Motor1 | Christopher Smith | 11/28/2018

The revived mid-sizer fills a gap in Honda’s SUV lineup.

Say hello to the newest SUV from Honda with a not-so-new name. You may recall the previous Honda Passport from the 1990s, which actually was an Isuzu Rodeo with some very minor changes. This time around it’s an all-Honda affair, designed by Honda’s North American research and development staff and built at the company’s plant in Lincoln, Alabama. It will go on sale early next year as a 2019 model but you can see it now at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

As predicted, it’s a roomy five-seater unibody SUV that slots neatly between the compact CR-V and full-size, three-row Honda Pilot. Power comes exclusively from a 280-horsepower (209-kilowatt) 3.5-liter V6 connected to a nine-speed automatic driving just the front wheels in standard trim, though we suspect a majority of Passport shoppers will opt for the available i-VTM4 all-wheel-drive system.

Specifically, this is an electronic, torque-vectoring arrangement that can send up to 70 percent of engine power to the rear wheels, and can move that power between either the left or right rear wheel. It’s available with four different modes to tackle a variety of conditions, and it gives the Passport a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds (2,268 kilograms). Front-wheel-drive models offer settings for normal and snow conditions with a reduced tow rating of 3,500 lbs (1,588 kg).

Inside, the Passport looks to be a comfortable, roomy place for occupants. Honda says it’s actually a class leader for passenger volume at 115.9 cubic feet, and best-in-class for overall volume at 157.1 cubic feet. With its overall size closer to the seven-passenger Pilot, having just two rows of seats means ample room in the back for cargo. There’s 41.2 cubic feet of space available, which expands to 77.9 cubic feet with the back seat folded.

As for technology, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are offered, along with mobile WiFi and a range of infotainment and stereo options depending on which trim level you choose. The Sport model gets a 215-watt system with a five-inch monitor, while higher grades get an eight-inch screen with up to 590 watts. Regardless of trim, Honda packs the Passport with its suite of Honda Sensing safety systems as standard equipment. That includes automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning, lane-departure alerts and lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise, cross-traffic alert, and cameras galore.

“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., Inc. and general manager, Honda Division.

Live Photo Credit: Andrew T. Maness / @TheRoadLessDriven /