Honda builds an off-road-centric vehicle in the all-new Passport

Find the all-new Honda CR-V small and the Pilot too big? Well you're in luck as Honda recently unveiled an all-new SUV that will slot right between the two. After teasing it last week going off-road, Honda has officially unveiled the 2019 Passport.

Set to go on sale early next year, Honda billed the all-new Passport as combining 'on-road driving refinement with off-road adventure capability'. It sits on the same Global Truck Platform as the Pilot and was built for robust off-road capability that allows it to go off the beaten path that is normally reserved for body-on-frame SUVs.

Honda wants you to go on an adventure with 2019 Passport

“The all-new 2019 Honda Passport provides the on-road comfort and nimble handling buyers will appreciate on their daily commute with the robust off-road and all-weather capability that make for a great weekend adventure vehicle,” said Henio Arcangeli Jr, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co. and General Manager of Honda Division.

While it may share some similarities with the Pilot, the five-seater Passport is a vehicle of its own. Compared to the seven-seater Pilot, the Passport is actually taller by a few millimeters for added ground clearance. Front-wheel drive models stand 12.7mm taller while all-wheel drive variants are 25.4 mm higher off the ground. Complementing its taller stance are the black 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 245/50R all-weather tires. Apart from those, the Passport is also equipped with matte-black finished front grill and bumper, blacked-out headlights, gloss black exterior trim pieces, floating C-pillar, and chrome exhaust finishers.

Honda wants you to go on an adventure with 2019 Passport

Stepping inside, the Passport blends both modern and sophisticated design cues that give it a car-like look and feel. Piano black trim pieces, along with soft-touch materials give the Passport a classy appearance. Meanwhile, the leather-wrapped seats provide a comfy feel for the occupants; the steering wheel is likewise wrapped in leather.

There is also plenty of storage inside the Passport thanks to a unique luggage area with a hidden underfloor compartment. According to Honda, the Passport can carry over 1,160 liters worth of luggage with the second-row seats up. Fold them flat however, and luggage capacity expands to a very generous 2,205 liters.

Honda wants you to go on an adventure with 2019 Passport

A wide array of standard tech and in-car amenities can be found in the all-new Passport. These include a 7-inch digital instrument panel with a full-color multi-info display, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and hand gesture control, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, and navigation. Higher-grade models can even come with 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection that can support up to seven devices.

Like its bigger brother, the all-new Passport is powered by a 3.5-liter, Earth Dreams-developed V6 that is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. It produces 283 PS and 355 Nm of torque. Power can then be sent to all four wheels via the optional i-VTM4 all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring. It is also helped along by Honda's 'Intelligent Traction Management' (ITM) that is available in both all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive models. In all-wheel drive variants, the ITM has four availble settings; normal, sand, snow and mud. Meanwhile, front-wheel drive offerings only come with two modes; normal and snow.

For those that want to tow stuff with the Passport, Honda claims the all-wheel drive version can tow nearly 2,270 kg of cargo while the front-wheel drive variant can tow about 1,590 kg worth of equipment. To help drivers see out better, the Passport gets Honda's multi-view reverse camera for easier parking and manuevering even while they're towing.

Honda wants you to go on an adventure with 2019 Passport

Honda's suite of advanced safety systems are also available in the 2019 Passport. Dubbed 'Honda Sensing', it consist of driver-assist technologies that help the driver become more aware of their surroundings, as well as help them maintain their lane or speed while on the highway. Equipped as standard on all variants of the Passport are: collision mitigation braking systsem, forward collision warning, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.

The 2019 Honda Passport was developed exclusively by Honda's North America R&D teams in Torrance, California; and Raymond, Ohio. Both the Passport's body and V6 engine will be manufactured by the company's Lincoln, Alabama plant.