As you probably know, from 1993 to 2002 Honda made and sold the Passport SUV which was clearly a rebadged version of the Isuzu Rodeo but since it didn’t sell as much as the company expected it eventually got replaced by the larger Pilot. Lately, there are some talks and rumors that Honda is preparing to revive the Passport nameplate and give it a second chance as a new Crossover.
As we managed to find out from Car and Driver, Honda filed for Passport name to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in December last year, and to make things even more interesting, they made a specific reference to the original trademark application made for the Passport back on May 11, 1993. You all, including us, are aware of the recent rumors and speculations about Japanese carmaker planning to introduce a smaller two-row Pilot, which are recently blowing up more and more. Well, there is some possibility that Honda is hoping for a second try with the Passport name, and this time it actually could spell success.
As we know so far the production of this new shorter Pilot (or possibly Passport) is supposed to start in September 2018, and it will take place at the company’s Alabama factory. This, of course, means that if all goes according to plan, we might see it debut sometime in fall or early winter. Reports suggest that the smaller crossover will find its place between the larger Pilot and the current Honda CR-V in size but in price as well. It is expected that the new model will undercut the Pilot that has a base price tag of $31,535 (after $940 destination fee) but be also to be a little more expensive than the CR-V that starts at $24,985. What Honda aims at here is to offer a bit more room than the CR-V has but without a significant price jump.
It is expected that the powertrain options will remain the same as the ones on the larger Pilot which means a 3.5 L V6 which can offer as much as 280 HP and 262 pound-feet of torque, and it will be attached to either a six or a nine-speed automatic as a standard. So far it is very unclear if the Honda Passport nameplate will even make its way to a production model, a concept car, or anything else for that matter, but it’s nice to hope. We shall see what the future holds and what might Honda eventually decide.