2021 Honda Passport Review
The best way to think of the 2021 Honda Passport is a Honda Pilot without the third row of seats. It's a bit easier to maneuver than the Pilot and offers more interior space than the smaller Honda CR-V. With both the Pilot and CR-V holding very favorable spots in their respective classes, it's no surprise the Passport is also a great pick.
The Honda Passport's combination of spaciousness, comfort and convenience allows it to slightly outrank other midsize SUVs that include the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, Toyota Venza and Hyundai Santa Fe. However, the scoring is pretty close. Check out our in-depth Expert Rating to help you decide if the Passport is for you.
What's it like to live with?
Edmunds tested a Passport for a year and more than 20,000 miles. We liked it for its long-distance comfort and convenience features, but were unimpressed with the infotainment system and advanced safety feature tuning. For more about our experience with the Passport, check out our long-term test logbook. Note that we tested a 2019 model, but the 2021 Passport is largely unchanged, so our observations still apply.
The Honda Passport is one of the most versatile SUVs on the market. It exudes an athletic character from both a design and performance standpoint, but it also delivers a comfortable ride, plenty of cargo space, and decent fuel economy. It also comes with a good number of standard features, excellent smartphone integration and plentiful interior storage.
How does the Passport drive?
The Passport excels in terms of the on-road driving experience. The standard V6 engine delivers punchy acceleration, and the nine-speed transmission shifts smoothly. The 0-60 mph run took 6.8 seconds in Edmunds testing, which is among the quickest in the class. The Passport also exhibits better-than-average handling characteristics. Its nicely weighted steering helps the SUV feel responsive and light in turns.
But there is room for improvement. While the brakes offer a consistent feel and are easy to modulate in routine driving, the pedal exhibits a bit of squishiness under hard braking. There's also some nosedive that can make sudden stops feel a touch skittish.
How comfortable is the Passport?
The Passport is spacious and comfortable. Though the Passport has a slightly stiffer ride than the related Honda Pilot, its suspension controls large body motions and small bumps equally well. The front seats don't have a whole lot of bolstering to them, but they're wide and provide hours of comfort. The reclining rear seats are also quite comfortable.
We also like the Passport's quiet cabin; there's very little wind and tire noise. The tri-zone climate control system is effective, as are the heated and ventilated seats (which remember your last setting on vehicle startup).
How’s the interior?
The Passport's cabin is well designed. Head- and legroom are abundant all around, and three adults can sit in the back with minimal discomfort. The Passport sits a little higher than competitors, which might hamper entry and exit for shorter passengers, but the sizable door openings help reduce this difficulty. Outward visibility is excellent in all directions.
The responsive and vibrant touchscreen infotainment system is easy to use. Having knobs and buttons for other controls and functions is a good thing. The unique push-button-style shifter saves space but takes some getting used to.
How’s the tech?
The Passport is packed with most of the modern technology features you'd want. The upgraded audio system — available on Touring and Elite levels — sounds great and fills the cabin space well. The navigation system responds quickly to pinch and swipe gestures for easy map zoom and rotation. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration comes standard on every Passport.
Most of today's advanced safety systems are represented, and almost all are standard. But not all work seamlessly. The adaptive cruise control system, in particular, is troublesome because it only works above 20 mph. As such, it's not very useful in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
How’s the storage?
The Passport's 41.2 cubic feet behind the second row is a large amount of space. Fold down the rear seats and you'll have 77.9 cubic feet. (Note that due to different measuring standards, you might also see Honda list 50.5 and 100.7 cubic feet, respectively.) The load height, however, is a bit high. As for child safety seats, there's enough room for the installation of even bulky rear-facing seats. Car seat anchors are easily accessible.
Small-item storage includes large door pockets, a clever space in the center console, and an abundance of shelves and cubbies throughout the cabin. The AWD model's 5,000-pound maximum towing capacity is average for the segment. Front-wheel-drive models are limited to 3,500 pounds.
How economical is the Passport?
The EPA estimates the AWD Passport gets 21 mpg combined (19 city/24 highway), which is about midpack for midsize SUVs. On our 115-mile testing route, we averaged about 22 mpg, which is in line with EPA estimates.
Is the Passport a good value?
The Passport's pricing is typical for the class, but exceptional materials and assembly quality, a spacious interior, and a comfortable ride make it feel like a bargain. The cabin's soft-touch plastics on the dash, combined with high-gloss black trim and matte-finish secondary controls, look and feel good. The panel gaps are small and even.
Basic warranty coverage and roadside assistance are offered for three years/36,000 miles, while the powertrain is covered for five years/60,000 miles. All are average for the class.
Like its three-row Pilot sibling, the Passport is a versatile and well-rounded SUV. It has a great combination of power and comfort, and its handling is gratifying. The Passport is also the best-looking of the Honda SUV bunch thanks to its more aggressive fascia and athletic stance.
Which Passport does Edmunds recommend?
For our money, we pick the Passport in EX-L trim. It adds a fair amount of convenience features for a reasonable amount of money. The higher trims add only a handful of items and are rather expensive by comparison.
Honda Passport models
The 2021 Honda Passport is offered in four trim levels: Sport, EX-L, Touring and Elite. Powering all of these is a 3.5-liter V6 engine (280 horsepower, 262 lb-ft of torque) paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is available as an option and included with the Elite trim.