the 2.5 L Boxer 4 with the CVT. Although I've had no issues with it, I really do not care for the CVT tranny. I plan on trading the Subaru in the next year or two on either a new CRV or Rav 4. A new Subaru is not in my plans at this time. It's my personal belief that Honda & Toyota build better vehicles than Subaru...
This is very helpful, great data points.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I have arranged a testdrive, coincidentally the salesperson who sold me the Honda Pilot still works there. Anything I should specifically test, problem areas or nuisances?

Ex. How is lane control? Adaptive cruise control?
Ex. Trailsport is wired carplay only (did I read that right somewhere?) while wireless is on higher trims?
 
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We have two 2021 pp's and couldn't be happier. MPG is around 26-28 on highway at 75 and 21 combined. ACC and LKAS works fine on both of ours. Two things i did when we first got them is upgraded the 4 door speakers and tweeters to Infinity speakers and installed kilmat in all doors including hatch.
The only regret i have is not getting the silver color instead of black! PS...also upgraded the tires with a Michelin defender 255/55/20's.

Good luck with your decision and hope the above info helps.
 

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Correct - CarPlay in the Trailsport is via a cable from the front USB port only. It’s wireless on the Elite and other have talked about wireless adapters.
Trailsport’s 18” wheels give an extra inch of tire cushion and are rock solid on the highway. Did a 650 mile trip all on interstate and it’s quiet all the way.
Also tested the adaptive cruise on the trip - hadn’t had it before, it worked well. Only complaint (which I read is universal) is the closest setting is still too far away from the car in front. It worked great and without issues…we just had to learn to pull out and pass earlier then we were used to to avoid the car slowing down.
Lane assist worked well on the trip as well. Kept us straight and helped to keep us fresh over the long drive.
only feature I don’t love is the crash warning. It flashes ‘brake’ when a car pops into view ahead - good idea, but it’s warned me about cars when I’m rounding a corner…and the cars it notes are in the other lane, on their side, 100% not a threat or in any danger of colliding.
Happy car hunting and hope this helps.
 

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Daimyo
2021 Honda Passport Elite - Tonbo-Giri⛩️
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I have both a 2021 Subaru Outback and a 2021 Honda Passport, I have had a series of different Subaru Outbacks going all the way back to 2003. The Outback is a solid vehicle and the turbo engine is good, especially if you live at altitude. That being said the Passport is a more substantial vehicle in every way that I think you will get substantially more out of.

One thing I would note is that maintenance costs for the Outback XT are going to be much higher. I personally recommend to everyone that has a turbo engine in a Subaru that they follow the severe service maintenance interval which is 3,000 miles per oil change. Those turbo engines are incredibly hard on motor oil and aside from that Subaru requires more common maintenance items.
 

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I have arranged a testdrive, coincidentally the salesperson who sold me the Honda Pilot still works there. Anything I should specifically test, problem areas or nuisances?

Ex. How is lane control? Adaptive cruise control?
Ex. Trailsport is wired carplay only (did I read that right somewhere?) while wireless is on higher trims?
I would suggest while you're on your test drive, to take it into a relatively empty area of a parking lot & try shifting from forward to reverse several times. This is especially true if you're not familiar with the push button nine speed. Many people complain about the lag time when shifting from park to forward or reverse, but especially going from reverse to forward or forward to reverse. Having driven push button automatics in trucks & semis for several years now and driving our '16 Pilot for 75,000 miles it hasn't been an issue for me, but for many they want that instant gratification feeling of not having to wait for that 1-2 second delay before taking off or changing direction. It's been a real turn off for many who've complained about it here & on the Pilot forum. It's definitely different from slamming a gearshift lever forward or back & changing direction immediately.

I don't care much for the Lane Control. Like NE_Passport mentioned, it gives too many false readings. I do like the Adaptive cruise. It works much better than it did in our Pilot. That said, it still isn't as smooth and refined as it is in our "15 Forester or in other vehicles I've driven. I actually like the wired carplay in our 21 Elite. I'm sure I would like wireless as well.

If you're thinking about getting different tires, try to get it done on the deal rather than waiting.

