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2022 Honda Passport books better looks, introduces TrailSport sub-brand

We'll see way more of "TrailSport" on future Honda SUVs and trucks, and the the Passport isn't a bad place to start.

That's a much better front end.

Honda

The Honda Passport's been a little tame in the looks department since the brand resurrected the name for its mid-size SUV. With the 2022 Passport, revealed Wednesday, Honda wants to tug things in the opposite direction. This Passport is supposed to exude a more adventurous, wilder side. Well, as wild as you can get for a Honda SUV. Regardless, it looks like a step in the right direction.

The new Passport's front end sees the biggest changes with a new grille and crossbar treatment, wider-looking headlights and redesigned skid claddings that Honda said provide a tougher look for the new front bumper. If the design looks familiar, it borrows heavily from the new Ridgeline pickup. That's not a bad thing. The rear gains a new bumper, too, and the exhaust outlets are larger this time around. Chrome accents are flush on the EX-L trim, while the Elite and newly minted TrailSport trim feature gloss black elements.

Speaking of TrailSport, let's dive into the new sub-brand. Honda's lacked an answer to the Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road and Subaru Wilderness-branded SUVs of the world. Now, it's TrailSport's job to peel some of those buyers off and into Honda's court. The sub-brand starts with Passport, but expect it to flourish across the brand's lineup and come to Pilot, CR-V and Ridgeline, almost certainly. Shoppers will find the "TrailSport" badge splashed across the Passport, painted in bright orange, and some special silver accents on the front and rear bumpers. The SUV also receives 18-inch wheels, a 0.40-inch increase to its front and rear track widths and a more rugged design for the tires.

Go Passport, go!

Honda

As for capability, Honda's Intelligent Traction Management system is standard, as is torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. Drivers will have 8.1 inches of ground clearance to play with as well. Like all other Passport models, a 3.5-liter V6 is standard with a nine-speed automatic onboard for shifting duties. If that's not enough, Honda's looking at adding more aggressive elements with some sort of off-road suspension upgrades and more aggressive tire options.

Inside, Honda didn't go overboard on TrailSport, but there's a splash of orange with the embroidered logo on the seats, and rubber floor mats. The same color provides a contrasting look for the cabin's stitching. A black-chrome gauge surround spruces things up, and when night falls, amber accent lights illuminate to carry on the orange glow.

While the TrailSport is the main addition to the Passport, other trims get a few new goods, too. The EX-L and Elite trims ride on new 20-inch wheels, there's a new gray instrument cluster with redesigned needles, a Honda Performance Development package to kit your Passport out further and broader side vents to improve aerodynamics. Honda Sensing is standard across the board, too, as is an 8-inch touchscreen display for infotainment needs. Rear seat reminder tech also joins the stable.

Honda didn't say when the new Passport will go on sale, nor did we receive prices yet, but expect information soon. The company's probably itching to see this new TrailSport brand to SUV-hungry US car buyers.