From 1993 to 2002, Honda sold the Passport SUV. It was essentially a rebadged version of the Isuzu Rodeo, and given the Passport wasn’t the booming sales success the company had hoped for, it was eventually replaced by the larger Pilot. But if new reports are any indication, the nameplate may be given a second chance at life.
According to Car and Driver, the Passport trademark was filed by Honda with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this past December, and it specifically references the original trademark application made for the Passport back on May 11, 1993. With rumors of a smaller, two-row Pilot flaring up, it could mean the automaker is hoping a second go ‘round with the Passport name could spell success.
Production of the short-wheelbase Pilot (or new Passport) is expected to begin at Honda’s Alabama factory in September 2018. That means a debut next fall or early winter could be likely. The new SUV will undercut the current Pilot, which has a $31,535 base price (after $940 destination), but would cost a bit more than the current CR-V, which starts at $24,985. The goal is to give buyers an SUV with more room than the CR-V, but without the significant price jump to the larger Pilot.
The same powertrain found on the Pilot is likely to remain. Under the hood would be a 3.5-liter V6 which could be good for as much as 280 horsepower (208 kilowatts) and 262 pound-feet (355 Newton-meters) of torque. Either a six- or a nine-speed automatic would be offered. It’s still unclear whether the Passport moniker will make its way to a production model, a concept car, or anything at all.
Source: Car and Driver