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Honda Passport

WES ALLISON

Tech specs

Price range: TBD.

Engine: 3.5-litre V6.

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Transmission/drive: Nine speed automatic transmission/all-wheel.

Why it matters: Sometimes less is more. In the case of the Passport, Honda is betting that potential customers are looking beyond the CR-V, but finding the three-row Pilot just a little too large.

Several decades ago, the Honda Passport emerged as a badge-engineered version of the Isuzu Rodeo. Relatively rugged, they were aimed straight at the outdoorsy crowd.

While this new Passport is 100 per cent Honda, through and through, it’s still intended to appeal to people who like to play outdoors. Taller springs give it reasonable ground clearance, and the all-wheel-drive system provides real torque-vectoring, the better to shunt power to the wheel that has the best traction.

It’s not going to get as far into the backcountry as a Jeep Wrangler would, but the Passport’s blend of pleasant tarmac manners and improved offroad capability holds appeal. And then there’s the Goldilocks-sizing of it: a step up if your family’s outgrown the CR-V, but still easier to park than a Pilot.

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