Raise your hand if you remember the Honda Passport. Yeah, I almost forgot about it, too, but it's not surprising that it slips people's minds considering it was a badge-engineered Isuzu Rodeo that was last sold in 2002. Honda figures that it's time to revive the Passport name for a new crossover that should slot between the and the and is rumored to be making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.
News about this new Passport comes from Automotive News by way of an anonymous source inside the Honda organization. They speculate that the new crossover will be around 6 inches shorter than the current generation Pilot and feature two rows of seating. It will be designed to take on the new Ford Edge, Nissan Murano and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.
The original Passport is remarkable only because it marked Honda's first attempt at entering the SUV market when it went on sale in 1994. The Passport started life with a four-cylinder engine, but that was eventually replaced by a 205 horsepower V6. It had all-wheel drive but wasn't really capable of any real off-roading. The build quality was only adequate, with later models suffering from serious rust issues. Ride comfort was pretty abysmal, but hey, it looked pretty good, and that counts for something, right?
The new Passport will likely be built on the same platform as Honda's Pilot three-row SUV and assembled in Honda's Lincoln, Alabama, plant alongside the Pilot and the Odyssey. This crossover is Honda's response to increased pressure from its dealers for something that can compete in the white-hot crossover market. I read this as meaning that we're only a massive well-orchestrated grassroots campaign away from giving dealers a reason to demand a new S2000.
We've reached out to Honda for comment and will update this story as it unfolds.