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2017 BMW X1 (for now)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a lot of research and questions, I finally had a chance to test drive a PP and an RDX yesterday. Both seemed like fine cars, but my wife and I left scratching our heads. How in the world does a PP cost the same as a similarly equipped RDX? It's obvious where the $$ goes in the RDX, but not so much with the PP. This is a serious question, not a dig.

What exactly are you getting in exchange for worse interior materials, plain seats, no panoramic roof, more basic infotainment tech, a thin steering wheel, etc.? Is the PP's towing capacity really that expensive? Am I overlooking something else that adds a lot to the cost of the PP?

(P.S. While it might seem silly to cross-shop these two cars, the list of larger 2-row SUVs that have been upgraded recently is very short, so might as well test them all.)
 

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2019 Touring: since March-2019
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This is a great question and I don't think there is any one correct answer. For me, coming off of driving BMW's for the previous 16 (happy) years, I was tired of paying luxury repair costs and tired of worrying everywhere I parked my cars that some brain-dead was going to ding my doors!

I had a long list of Wants & Don't Want's, including:
WANTS:
Ability to drive dirt roads and take fishing/camping
Big enough to haul all my camping gear.
Rears seats that fold down completely flat, in case I want to sleep in the back.
A Non-Luxury price tag: my Touring AWD was under $39k
6cyl Engine
Automatic Transmission
Low Cost Maintenance
Long-Term Reliability
Leather Interior
Decent Stereo
Decent MPG

DID NOT WANT:
Premium Gas
4cyl Turbo
CVT Transmission
Small Interior
From an unreliable manufacturer (Jeep, Ford, GM, Nissan, VW, etc.)

In fact, I did not even price an Acura, as the MDX was WAY too expensive, gets horrible gas mileage he RDX had a 4cyl/Turbo, and BOTH of them are not rated that high or highly regarded as being "reliable" vehicles. I just did a quick look at the Acura website and did a quick "Build" of an RDX and the top of the line with a few accessories is OVER $50k while the PP Elite is about $45k and people (here) have been getting them down around $40k, so I suspect the actual out-the door difference is in the $5k-$7k range!

Now, I see you have a BMW and if it is important to you to have luxury car, to impress girls, your wife, your friends, the boss, nothing anyone say here is going to change your mind, so if you see the PP as using junky parts, (don't even look at Rouges or RAV4's) stick with an nice X3 or an X5 or even a Macan!

Lastly, like I said in my opening statement as previously driving Beemers, I don't miss them one bit, and I like driving my PP, more than my wife's Lexus RX350 (and I suspect she may too, but she won't quite admit it...lol)

PS: If you think the PP is expensive, go test drive and price a 2020 RAV4 Adventure model - they are just as much as you can get a PP Touing AWD for...!


Cheers and let us know what you end up with(?)
 

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I have a Passport Elite , and it has More features than an RDX A-Spec. The only thing the RDX has me beat on is when you option up to the Advance package. The only features really worth mentioning on the Advance package would be Electronically controlled suspension dampeners, and a Heads Up display, both of which are not offered in Passport.

Interior materials are different, but are very good quality nonetheless. Passport has a more "rough feel" to its interior materials, and Acura went for a more "soft" approach in material selection.

In terms of infotainment, one is of course more "fancy" looking, and the layout is more upscale on the Acura, but both do the exact same thing. Youre more than likely going to be using Apple Carplay or Android Auto so the user interface will be exactly the same.
Both cars offer great speaker and sound quality, with over 500 Watts of power on both cars. Plenty for today's standards.

Cargo and storage - here is where the Passport shines. Hands down, RDX cant come close to the utility and functionality of a passport. It takes owning one to really understand how spoiled you are. BTW - i fit an entire full size Husky 46" 9 Drawer tool box in the back of that thing with the seats down, no problem :)

Off road - we know the answer.

