The Honda Passport is a rugged, US-born SUV | Top Gear
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The Honda Passport is a rugged, US-born SUV

At last, an SUV that cares mostly about the U. But it's not for Brits...

Published: 28 Nov 2018

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.

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It sits above the CR-V in size, though carries just five people. And – betraying the fact it’s a US-only car – comes with a 276bhp 3.5-litre 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, Nissan Skyline, 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-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-tonne towing capacity.

Mind, there’s more than a nod to the S (for sport) of SUV, too, with 20in rims as standard, and inside you can have 4G-fed wifi 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, too. And not sold on European shores. Does that make you sad?

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