|Midsize SUV; Built in USA|
|Good condition price range: $1,900 – $5,000*|
1998 Honda Passport
2000 Honda Passport
2000 Honda Passport
2001 Honda Passport LX
2001 Honda Passport EX
Like the Rodeo, Honda’s SUV emphasizes the “sport” in sport-utility. But Isuzu’s version has outsold the Passport by almost 3-to-1. Lack of outstanding features sets neither one above the competition, and high prices are an obstacle.
Following on the 1994-97 Passport, Honda introduced a second-generation version for ’98. Similar to Isuzu’s Rodeo, the midsize SUV was slightly larger than before, and delivered more V6 power. Passports were built at a Subaru Isuzu plant in Indiana, right alongside the nearly identical Isuzu Rodeo. Passports differed mainly in model choices, cosmetic details, and available features.
Two models went on sale: LX and upscale EX, each available with rear-drive or on demand 4-wheel drive. An improved version of Isuzu’s 3.2-liter twin-cam V6 engine, packing 15 more horsepower and 26 more pound-feet of torque than before, went under the hood. An automatic transmission was standard on EX and an option on LX, replacing the standard 5-speed manual gearbox. The 4×4 models had a 2-speed transfer case with separate low-range gearing, but 4WD now engaged electrically via a dashboard button instead of using a mechanical lever. As in prior Passports, 4WD was not for use on dry pavement, but it could be shifted between 4-High and 2WD at any speed up to 60 mph.
Wheelbase on this Passport shrunk by 2.1 inches, but the vehicles measured about an inch longer overall. It was almost 4 inches taller and 1.4 inches wider. Curb weight rose only slightly. Engineering changes included standard antilock braking and a sturdier, newly designed frame. Rack-and-pinion steering ousted the less-precise recirculating-ball setup, while a new coil-spring rear suspension replaced the previous leaf springs.
In the LX, the spare tire stowed under the rear cargo floor. With an EX, the spare sat on a swing-away external carrier. The tailgate now was hinged at the left, below a separate glass liftgate. Styling was evolutionary, and rivals included the Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Explorer, and Toyota 4Runner. A Passport could tow up to 4500 pounds, when using electric trailer brakes.
Only minor changes were evident in the reworked Passport’s second season. Rear cupholders were new, but other revisions were focused on trim and colors.
Minor appearance alterations, front and rear, could be seen on the 2000 models. Interior trim also was slightly revised. New luxury EX-L versions had standard leather upholstery, 2-tone paint, color-matched fender flares and bodyside moldings, and an in-dash 6-disc CD changer. The 2-wheel-drive LX gained standard 16-inch tires.
EX-L models got a 4-way power driver’s seat and 4WD versions got limited-slip differential for 2001. All models got floormats, rear child-seat tethers, 8-speaker audio, and UV-reflecting front-door and tailgate glass as standard equipment this year.
There were no significant changes for 2002.