This is the Honda Passport. And if you’re sick of SUVs forgetting about the ‘U’ for ‘utility,’ it could be the answer to your woes.
Honda says it “can tackle the kind of tough terrain normally reserved for less refined body-on-frame or off-road-focused SUVs,” and has thusly provided lots of pictures of it being flung through mud and towing heavy things.
It sits above the CR-V in size, though carries just five people. And—betraying the fact it’s a US-developed car—comes with a 276hp 3.5-liter V6 engine as its only option. Fans of JDM cars or Gran Turismo will remember when that was the golden horsepower figure for an NSX, a Nissan Skyline, a Mitsubishi Evo, and many other performance heroes.
That engine is mated to a nine-speed automatic gearbox—no divisive CVT here—and a host of off-road systems including all-wheel drive, torque vectoring, and a traction system with Snow, Sand, and Mud modes. You can have a front-wheel-drive version, but it really wouldn’t be in keeping with what the Passport’s about. Spec AWD and you also get the full 2.7-ton towing capacity.
There’s more than a nod to the ‘S’ for ‘sport,’ too, with 20-inch rims as standard, and inside, you can have 4G-fed Wi-Fi and a banging stereo controlled via Apple CarPlay. A full Defender wannabe this ain’t.
It’s been designed in the US, and will be built there as well. Question is, would it be made available here? And do you think we need it in the local market?
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.