In “Red Dead Redemption 2,” the third in Rockstar Games’ epic gunslinger video game series, gang leader Dutch van der Linde reminds our protagonist that his band of misfits “feed them who need feedin,’ save them who need savin’ and kill them who need killin.’” Honda’s new Passport crossover, also the third in the series, similarly gives buyers whatever they need most, and nothing more.
You want to go off-road? Honda’s i-VTM all-wheel-drive setup systematically puts power to whatever tires needs powerin’. On road? Its 280-hp V6 and standard 20-inch wheels provide speed and handlin'. And if you need cargo space, the Passport has you covered there too. It beats all in its class, except the Toyota 4Runner, in space for stuff. Hopefully the new Passport, on sale in February, won’t meet an ending like poor Arthur Morgan and the rest of the van der Linde crew.
The last Honda Passport went out in 2002, not with a bang, but with a whimper. It suffered from severe rust corrosion on the rear suspension lower links, and almost 150,000 were recalled. It was a decent-looking SUV that shared a platform, and pretty much everything else, with the Isuzu Rodeo SUV. In that respect, the last one did sort of go out like Morgan. Sorry, no spoilers!
The new Passport shares its front two-thirds with the three-row Honda Pilot, along with its platform and wheelbase. It’s 6 inches shorter front to back, 1 inch taller and about 1 inch higher off the ground. It’s by far the most aggressive-looking crossover from Honda, with a dark grille matching dark wheels. With a roof basket or kayak on top, it looks positively mountain-ready. It wouldn’t have taken the van der Lindes 10 hours of real time (!) to get down from the Rockies if they had a Passport instead of hungry horses. How much do a couple of wagons and supplies weigh anyway? Probably less than 5,000 pounds, which is what the Passport can tow.