Honda unveiled the all-new Passport SUV on Wednesday at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The Passport nameplate returns to the market after a 17-year absence. The original Honda Passport, a converted Isuzu Rodeo, was sold in the United States from 1993 to 2002.
"We have seen an opportunity to provide something that Honda is the only one able to create and the new Passport is very well placed to attract buyers looking for a more personal, more powerful and more efficient Honda SUV," said Henio Arcangeli Jr., executive vice president of American Honda Motor Company, said in a statement.
The new passport will go against established rivals such as the Ford Edge and the Nissan Murano, as well as the recent Chevrolet Blazer. The presence of the Passport also offers Honda buyers a crossover SUV alternative to its powerful Accord sedan.
Read more: 23 Cars Not to Miss at 2018 LA Auto Show.
The five-passenger mid-size passport will be placed between current Honda dealers, the compact CR-V and the seven-passenger pilot.
The passport and driver are both built on Honda's global light truck platform. In fact, both crossover SUVs have the same wheelbase, but the passport is six inches shorter.
The new passport will come standard with a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine producing 280 horsepower and a nine-speed automatic transmission. Front wheel drive is standard. But an all-wheel drive torque vector system with intelligent traction control is available as an option.
According to Honda, front-wheel drive passports will be able to tow up to 3,500 pounds, while AWD models can pull up to 5,000 pounds. The available technical features include a 4g LTE Wi-Fi access point, wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration and Honda Sensing driver safety assistance system .
The passport is a mix all American. The SUV was designed and developed by Honda's R & D teams in California and Ohio. The passport and engine will be built at Honda's Lincoln plant in Alabama.
The 2019 Honda Passport will go on sale early next year. Honda has not yet announced an official price, but expect the passport to start at around $ 28,000.