2022 Honda Passport, All you want to know about a Great Car
2022 Honda Passport Price Shoots Up Following Loss Of Base Trim Level
The formerly midgrade EX-L trim is now the entry point to the Passport lineup.
The Honda Passport SUV, a shortened, two-row version of the Honda Pilot, was introduced for model year 2019 and revised from the windshield forward for 2022. The refreshed five-passenger Passport sports a new upright grille, sculpted hood, reworked front fenders, and an aggressive rear bumper resulting in a sportier, more athletic-looking midsize SUV that Honda asserts is more adventure-ready than ever before.
And with that focus on ruggedness and off-road capability comes a brand-new trim for 2022 called the TrailSport. The Passport is the first Honda SUV to get the TrailSport treatment, though it may yet spread to the smaller CR-V and larger Pilot in the future. So, how much will this new Trailsport—and new Passport in general—cost?
The 2022 Honda Passport starts at $39,095, quite a jump from the 2021 Honda Passport, which started at $34,015. Beyond the general notion that everything is just getting more expensive, there is a (valid) reason for the $5,080 price jump for the starting MSRP. We’ll explain.
Bye-Bye Sport Trim: EX-L Is The New Entry-Level
Last year’s base trim, dubbed Sport, has been cut for 2022, as was the upscale Touring trim. (The 2021 Honda Passport was available in four trims: $34,015 Sport, $38,035 EX-L, $40,905 Touring, and $45,405 Elite.) The off-road oriented TrailSport trim was added in the Touring’s place, essentially. Eliminating the former base trim leaves behind a higher-end entry-point trim for 2022: That formerly midgrade EX-L spec.
The 2022 Honda Passport is available in only three trims: That EX-L ($39,095), the new TrailSport ($43,695), and the carryover Elite ($46,665). The TrailSport and Elite come exclusively with all-wheel drive, while the EX-L gets front-wheel drive standard and offers AWD for an additional $2,100, which would bring an EX-L so equipped to $41,195.
The revised EX-L comes with a plethora of standard equipment, including the whole suite of Honda Sensing assistive technologies, leather-trimmed power adjustable heated front seats, high-contrast stitching inside, a one-touch power moonroof, 20-inch pewter gray aluminum wheels, power tailgate with remote, 8.0-inch display, Apple CarPlay, wireless smartphone charging, and front and rear parking sensors. Also now standard is a rear seat reminder and rear seatbelt reminder.
The Passport Elite has 20-inch wheels with gloss black inserts, rain-sensing windshield wipers, hands-free access power tailgate, 540W audio system with 10 speakers, Wi-Fi hotspot capability, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, second-row controls for the climate control system, white ambient LED lighting, front row courtesy door lights, and a heated steering wheel.
TrailSport Trim: An Aesthete, Not An Athlete
The initial iteration of the TrailSport trim represents a somewhat underwhelming array of visual upgrades rather than any substantive off-road upgrades. Those include 18-inch wheels wrapped in “rugged” 245/60R18 tires, a unique grille, aggressive bumpers with skid plate designs, roof rails, LED fog lights, orange TrailSport badges, other gloss black badges, orange contrast stitching inside, amber interior lighting, rubber floor mats, TrailSport embroidered logos on the headrests, gloss-black power-folding mirrors, and a heated windshield wiper “parking area.”
The full-blown Passport TrailSport vision, as previewed by the Rugged Roads Project 2.0 concept, hints at some more substantial off-road upgrades that would catapult the TrailSport closer to competition like the Subaru Outback Wilderness: improved ground clearance, beefier all-terrain tires, a full-size spare tire, underbody armor, skid plates, recovery hooks, adjustments to the all-wheel-drive system, and unique off-road-oriented suspension tuning. While we appreciate the “rugged styling” of the Passport TrailSport, seeing the concept and other raced-out Passports makes us yearn for more, now.
Alas, as for now, the 2022 Passport TrailSport gets the same 8.1 inches of ground clearance as the other AWD Passports, the same approach and departure angles, the same suspension, the same tiny spare tire, the same 280-hp, 262-lb-ft 3.5-liter V-6 and nine-speed automatic…the same everything, basically, including fuel economy (19/24/21). Okay, we won’t complain about the last one.
The 2022 Honda Passport is expected to arrive in dealerships this winter.
Honda Passport Trailsport Rugged Roads Concept Lives Up to Promise
Well, it lives up to Honda’s promise for the Trailsport treatment, at least.
Honda’s Trailsport rollout is turning into something of a tennis match, what with all the back-and-forth. First, Honda announced the Trailsport trim level, its answer to Subaru’s Wilderness treatment: A combination of rugged-looking trim and functional additions, including all-terrain tires and increased ground clearance, for its SUVs and trucks. Next, Honda dropped the updated 2022 Passport SUV, the first Honda model to get the Trailsport treatment, albeit in name only—for now, it’s merely an appearance package without the functional off-road bits and pieces.
And now, a day after that announcement, Honda has revealed this Passport Trailsport Rugged Roads concept, which does have the functional would-be Trailsport upgrades. Wait, huh?
Honda intends for its Trailsport models to have actual off-road hardware improvements. The 2022 Passport Trailsport won’t have them, at least not at first, so this “concept” depicts what the full-on Passport Trailsport should look like. The concept SUV’s ground clearance, therefore, is increased 1.5 inches (to 9.6) via a Jsport suspension lift kit that notches the nose 1.5 inches higher and the rear by 0.8 inch; it has prototype skid plates to protect the oil pan and fuel tank; Firestone all-terrain tires; and prototype recovery hooks at the front and rear. So, this is basically the Passport Trailsport Honda sort of promised us, then told us that we weren’t getting.
