A grey 2023 Honda Passport TrailSport is shown driving through a forest after visiting a Honda dealer.

Happy Trails: The Honda TrailSport Family Rides Tall

Honda has always been a brand that has believed in the power of dreams. It’s hard not to be inspired by a company that began with just 12 employees in 1948 and, through hard work and dedication, expanded until you can find a Honda dealer in every city in America. Honda continues to innovate, working hard over the decades to produce cars, trucks, and SUVs that not only meet environmental standards but surpass them.

In 2022, the TrailSport trim was launched, first appearing as one of the options for the Honda Passport. This trim is geared towards enhancing the off-roading experience, bringing features that focus on performance and durability to the table. In just three years, the trim has expanded to be included in three different Honda models. Let’s take a look at each of the models that are part of the TrailSport family and examine how the trim works to enhance each vehicle to higher standards of off-the-beaten-path capability.

Passport: The Original TrailSport Model

As mentioned above, the 2022 Passport was the soft release of the TrailSport trim. The Passport has been an award winner for Honda since its debut, rolling off the assembly line with a strong start after being named an Autotrader “Best New Car for 2019.” In the five years since, the midsize SUV has continued to receive accolades and acclaim. With its combination of trail capability and an interior with distinctive accents, the Passport TrailSport is an excellent example of how form and function combined make a superior SUV.

The TrailSport trim in the 2024 Passport offers a husky 280 hp from a 3.5L V6 engine paired with an i-VTM4 all-wheel drive system. Unlike most all-wheel drive systems, this uses a twin-clutch rear drive unit to shift power laterally between the rear wheels as needed. The suspension is fine-tuned for off-roading, and the intelligent traction management can change modes to get optimal tire performance in snow, mud, and sand. Safety features include a Collision Mitigation Braking System, a Road Departure Mitigation System, and a Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Monitor. All of those features aim to prevent or lessen the impact of collisions, whether they are on the highway or where wild things roam.

Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility will allow you to make the most of the seven-speaker, 215-watt audio system. The interior has tri-zone climate control, which lets the passengers in the second row have a separate climate-controlled zone of comfort. This makes road trips with a full car far more enjoyable. Especially when there’s extra legroom and leather seats to enjoy as you appreciate the view. Though with the TrailSport-exclusive Diffused Sky Blue Pearl color option, the great outdoors might have a little competition.

A white 2023 Honda Pilot TrailSport is shown driving on a dirt road.

Pilot: Crossover Into Off-Roading Excellence

The Honda Pilot is best known for being the big brother to the Passport, with more cargo room and third-row seating. With the TrailSport trim, the Pilot brings a beefy V6 engine with 285 hp to the great outdoors. With a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs, you’ll have the power to tow light trailers, campers, and other accessories to make the most of your weekend plans or if your hobbies require a bit of hauling.

No matter the terrain, the TrailSport trim will help the Pilot tackle it with i-VTM4 AWD and a seven-mode drive system that includes settings for snow, trail, sand, and sport. When the going gets rough, you can relax and enjoy the bumps, knowing that the skid plates will protect the undercarriage of your SUV. The 18-inch alloy wheels wear all-terrain tires to keep a solid grip on the messiest of surfaces, and the Pilot TrailSport boasts a one-inch suspension lift for 8.3 inches of ground clearance. The full LED headlights and fog lamps will light your way through stormy afternoons or starry nights.

The TrailSport trim also adds multiple quality-of-life features to the Pilot. The wireless charging pad will help make sure your phone always has plenty of battery life when you get to your destination. Smart Entry with Walk Away Auto Lock will make sure that your Pilot is locked even if your mind is on other things. There is even a hidden storage well where you can stash valuables, spare keys, and other small items you want to keep safe.

Do you think all of this function and practicality comes at the cost of form? Think again! The TrailSport trim adds a bit of luxury and style to the Pilot with a one-touch power panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, and orange-stitched synthetic leather upholstery. Your second-row passengers will enjoy sunshades to keep cool and clear-eyed on those scorching summer days. The 10-way power driver’s seat has memory settings, so you never again have to struggle with getting the seat just right after someone else has driven your Pilot.

A silver 2023 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E is shown parked off-road.

Ridgeline: A Rugged Truck for Rugged Terrain

Who says a truck can’t be stunning? With clean lines and black accents, the Ridgeline is a beautiful pickup. It’s also a beast, especially with its 280 hp V6 engine and the upgrades for the TrailSport trim. It can tow up to 5,000 lbs with a suspension specifically made for off-road capabilities. Intelligent Traction Management with snow, mud, and sand modes will help the all-terrain tires make contact with whatever surface you’re driving on. The tough unibody frame will give you a smooth ride and better fuel efficiency. Vehicles with unibody frames are also safer in accidents than vehicles that are body-on-frame due to the crumple zones designed to absorb the impact of a crash.

The bed is one of the most crucial parts of a pickup truck, and it deserves special attention. The TrailSport trim offers a dual-action tailgate that opens from the side as well as the traditional downward fold. The bed is constructed to lay flat, making cargo easier to slide across the floor. Why should hauling be a hassle when it could be a pleasure? The lockable in-bed trunk will keep everything safe and secure while you’re out having fun. It even can be used as a cooler or to store wet items. A drainage plug in the bottom lets out the water to protect the bed’s utility.

The Ridgeline TrailSport offers technology upgrades that are sure to please every driver. Who doesn’t appreciate having SiriusXM to listen to as you explore far from home? And if the multiple USB-A and USB-C ports are not enough to charge everyone’s devices, there’s also a wireless charging pad. The nine-inch touchscreen display will help control the audio output whether you’re getting your music streaming from Bluetooth or through Android Auto or Apple CarPlay––they are all compatible with the TrailSport. While you’re enjoying road trip sing-a-longs or peaceful commutes, the Honda satellite-linked navigation system will be there to guide you along your way.

The TrailSport Is the Trim to Watch

Combining rugged off-road capability with solid quality-of-life features, the TrailSport trim has everything needed to become an iconic option for Honda. The little touches of comfort and luxury make this trim stand out a cut above the rest. In the next few years, it will be one to watch in the truck and SUV categories, again showcasing the Honda legacy of hard work, determination, and innovation. There’s no predicting the future, but if what we’ve seen on the Pilot, Passport, and Ridgeline is a sign of things to come, there are some very happy trails ahead for the TrailSport family.