2022 Honda Passport debuts with new off-road model

Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 00:00 |
The 2022 Honda Passport brings a new front fascia with a bulkier, aggressive grille. Photo/File

Earlier in the week, at Overland Expo West, Honda unveiled the Passport TrailSport Rugged Roads Project, a collaboration with overlander and YouTuber Jon Tuico.

This upgraded Passport TrailSport features a JSport lift kit, Firestone Destination A/T2 all-terrain tyres, roof crossbars, and a Dirt Complex tow-hitch tyre carrier.

There are also thicker fender flares and unique 18-inch wheels, and Honda custom-built the orange recovery points on the front bumper and stainless steel skid plates to shield the oil pan and fuel tank.

A Roofnest Sparrow XL tent is perched atop the Rugged Roads Project Passport.

Slightly earlier, Honda had announced that it would launch a new TrailSport trim line focused on off-road performance, and now, the first TrailSport model has arrived with the refreshed 2022 Honda Passport.

Along with the new all-terrain version, all 2022 Passports gain a revised front fascia, new wheels, and more standard safety tech. The full line-up will be on sale later in the year.

Most of the visual changes to the Passport occur ahead of the A-pillars, where the fairly anonymous face of the outgoing model has been replaced by a snarled, bulldog-esque mug that calls to mind the Ridgeline pickup.

The rear bumper has been tweaked slightly, and the 2022 Passport will also be available with a HPD accessories package that alters the grille and wheel designs and adds black fender flares and HPD graphics.

The new Passport TrailSport, the only version of the 2022 Passport that Honda has showed to date, receives a unique grille design, chunky front and rear bumpers, and orange TrailSport badges throughout.

The track has been widened by 0.4 inch at the front and rear for increased stability, and the 18-inch wheels are wrapped in TrailSport-specific 245/60R-18 tyres.

Honda’s suite of driver-assist technology is standard on all models, and the new TrailSport model, slated to go on sale later in the year, gets unique bumpers.

The TrailSport uses Honda’s i-VTM4 torque-vectoring all-wheel drive and Intelligent Traction Management systems to tackle unpaved roads.

The interior features orange contrast stitching, TrailSport logos, and amber ambient lighting.

All 2022 Passports continue to be powered by the same 3.5-litre V-6, which makes 280 horsepower and 36 kg/m of torque.

It’s mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The i-VTM4 torque-vectoring system, which is standard on the TrailSport and Elite, is now optionally available on the EX-L as well.

Honda says all Passports now have 8.1 inches of ground clearance, and the EX-L and Elite models have a new 20-inch wheel design.

The firm also says that the Passport TrailSport is the first in a new series of off-road-focused models, and that the future could bring bigger upgrades such as beefier tyres and a revised suspension.

In the interior comfort and safety department, there’s a standard 8.0-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, plus the Honda Sensing system of driver-assist features, also standard.

A rear-seat reminder will tell drivers to check the rear seat for children, pets, and anything else when turning the crossover off, and a rear seatbelt reminder lets the driver know if the rear passengers aren’t strapping in; both warning systems are standard.

The Ridgeline pickup truck is likely to be the next Honda to receive the TrailSport treatment, and the badge could potentially expand to the Pilot and CR-V as well.

The TrailSport line-up will compete against Ford’s Timberline for the Explorer and Hyundai’s XRT package for the Santa Fe, both of which are expected to migrate across the automakers’ rosters as well. -Car and Driver

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