Actually, this concept car is a bit more than what the Passport Trailsport could-be-but-isn’t, or at least what it won’t be from the factory, per se: It also features a Sparrow XL roof-top tent, Dirt Complex swing-out spare tire carrier with an integrated table, and black wheels and fender flares. While the two former items are available on the aftermarket, the two latter add-ons—wheels and fenders—are Honda Performance Development and genuine accessories available from your dealer. Ditto the Honda accessory roof bars and cargo tray inside.
Thus you could built a Passport like this if Honda delivered the Passport Trailsport as originally outlined, which they have made it clear aren’t going to do—at least not right away. As part of the 2022 Passport announcement, Honda said that the mechanical upgrades would be available in future model-year Passports, so we don’t know if this version will arrive sooner or later than other Trailsport-ized Honda models that may or may not come with the upgrades that Honda might or might not have announced.
We’re not sure what Honda is doing here—promising off-road-capable Trailsport models, then announcing a Passport Trailsport that won’t have those capabilities, then showing us a concept we can’t buy that has them anyway—but since we don’t work in automotive marketing, we clearly aren’t qualified to understand these things. We’re just going to go watch Gaslight again. Come over and join us! We’ll make the popcorn. You can’t have any, but we’ll show it to you.
Honda Is Taking the 2022 Passport Rallying
The Honda Performance Development Maxxis Rally Team will campaign in American Rally Association events.
The 2022 Honda Passport is going rallying with the HPD Maxxis Rally team, and in fact it just competed in its first event: the Lake Superior Performance Rally in Michigan. And this Honda SUV looks the business, with a bold black and white livery with strong orange accents, particularly the “wing” that spans the grille. The Passport, which is a shortened, two-row variant of the Pilot SUV, will compete in essentially mechanically stock form.
That’s right, the Passport’s 3.5-liter V-6, which packs 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, is plenty for rally duty, although it breathes through a modified exhaust system. In our testing, the Passport proved quick, with abundant power. No issues there, but we were not fond of the ZF-sourced 9-speed automatic’s lazy, confused behavior. The HPD Maxxis Rally team will have to make do with that, too, because the stock transmission also makes the jump over to the rally vehicle. It will get extra cooling from the optional transmission cooler included with the Passport’s available tow package.
What’s changed, actually? The Passport wears rally racing BRAID wheels wrapped in Maxxis off-road tires (either mud terrains or all-terrains, depending on the stage). There are some custom bits underneath, including non-stock aluminum skid plates for the oil pan and rear differential, and lightweight polyethylene armor for the fuel tank and a few other parts.
For more effective stops during the heat of rally battle, the passport wears Carbotech XP12 brake pads and utilizes competition-spec brake fluid. Inside, as you might imagine, competition OMP racing seats, harnesses, a safety cage, fire suppression gear, and so forth are fitted. The side and rear glass are now Lexan, and the interior is mainly gutted for weight savings. Finally, a hydraulic handbrake allows for convenient rear-end sliding to make extra tight turns on the soft stuff.
Perhaps strangely, there’s no apparent allusion to the new Trailsport trim level, which is upgraded (at least, in terms of looks, for now) to appear more rugged and adventurous. Seems to us that a Trailsport-branded rally racer couldn’t hurt things any, but maybe someone in Honda’s marketing department feels otherwise. Regardless, all this sounds promising, and frankly, like a lot of fun. But some mechanical gremlins and bad luck caused the Passport to finish 4th out of 6th in its class in the first outing. Hopefully the team will have better luck next time.
2022 Honda Passport Trailsport First Look: Watch Out Wilderness
Honda’s got the off-road itch.
Honda has taken the wraps off the facelifted 2022 Passport, including a new TrailSport trim that offers more aggressive looks and enhanced off-road abilities … but without the enhanced off-road abilities. Confused? Yeah, us too. Bear with us and we’ll try to straighten it out.
First, the easy part: All 2022 Passports get a mid-cycle refresh, which includes the likes of a new power-bulge hood, reshaped bumpers and wheels, and a new grille, all designed to give the SUV a more aggressive look. Inside, the instrument cluster gets new colors and EX-L models get contrast-color stitching for the leather seats.
Also new is the all-wheel-drive Passport TrailSport model. This is where things begin to get a little complicated.
Honda previously announced the TrailSport trim, which is basically their answer to Subaru’s Wilderness line. Along with visual enhancements, TrailSport models will get functional off-road improvements like increased ground clearance, all-terrain tires, skid plates, recovery hooks, and unique suspension tuning. Except that the first TrailSport is the 2022 Passport, and it won’t.
When the 2022 Passport TrailSport hits dealerships, it’ll be an appearance package only, with orange badging, orange contrast stitching on the interior, embroidered headrests, industrial-strength rubber floor mats, and unique wheels, which also give the Passport TrailSport a wider track.
When will the TrailSport trim transition to a package that actually enhances a given vehicle’s off-road abilities? That’s a good question. Honda’s press release says the functional bits will come to the Passport “over the next few model years”, but we can’t imagine Honda waiting too long. (For what it’s worth, we know from experience that the Passport, as it is, is a better off-roader than one might expect. )
Honda also hasn’t announced what other models will get the TrailSport treatment, but one doesn’t need to engage the services of a psychic to predict that the Ridgeline pickup truck would be a deserving recipient. A TrailSport version of the Pilot would make sense to us, and we imagine Honda might TrailSport-ize the compact CR-V in order to take on Toyota’s RAV4 Adventure and Subaru’s just-revealed Forester Wilderness.
The 2022 Passport, in both regular and TrailSport forms, is due to arrive at Honda dealerships toward the end of this year.
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