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This week's ride is the 2019 Honda Passport Elite AWD, the latest addition to Honda's SUV lineup — but with more off-road chops.

Why it matters: The Alabama-built Passport slots between the popular CR-V and the full-size Pilot, adding some extra fuel to Honda's fast-growing SUV sales.

First impressions: I find the Passport's styling rather bland — it's getting harder for any crossover SUV to stand out from the crowd — but as always, Honda dazzles with its mastery of interior space.

  • The deep, covered bin between the front seats was perfect for hiding my purse or my husband's camera.
  • The covered, removable plastic bin under the floor in the cargo area is great for muddy things (though its easy-to-reach location means the spare tire is harder to reach).

The tech-y stuff: As I've said before, Honda deserves credit for making driver-assistance features like automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist standard on all its vehicles.

  • The problem is they're oversensitive, which means they're more of an annoyance than a help.
  • The big risk is that frustrated Honda owners will turn off the systems and lose the benefit of these life-saving features.

The bottom line: Starting at $33,035 for the basic Sport trim up to $44,075 for the Elite AWD I drove, the Honda Passport stands up well against other midsize crossovers.

Go deeper

In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.

Why it matters: Secrecy is often necessary in cyber spying to protect sources and methods, preserve strategic edges that may stem from purloined information, and prevent diplomatic incidents.

32 mins ago - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council Director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

33 mins ago - World

Scoop: Sudan wants to seal Israel normalization deal at White House

Burhan. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty

Three months after Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel, it still hasn't signed an agreement to formally do so. Israeli officials tell me one reason has now emerged: Sudan wants to sign the deal at the White House.

Driving the news: Israel sent Sudan a draft agreement for establishing diplomatic relations several weeks ago, but the Sudanese didn’t reply, the officials say. On Tuesday, Israeli Minister of Intelligence Eli Cohen raised that issue in Khartoum during the first-ever visit of an Israeli minister to Sudan.