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When it comes to a roomy and capable SUV, it would be difficult to find one more appealing than the 2020 Honda Passport. A smaller version of the Honda Pilot, the Passport is the perfect size for many consumers. With an exciting standard engine and incredibly well-equipped upper trims, this vehicle is a must-see for anyone in the market for a new two-row SUV. At the same time, there are a few minor issues with this vehicle that should be taken into consideration.
What's New for 2020?The Honda Passport launched a new generation just last year. No significant changes have been made for the Passport here in 2020. The Passport name had been dormant since 2002. Honda brought it back to fill in the gap between the compact CR-V and the three-row Pilot. Those familiar with the Passports from long ago should be aware that the new version is not quite as rugged as the ones that came before.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Honda Passport – The Pros
1. Amazing Interior Space
There is more than enough room for five adults to sit comfortably inside the Passport. Bringing along gear or loading up groceries will not be a problem either, thanks to the 41 cubic feet behind the second-row of seats. When the situation calls for even more room, the backseat folds down to give drivers access to 78 cubic feet. Folding down the front passenger seat takes the maximum cargo volume all the way up to 100.7 cubic feet, a number that competitors simply cannot beat.
2. Energetic Standard Engine
Underneath the hood of all four trim levels of the 2020 Honda Passport is a 3.5L V6. This is the same engine that is able to competently move around the larger Pilot, so it is easy to imagine how much fun it is underneath the hood of its smaller brother. This engine can produce 280-horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. Paired with this engine is a nine-speed automatic transmission. Again, this is the same as what you would find underneath the hood of the Pilot. Properly equipped models of the Passport can tow up to 3,500 pounds, which is considered around average for a vehicle in this class.
3. Plenty of Standard Driver Aids
All four trim levels of the 2020 Honda Passport have some of the most useful driver aids. Standard is forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and lane-departure warning. From the EX-L trim level and up, the Passport also gains a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. Parking sensors are added to the top two trims. All of these safety features helped the Passport earn five out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It has also been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
4. Precise and Sporty Steering
Drivers will find the steering to be very direct in the Passport. As a result, it is easy to feel confident and in-control when behind the wheel. The responsive handling helps the 2020 Honda Passport feel sporty and nimble, making it a joy to drive. It can also handle a wide variety of conditions, thanks to its Snow, Sand, Mud, and Normal settings when equipped with all-wheel-drive. These different modes make adjustments to the throttle, shift behavior, and traction control.
5. Comfortable Cabin
Going with any model except the entry-level Sport of the 2020 Honda Passport means getting simulated leather upholstery. These trim levels also have heated and power-adjustable front seats. Families with multiple drivers will also enjoy the driver seat memory function found in these upper three trims. Want rear passengers to have heated seats as well? That can be accomplished by going with the Touring or Elite trims. More concerned about staying cool? The Elite trim has ventilated front seats. The Passport has more passenger volume than nearly any competitor, making it easy for even tall adults to stretch out. The EX-L trim level and up also utilize active noise cancellation technology to keep the cabin nice and quiet.
6. Clever Storage Solutions
On top of having a giant cargo area, the Passport offers buyers options for keeping their smaller items secure as well. This SUV offers storage areas underneath the floor panel. Here is where drivers will find the spare tire, as well as several little compartments for various tools and equipment. In fact, drivers will find 2.5 cubic feet of storage tucked away underneath the floor. Deciding to add the available Urban Package adds more small storage compartments throughout the cabin of the Passport.
7. Top-of-the-Line Elite Trim
Although not technically a luxury vehicle, the Elite version of the 2020 Honda Passport certainly comes close to qualifying. Going with this trim gives drivers the ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and even a wireless charging pad. These features are in addition to all of the best features from the previous trim levels, such as a hands-free liftgate, navigation system, and a 10-speaker sound system. This trim level also gives consumers standard all-wheel-drive and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
8. Available Advanced Tech Features
Those who desire cutting-edge tech will likely want to skip over the Sport trim and go with the EX-L, Touring, or Elite models. These models have a long list of standard technology features. It gives buyers an 8-inch touchscreen that includes smartphone integration through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. They also have HD radio, satellite radio, and a built-in WiFi hotspot. The Touring trim will add the navigation system.
9. Off-Road Worthiness
The 2020 Honda Passport is very comfortable in the city but also ready for an adventure or two. This is partially due to its 4-wheel independent suspension. With this, the Passport offers drivers excellent maneuverability, even when the roads get rough. Adding all-wheel-drive means getting the mud and sand driving modes that can make all of the difference when venturing off-road. The 8.1-inches of ground clearance come in handy as well. All models are equipped with 20-inch wheels.
10. Available Packages
Those who need a vehicle ready for whatever they throw at it can also add the Adventure Package. It gives the Passport a trailer hitch, running boards, and even a bin for the roof. On the other hand, the Urban Package gives the vehicle roof rails with crossbars, underbody spoilers, and more interior cargo storage bins. This package also gives the Passport a unique wheel design, although they remain 20-inch.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Honda Passport – The Cons
1. Merely Average Fuel Economy Numbers
While not bad, the 2020 Honda Passport's fuel economy numbers are also not great. The EPA estimates that this vehicle will get 20mpg in the city and 25mpg on the highway when equipped with front-wheel-drive. Deciding to go with AWD instead means getting 19mpg in the city and 24mpg on the highway. There are a few competitors that get considerably better numbers.
2. Somewhat Bland Exterior Styling
Style is ultimately a matter of taste. That said, a fairly common complaint about the Passport is its bland look. It essentially is just a smaller Pilot and makes no real effort to distinguish itself as its own vehicle. Drivers may find that they enjoy this look however, or that they simply do not think this issue is significant enough to outweigh all of the Passport's perks.
3. Entry-Level Sport Trim is Lacking
When it comes to the 2020 Honda Passport, most consumers will want to skip right over the most affordable Sport trim. It has only a 5-inch touchscreen and is lacking smartphone integration. This trim also is the only one without leather and power-adjustment for the upholstery.
4. Top Trims Get Pricey
The top-of-the-line Elite trim costs more than 10 grand more than the Sport. This is especially discouraging when considering the lack of standard features for the Sport trim. Still, the EX-L and Touring trims seem to represent a happy medium. Plus, the Elite trim level is not outrageously priced when compared to top trims of competitors.
5. No Complimentary Scheduled Maintenance
This may be a bit nit-picky, but the Passport comes with absolutely no complimentary maintenance, something that competitors are including with increased frequency. This is something buyers will want to factor in when considering how well the Passport will fit within their budget.
How it Stacks Up to the Competition:
Consumers who look at the Passport may also consider the Toyota 4Runner. While the Passport's fuel economy numbers may not be the best, the 4Runner's are significantly worse. Plus, the 4Runner's engine produces 10 fewer horsepower than the Passport's. Another option would be the Chevrolet Trailblazer. This is certainly a capable SUV, but it offers no where near the amount of cargo space in comparison to the Passport. Passenger volume and standard towing capacity numbers are quite a bit smaller for the Trailblazer as well. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is another popular vehicle in this class. It, too, has much less space for both people and gear than the Passport.
ConclusionThe 2020 Honda Passport is the ideal SUV for a wide variety of consumers thanks to its powerful standard option, giant interior, standard safety equipment, and well-equipped upper trim levels. While the Sport trim will not be worthwhile for many, the other three options are certainly worth taking a closer look at. When looking at both the pros and the cons, it is easy to see how the Passport is a winner.