While most manufacturers are downsizing their engines and adding turbochargers, Honda has opted to fit the Passport with a large 3.5L V6 engine which produces 280 horsepower. This engine ensures that the Passport feels powerful at the full RPM range. Power is sent to the front wheels through a 9-speed automatic transmission. This means the Passport is quicker than most people would expect from a mid-sized SUV, and while the Passport doesn't come out and claim to be a sports car, it does provide relatively sporty driving characteristics when compared to most of its direct competitors.
The Pilot is available as a FWD or AWD with four trim levels. The Sport, EX-L and Touring are available with both drive types while the Elite trim is only available on the AWD.
The Passport is richly equipped, so even the entry level trim comes with plenty of equipment. The first thing most people will notice are the black-painted 20-inch wheels, which are standard on the Sport trim. Other features include a remote starter, automatic high beams, LED daytime running lights, Honda Sensing safety suite, dual-zone automatic climate control with separate rear controls, rear seat air vents and Bluetooth connectivity.
The EX-L trim adds a large moonroof with a tilt feature, blind spot monitoring, leather seats with heating, a leather wrapped steering wheel, a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, a powered tailgate, SiriusXM satellite radio, an auto dimming rearview mirror, a HomeLink automated garage door opener and an 8-inch touchscreen in the dash.
The Touring trim includes additional convenience features, such as adding a hands-free version of the powered tailgate that can be opened with just the wave of one's foot. Other features standard on the Touring trim include a satellite linked navigation system, a 10-speaker sound system, a mobile hotspot for Wi-Fi, heated outboard rear seats, roof rails, LED headlights, parking sensors, USB ports for the rear seats and additional ambient interior lighting.
The top of the line Elite trim comes standard with all-wheel drive in addition to adding even more interior goodies. The seats are made from perforated leather with both heating and cooling functions, while the steering wheel is heated as well. The Elite also comes with rain-sensing wipers and power folding and auto-dimming side mirrors.
We opted to get a Honda packs into its midsize SUV. In 2019, the Elite trim added blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert to the already-standard adaptive cruise control, automatic headlights and lane-keeping assist., partly because we love all the bells and whistles like heated and cooled seats, but mostly because we wanted to test all the comfort and tech features
Honda only offers the Passport with a 3.5-liter V6, making 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, as well as a nine-speed automatic transmission. Our Elite tester also came with all-wheel drive, which reviews editor Emme Hall put to the test in the snow and on a run out to Moab.
All Passports ride on 20-inch wheels, and the black rollers of our Elite trim were great against the Black Forest Pearl (dark green) paint, lovingly earning this large lad the nickname Swamp Thing. Inside, we opted for tan leather seats for a bit of contrast, and mostly enjoyed our time with Honda's Display Audio infotainment system on an 8-inch touchscreen -- more on that shortly.
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