The 2021 Honda Passport is a mid-sized SUV that offers a spacious interior, Honda Sensing safety gear, and some light off-roading forays. It’s an attractive vehicle in the budget bracket, but base models won’t raise any eyebrows. The Passport Elite is the top-tier model trim and upgrades the 2021 Honda Passport so that it breaks away from its big brother, the 2021 Honda Pilot.
2023 Honda Pilot Trim Levels and Standard Features
There are four model trims available for the 2021 Honda Passport. The base model Sport trim comes with Apple CarPlay connectivity and the Honda Sensing safety features. The next level up is EX-L. This model trim adds leather seating and a one-touch power moonroof. The Touring model has parking sensors, premium audio, and navigation systems, as well as a hands-free power liftgate. The top-level model is called Elite. It has some of the best features of any mid-sized SUV on the market. Let’s take a closer look at how the Elite model puts all the best features on the 2021 Honda Passport.
2021 Honda Passport Exterior Style
The 2021 Honda Passport has a front end that features harder surface paneling than a painted body. This is an attempt to make the Honda Passport more rugged than the Odyssey or the Pilot and for the most part, it works. From the profile, the Passport can’t hide its resemblance to the Honda Pilot. When you start to add on some of the package features like roof rails and running boards, the Honda Passport starts to live up to its adventurous mission statement.
The color choices for the exterior are rather limited. There are only four color options that come standard with the 2021 Honda Passport, but you can choose from three different premium paints that cost an additional $395. One of the most attractive colors, Deep Scarlett Pearl, happens to be in the premium section.
20-inch gloss black alloy wheels come standard with the new Honda Passport. They have a nice premium look that complements the other black accents of the exterior. You can include machined chrome wheels that are the same size, but that adds over two thousand dollars to the build without adding many styles.
Packages and Add-ons
There are two accessory packages that you can include in the final build of the 2021 Honda Passport, Adventure Packages, and Urban Packages. There is a tiered group of features for each package. You can get a basic Adventure Package or the advanced package. The highest level Adventure Package comes with protective door handle film, fender flares, wheel locks, running rails, cargo tray, and seatback protectors. It’s all the little things you need to take the 2021 Passport on an outdoor adventure.
The highest-level Urban Package includes welcome lights on the exterior, underbody spoilers in the front and rear, and crossbars. The interior gets outfitted with cargo bins and illuminated door sill trim. This package is ideal for families or people that put a lot of miles on their mid-sized SUV in their daily rounds.
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2021 Honda Passport Performance Capabilities
The 2021 Honda Passport has a 3.5 Liter V6 engine. It’s the same one from the Honda Pilot. It’s capable of achieving 280 horsepower and 262-pound feet of torque. The 2021 Honda Passport gets decent fuel economy considering that it has a V6 powertrain. The front-wheel-drive version gets 20 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway. The all-wheel-drive Passport only loses a single digit in each category. This is the standard powertrain package for the Elite model.
The 2021 Honda Passport has a 9-speed automatic shift-by-wire transmission. It’s one of the only negative marks on the 2021 Honda Passport. The 9-speed transmission has a nice acoustic sound, but it doesn’t deliver the power. In low gears, it hesitates, and frustrated drivers will likely just mash the accelerator to power through the lag. This will sacrifice some gas mileage for sure.
This mid-sized SUV has decent towing capacity thanks to its robust V6 engine and all-wheel drive traction control. The 2021 Honda Passport Elite with all-wheel drive has intelligent traction management for snow, sand, and mud. The Honda Passport isn’t as hearty as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but it’s still up for some outdoor fun. The front-wheel-drive model can tow 3,500 pounds and the all-wheel-drive variant of the Elite model pulls 5,000 lbs.
2021 Honda Passport Interior Amenities
There are two interior upholstery options for the Elite model. There’s black leather and grey. The front seats are heated and ventilated to provide all-weather comfort throughout the year. If you live in a cold climate region, then you’ll be delighted to see that the 2021 Honda Passport Elite model comes with a heated steering wheel, as well.
The Elite model comes with some impressive technology. There’s a wireless charging pad in the center console. Just place your smartphone on the charging tray and your Honda Passport tops up your battery. The Passport has home link technology, ambient LED lighting, three USB ports, three 12-Volt power outlets, and Wi-Fi Hotspot capabilities. Unfortunately, the center console only has an 8-inch touchscreen display even on the top-tier Elite model.
The interior has ample space for 5 adults and some cargo. There are 114.9 cubic feet of passenger volume and 100.7 cubic feet of cargo volume. The rear seats fold down and split with one touch to accommodate odd-sized luggage and travel gear. Gaining access is made easy by the hands-free power liftgate in the back.
Honda Sensing and Driver-Assistive Technologies are standard on all models. Even the base model comes equipped with lane-keeping technology and adaptive cruise control. All but the base model comes with blind-spot detection. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives it 5-stars overall.
Rain-sensing windshield wipers come standard on the Elite model. It’s not an essential safety feature, but it’s comforting to have one less mechanical function to worry about in an unexpected downpour. There’s also a multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic gridlines on the Elite model.
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The 2021 Honda Passport has a starting cost of $32,790. The top of the line Elite model trim carries a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $44,180. When outfitted with premium paint, machined-finish alloy wheels, and the urban accessory package, the final build cost can reach more than $48,605. Still, that’s a decent bargain for a mid-sized SUV with V6, all-wheel drive, and some added creature comforts.
You can compare the 2021 Passport to a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The starting cost of a Grand Cherokee is slightly higher, and the Limited model is more expensive, as well. The 2021 Honda Passport isn’t as capable as the Jeep in off-road settings and doesn’t have all of the refineries but makes up for it by offering top safety equipment, style, and interior comfort for a bargain. It might take some thinking, but most consumers will find that the 2021 Honda Passport is the better buy.