Spied: Honda Passport prototype caught in Los Angeles - image 1

Spied: Honda Passport prototype caught in Los Angeles

by Byron Hurd

Honda's new midsize SUV brings back the Passport nameplate.

As if the subcompact HR-V weren't a significant enough indicator that Honda is buying into the global crossover craze, our spies have caught the company's new midsize SUV up close and personal in Los Angeles.

Call it nostalgia (or just a cynical grab for more crossover buyers), but Honda is getting back into the midsize two-row game by reviving the model to compete directly with the likes of the Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan Murano.

Meet the 2020 Honda Passport, which will revive the nameplate that was, ironically enough, sidelined by the very CUV on which this new effort is based--the Honda Pilot.

Passport was killed off rather unceremoniously in the early years of this century, marking the end of joint venture between Honda and fellow Japanese automaker Isuzu, under which the former sold badge-engineered copies of the latter's trucks and the latter re-branded the former's passenger cars. The 1990s were a strange time.

These times may be stranger. We now live in a world where Honda (who is certainly not alone in this) sees room for three crossover/sport-utility options with significant overlap. Expect the Passport to be several inches shorter than the Pilot on which it is based, but more upscale (and of course more expensive) than the compact CR-V.

The Pilot's 3.5-liter V6 engine is expected to be standard equipment here. We wouldn't completely rule out the inclusion of the company's new two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (as seen in the 2018 Honda Accord), but we have no evidence to suggest that it will be offered initially.

Spied: Honda Passport prototype caught in Los Angeles - image 2 Spied: Honda Passport prototype caught in Los Angeles - image 3 Spied: Honda Passport prototype caught in Los Angeles - image 4 Spied: Honda Passport prototype caught in Los Angeles - image 5 Spied: Honda Passport prototype caught in Los Angeles - image 6 Spied: Honda Passport prototype caught in Los Angeles - image 7 Spied: Honda Passport prototype caught in Los Angeles - image 8 Spied: Honda Passport prototype caught in Los Angeles - image 9 Spied: Honda Passport prototype caught in Los Angeles - image 10 Spied: Honda Passport prototype caught in Los Angeles - image 11