Honda is following Subaru's lead by making its SUV and Ridgeline pickup lineup more adventurous (or at least more adventurous-feeling) in 2022, with some new off-road-themed TrailSport models. The brand has just unveiled the first one, the Honda Passport TrailSport. Granted, Passport TrailSport is a bit of a mouthful — but the new halo trim does pretty much everything Honda needs it to do for now.
As Honda noted, capability upgrades will be coming to TrailSport models — eventually. But the first Passport TrailSport receives mostly style upgrades. In addition to the standard Passport's new more aggressive front end for 2022 (and a new dual exhaust, to boot), the TrailSport trim adds a unique grille, more aggressive front and rear bumpers and orange gloss black badging.
The Passport TrailSport features 18-inch wheels with pewter-painted highlights and a sidewall tread on the tires for a more rugged look. Honda is also increasing the front and rear track width by 10mm, which they say will improve stance and stability. Future TrailSport models may get more aggressive tires and an off-road-tuned suspension, but this one does not.
The changes may seem superficial, but — in classic Honda fashion — it’s a coldly rational analysis of where its SUVs are falling short. The Passport is a damn good crossover: it’s cavernous, has Honda’s incredible torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system, is excellent to drive on the road and is pretty handy off-road, with just over eight inches of ground clearance. Sure, the Passport is getting a tad dated, and the Kia Telluride now exists — but for most buyers, the Passport will be one of the best SUVs they can buy.
That said, one might quibble that vehicles like the Passport and the CR-V focus more on what buyers need rather than what they want. Little touches to make it cooler are what the Passport needs more than performance upgrades...and that's exactly what the TrailSport delivers.
What we know so far about the most-eagerly-awaited midsize truck