Towing - equipped with a trans cooler the passport can tow 5000 lbs.
RDX can ONLY tow 1500 regardless trim or added accessories

Performance - the passport is a brute, but no slouch and only marginally slower than an RDX in everyday use. Did i mention 87 octane?

Brakes - same for both. Ventilated 4 wheel disc brakes stop both with no issues

Idk man... i can keep going all day.... i guess i should have asked early on, what is it that youre looking to do? Is this a retirement vehicle for you and the wife? Or are you young with a new family, or the outdoors type? Or young , looking for a fun car that can do a little bot of everything?
 

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I would also add that the Passport has 20” wheels standard (which some do not like) Remote Start that is only a dealer add on for the RDX and power folding mirrors which is NOT an option on US spec RDXs - the Elite has a heated steering wheel which is only standard on the Advance RDX. I cross shop these two vehicles constantly as one of them will be my next vehicle.
 

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2020 Honda Passport EX-L; 2019 Honda Civic Sedan Si; 2013 Honda Civic LX
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40k for a full size
Suv is cheap these days. Go price a base model f-150.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is a great question and I don't think there is any one correct answer. For me, coming off of driving BMW's for the previous 16 (happy) years, I was tired of paying luxury repair costs and tired of worrying everywhere I parked my cars that some brain-dead was going to ding my doors!

In fact, I did not even price an Acura, as the MDX was WAY too expensive, gets horrible gas mileage he RDX had a 4cyl/Turbo, and BOTH of them are not rated that high or highly regarded as being "reliable" vehicles. I just did a quick look at the Acura website and did a quick "Build" of an RDX and the top of the line with a few accessories is OVER $50k while the PP Elite is about $45k and people (here) have been getting them down around $40k, so I suspect the actual out-the door difference is in the $5k-$7k range!

Now, I see you have a BMW and if it is important to you to have luxury car, to impress girls, your wife, your friends, the boss, nothing anyone say here is going to change your mind, so if you see the PP as using junky parts, (don't even look at Rouges or RAV4's) stick with an nice X3 or an X5 or even a Macan!

Lastly, like I said in my opening statement as previously driving Beemers, I don't miss them one bit, and I like driving my PP, more than my wife's Lexus RX350 (and I suspect she may too, but she won't quite admit it...lol)

PS: If you think the PP is expensive, go test drive and price a 2020 RAV4 Adventure model - they are just as much as you can get a PP Touing AWD for...!

Cheers and let us know what you end up with(?)
Hmm, there should be an answer. I think some of the responses here are conflating customer preferences with brand manufacturing costs. I'm specifically asking about the latter. Honda made the PP using a veteran engine, trans, platform, and dash/interior and put it in a relatively plain package. In other words, the PP has minimal R&D costs, no frills, and should benefit from the economy of scale on those veteran parts. So it would seem to me that there's something subtle about the "bones" of the car that must be costly, or there's no technical reason and Honda chose to price the PP as an extreme profit grab.

As for BMWs, the X1 is the only one I've ever owned and while it's a fantastic car, I'm not really wedded to the brand. I bought it at less than a year old and knew that I'd need a bigger car for the family around the time its warranty expired. I'm value-obsessed and since I knew I'd sell it after just a few years, I was able to calculate that owning an X1 from years 1-4 is a steal because you avoid the massive Year 1 depreciation and have no maintenance or repair costs. All things considered, I effectively leased the car for about $300/mo. Beats leasing a Rogue at that rate, haha.

I enjoy good looking cars but they don't have to be a luxury brand. For example I'd love to buy a CX-5, but its just too small, or a Telluride, but its just too big. If the Passport and RDX/CX-5 had a baby, that'd be my goldilocks car, haha.

