The Pilot has a few surprising advantages when it comes to performance. The larger model rounded the figure-eight in 27.6 seconds at an average 0.62 g, beating the Passport’s 28.1 seconds at 0.62 g. The Pilot was also able to brake from 60 mph to a standstill in 120 feet, a full 10 feet less than the Passport.
The Passport has a raised suspension and slightly more ground clearance than the Pilot (up to 8.1 inches versus 7.3 inches). The Passport also has better approach and departure angles for off-roading: 21.4/27.6-degree approach/departure angles on all-wheel-drive Passports compared to 19.7/20.8 degrees for Pilots. Both models offer four different drive modes—Normal, Snow, Sand, and Mud.
“When driving over rocks, the suspension absorbed the movements in good fashion,” we said of the Passport in our First Drive review. But when it comes to on-road performance, it’s not as well damped as the Pilot or Ridgeline, as we noted in our First Test.
The Passport enjoys 41.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up, and 77.9 inches with the seats down. The Pilot offers just a bit more room with up to 46.8 cubic feet behind the second row, and up to 83.9 cubic feet behind the first row. With all three rows up, the Pilot still offers 16.5 cubic feet.
Although they look similar at first glance, the Passport is a bit more athletic than the Pilot. Along with additional ground clearance, the Passport has standard blacked-out exterior accents, a floating roof, wider track, and 20-inch wheels. The Pilot comes standard with 18s, although 20s are available. Two accessory packages are available on the Passport, including the Adventure, which adds running boards, fender flares, and a trailer hitch; and Urban, which has front and rear underbody spoilers, cargo storage bins, unique wheels, and roof rails and crossbars.
In government crash tests, the Pilot and Passport both receive four stars in the frontal crash category and five stars in side crashes. The Pilot gets four stars in the rollover test, and an overall rating of five stars, while the Passport has not yet been rated in these two categories.
The 2019 Honda Pilot was named a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS, but the Passport was not. The smaller model lost out because of its Poor headlight rating. However, both vehicles earned top scores in the following crash categories: small overlap front driver’s side, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints.
Oddly enough, the Pilot has a slight fuel economy advantage. Front-wheel-drive Pilots return 20/27/23 mpg city/highway/combined, compared to the Passport’s 20/25/22 mpg. All-wheel-drive Pilots net 19/26/22 compared to 19/24/21 for the Passport. Both vehicles run on regular gas.
Pricing and trims
Believe it or not, the Passport and Pilot have similar starting prices. The base Passport Sport starts at $33,035, ahead of the $32,495 Pilot LX. Once you get to the upper trim levels, the Passport starts becoming more of deal than its larger sibling. The Pilot Elite costs $49,065 compared to the Passport Elite at $44,725. The Pilot Elite has a few more standard amenities than the Passport Elite, including a panoramic roof, rear entertainment system, and second-row captain’s chairs.