Jul 3, 2019

What we're driving: Honda Passport Elite AWD

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.

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