12 Best & Worst Honda Passport Years (With Facts & Stats)

The Honda Passport is a well-rounded family SUV that delivers adequate power and performance.

It was first introduced for the 1994 – 2002 model years and then relaunched in 2019.

If you would like to find out about its best and worst years, keep on reading…

2023 Honda Passport

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Honda Passport Are:

The best Honda Passport model years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2002, 1997, and 1996. The worst model years of the Passport are 2019, 2001, 2000, 1999, and 1998. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Honda Passport?

Honda has produced a lot of great Passports, listed below are the cream of the crop.

2022 and 2023 Honda Passport

The 2023 and 2022 Honda Passport models are the latest and arguably the greatest model years, simply because they are the most refined, the least problematic, the best looking and offer the most up-to-date tech and safety features.

The 2023 Passport remained mostly unchanged and is essentially a carryover model, however the 2022 Passport received a moderate facelift. 

Auto critics complained that the Passport’s appearance lacked identity and this was addressed by updating the front with a chunkier grille and bulkier proportions.

Both the front and rear bumpers were made bolder and overall the styling is more rugged.

The TrailSport variant is an interesting pick for those looking for some off-road adventures, equipped with an 18-inch wheel-and-tire combo. 

Much like the other models in the same production year, both the 2022 and 2023 Honda Passport models can now be equipped with the Honda Performance Development (HDP) appearance package, which gives the SUV a unique grille, specifically designed wheels, and HDP graphic on the rear fenders, and black fender flares. 

2023 Honda Passport 

  • Edmunds: NA
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2022 Honda Passport 

  • Edmunds: 4.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2023 Honda Passport, Kelley Blue Book review:

“Love the Honda Passport Sport Trail trim. Very reliable, fun to drive and roomy inside. Smooth driving feels like riding in and driving a luxurious SUV. The interior is very nice and offers lots of great standard features which are a plus. The safety features are also a great plus.”

2022 Honda Passport, Edmunds review:

“I traded in my Jeep Grand Cherokee for this Honda Passport. I was very surprised how much I like it. because of the car shortage I was not able to get my preferred color, but it still looks great in White. The ride and driving experience is great. It has 6 more cubic feet than my Grand Cherokee, which is a lot more…”

2021 Honda Passport

If you love traveling the great outdoors and need a good size, powerful SUV to transport you and your many pieces of gear without hassle, the 2021 Honda Passport is a solid choice.

Like its third-generation brethren, the 2021 Passport offers a spacious interior with comfy seats as well as a large cargo area and clever storage compartments.

For this model year the Passport received a minor update, but a beneficial upgrade nevertheless. 

The base models were equipped with a standardized 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system (over the previous 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system). 

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2021 Honda Passport, Edmunds review:

“The Passport is a shortened (6″) and raised (1″) SUV based on the Honda Pilot. It has all wheel drive and a V6 engine. The quality of the build is impressive – leather surfaces; high-grade plastics, heated seats and TONS of room. My only negative is the stupid engine start/stop feature; you need to disable it each time you start the engine unless you like having the car judder and restart when you are turning left into traffic”

2020 Honda Passport

As 2019 was the re-birth year of the Passport, the 2020 model skates by with no significant changes or upgrades – however, we should point out that is a far more reliable choice.

Boasting plenty of standard safety features, a powerful V-6 engine and a spacious interior for people and cargo – the 2020 Passport is a top-rated mid-size SUV,

  • Edmunds: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2020 Honda Passport, Edmunds review:

“Leased this SUV about a month ago. If you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, get the EX-L with AWD. Great acceleration, ton of room for people and cargo. Leather seats are very good and the sound system is decent. With Apple Car play and Android Auto you won’t miss the navigation which Waze and Maps usually does a better job with anyway. With Car Play I just do a ‘Hey Siri’ and it takes care of everything. Handles well for a big SUV and has a tight turning radius. Handles bumpy roads well. Blind spot and cross traffic alert work well and once you have it you don’t want to be without it…”

2020 Honda Passport

2002 Honda Passport

We’d suggest going for the more recent Pilot models, as they will have less mileage and less wear and tear. However, there is no denying the 2002 Passport is a great pick, and it was significantly less problematic than many of its predecessors.

The second gen ’02 Passport was powered by a 3.2 liter V6 and features rugged looks and a roomy rear seat.

There were changes or upgrades worth noting for this model year.

Honda halted production after this model year. 

  • Edmunds: 3.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2002 Honda Passport, Edmunds review:

“Except for substantial wind noise, and some body integrity issues, this has been a fairly reliable vehicle. I just got new tires and it has improved greatly. It runs great in the 4WD mode for heavy snow. The front seat seems to “fade” and needs adjusting fairly regularly. Gas mileage is average for a midsized SUV. Before I got new tires, it seemed to have several rattles, but this is improved with new rubber…”

1997 Honda Passport

If you’re on a tight budget and have an eye for old-school SUVs, then the ’97 Passport makes a compelling choice.

