When everyone’s favorite doctor (Dr. Seuss, of course) wrote Oh, the Places You’ll Go! he wasn’t thinking of the Honda Passport. He might as well have been, though, because when there’s fun to be done, the main obstacle is often how to get there.
Billed as a “rugged midsize SUV,” the new-for-2019 Passport aims to solve that problem with an available AWD system and up to 8 inches of ground clearance. That said, this car-based crossover lacks the true 4WD system—with low-range gearing and body-on-frame design—that’s essential for serious off-roading.
Back on the pavement, there’s acceleration aplenty from its 280-hp V6, but fuel economy, at 21 mpg combined, is nothing special. The Passport’s responsive steering and well-tuned suspension make it a lot more nimble than you’d expect, given its size. Toss in a suite of standard advanced safety features and an unruffled ride quality, and you’ve got a crossover ready for a good, long road trip.
Perhaps more important is the Passport’s large cargo area—an impressive 41 cubic feet before you fold the rear seats down (plus a small cubby for underfloor storage). Factor in its 5,000-pound max tow rating (AWD models) and you can take all your toys with you, from mountain bikes to ski boats.
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Vehicle layout: 3.5-liter V6 (280 hp), 9-speed automatic, AWD
MSRP, base model: $33,085; (as tested: $43,780)
Mpg, city/highway/combined: 19/24/21
Safety ratings: NHTSA: 5 stars overall; IIHS: good/acceptable (crash-related ratings), 2019 Top Safety Pick
Spare tire: Compact temporary
Final assembly: Lincoln, Alabama
Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles