A grey 2023 Honda Passport Trailsport is shown from the side while off-road.

How a Collaboration Between Two Companies Led to the Honda Passport

The Honda Passport is a midsize SUV that has been making waves in the automotive industry due to its outstanding performance, advanced driver-assist features, and roomy interior. Honda has long been creating popular cars drivers love for their durability and reliability, but the Passport takes it to a whole new level. For drivers looking for a reliable, spacious, and luxurious SUV, the Honda Passport is a great choice.

Interestingly, the Honda Passport didn’t come about due to the ingenuity of Honda alone. Honda and its engineers worked with another company––Isuzu––to develop the original Honda Passport. For anyone that is interested in a 2023 Honda Passport, buckle up because we’re about to delve into how this interesting collaboration led to the amazing SUV that we know and love today.

Honda and Isuzu: a Corporate Collaboration Dating Back Decades

Honda and Isuzu have a history of collaboration that dates back to the 1990s. The two brands played to their strengths, with Honda developing minivans and sedans for Isuzu, while Isuzu developed SUVs for Honda. In America, the most well-known result of this collaboration was when the two companies jointly developed the 1993 Honda Passport. It combined Honda’s engineering and design expertise with Isuzu’s reputation for rugged trucks to create something that was and is truly special.

The original Passport’s exterior design is a mix of Honda’s sleek styling and Isuzu’s off-road-ready body. The vehicle also features Isuzu’s powerful V6 engine and a four-wheel drive system, ensuring it provides good performance off-road. The interior of the 1993 Honda Passport was designed with comfort and convenience in mind. The vehicle has a spacious and comfortable cabin intended to be both functional and luxurious, although it may seem dated by modern standards.

The partnership between Honda and Isuzu allowed the two companies to combine their strengths and create a vehicle that meets the needs of a wide variety of drivers. With its unique blend of performance, comfort, and convenience, the Honda Passport was a powerful addition to the already stellar Honda lineup.

Two people are shown next to a 2023 Honda Passport Trailsport.

How the Honda Passport Has Changed Over the Years

As previously mentioned, the Honda Passport was first released in 1993, with the original model being a modified version of the Isuzu Rodeo. This model features a powerful 3.2-liter V6 engine with a four-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual. Because of its Isuzu roots, it is the only Honda SUV that has ever offered rear-wheel drive and true four-wheel drive.

The second generation of the Honda Passport was released in 1998 and coincided with the second-generation Isuzu Rodeo. It was equipped with a more modern coil spring suspension, improved interior design, and completely new styling. This model also had a roomier interior for a more comfortable ride. However, when it left production in 2002, it marked the end of the Honda-Isuzu partnership.

While Honda and Isuzu went their separate ways, Honda was not done with the Passport. It took a while for the model to return, but in 2019, the third generation was unveiled. Unlike the first two generations, the 2019 Passport was based on the Honda Pilot rather than the Isuzu Rodeo, with front-wheel drive for a smoother and more controllable ride. Under the hood is a larger 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with a modern nine-speed automatic transmission.

In 2022, the Honda Passport received an update, giving it more modern styling and a rugged new TrailSport trim meant for off-road adventure. This variant adds a more capable suspension and a more aggressive exterior. The interior of the current Passport has a more modern design, with improved materials and completely rehauled technology. It also has many advanced driver-assist features, including Adaptive Cruise Control and a Blind Spot Information System.

How Does the 2023 Passport Compare to Its Competitors?

The 2023 Honda Passport stands out in a few key areas compared to its biggest competitors. The Passport’s standard V6 engine boasts an impressive 280 hp, far more than many other vehicles in the same class. This makes the Passport an ideal choice for drivers who want to enjoy more without giving up the safety and reliability of an SUV or the durability that Honda vehicles are known for.

In addition to power, the Passport also has out-of-this-world features. The SUV comes standard with the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assist technologies, including Adaptive Cruise Control, a Road Departure Mitigation System, and a Collision Mitigation Braking System. These advanced driver-assist systems are not always available on the other SUVs in the segment, making the Passport an excellent choice for drivers who prioritize safety. It is a particularly good option for families, especially if you do not need the three rows of seating found in many midsize models.

The interior of the Passport is also a step above its competitors. This SUV has a generous amount of cargo space, with over 50 cu.ft. behind the rear seats and over 100 cu.ft. in total. With only two rows of seating in such a large vehicle, it has a luxurious, comfortable cabin. The spaciousness means that it has ample space to store all the everyday items that family members may need to bring with them, whether that is children’s backpacks and bookbags or just your own suitcase and bags for work. Whatever it is, The Honda Passport will be able to fit it in.

For 2023, the Passport comes with plenty of standard tech features, including an eight-inch touchscreen display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. A wireless phone charger is also standard, and you can enjoy SiriusXM, HD Radio, and HondaLink no matter which trim you choose. The innovative CabinControl feature is particularly useful, allowing rear seat passengers to adjust the radio and climate controls from their smartphones.

A black 2023 Honda Passport Trailsport is shown from the front at an angle.

An Award-Winning Vehicle

The Honda Passport has been recognized over the years as one of the best vehicles in its class, winning awards and garnering industry-wide recognition along the way. In 2019, the Passport was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and received a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 2021 model was labeled an Editors Choice by Car and Driver, while the 2022 model was named the Best 2-Row SUV for Families by Kelley Blue Book. This proves that the Honda Passport is a fantastic option for those who have a family and want something that is not only affordable but very safe and durable as well.

The Honda Passport: A Fantastic Choice for a Wide Variety of Drivers

Overall, the 2023 Honda Passport is an excellent choice for those who want a reliable, durable, safe, yet surprisingly powerful, and technology-rich SUV. From its strong V6 engine to its advanced driver-assist features, it is clear to see why the Passport is a great choice for drivers who want to get the most out of their driving experience. This is particularly true with the rugged new TrailSport trim level. The Passport is also a wonderful choice for families who want to get something new at a competitive price without sacrificing any of the features that make daily errands and long road trips enjoyable.