I'm not sure if the TrailSport has auto dimming headlights or not, but if it does and they're as worthless as they are in the '21 models, have your salesman disable the feature. Honda needs to borrow a couple of Ford's engineers for a month or so & get their electronics sorted out... All in all I hope you enjoy your test drive. I think you would really like the Passport. We love ours.
 

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Hello everyone. I decided to join the forum as a prospective owner some day. I have been strongly considering an Outback XT and now beginning to lean towards a Passport as well, 2022 or newer.

My wife drives a 2014 pilot which has served us well. It's not a perfect vehicle (if you find one, let me know) but it's been extremely reliable. I largely stayed away from the Passport because the interior still reminds me of a Pilot (a lot of plastic(y) bits, a bit of new stuff here and there and the silly buttons to shift the transmission - beats an RDX though).

I really like the Outback XT and I am happy to share my testdrive experience should anyone be interested. My local dealer doesn't have a Passport for me to try out although I did stop by and took a look at the Pilot which I am told has a similar interior. Would like to testdrive to make a determination and see if my lean angle changes from OBXT to PP.

Among many more, two main reasons I am considering a PP:
1. I do like a V6. What is real world mileage you guys are getting on the hwy? Subaru's numbers (per their owners) are inflated. No way it's close to 29mpg hwy, it's more like 25-26 hwy. If Honda isn't inflating it as much as Subaru is, maybe the difference isn't that big? I intend to do mostly highway driving and therefore the question.

2. I do intend to tow a trailer camper/toy hauler and prefer to have a higher upper limit of 5000 pounds vs 3500 pounds, just in case. I know all bets are off on mileage with either cars. Any experience in the mountains (turbos seems to do better there)? I do plan to gentle off road and potentially car camp / tow my motorcycle as well occasionally.

Look forward to lurking some more, testdrive soon and go from there - that's my plan.
We purchased a 2022 Passport Elite just last week. We have owned two Outbacks over the last several years, including a 2012 Limited 4 cylinder and most recently a 2016 Limited with the 6 cylinder engine. We were all ready to order a 2023 Outback Touring XT and decided the day before our appointment at the Subaru dealer to go to our local Honda dealer and test drive a Passport. My wife instantly loved the Passport. You sit up higher in the Passport and we both agree that it feels like you're driving a bigger, more solid vehicle. Having just owned the 6 cylinder Outback, we love that the Passport has a 6 cylinder engine instead of the 4 cylinder turbo. My mechanic also cautioned me regarding the Subaru turbo engine, due to what it can do to the oil.

Can't comment on the mpg issue yet, since our longest trip so far is the drive home from the dealership. From the research I did prior to the purchase, I think both vehicles will provide very similar mpg results, so in my mind, it was a wash.

I'm actually having a trailer hitch installed on the Passport today. We went with the OEM hitch and wiring harness since it's the only one that installs through the bumper cover, instead of under the bumper. I ordered it online much cheaper than the dealer's price and having my local mechanic install it. If you want the 5000 pound towing capacity, you also need to have a transmission cooler installed.

We feel very good about our decision to buy the Passport.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm actually having a trailer hitch installed on the Passport today. We went with the OEM hitch and wiring harness since it's the only one that installs through the bumper cover, instead of under the bumper. I ordered it online much cheaper than the dealer's price and having my local mechanic install it. If you want the 5000 pound towing capacity, you also need to have a transmission cooler installed.
Thanks Dan. Is the hitch on this a dealer installed item and not the factory (or port?). Also, did the dealer have it available or did you do a special order?

I would suggest while you're on your test drive, to take it into a relatively empty area of a parking lot & try shifting from forward to reverse several times. This is especially true if you're not familiar with the push button nine speed. Many people complain about the lag time when shifting from park to forward or reverse, but especially going from reverse to forward or forward to reverse.

I don't care much for the Lane Control. Like NE_Passport mentioned, it gives too many false readings. I do like the Adaptive cruise. It works much better than it did in our Pilot. That said, it still isn't as smooth and refined as it is in our "15 Forester or in other vehicles I've driven. I actually like the wired carplay in our 21 Elite. I'm sure I would like wireless as well.