This model was very reliable when compared to the ’99 and ’98 models and was praised for its handsome exterior and strong engine.

Due to significantly low sales figures, Honda dropped the DX four-cylinder variant of the 1997 Honda Passport. 

  • Edmunds: 3.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

1997 Honda Passport, Edmunds review:

“When purchasing a fifteen-year-old car, one must be wise. There are a plethora of aspects within an old car that can go wrong, no matter how well built the car is. However, I lucked out. I purchased my 97 Red Honda Passport 4×4 Loaded out with everything but leather and a sunroof over a year ago now. I bought it with a low 130,000 miles and since have put about 20,000 on within the one year of ownership Ive had. It has been a fantastic car. Only problems I have had was an old alternator and a bad window motor…”

1996 Honda Passport

The ’96 Passport is a retro classic that offers a blend of off-road abilities and comfortable highway driving.

For 1996, the Passport came with upgraded wheels, a dual-airbag system, available four-wheel disc antilock brakes, and a new and improved V6 engine that packs more power and efficiency.

Its towing capacity is 4,500 pounds with the V6 engine, but only 2000 ponds with the four-cylinder.

Be very careful buying a car as old, it may be a good idea to have a mechanic you trust to inspect the vehicle before handing over your hard-earned cash.

  • Edmunds: 3.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

1996 Honda Passport, Edmunds review:

“I have a 96 Passport with 218,000 and counting. Mechanical issues have been almost non existent. I use it to drive on the beach, pull my trailer and it has been on several family vacations. Most wonderful vehicle I have ever owned, Honda buyer for life.”

Consumer Scores For Best Honda Passport Years

Below is a table that presents all the consumer ratings of the best Honda Passport model years from reputable vehicle websites:

Model YearEdmunds Consumer RatingKelley Blue BookConsumer RatingJD PowerConsumer Rating
2023 Honda PassportNA4.4 / 5.0NA
2022 Honda Passport4.7 / 5.04.4 / 5.084 / 100
2021 Honda Passport4.4 / 5.04.4 / 5.082 / 100
2020 Honda Passport4.0 / 5.04.4 / 5.082 / 100
2002 Honda Passport3.6 / 5.03.9 / 5.0NA
1997 Honda Passport3.6 / 5.03.9 / 5.0NA
1996 Honda Passport3.8 / 5.03.9 / 5.0NA

What Are The Worst Years For The Honda Passport?

Like any vehicle, the Honda Passport has had its ahre of problems over the years.

Be cautious of the model years listed below.

2019 Honda Passport

The 2019 Passport is one to avoid if you’re looking at a third-generation model. The vast majority of the complaints raised were related to the Auto start/stop feature.

Here’s what the owners had to say:

“Auto engine idle has an inconsistent issue with not restarting. When at a full stop, the engine goes to neutral and does not restart. This has left me temporarily stranded while I attempt a full restart.” 

“The vehicle stalls after the auto-shutoff/idle is engaged. As I lift my foot off the break pedal to disengage it, the car shuts off and indicates that it has been placed in park mode.”

On top of this, owners also complained about a wide range of problems including malfunctioning radios, temperamental electronics, crackling noises from the dashboard, and vehicle stalling.

The 2019 Passport had a total of 9 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 181 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Cracked windshield
  • Auto start/stop failure
  • Grinding and lurching
  • No power when driving
  • Radio shuts off
  • Dashboard blacks out completely
2019 Honda Passport

2001 Honda Passport

The 2001 Honda Passport received a large number of complaints due to its frame and suspension rusting which ultimately weakened the integrity of the vehicle.

Here’s one owners account:

“I hit a pothole, heard a snap and started to swerve on the road. I was going 5mph at the most. The frame had snapped. The entire frame is rusted and rotting away. It can’t be fixed or driven.

The problem was so widespread Honda issued a recall although some owners reported that their vehicle was unable to be repaired due to the severity of the rust.

The 2001 Passport had a total of 11 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 160 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Frame rotted completely through in the back
  • Frame rusted through
  • Goes into reduced power mode intermittently

2000 Honda Passport

The 2000 Honda Passport had myriad structural issues, most (if not all) of which stemmed from premature rusting or oxidizing. 

Owners reported damaged suspension systems, engine supports, and vehicle frames as a result of severe rust issues, to the point that the parts were virtually unfixable and needed expensive replacements. 

The 2000 Passport had a total of 9 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 125 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Transmission slipping, no power
  • Frame rotted
  • Engine seizure
2000 Honda Passport

1999 Honda Passport

Much like the 1998 model year, the 1999 Honda Passport had several issues surrounding the brake system (specifically, the ABS or Anti-lock Braking System). 

Owners reported inconsistency in performance on uneven roads and pavements, extended stopping distances (potential cause for vehicular accidents), rear tire lock-ups, and vehicle swinging from side to side. 

This model year was also plagued by rusting issues which was most apparent on the suspension system.

