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2020 Honda Passport Performance


#11 out of 22 in Midsize SUVs

MSRP
$31,990
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Honda Passport Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.3

The 2020 Honda Passport delivers a comfortable and slightly agile ride. It's also capable of some light off-roading. It has a potent V6 engine, and its fuel economy ratings are about average for the midsize SUV class.

  • "One oversight, considering Honda's emphasis on off-road ability, is that the Passport lacks hill-descent control. Fortunately, the brake pedal is firm, and the performance is adequate for its class, requiring 181 feet to stop from 70 mph." -- Car and Driver (2019)
  • "With all-wheel drive (we tested the range-topping Elite model), Honda's traction management system allows you to select among four modes: Normal, Snow, Mud and Sand. These selections not only change the amount of power provided to each individual wheel but the throttle programming as well. When the wheels start to slip, the system can transfer power from front to back and from side to side, using active torque vectoring to deliver power rather than merely limiting it with the brakes. This ability is confidence-inspiring when you've reached the end of the beaten path or when you just hit really bad weather." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "There is no doubt this is more of an on-road driver even though Honda marketing materials would have some believe otherwise, but for a true crossover, the Passport is incredibly successful. Off-road capable, on-road comfortable." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)

Acceleration and Power

This Honda is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower. The Passport has ample power for everyday use, and its nine-speed automatic transmission delivers relatively smooth shifts. However, the transmission can sometimes be slow to downshift.

The Passport gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, which are average figures for a midsize SUV. Adding all-wheel drive drops those ratings by 1 mpg both in the city and on the highway.

  • "… the Passport was quick in our testing, and it dutifully accelerates on the highway." -- Car and Driver
  • "The V6 delivers smooth and punchy acceleration. In Edmunds' instrumented testing, the Passport covered 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds, which is among the quickest in the class. At full throttle, the nine-speed transmission shifts quickly and efficiently." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "Step on the throttle, and you'll hear a nice note from the exhaust, while your back is pushed against the seatback. Although Honda has made changes to the ZF-sourced transmission, there were a couple of instances where the gearbox took a long time to downshift, and even though most shifts were smooth, Mud mode made the shifting a little rougher." -- Motor Trend (2019)

Handling and Braking

The Passport has a smooth ride, and it remains composed when cornering. However, there isn’t a ton of steering feedback. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

  • "The ride is comfortable on most roads and the steering is pleasingly direct, all of which give the Passport a nimble, agile feeling from behind the wheel." -- Car and Driver
  • "Steering and handling are surprisingly good for a vehicle this large. Due no doubt to the stiffer springs and upgraded shocks, the Passport's ride quality is a bit bouncier than that of the Pilot, but it's still smooth on the highway. Those stiffer springs, however, also translate to better cornering ability, making the Passport a relatively agile midsize SUV." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "Honda made some changes to the suspension, allowing it to tackle on-road vibrations and providing better damping off-road." -- Motor Trend (2019)

Off-Roading

The Passport is tuned for some light off-roading. It has up to 8.1 inches of ground clearance, and it's available with all-wheel drive and an Intelligent Traction Management system that offers three driving modes: Snow, Mud, and Sand. The Passport's suspension system is pretty good at absorbing rocks and bumps, but the lack of hill descent control, skid plates, and locking differentials are bemoaned by some critics.

  • "Ground clearance is a useful 7.5 inches (8.1 inches for all-wheel-drive models) and the Passport can tow up to 5000 pounds. However, the two-row Honda has a rough ride when it does venture off-road, and its high ride height contributes to a top-heavy demeanor." -- Car and Driver
  • "Although the 2019 Honda Passport is derived from the Pilot, it has a distinctive look and feel. Based on the same light-truck platform (also shared with the Ridgeline), the Passport is 6.2 inches shorter lengthwise than the Pilot, and it sits 0.8 inch higher. It's also got a unique grille, some black plastic cladding and a different front fascia. Extra ground clearance, stiffer springs, upgraded shocks, and improved approach and departure angles make the Passport a better off-roader." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "Honda made some changes to the suspension, allowing it to tackle on-road vibrations and providing better damping off-road. When driving over rocks, the suspension absorbed the movements in good fashion, and even when driving at about 55 mph on some dirt roads, the cabin felt quiet and peaceful." -- Motor Trend (2019)
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Honda Passport

MSRP: $31,990 - $43,780

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