If you're thinking about getting different tires, try to get it done on the deal rather than waiting.

I'm not sure if the TrailSport has auto dimming headlights or not, but if it does and they're as worthless as they are in the '21 models, have your salesman disable the feature. Honda needs to borrow a couple of Ford's engineers for a month or so & get their electronics sorted out... All in all I hope you enjoy your test drive. I think you would really like the Passport. We love ours.
Thanks JLH. This will be my first car / SUV without a traditional shifter so not looking forward to losing it but oh well. I could see how on a three point turn, it could be an issue on a busy road.

The lane control on the Outback is actually pretty good and I think the adaptive cruise control has a long way to go due to safety margins they must make in the system. It's one of those systems where I don't see any value on an open road (with little traffic, traditional CC does just fine) while on the other hand where I would like to use it (in more traffic), it's too slow to react no matter which setting you choose. Nice on paper. Agree with NE_Passport on his assessment as well.

As for the tires, are you saying that I can ask for 18" trailsport tires / wheels on an Elite trim (for ex.) from the factory or the dealer?


One thing I would note is that maintenance costs for the Outback XT are going to be much higher. I personally recommend to everyone that has a turbo engine in a Subaru that they follow the severe service maintenance interval which is 3,000 miles per oil change. Those turbo engines are incredibly hard on motor oil and aside from that Subaru requires more common maintenance items.
Good to know, thanks. Judging by our Pilot, I assume the Passport will be cheap(er) to maintain as well.

We have two 2021 pp's and couldn't be happier. MPG is around 26-28 on highway at 75 and 21 combined. ACC and LKAS works fine on both of ours. Two things i did when we first got them is upgraded the 4 door speakers and tweeters to Infinity speakers and installed kilmat in all doors including hatch.
The only regret i have is not getting the silver color instead of black! PS...also upgraded the tires with a Michelin defender 255/55/20's.
That's great mileage. Was Kilmat hard to do or get installed? At the dealer?
What did you do with the old tires?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
MSRP plus $4K to $5K markup at a local dealer who only had a Trailsport in stock on the showroom floor and I am leaning towards an Elite in that case or EX-L (cost may drive this decision). Any recommendations in the Chicago area or a better way to shop this considering the circumstances? It was getting late in the day so postponed the testdrive for now.
 

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Thanks Dan. Is the hitch on this a dealer installed item and not the factory (or port?). Also, did the dealer have it available or did you do a special order?
I was told by the dealership that the Passports do not come with a hitch from the factory so it's an add-on accessory. It was available to purchase from the dealership and then they would install it for us, but I bought it from collegehillshonda.com for about $200 less including the shipping cost. I then took it to our local mechanic and had him do the install. Saved about $300 total when including the cost of the installation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
What's in my head at the moment (just thinking out loud):
  1. I'm willing to foot the bill to spend a tad more and get the EX-L over Outback XT (better towing max, reliability, etc.). But, not if it's $4K over MSRP (have a Subaru connection which might help me secure one for no markup)
  2. I have some time on my hands so let's see if the situation improves in 3-6 months
  3. I'm really struggling with Elite and its cost in my mind. It's roughly $5K more, on top of the already higher priced EX-L (again, for me and my situation)
  4. Trailsport, besides cosmetic (and 18" wheels which I can get on other trims as well if I place an order), I don't see what the draw is, perhaps someone can chime in
Is the below chart helpful? I just compiled this while I had some time on my hands and to keep myself sane during decision time. Happy to post it in a new thread if this helps someone navigate the Honda website and compare trims.

Font Screenshot Parallel Number Rectangle
 

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MSRP plus $4K to $5K markup at a local dealer who only had a Trailsport in stock on the showroom floor and I am leaning towards an Elite in that case or EX-L (cost may drive this decision). Any recommendations in the Chicago area or a better way to shop this considering the circumstances? It was getting late in the day so postponed the testdrive for now.
We went through a lot of dealers to find one that wasn't making them up. My "favorite" one was a dealer with a 12.5% mark up and their new building is in construction right across the street of their PP/Pilot lot. Needless to say, we walked off the lot.
 