And I hear you on the Rav4. I was so excited for the refresh but soured as soon as I saw it in person. (What kind of a $32k car doesn't include hood insulation?!) It's so obvious that they cut corners knowing that it would sell based on reputation alone, which is a mistake that Honda made a few years back and has since acknowledged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Idk man... i can keep going all day.... i guess i should have asked early on, what is it that youre looking to do? Is this a retirement vehicle for you and the wife? Or are you young with a new family, or the outdoors type? Or young , looking for a fun car that can do a little bot of everything?
Good question. Here's my dilemma:

I'll be the only one in the car 90% of the time and enjoy cars with some driving spirit. However, the car also needs to be comfortable enough to use on 15-hour road trips to my hometown 3-4 times a year with wife and a toddler or two. So this leaves me looking for the biggest + sportiest 2-row SUV. Slim pickings. Really wish Mazda had something in this space, or that Honda added a plush trim to the PP (ala Jeep Summit).
 

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2019 Touring: since March-2019
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Good question. Here's my dilemma:

I'll be the only one in the car 90% of the time and enjoy cars with some driving spirit. However, the car also needs to be comfortable enough to use on 15-hour road trips to my hometown 3-4 times a year with wife and a toddler or two. So this leaves me looking for the biggest + sportiest 2-row SUV. Slim pickings. Really wish Mazda had something in this space, or that Honda added a plush trim to the PP (ala Jeep Summit).
Well you mentioned family and when I had a young family, my wife drove a 4Runner, had it for 17 years, very safe, as if the Passport, 5-Star Safety Ratings, which should interest you over "looks"!

Also, you are correct in your assumptions on the Passport design, they share "many" of the same parts as on the Pilot & Odyssey, including the same engine, transmission, seats, dash, infotainment system and I think even the doors, hood and windshield, and perhaps some under-carriage parts as well, and they are built at the same Assembly plant.

But as far as pricing goes, Honda had to walk a fine line in positioning the Passport, if they put it too close to the Pilot, it would not sell, to much lower than the Pilot and they "steal" sales away from themselves, too close to the CRV and they "steal" sales away from the CRV!

Of course, I too wish it was cheaper, but Honda might be able to do minimal cost increases between each model year, due to the reduced development costs...

As far as long trips, I've done two, both in the 5-6 hours (each way) 400/650 total miles and found the PP VERY comfortable! I'm hoping to do a 2,000 mile trip next summer through some of the western states...
 

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2019 Elite AWD White Diamond Pearl
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I just drove 2,500 miles from Fort Worth, Texas, to Las Vegas last month. The last day I drove almost 1,000 miles straight home from Flagstaff. It was a very comfortable drive. Cruise Control performed admirably, even in the mountains. The air conditioner kept us cool driving into Las Vegas when it was 117 outside.
 

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Good question. Here's my dilemma:

I'll be the only one in the car 90% of the time and enjoy cars with some driving spirit. However, the car also needs to be comfortable enough to use on 15-hour road trips to my hometown 3-4 times a year with wife and a toddler or two. So this leaves me looking for the biggest + sportiest 2-row SUV. Slim pickings. Really wish Mazda had something in this space, or that Honda added a plush trim to the PP (ala Jeep Summit).
Have you built a comparable Jeep Summit? $40K ish...How about a Ford Explorer? Limited, $48K
Nice 0% incentive, Ok looking, American made (for what it's worth), pick your poison.
I am brand loyal and have had nothing but top notch experiences w/ my Honda's, be it 2 or 4 wheel.
It suits my needs, feeds the soul, relaxes the mind, and has become uniquely mine. Good luck in your decision.
 

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I guess my question to the OP would be: Based on your assessment what do you feel is a fair price point for the Passport Elite? :unsure:
 
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My wife liked it and it can tow 5000lbs. We were cross shopping it with a subaru outback. We decided the size and towing capability was the winner over the outback. She had a crv and we weren't looking for another car based suv. We got the ExL AWD and added the towing package. Feels very luxurious to me. Then again my personal vehicle is a 5 year old barebones single cab pickup. I don't really think you can compare a suv built on a light truck platform to a vehicle that tows 1500lbs.
Also 0.9 % financing and the honda dealer was willing to deal. Not sure that acura is going to give much of a discount.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I guess my question to the OP would be: Based on your assessment what do you feel is a fair price point for the Passport Elite? :unsure:
Around $38,000. The current MSRP of $43,780 is Grand Cherokee Limited + major packages territory, and that's a much more nicely appointed car with equal or more features. Not saying there aren't reasons that people would choose Honda over Jeep, but I think the Elite needs to be far less drab for its asking price.
 

