The Honda Passport captures the current state of the SUV market in a nutshell. As more people gravitate toward larger crossovers, Honda needed another vehicle in the lineup to squeeze between the midsize CR-V and the three-row Pilot. That vehicle is the Passport, essentially a Pilot that lost its third row and added some off-road capability. It's also a spacious and comfortable family SUV that feels good on the road. Its high ground clearance, a comfortable ride and an available all-wheel-drive system also make it an excellent vehicle for road trips and camping excursions.
For 2022, Honda is making a few changes to one of our favorite midsize SUVs. Motivation comes courtesy of the same 280-horsepower V6 as before, but all Passports get redesigned front and rear bumpers and a more aggressive headlight design. Honda is also adding some new interior trimmings, rear-seat reminder is now standard kit, and the instrument cluster features a small update in the form of some new colors. A new Honda Performance Development (HPD) package adds some sportier-looking goodies in the form of a new grille, black fender flares, more aggressive wheels and HPD graphics at the back of the car.
But that's not all: A new TrailSport trim debuts for 2022.
The TrailSport is essentially Honda's answer to Subaru's newly released Wilderness line of SUVs. And while the name sounds like it should add more capability to the Passport's already handy off-road chops, it doesn't ... for now. Confused? We were too. Bear with us. For its first model year, the TrailSport will just be an appearance package that adds wider wheels, some orange interior stitching, and some tougher rubber floor mats. Honda says that more functional hardware such as more off-road-ready tires and a more capable suspension will arrive "over the next few model years" but hasn't given an exact timeline. For now just know that eventually the TrailSport should evolve into something more than some floor mats and yellow badges.
When we added a Passport to our long-term test fleet, the big crossover proved to be every bit the adventure vehicle we expected during our year of driving it. However, there were some hiccups — the standard adaptive cruise control and other collision mitigation features felt somewhat crude compared to systems in other vehicles at this price. And we experienced infotainment crashes that eventually required Honda to issue a recall and fix the problem with a software update. In total, though, the Passport is a leader in its class and even a good alternative to larger adventurous vehicles such as the Kia Telluride and Subaru Ascent.