2022 Honda Passport TrailSport AWD

2022 Honda Passport TrailSport AWD

The 2022 Honda Passport is a well-rounded crossover with family-friendly features, lots of space for passengers and cargo, and peppy handling. But the price tag is on the high side for a two-row SUV, and there are so many worthy rivals that it can be tough for the Passport to stand out.

Base Price: $42,470
As Tested: $44,090
Horsepower: 280
Mileage: 19 mpg city/24 mpg highway/21 mpg combined

The Passport was the first SUV produced by the Japanese automaker. It was introduced for the 1994 model year when SUVs were gaining in popularity in the U.S. Honda went on to produce the Passport through 2002 but then discontinued it in favor of the Pilot. Honda resurrected the Passport for the 2019 model year and it’s now in its third generation. It fits in the Honda line-up between the smaller two-row CR-V and larger three-row Pilot.

The five-passenger Passport gets a midcycle refresh for 2022 including more rugged-looking bumpers and grille, and the addition of the TrailSport trim which can handle light off-roading. The Sport and Touring trims are discontinued.

The 2022 Passport comes in three trims: EX-L, TrailSport and Elite. The EX-L starts at $37,870, which is high for a midsize SUV with two rows of seating. The TrailSport and Elite trims start at $42,470 and $45,430, respectively. The EX-L trim comes standard with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive is available for $2,100. The other two trims come standard with AWD.

There’s one engine: a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. This power plant works great in most driving situations and propels the Passport down the road, even when it’s loaded with passengers and cargo. Acceleration is brisk and the nine-speed shifts quickly and smoothly; however, it can be pokey to downshift so you’ll want to plan accordingly for merging or passing at freeway speeds. Steering and brakes are responsive, and the Passport feels planted with little body lean when cornering. The ride is firmer than many other midsize SUVs so you’ll notice some jarring over bumps and rough roads.

Fuel economy is about average for a midsize SUV. EPA ratings for my tester are 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway with a combined rating of 21. I got 21 during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. Front-wheel drive models do a bit better at 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway/23 mpg combined.

The Passport can handle some light off-roading with its 8.1 inches of ground clearance – things like camping, ski trips, and navigating trails and dirt roads.

When properly equipped, the AWD Passport can tow up to 5,000 pounds and the FWD models can handle up to 3,500 pounds.

The cabin is attractive with mostly quality materials. There are some hard plastics, but most materials are soft-touch with nice trim and finishes. Seats in both rows are comfortable and supportive, and even taller passengers enjoy good leg- and headroom. The rear seats easily accommodate two adults or three kids.

Standard features include push-button start, proximity keyless entry, remote start, rearview camera, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, power adjustable front seats, infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen, seven-speaker audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, three USB ports, wireless device charging, automatic high-beam headlights, and a moonroof.

Available features include ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, 10-speaker audio system, navigation, Wi-Fi hot spot, a 120-volt household-style power outlet, rear sunshades, and ambient lighting.

Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, front and rear parking sensors, and rear-seat reminder (a reminder to check the backseats for kids or pets before you leave the vehicle.)

There are no available driver assistance technologies.

The infotainment system has an eight-inch touchscreen. Menus are logically laid out,  the system is intuitive to use, and it responds quickly to touch and voice commands. However, it’d be good to have more physical controls. There is a volume knob but no tuning knob. So you have to fiddle with the touchscreen to change the radio station. Thankfully, there are physical controls for climate under the touchscreen.

Cargo space is above average for the class. There are 41.2 cubic feet with both rows of seating in place and 77.7 cubes with the second row folded. That’s lots of space for a family road trip or that shopping spree at Costco. An underfloor storage area is convenient for stashing small items. A power liftgate is standard and a hands-free power liftgate is available.

The good:

Peppy handling

Good road manners

Roomy cabin

More cargo space than most rivals

Lots of standard features and tech

Intuitive infotainment system

Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

The not-so-good:

Higher starting price than some rivals

Ride can be jarring over bumps and rough roads

Infotainment system has only a volume knob

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $42,470. Sonic Gray paint is $395. Destination fee is $1,225 bringing the grand total to $44,090.

Bottom line:

The 2022 Honda Passport is a mini-me version of the Pilot, which is a compliment. It has the same powertrain and peppy handling as the Pilot, a similar long list of standard features and tech, and plenty of room for passengers and cargo. For those who only need room for five passengers in two rows of seating, the Passport may be the better choice. However, there are many excellent midsize SUVs so you’ll want to shop around before making your choice.