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What's in my head at the moment (just thinking out loud):
  1. I'm willing to foot the bill to spend a tad more and get the EX-L over Outback XT (better towing max, reliability, etc.). But, not if it's $4K over MSRP (have a Subaru connection which might help me secure one for no markup)
  2. I have some time on my hands so let's see if the situation improves in 3-6 months
  3. I'm really struggling with Elite and its cost in my mind. It's roughly $5K more, on top of the already higher priced EX-L (again, for me and my situation)
  4. Trailsport, besides cosmetic (and 18" wheels which I can get on other trims as well if I place an order), I don't see what the draw is, perhaps someone can chime in
Is the below chart helpful? I just compiled this while I had some time on my hands and to keep myself sane during decision time. Happy to post it in a new thread if this helps someone navigate the Honda website and compare trims.

View attachment 15556

I bet you could find options that are at MSRP if you drive a bit further (I would hope so at least!). I love my PassPort, however once you start to spend 45k-50k on a SUV, You have LOTS of nice options with competitors lol.

One thing that’s probably not a big deal to most people (I have no idea what Subaru is like on the inside) is that my PassPort has physical buttons for lots of things in the car and I LOVE IT! Heated seats / temp control / all physical buttons, none of this touch screen crap!
 

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MSRP plus $4K to $5K markup at a local dealer who only had a Trailsport in stock on the showroom floor and I am leaning towards an Elite in that case or EX-L (cost may drive this decision). Any recommendations in the Chicago area or a better way to shop this considering the circumstances? It was getting late in the day so postponed the testdrive for now.
It sounds to me like it's time for a fly-n-drive. I just checked the inventory on new Passports at our dealer in Bellevue, Nebraska and they have 3 on hand at this time. They have a red Elite, a white TrailSport, & a Sonic Gray TrailSport. They do not sell @ MSRP and do not add on the over priced packages. They're a 15 minute Uber ride from Eppley Airfield. I bet you can catch a flight from O'Hare to Eppley for a lot less than $5K... Give them a call & ask for Dave Q.
Honda Cars of Bellevue | New & Used Honda Dealer in NE
 

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MSRP plus $4K to $5K markup at a local dealer who only had a Trailsport in stock on the showroom floor and I am leaning towards an Elite in that case or EX-L (cost may drive this decision). Any recommendations in the Chicago area or a better way to shop this considering the circumstances? It was getting late in the day so postponed the testdrive for now.
I suggest you check out the Honda dealers in the Milwaukee area. We bought ours from Honda City and they were selling their cars at MSRP with no markups or BS. Something to be aware of though is that some of the dealerships are only selling to residents of Wisconsin. I found this odd, but they explained it was because of the big markups in Illinois.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks all. Good suggestions and I am getting the sense, I will have to venture out of my immediate area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I was told by the dealership that the Passports do not come with a hitch from the factory so it's an add-on accessory. It was available to purchase from the dealership and then they would install it for us, but I bought it from collegehillshonda.com for about $200 less including the shipping cost. I then took it to our local mechanic and had him do the install. Saved about $300 total when including the cost of the installation.
Hi Dan (and others), did you consider this option? Perhaps yours is an Elite and you didn't need roof rails but I am thinking that this is not a bad price considering it also includes installation cost and option from the factory (vs Dealer accessory)?

From Honda's website on the EX-L AWD build:
These must-have, practical accessories pair an enhanced rugged look with a whole lot of utility.

The Utility Package includes the following:

  • Crossbars
  • Roof Rails, Gloss Black
  • Trailer Hitch
Price includes installation cost.
Available On:
EX-L
Utility Package - Crossbars, Gloss Black Roof Rails, and Trailer Hitch - $1070.00 USD

Edit, for the Elite, it's $731USD (cheaper because the roof rails are already included)
These must-have, practical accessories pair an enhanced rugged look with a whole lot of utility.
The Utility Package includes the following:

  • Crossbars
  • Trailer Hitch
  • Tailgate Kick Sensor Adaptor
Price includes installation cost.
Available On: Elite
 
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