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Sunday Drive: Conquering the unknown with the 2024 Honda Passport TrailSport

By Craig and Deanne Conover - Daily Herald | Apr 13, 2024
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The 2023 Honda Passport TrailSport.
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Inside the 2023 Honda Passport TrailSport.
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The 2023 Honda Passport TrailSport.
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Inside the 2023 Honda Passport TrailSport.
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The 2023 Honda Passport TrailSport.
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Inside the 2023 Honda Passport TrailSport.
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The 2023 Honda Passport TrailSport.

Living amidst the stunning vistas of central Utah, we recently had the pleasure of test-driving the all-new 2024 Honda Passport TrailSport for a week on our continued Sunday Drive quest.

As outdoor enthusiasts with a penchant for adventure, we were eager to put this rugged SUV through its paces, both in our daily driving routines and perhaps getting some time on the open road — and even maybe into the mountains, if Mother Nature would cooperate and get rid of some of the snow that was hanging around the first week of March.

The 2024 Honda Passport TrailSport proved to be the true expression of rugged capability and refined performance. Designed and developed in the U.S., the Passport boasts a powerful 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine paired with a responsive nine-speed automatic transmission and Honda’s award-winning torque-vectoring i-VTM4 all-wheel-drive system. We averaged a nice 22.5 mpg for our week of close to 400 miles in the Passport.

From navigating city streets to tackling off-road trails, the Passport TrailSport offered versatility and confidence in every drive. Slotting in slightly smaller than its brother the Honda Pilot, we felt this two-row SUV would make much more sense for empty-nesters as ourselves.

Throughout our weeklong test drive, the Passport TrailSport impressed us with its array of features and capabilities. The EX-L trim level, which serves as the starting point for the Passport lineup, comes generously equipped with leather seating, a one-touch power moonroof, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Additionally, the SUV is outfitted with a power tailgate with remote, blind spot information, rear seat reminders, and front and rear parking sensors, ensuring convenience and safety on the road.

Furthermore, the Passport’s four-mode Intelligent Traction Management system allowed us to customize the i-VTM4 system to tackle various terrains with ease, including sand, snow, mud and paved roads. We found this system to come in very handy as a late winter snowstorm hit overnight and required us to engage it in snow mode for the morning commute.

One of the standout features of the 2024 Honda Passport TrailSport is its exclusive TrailSport trim, which brought even more off-road capability to the Passport lineup. Equipped with a new off-road-tuned suspension, the TrailSport offered increased articulation and improved off-road ride quality without compromising our on-road comfort or handling.

The TrailSport also boasted Passport’s first-ever application of all-terrain tires, providing exceptional traction in dirt, sand, mud, rocky terrain and, most important to us, the snow. Mounted on unique pewter-painted 18-inch wheels, these General Grabber A/T Sport tires offered a quiet and comfortable performance on both urban streets and rugged trails.

Our daily driving experiences with the Passport TrailSport were nothing short of exceptional. Whether navigating through our hometown of Springville’s city streets or cruising along the highway, the SUV delivered a smooth and comfortable ride, with responsive handling and precise steering.

The spacious and well-appointed interior provided ample comfort for both driver and passengers, while the intuitive infotainment system kept us connected and entertained on the go. Additionally, the Passport’s new center console with expanded storage proved to be a practical addition, accommodating everything from purses to smartphones with ease.

Having the extra space in the rear also proved to be a huge advantage for the SUV, as Deanne was able to almost fill it up on her weekly run to Costco for work, getting all the supplies and other offerings they would need for lunch to feed 30 each day.

On Saturday, we decided to embark on an adventure around Utah Lake to get in as much adventure as we could in the TrailSport. We were able to get some off-road experience on some of the dirt roads west of Utah Lake, and the SUV handled them all with ease. We would have loved to get even more off-road adventure in if the weather would have cooperated more.

As we traversed what muddy and rocky terrain that we dared to conquer after a storm, the SUV demonstrated remarkable poise and capability, thanks to its off-road-tuned suspension and all-terrain tires.

We both felt that the Passport proved itself in the mid-sized SUV market as an effective and reliable alternative and would work well for us as an everyday driver, one that we could count on to get almost anywhere we may want to enjoy.

At the end of the day, our time with the 2024 Honda Passport TrailSport was nothing short of exhilarating. Whether conquering the snow or navigating urban streets, this rugged SUV proved to be a capable and versatile companion for our everyday adventures.

Base price: $44,500

Destination charge: $1,375

Price as driven: $46,330


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