LOS ANGELES - Honda re-introduced the Passport SUV this week, just ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The new SUV is essentially a shortened five-passenger version of the larger eight-passenger Pilot. Both vehicles share the same 280-horsepower V6 engine and other technical bits.
But with the smaller Passport, Honda upped the ruggedness of the truck with a more ground clearance, and an available all-wheel-drive system that not only sends power to front or rear wheels as needed, but can also send power to the left or right rear wheels.
"The all-new 2019 Honda Passport provides the on-road comfort and nimble handling buyers will appreciate on their daily commute with the robust off-road and all-weather capability that make for a great weekend adventure vehicle," said Henio Arcangeli Jr., senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
For those who don't choose to take their Passport off-roading, there are plenty of creature comforts inside the truck. There's a standard 215-watt audio system with six speakers plus a subwoofer. The entry-level "Sport" model has a 5-inch center screen display while higher-trim models have an 8-inch display that also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The highest-level models have a 590-watt, 10-speaker system.
Other features like leather seats and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi system built in are also available.
All Passport models will come with Honda's group of safety featured (called "Honda Sensing"), which includes things that help keep the SUV in its lane and can even apply the brakes if the car senses a collision.
If the name sounds familiar, that's because Honda sold an SUV called Passport back in the late 1990s. Back then, the truck was a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo. However, the new truck is fully a Honda design.
The Passport is expected to be in dealer showrooms in early 2019.