2001 Passport New Car Test Drive
Here's your Passport to the other side of the looking glass, where a Honda isn't a Honda--and where a tough, truck-based SUV can offer handsome styling and downright luxurious appointments. As the foster child of Honda's lineup, the Passport is engineered and built by Isuzu; and if you think it resembles an Isuzu Rodeo with Honda badges, then award yourself a gold star for accurate observation.
That said, we don't mean to demean the Passport in any way. A true, versatile, dual-purpose SUV, it can cruise the highway in comfort and style--while its dependable 4WD system and rigid frame let it tackle very rough terrain with out batting a headlight. In fact, the handy and handsome Passport handles rough tracks as well as some tougher-looking big-tire trucks.
The Passport is available in two trim levels: LX ($23,000) and EX ($26,800). The EX can also be ordered with a Luxury Package, which boosts the starting price to $28,050. Those prices are for 2WD, incidentally; for 4WD add $2450-$3150.
All Passports come standard with Isuzu's 3.2-liter, DOHC 24-valve V6. LX buyers can choose between a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic; EX's get the automatic only. Four-wheel-drive models have four-wheel disc brakes and a limited-slip rear differential, but all Passports come with 4-wheel antilock brakes and dual air bags.
The feature-packed LX comes with a ton of standard equipment: air conditioning, power windows, power locks, variable speed intermittent windshield wipers, illuminated vanity mirrors, tinted glass, cargo area side boxes, alloy wheels (with 4WD), skid plates under the radiator and fuel tank (4WD Passports also get a skid plate under the transfer case), cruise control, and a tilt steering wheel. An eight-speaker AM/FM/cassette stereo is new for 2001.
You get more luxury and convenience in EX models: leather-wrapped steering wheel, fog lights (optional on LX), wood-grain interior trim, remote keyless entry with theft alarm, power moonroof, and alloy wheels with 2WD or 4WD.
The Luxury Package adds color-keyed moldings and fender flares, exclusive two-tone paint choices, leather trimmed seats and door panels, and-new for 2001-an 8-speaker AM/FM/cassette/6-CD changer stereo.