Honda Passport SUV revival rumors return

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Speak of the Passport and it shall come, eventually. The latest group to utter the old Honda’s name is Automotive News, which reports that it will appear on a new crossover SUV targeted at the midsize two-row market. The outlet cites an anonymous source and says that it will likely be Pilot-based and show up at the L.A. Auto Show in time for a 2019 release. We have no reason to doubt that it will be based on the Pilot, since its platform could provide lots of space and make it easy to offer a V6 engine.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about a new midsize crossover from Honda. A previous report from WardsAuto described a similar-sized vehicle for a fall reveal. Considering the trend in the automotive world to name smaller vehicles after the larger sibling and appending “Sport,” it seemed like Pilot Sport would have been a more likely name. But Car and Driver discovered awhile ago that Honda filed for a Passport trademark again. Combined with the Automotive News report, it seems highly likely there’s a midsize Honda crossover on the way, and that its name will indeed be Passport. We reached out to a Honda representative who didn’t provide comment.

There’s a good business case for a vehicle like this hypothetical Passport, too. Honda has a subcompact competitor in the HR-V, a regular compact with the CR-V, and a full-size three-row with the Pilot. That leaves space between the CR-V and the Pilot. The two-row midsize class is relatively uncrowded as well, composed mostly of the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.

Even the name works nicely with the existing Honda crossovers. It fits the travel theme of Pilot, and starts with a “P.” It also differs from the smaller HR-V and CR-V, which have their own naming scheme. This would help create some distinction between size groups. The only odd part would be using a name that was formerly associated with a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo, as seen above. But odds are, people don’t remember that SUV too well, or simply won’t care.

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