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Hmm, there should be an answer. I think some of the responses here are conflating customer preferences with brand manufacturing costs. I'm specifically asking about the latter. Honda made the PP using a veteran engine, trans, platform, and dash/interior and put it in a relatively plain package. In other words, the PP has minimal R&D costs, no frills, and should benefit from the economy of scale on those veteran parts. So it would seem to me that there's something subtle about the "bones" of the car that must be costly, or there's no technical reason and Honda chose to price the PP as an extreme profit grab.

As for BMWs, the X1 is the only one I've ever owned and while it's a fantastic car, I'm not really wedded to the brand. I bought it at less than a year old and knew that I'd need a bigger car for the family around the time its warranty expired. I'm value-obsessed and since I knew I'd sell it after just a few years, I was able to calculate that owning an X1 from years 1-4 is a steal because you avoid the massive Year 1 depreciation and have no maintenance or repair costs. All things considered, I effectively leased the car for about $300/mo. Beats leasing a Rogue at that rate, haha.

I enjoy good looking cars but they don't have to be a luxury brand. For example I'd love to buy a CX-5, but its just too small, or a Telluride, but its just too big. If the Passport and RDX/CX-5 had a baby, that'd be my goldilocks car, haha.

And I hear you on the Rav4. I was so excited for the refresh but soured as soon as I saw it in person. (What kind of a $32k car doesn't include hood insulation?!) It's so obvious that they cut corners knowing that it would sell based on reputation alone, which is a mistake that Honda made a few years back and has since acknowledged.
Our $55k BMW X3 does not have hood insulation and is very quiet. I was surprised when I 1st realized it. But I guess it does not need it.
 

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2019 Touring: since March-2019
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Our $55k BMW X3 does not have hood insulation and is very quiet. I was surprised when I 1st realized it. But I guess it does not need it.
My $49k 330i Coupe did not have it either. I saw one was available, but never added it as it was plenty quiet as well..
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Our $55k BMW X3 does not have hood insulation and is very quiet. I was surprised when I 1st realized it. But I guess it does not need it.
Weird. Well if you've ever driven the new Rav4, it definitely needs it, haha. I guess the Germans found a different way of insulating the sound.
 

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Mainly because Honda's run forever and a lot of people don't want luxury features which are antiquated/obsolete in a few years anyway. Also, because you get free support from PassPort Forums and the dealers have to charge higher prices to stay in business. :)
 

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I just bought my EX-L version with the Adventure A package, trailer hitch, wireless charger 100K extended warranty (including all oil changes and tire rotations). All in, the drive off the lot price was $39,500. An Acura RDX would have close to $55K simmerly equipt.
I have owned Audis, Benzes, a Volvo, a SAAB, an Acura, a collection of POS Fords, a Touareg (That one didn't nickel and dime me to death, it $1000 and $2000'ed me to death) Every vehicle except the Volvo had high maintenance costs.

Then between my wife and I, there are those 9 Hondas and one Subaru Outback we've owned over the years (not including the Honda snowblower, lawn mower and power washer). I can count on one hand the collection of Honda's have had a issue that was not age and wear and tear related. My wife's 2004 Odyssey is still humming along (with college daughter driving it) at 220,000 miles. My used Accord, bought with 30k miles went 160k before Middle Child was rear-ended and the car was totaled. (130k teenager miles is the equivalent wear and tear of a million miles). My Eldest Child drove my Element for years, finally selling it with 185k miles on it. (she got rid of it because her great dane and yellow lab were very hard on the interior)

Functional and inexpensive to own, for me, trumps gee whiz features and seem to break often.
 
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