Honda Passport: datingFebruary 19, 2019
The new crossover, created for the American line of the Japanese automaker, can be considered a good example of how you can actually get a new model in a rapidly growing segment without significant investment. However, the difference between Pilot and Passport is not only in cosmetics: these close relatives differ in many ways. So, at least, Honda itself says.
Why do I need a Passport if there is a Pilot? This question was heard repeatedly at the stage of preparing the car. This did not interfere, but with interest wait for the release of new items on sale, to see what happens. As a result, a car came out, in front of which a simple and clear goal was set: to keep an annual “shortfall” of 35,000 customers who simply cannot find a crossover for outdoor activities in the Honda lineup. The CR-V features are few for them, the Ridgeline pickup is not needed because of the body type, and the Pilot is not suitable because of the size and the third row of seats. Slightly remove “there” and add “here”: Passport ready? Perhaps, although in practice, perhaps, a little more interesting than in theory.
It is noteworthy that the company does not name direct competitors to Passport. The crossover will have to distract the attention of Ford Edge buyers with its off-road capabilities, some Toyota 4Runner fans with road and city qualities, looking, albeit without much hope, towards the Jeep Grand Cherokee, whose sales last year in the US almost reached 225,000 auto.
If you look at the technical side, from the nose to the pillar Pilot and Passport are actually identical cars. About design a little later, but both crossovers have exactly the same 3.5-liter V6 with 282 hp. and a torque of 355 Nm, the same 9-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive control system and iVTM-4 torque distribution, and even the same set of active safety systems and identical windshields of increased thickness. Moreover, the more compact Passport has the same wheelbase (2,794 mm) as the Pilot. What is the difference? In detail, as usual.
Passport is shorter than the Pilot by 160 mm. He does not have a third row of seats. Ground clearance 20 mm more. The corners of entry and especially the exit are not so crossover (21.4 and 27.6 degrees), and the suspension settings slightly differ in the direction of more rigidity, despite the improved off-road potential. At the same time, Passport is by default in the primary and secondary trim levels – front-wheel drive cars: AWD is standardly present only in the Elite configuration, but you can make all the wheels leading in any configuration by paying $ 1,900 in prices for the American market.
All wheel drive Passport wheel drive increased by 10 mm, compared with the Pilot and installed tires dimension 265/40 R20 (standard – Continental CrossContact). They are 20 mm wider than the widest of those installed on the Pilot. The Passport has a front wheel drive, the wheel track is 18 mm wider, and the tire dimension is 245/50: exactly the same for the Pilot with all-wheel drive.
The comparison between these two Honda crossovers is inevitable for many reasons, but it is not worth it, which the authors themselves warn against reducing it to the level “one is better, the other is worse”. Each of these cars was honed for a specific audience and tasks, hence the difference, which with the help of, in general, little things, draws a portrait of two different cars.
They tried to separate them as far as possible from each other with the help of an external design. The front part of the Passport is perhaps more aggressive and sportier, and the rear part is deliberately not like the Pilot. The picture is complemented by its own alloy wheels – black in the upper Elite and the base Sport and gray in the intermediate and, as expected, the most popular, EX-L.
The same can not be said about the cabin, at least, about its front end: it is completely the same for Pilot and Passport. The differences begin to appear in the second row, where it turns out that the more compact Passport is more spacious than the Pilot: the seats in the lap of passengers are more than 30 mm. The reason is the absence of the third row, which made it possible to change the installation points of the second row of seats.
The picture is expected with the trunk: it is smaller than that of the Pilot, but the company claims that its volume is 1,046 liters with unfolded seats and as many as 1,974 liters with unfolded. The numbers may seem overly optimistic, but the company clarifies that they take into account the volume of boxes (63.5 l) under the floor of the trunk. It turns out that the cargo compartment at Passport is slightly larger than that of the Ford Edge, much larger than that of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but much smaller than that of the Toyota 4Runner.
Passport’s road character is slightly different compared to Pilot. The first thing felt is a denser and stiffer suspension, despite the increased clearance of 20 mm. It is worth mentioning that the Passport is not a sports car and you should not expect any controllability from it that goes far beyond the average crossover. Yes, it fits better in turns than the Pilot, but this is due to other steering settings (the gear ratio for the Pilot is 16: 1, for the Passport AWD – 15.76: 1), as well as a slightly lower curb weight (for example, in the Elite configuration Pilot weighs 1960 kg, and Passport – 1 922 kg).
With fuel consumption, the situation is expected: it is slightly lower than that of the Pilot, but quite high, compared to crossovers with comparable size and power. So the front-wheel drive Passport consumes 11.8 l / 100 km in the city, 9.4 on the highway and 10.7 on the combined cycle. The corresponding figures for Passport AWD are 12.4; 9.8 and 11.2 l / 100 km respectively. For comparison, for example, the Nissan Murano with a 3.5-liter V6 (its power, however, a little less – 260 hp) and all-wheel drive in the combined cycle consumes 9.8 l / 100 km.
Talk about a radical improvement in Passport off-road qualities, in comparison with the Pilot, is not worth it. The cars have completely identical power plants, transmission and all-wheel drive system. The driver is given a choice of the same modes (Normal, Snow, Sand, and Mud), the settings of the iVTM-4 seem, subjectively, the same. Improvements are achieved at the expense of greater ground clearance and other body geometry, allowing for different angles of entry, exit, and the height of the obstacle to be overcome. By the way, Passport has the largest ground clearance in the entire American Honda line – 210 mm.
Honda Passport, we repeat, a vivid example of how from one model you can get two, and with minimal cost. In terms of sales, the novelty, perhaps, would not compete with the Pilot, but it will almost certainly be in demand. At least, in the volumes that the company is counting on, closing the gap in the form of a crossover that was not yet available for outdoor activities.
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