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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
RETURNING PASSPORT A WELCOME ADDITION TO HONDA LINEUP!

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
In 1993, it was sold as a Passport in collaboration with Isuzu. That lasted about nine years. And now the midsize SUV is back, slotted perfectly between the compact CR-V and the full-size Pilot. Though about an inch higher and 6 inches shorter than its bigger sibling, it shares the same engine, transmission, suspension, steering and wheelbase as the Pilot.

So the Passport gets a 3.5-liter V-6 engine packing 280 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 262 pounds-feet of torque @ 4700 rpm. Our top-level Elite was mated to a 9-speed auto transmission, which when combined with the Variable Cylinder Management, operates in three or four cylinder modes for substantial fuel savings. For those who like to be in control of the gears, try the steering-wheel paddle shifters for spirited driving.
               
Ensconced on the fully boxed structure is an aggressive blacked-out grille and bar, bumper, door sash and lift gate garnish. LED headlight accents and tail lamps, and chrome tips, further enhance the overall bold appearance of the Passport. It is in the cabin that the midsize SUV shines with numerous bins and cubbies, some particularly cavernous, scattered throughout. There also is a massive lift-up cargo hold that offers 2.5 cubic feet of space while passenger volume is a solid 114.9. The push-button shifter may take some getting used to for some. The 8-inch Intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID)  displays information for audio, revised navigation, Bluetooth, rearview camera, fuel economy, texting, compass, clock, etc. Other amenities include tri-zone auto a/c, tilt/telescopic four-spoke leather steering wheel, second-row slide and recline 60/40 seat and sun shades, 10-way power driver and four-way front-passenger heated/cooled seats and power tailgate.

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, front/rear crumple zones, side-impact door beams, vehicle stability assist with traction control, lane departure warning and lane-keep assist (which maintains the ride in its path), hill start assist, blind-spot monitor, collision mitigation system, adaptive cruise control, multi-angle rearview camera, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system are standard. These now include the safety technology that comes with Honda Sensing.

The midsize crossover field may be crowded but if you want an athletic, attractive and exciting ride, opt for the Passport. Be assured you are safe and sound in the Elite trim with admirable on-road handling and off-road talent. Best of all, its generous passenger and cargo capacity will win over friends and family.

PASSPORT AWD (ELITE)
Tires: P265/45 R20
Wheelbase: 111 inches
Length: 190.5 inches
Height: 72.2 inches
Width: 78.6 inches
Suspension: MacPherson strut front, multilink rear
Steering: rack-mounted electric power
Fuel capacity: 19.5 gallons
City: 19 mpg
Highway: 24 mpg
Weight: 4,237 pounds
Base price: $43,680
Price as tested: $44,725
Web site: www.honda.com

CALLING ALL HONDA DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at motoringtampabay@gmail.com