The 1999 Passport had a total of 13 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 289 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Transmission failure
  • Frame rusted
  • Paint easily oxidizes

1998 Honda Passport

According to online records, the 1998 Honda Passport is, by far, the most problematic model year out of all the Passport models ever produced. 

The 1998 Honda Passport had major issues with the Anti-lock Braking System.

Here’s what the owners had to say:

“When the anti lock brakes were applied, the brake pedal traveled to the floor, which caused the vehicle to experience an extended stopping distance.”

“Brakes will not stop vehicle if road surface is bumpy. Today, vehicle felt like it was not going to stop and almost caused an accident. The braking system has never been good.”

The ABS was eventually recalled however drivers were left waiting a long time for repairs due to the high demand for parts.

The ’98 Passport was also widely affected by frame and suspension rusting.

The 1998 Passport had a total of 10 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 314 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Transmission failure
  • Frame rusted
  • Frame looks like a piece of swiss cheese (crumbling)

Related: Honda Passport Tune-Up & Maintenance Costs (Complete Guide)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

There are several Honda Passport model years, both old and new, that have received numerous complaints through the years. 

Take a look at the complaints and problems for each model year of the Passport below

Model YearComplaints (CarComplaints.com)Problems (CarProblemZoo.com)
2023 Honda PassportNANA
2022 Honda Passport05
2021 Honda Passport042
2020 Honda Passport130
2019 Honda Passport9181
2002 Honda Passport431
2001 Honda Passport11160
2000 Honda Passport9125
1999 Honda Passport13289
1998 Honda Passport10314
1997 Honda Passport569
1996 Honda Passport552
1995 Honda Passport10NA
1994 Honda Passport4NA

What Problems Do Honda Passports Have?

  • Frame rotted completely through in the back
  • Transmission failure
  • Cracked windshield
  • Grinding and lurching
  • No power when driving
  • Radio shuts off
  • Dashboard blacks out completely
  • Frame rusted
  • Paint easily oxidizes
  • Goes into reduced power mode intermittently
  • Difficulty shifting gears
  • Runs rough
  • Air conditioning compressor is very difficult to replace

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Honda Passport?

The Honda Passport is a top-rated midsize SUV.

It secured the 3rd spot (right behind the Kia Telluride and Ford Palisade), with a great score of 8.4 out of 10. 

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Kia Telluride8.6$33,390 – $45,190City: 19 – 20 /Highway: 24 – 26
Ford Palisade8.6$33,600 – $48,990City: NA / Highway: NA
Honda Passport8.4$37,870 – $45,430City: 19 – 20 /Highway: 24 – 25
Mazda CX-98.4$35,280 – $47,210City: 20 / Highway: 26
Hyundai Santa Fe8.3 $27,200 – $43,110City: 21 – 25 / Highway: 25 – 28
Chevrolet Traverse8.3$33,700 – $53,400City: 17 – 18 / Highway: 25 – 27
Honda Pilot8.3$38,080 – $51,870City: 19 – 20 /Highway: 26 – 27
Jeep Grand Cherokee8.3$39,000 – $61,675City: 14 – 19 /Highway: 22 – 26
Buick Enclave8.1$42,800 – $57,100City: 17 – 18 /Highway: 25 -26
Dodge Durango8.0$36,995 – $68,195City: 13 – 19 /Highway: 19 – 26
Volkswagen Atlas8.0$33,635 – $51,505City: 17 – 21 /Highway: 23 – 25
Subaru Ascent8.0$32,295 – $45,445City: 20 – 21 /Highway: 26 – 27
Kia Sorento8.0$29,590 – $43,190City: 21 – 24 /Highway: 25 – 29
Toyota Highlander7.9$35,405 – $49,510City: 20 – 21 /Highway: 27 – 29 
Ford Explorer7.7$33,745 – $55,995City: 16 – 27 /Highway: 23 – 28
Nissan Murano7.7$33,310 – $46,560City: 20Highway: 28
GMC Acadia7.5$34,800 – $48,600City: 19 – 22 /Highway: 26 – 29
Chevrolet Blazer7.3$33,400 – $44,000City: 19 – 22 /Highway: 26 – 29
Toyota 4Runner7.1$37,605 – $52,420City: 16 / Highway: 19
Ford EdgeNA$36,145 – $44,945City: 19 – 21 /Highway: 25 – 28
Jeep Grand Cherokee LNA$40,325 – $62,300City: 18 – 19 /Highway: 25 – 26
Nissan PathfinderNA$34,640 – $49,040City: 20 – 21 /Highway: 25 – 27

Source: cars.usnews.com

Related: 16 Best & Worst Honda Pilot Years (With Facts & Stats)

References

https://www.caranddriver.com/honda/passport

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/honda/passport

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Honda/Passport/

https://www.carproblemzoo.com/honda/passport/

https://www.edmunds.com/honda/passport/

https://www.kbb.com/honda/passport/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2022/honda/passport