2002 Passport New Car Test Drive
If you're shopping for a light, efficient and reliable family car, Honda can bring 30 years of experience to the table. But for a heavier-duty, off-road-capable SUV, even Honda shops somewhere else. And that's how the Passport came to be.
Passport is engineered and built by truck-specialist Isuzu; it is essentially an Isuzu Rodeo with Honda badges. And that, in no way, is a bad thing. The Rodeo/Passport is a true, versatile, dual-purpose SUV, one that can cruise the highway in comfort and style, while its dependable 4WD system and rigid truck frame let it tackle rough terrain and rural tracks as well as some of those tougher-looking SUVs.
Are you surprised that Honda would go out and find a vehicle that could do all that, and still offer quietly handsome styling and downright luxurious appointments? No? Of course not. You knew Honda would take care of you, one way or another. And owning a Passport means you own a passport to Honda's service facilities.
Passport is available in two trim levels: LX ($23,000) and EX ($27,100). The EX can also be ordered with a Luxury Package, which boosts the starting price to $28,450. Those prices are for 2WD, incidentally; for 4WD add $2450 to the price of an EX, and $3150 to the LX sticker.
All Passports come standard with Isuzu's 3.2-liter DOHC 24-valve V6. LX buyers can choose between a five-speed manual and a four-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 four-wheel antilock brakes and dual air bags.
In fact, 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 (and the transfer case, with 4WD), cruise control, and a tilt steering wheel. LX equipment even includes an eight-speaker AM/FM/cassette stereo, and alloy wheels if you order 4WD.
You get more luxury and convenience in EX models: a 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 an eight-speaker AM/FM/cassette/six-CD changer stereo.