Honda is Bringing Back the Passport Name to Fill the Gap Between the CR-V and Pilot
It’s been 16 years since we last saw a Honda Passport roll off the production lineby Kirby Garlitos, on
Honda’s OG SUV is making a comeback. The once proud Pilot badge is reportedly getting a new shot in life, this time in a form of a two-row crossover that will slot between the CR-V and Pilot SUV. The new Passport is expected to to be shown at a Honda dealership meeting in November before going on sale sometime in the early part of 2019. Before that, a date with the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show is also on the calendar.
With so many crossovers and SUVs in the market today, it’s easy to forget that at one point, the Passport was Honda’s only SUV in the market
With so many crossovers and SUVs in the market today, it’s easy to forget that at one point, the Passport was Honda’s only SUV in the market. The Isuzu Rodeo-derived model was launched in 1994 — three years before the CR-V — and had a good eight-year run before it was discontinued in 2002 to make room for the Pilot SUV, which debuted a year later in 2003.
It took 16 years of being on the sidelines, but with the crossover and SUV markets continuing to grow, Honda saw an opportunity to bring back the Passport name. According to Automotive News, the new Passport will occupy Honda’s midsize crossover slot, putting it in a segment that includes the Nissan Murano, Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Chevrolet’s own comeback kid, the Blazer.
The Passport’s arrival should also help Honda’s sales volume in the crossover and SUV segments
Specific details about the returning Passport are still scarce at this point, but the report did say that the model would be six inches shorter than the Pilot. The relationship between the two will also extend in the sharing of platforms and production facility. In terms of the latter, the Passport is expected to be produced in Honda’s production plant in Lincoln, Alabama, where the Pilot, Odyssey, and Ridgeline pickup are also being built.
The Passport’s arrival should also help Honda’s sales volume in the crossover and SUV segments. Sales of the HR-V, CR-V, and Pilot all grew more than five percent from their sales performance in the previous year. The return of the Passport should help increase Honda’s presence in a segment that’s clearly trending up in the U.S.
Read our full review on the 2017 Honda CR-V.
Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Pilot.
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