A Closer Look at the Honda Passport TrailSport: What You Need to Know

April 14th, 2023 by

A light blue 2023 Honda Passport for sale is shown parked on the dirt near some campers.

Are you looking for an SUV to take you on your next adventure? Not every SUV is up for the task, but if you look deep enough, sometimes you can find something truly special. For example, at Gwinnett Place Honda, we have the Honda Passport for sale, but not just any Passport; we’ll give you an excellent deal on the Passport TrailSport, an off-roading-focused trim that distances itself from other Passport trims by implementing a wide range of exclusive features.

If the Honda Passport TrailSport sounds interesting to you, you should consider getting one for the most comfortable off-roading experiences available, yet one that stands tall in the realm of versatility amongst its peers. For a vehicle not regularly associated with off-roading, the question is: does the TrailSport do everything to warrant our recommendation to drivers in the greater area of Duluth, GA, who are looking for an SUV suited for off-roading? We’ll answer this question and more, so let’s continue.

No Turbocharge? No Problem

The first question you’re likely wondering, and the first question you should be wondering for an off-roading vehicle, is: what’s the powertrain situation like? You don’t want to find yourself on a trail without the proper equipment, and your engine is part of this. Fortunately, the 2023 Passport doesn’t stray from many past models, with the 3.5L V6 engine remaining the sole powertrain.

Combined with the 9-speed automatic transmission, having a V6 engine in your SUV calls for a smooth yet powerful driving experience compared to anything lesser. However, some drivers may be upset the Passport doesn’t instead include or offer a turbocharged I-4 engine of some type, but this 3.5L V6 engine still has plenty of performance; most importantly, it isn’t as fuel-hungry as one would expect from a non-turbocharged V6 engine with an all-wheel drivetrain.

Before we get into the fuel economy ratings of your 2023 Passport TrailSport, let’s talk about what that V6 engine means for your driving experience. Your TrailSport will output 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque thanks to this V6 engine, and it also calls for a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. With this exceptional strength, the 2023 Passport outmatches other midsize SUVs like the Subaru Outback with its 3,500 lbs of maximum towing or the Nissan Murano with a 1,500 lb capacity. Although these SUVs are less expensive when compared to the Passport, this is a prime example of what happens when you spend the extra money and get what you pay for.

The 2023 Passport is the first to drop a front-wheel drivetrain altogether, meaning even the base model comes with AWD. The base model isn’t the focus of today’s discussion, but it does share in the TrailSport’s EPA-estimated ratings of 19 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway. [a] Before we get into what separates the Passport TrailSport from the others, there’s one more facet the TrailSport shares with its two other sibling trims: cargo space.

A white 2023 Honda Passport is shown off-roading on a dirt path.

Ample Cargo Space? Absolutely!

Cargo space is hands-down one of our favorite aspects of the Passport, and TrailSport drivers reap all the benefits. The 2023 Passport has up to 100.7 cu.ft. of space if you fold down the back row, so although you’ll lose the extra seating, you can haul a considerable amount of cargo instead. Remember, the 100.7 cu.ft. of space not only outmatches other midsize SUVs like the Chevy Blazer, Hyundai Santa Fe, Cadillac XT5, Nissan Murano, Subaru Outback, Toyota 4Runner, and more, but your Passport TrailSport still tows 5,000 lbs.

The Passport isn’t only advantageous against competing midsize SUVs when the back seats are folded down, as keeping the seats upright only cuts the cargo space down by 50%, meaning you’ll still have 50.5 cu.ft. of space available to you at all times. Again, compared to other midsize SUVs, this is a more than modest amount of cargo space as it provides more than competitors would, like the Nissan Murano, Subaru Outback, Toyota 4Runner, Ford Edge, Chevy Blazer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Cadillac XT5, and more. If it were for cargo space alone, the Passport is the go-to choice; everything else is a bonus. However, although these features are shared between the three trims, we want to discuss what features you’ll find on the TrailSport that you wouldn’t find with another Passport model.

TrailSport Exclusive Features

Although all three Passport trims are prime for adventure in one regard or another, such as built-in Intelligent Traction Management for mud, sand, and snow, the TrailSport has features to take your adventuring to the next level. Firstly, the Passport TrailSport has roof rails installed from the factory, so you’ll bring your cargo, bikes, canoes – anything fun you may be looking to bring to the trail, park, or lake. When going off-roading, you’ll be glad your Passport TrailSport has rugged-design all-season tires capable of harsher and uneven terrains. These tires are wrapped around 18-inch wheels. The TrailSport is generally the trim for any in-climate weather situations, too, with its LED fog lights built-in at no additional cost and a heated wiper zone to keep your windshield wipers from stiffening and sticking during the Winter season.

Honda knows that if you’re bringing your Passport out for an adventure, there’s a chance you’ll be bringing along some friends or family for the ride. Because of this, Honda doesn’t forget about your passengers, so the TrailSport trim includes sunshades placed onto the windows in the rear row, so if one or more passengers don’t want the bright sunlight, they can opt to block it. The TrailSport also includes some neat additions that add variety and liveliness to the mix, such as light-up cup holders and an ambient light source that displays subtle amber lighting through LEDs. Coupled with the included orange stitching on each leather seat in the cabin, it all comes together beautifully, and you need to see it to believe it.

A few more features included with the Passport TrailSport are a built-in navigation system integrated into the standard infotainment center. The base infotainment center, although similarly sized, doesn’t include Honda’s in-house navigation software that works with voice recognition. However, those with the base model can still opt to utilize their favorite navigation apps through the likes of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and access them through voice via AI assistants like Siri and Google Play, which TrailSport customers can still utilize too. Aside from the built-in navigation system, the TrailSport’s interior also includes a 115-Volt power outlet, which will come in handy in many scenarios. The power outlet and navigation software are also standard on the higher-tier trim, the Elite, but make fantastic additions to this off-roading and adventure-focused variant of this critically acclaimed SUV that everyone loves.

The black interior and dash of a 2023 Honda Passport is shown.

The Honda Passport TrailSport Is Ready for Adventure

It’s not every day that a vehicle only has three trims to choose from, but you’ll learn that it greatly simplifies the process of shopping for this beloved midsize SUV. Many drivers use a process of elimination when shopping for a vehicle, so if a vehicle has everything they’re looking for after they’re done looking around, there’s a chance they’ll purchase it. Those looking for an off-roading experience will likely take a look at the Passport anyways, but if you’re looking for the version of this automobile that has all the features you’re looking for and more, the TrailSport has what it takes to be the next vehicle you get behind the wheel of.

The TrailSport shares many of its best qualities with the Elite, the priciest Passport trim, but comes at a lower cost and includes amenities exclusive to its trim package, like the roof rails, for example. We believe the TrailSport will be the right Passport trim for you, and we invite you to come to visit us here at Gwinnett Place Honda to experience this exceptional midsize SUV. If you’re looking to venture off the pavement and explore the unknown, consider the Honda Passport TrailSport, your next reliable travel companion.

[a] 19 city/24 highway/21 combined mpg rating. Based on 2023 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors