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LA show: Honda revives Passport name with new SUV

All-new Honda Passport large SUV unveiled in LA, denied entry into Australia

29 Nov 2018

HONDA has revived the Passport nameplate with the reveal of its new large SUV at the LA motor show, however its left-hand-drive-only production means an Australian arrival is off the cards.
 
For the US market, the five-seat Passport will sit between the CR-V mid-sizer and Pilot three-row SUV, and will be offered solely with a 3.5-litre petrol V6 outputting 209kW at 6000rpm and 355Nm at 4700rpm.
 
The Passport model revives an old nameplate that was sold in the US in the 1990s and 2000s, which was a rebadged version of the rough-and-rugged off-road-focused Isuzu Rodeo SUV.
 
Honda claims the new Passport retains the same off-road chops as its predecessor, while improving refinement with a monocoque chassis – based on the same platform as the Pilot and Ridgeline pick-up – and fully independent suspension. 
 
The V6 mill will send power to either the front or all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission, with its rough-road ability thanks to Honda’s i-VTM4 traction control system.
 
In normal conditions the rear-biased all-wheel-drive system uses active torque vectoring to send up to 70 per cent of torque to the rear wheels, and combines with the intelligent traction management system (standard on front and all-wheel versions) to adjust to different weather and terrain conditions such as sand, snow and mud.
 
Visually, the Passport’s off-road intentions are clear with black plastic moulding around the wheelarches, door sills, and front and rear bumpers, while further black accents are found on the 20-inch wheels wrapped in 245/50 all-weather tyres, headlight trim and matte black grille.
 
Up front are segmented LED headlights, while at the rear a wide tailgate, small tail-lights and twin chrome-tipped exhausts feature. 
 
Inside, higher-spec versions of the Passport gain an 8.0-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a customisable 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, a 590-watt 10-speaker sound system, three-zone automatic climate control, leather-trimmed power front seats with heating, a tilt-and-slide moonroof and a three-way reversing camera.
 
A sizeable 1167 litres of cargo space is available behind the second row, which expands to 2205L with the 60:40 split-fold rear seats down. Furthermore, an additional 70L is available underneath the cargo floor.
 
The Honda Sensing active safety suite is standard on the Passport, and includes autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control.
 
Optional safety features include dynamic guide lines for the reversing camera, blind-spot information, rear cross-traffic alert and front and rear parking sensors.
 
The Passport was designed and developed by Honda’s North America R&D team, and will be built at the company’s facility in Lincoln, Alabama.

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