The Honda Passport launched overnight in the United States with a bold new look and fresh variant that promises to make the midsize SUV more capable off the beaten track.
The third generation Honda Passport launched in 2019 and after three years the US-market has been treated to a facelift which has done wonders to its appearance.
This latest iteration of thePassport crossover not only looks more butch, but also debuts a new trim line for Honda USA dubbed TrailSport. At the Passport launch in North America, Honda confirmed that the TrailSport badge would continue to crop up in its future products.
Honda Australia’s arm was not able to provide further information on the vehicle’s prospects down under. However, given the Passport is built in North America for left-hand-drive markets, it’s unlikely we’ll see the model arrive in Australia.
The first two generations of Honda Passport were Isuzu Rodeo clones, but the third generation car is Honda through-and-through. It is exclusively left-hand drive and sold only in North America, where it’s pitched between Honda’s midsize CR-V and three-row Pilot large SUV.
Aside from the lukewarm comedy provided by the aviation-based wordplay, the Pilot and Passport share a platform, engine, and boast an identical 2820mm wheelbase, though the Passport is 100mm shorter overall at 4840mm.
Honda uses a naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6 up front with 209kW/355Nm outputs and a claimed highway consumption of 11.5L/100km. The V6 sends its power to all-four wheels in the TrailSport, and is the only engine offered in the vehicle.
Honda has made some significant changes to the five-seat Passport Trailsport to separate it from the rest of the range.
Outside, the TrailSport can be identified by 18-inch alloy wheels shod in 245/60R18 rubber, a blacked out grille, more aggressive bumpers, and silver rear skidplate. Pictured in a crayon grey hue, the Passport Trailsport certainly looks the part.
As for functional changes, the TrailSport scores 10mm wider tracks front and rear, but no other changes – the 206mm ground clearance is identical to the standard Passport. Additionally, buyers will be able to option an ‘HPD’ package which includes a different grille again, HPD graphics, black fender flares and a unique alloy wheel design.
Honda North America has told particularly keen off-roaders to watch this space though, with future iterations of the Passport TrailSport slated to feature more modifications such as an off-road specific suspension tune and all-terrain tyres.
Inside, Honda has continued the tough theme with TrailSport embroidered into the headrests with orange stitching, a theme which is carried through the rest of the cabin. The Passport TrailSport’s analogue gauges also score snazzy dark chrome bezels.
Additional specification includes LED headlights, 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, push-button start and Honda’s sensing suite of safety tech which takes in adaptive cruise control, frontal AEB and lane-keep assist.
In North America, the Passport TrailSport closely mirrors the mid-spec EX-L grade for standard equipment, save for the off-road focused modifications. The EX-L starts at US$36,810, which converts to AU$50,900 at the current rate.
With a couple of extra touches, the TrailSport would naturally command a premium, our guess is around US$40,000 which gives an indicative Australian price of AU$54,900.
Honda’s promise that there will be future TrailSport variants is the most exciting takeaway though, the prospect of a rough-and-tumble CR-V rushing through Australian state forests is surely an interesting one.
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