Honda announced this week that the 2019 Passport has already entered production at Honda’s facility in Alabama. It’s barely been a week since the vehicle was announced at the 2018 LA Auto Show, but with its early-2019 release looming, it’s time for 1,500 workers at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama to kick into high gear.
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama is also responsible for assembling the Ridgeline midsize pickup truck and the Pilot three-row SUV. All three vehicles ride on Honda’s Global Light Truck platform, so it’s no surprise that they’re all built under the same roof.
Under the passport’s hood is the same engine that powers the Pilot and Ridgeline — a 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive will be available, both of which will mate to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Passport rides higher than the Pilot, and the bulky body bits borrowed from the Ridgeline give it a bit more off-road cred than its siblings.
If tech is what you’re after, there’s plenty to enjoy in the Passport. Higher trims will get an 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen infotainment system with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, in addition to wireless phone charging and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. Honda Sensing, the automaker’s suite of active and passive safety systems, is standard across the lineup. Its price will likely land between the base price of the smaller CR-V ($24,350) and the larger Pilot ($31,450).